Trying to lose weight? Just riding isn’t enough. Follow this 60-minute workout for fast results.
Of course, if you want complete transformation you’ll need to make big changes in every part of your lifestyle, but one of the biggest has to be exercise. If you are just starting out you goal should simply be to complete short rides. Before long you can start incorporating intervals into your training. Don’t be concerned with maximum power output. Rather, by alternating intervals with recovery periods, increase the amount of work accomplished per session, thereby increasing the impact each workout has on fitness and weight loss. Even if you have just 2kgs to lose, intervals are the key to your success.
Years of carrying around a big body can work to your advantage. You have a lot of dormant muscles lying under the fat. That muscle represents a lot of potential power that 60kg pip-squeaks can’t come close to. Slim down and nurture that muscle, and you’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
Recovery Is Key
Some people think it’s counter-intuitive that you can maximise calorie burn by inserting recovery periods into your rides. What makes intervals so effective is that the recovery periods allow you to maintain higher power outputs during hard efforts, and accumulate more time at those higher outputs.
Intensity Burns More Calories
Whether you’re talking about weight loss or enhanced performance, time at intensity is the factor that matters most. Riding at a tough-but-sustainable pace is a good way to burn about 12 calories per minute. Intervals like the ones included here can push your burn rate to about 16 calories per minute. But because you can’t sustain 16 calories per minute for very long, time spent at this intensity has to be spread over several intervals separated by recovery, during which you’re burning eight to 10 calories per minute. In total, the interval session lasts 42 minutes, but even with the recovery periods, the calories burned are almost identical to the calories burned during 42 minutes at a steady pace.
Why put yourself through intervals if they don’t burn a ton more calories? Because time-at-intensity not only burns calories but also stimulates change. That steady pace for 42 minutes isn’t enough stress to make you faster or pack your muscles with more fat-burning mitochondria. But those 20 minutes at maximum intensity are. Riding a steady pace burns calories today; intervals burn calories today and enable you to burn more later.
Chris Carmichael’s Weight-Loss Workout
This one-hour workout delivers the double whammy of torching calories and building high-end aerobic power you can put to good use the rest of the season. It’s strenuous, so do it a maximum of three times a week to allow for adequate recovery and best results.
6 minute: warmup
1 min.: fast pedal, spinning a light gear as fast as you can
1 min.: recovery spinning
1 min.: fast pedal
1 min.: recovery spinning
5×2 min. at maximum intensity, with 2 min. recovery spinning between each
6 min.: recovery spinning
5×2 min. at maximum intensity, with
2 min. recovery spinning between each
8 min.: cooldown
Total time: 60 min.
Chris Carmichael is founder and CEO of Carmichael Training Systems, the premier coaching, camps, and testing resource trusted by thousands of athletes since 2000. Visit www.trainright.com for info.