Riding Solo: On Fire

Here's a DIY workout guaranteed to fire you up

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Can’t get to an indoor cycling class? No problem. The next time your busy schedule rules out the possibility of taking a class at the gym, take the DIY approach with this high-energy interval ride. It will fire up your fitness level in a fun way, while covering a variety of terrain. Adjusting the resistance and your cadence will simulate the experience of climbing hills, pushing your pace with sprints and speed intervals, and building endurance on flat roads.

Along the way, you’ll incinerate lots of calories, sculpt your leg and butt muscles, and gain strength and power. You’ll also get an endorphin rush that will leave you feeling fab after the workout.

First, download the songs listed below and create a playlist. When you climb onto the saddle, have a towel handy to wipe off your sweat and a large water bottle to keep you well hydrated throughout the ride. Now get ready: Riding solo is about to take on a brand-new appeal with this 45-minute workout!

Song: I’m on Fire, Bruce Springsteen

What to Do: Warm up. Sit with your hands on the back of the handlebars and pedal with light resistance at a steady pace.

Duration: 2 ½ minutes  Speed (RPM): 80-100  Difficulty (RPE): 4-5

Song: Come on Eileen, Dexy’s Midnight Runners

What to Do: Add moderate resistance; pedal while seated for 1 min., stand with hands in position 2 and jog for 1 min.; repeat.

Duration: 4 ¾ minutes   Speed (RPM): 60-80   Difficulty (RPE): 5-6

Songs: Lovers on the Sun, David Guetta; Scream, Usher

What to Do: Add moderately heavy resistance and do a seated climb for 1 min.; stand up with hands in position 3, add resistance to make it a heavy climb for 1 min.; bust through the resistance and add 10 RPMs for 45 seconds; lower resistance to a flat road and recover.

Duration: 7 ½ minutes  Speed (RPM):  50+  Difficulty (RPE): 7-9

Song: The Way I Are, Timbaland

What to Do: Bring resistance to just above a flat road and pedal while seated for 30 seconds; add resistance and stand and pedal with hands in position 3 for 30 seconds, move to position 2 for 30 seconds; repeat.

Duration: 3 minutes   Speed (RPM):  60-80   Difficulty (RPE): 5-6

Song: I Gotta Feeling, Black Eyed Peas

What to Do: With light to moderate resistance on the bike, find a quick baseline pace and ride for 30 seconds; do a 25-second speed interval (110 RPM); slow down for 30 seconds; repeat.

Duration: 5 minutes  Speed (RPM):  70-80/110  Difficulty (RPE): 8

Song: Empire, Shakira

What to Do: Start with medium-heavy resistance in a seated position then add resistance every 30 seconds; after 2 min., stand up and pedal with your hands in position 3 for the rest of the song.

Duration: 4 minutes  Speed (RPM):  50+  Difficulty (RPE): 7-9

Song: Ring the Alarm, Beyoncé

What to Do: With light to moderate resistance on the bike, keep a quick baseline pace and pedal steadily for 30 seconds; do a 20-second speed surge (100 RPM); repeat the pattern.

 

Duration: 3 ½ minutes  Speed (RPM): 70-80/100  Difficulty (RPE): 7-8

Song:  Whistle, Flo Rida

What to Do: Start with moderately heavy resistance; stand and pedal with your hands in position 3; and increase resistance every 30 seconds. This is a heavy standing climb all the way to the top! 

Duration: 4 minutes  Speed (RPM):  40+  Difficulty (RPE): 8-9

Song: Feel Again, OneRepublic

What to Do: Bring resistance to just above a flat road and pedal while seated for 30 seconds (adding a surge in speed for the last 10). Increase resistance slightly and stand and pedal with hands in position 3 for 30 seconds (adding a speed surge for the last 10); move to position 2 for 30 seconds (pick up your pace for the last 10 seconds). Repeat the sequence. 

Duration: 3 minutes  Speed (RPM): 60-80/90  Difficulty (RPE): 6-7

Song: Voices Carry, ‘Til Tuesday

What to Do: This is a cadence challenge. Start with light resistance and find a pace that’s comfortable for you; lock it in. After 30 seconds, add a small amount of resistance and keep your pace steady; add a bit more resistance after another 30 seconds while maintaining your pace. Bring it up to a standing climb (hands in position 3) and stay steady for 30 seconds. Have a seat, take some resistance off and maintain your pace for 30 seconds. Repeat the sequence. 

Duration: 4 ½ minutes  Speed (RPM): 60-80  Difficulty (RPE): 5-6

Song: Hurricane, MS MR

What to Do: Cool down. While seated, pedal steadily against light resistance, with your hands on the back of the handlebars. For the last minute, sit up tall in the saddle and do 3 shoulder rolls to the back then 3 to the front, followed by stretches for your triceps, deltoids, and neck.

Duration: 3 ¾ minutes  Speed (RPM): 60-80  Difficulty (RPE): 3-4

After you’ve finished, stretch your calves, quads, and hamstrings—and give yourself a pat on the back.  

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