Riding Solo: Triple Threat

Try this all-inclusive cycling workout to build endurance, strength, and speed.

On the days when you can’t get to an indoor cycling class but you want the same high-intensity workout, take the DIY approach. Here’s an all-inclusive workout, designed to build endurance, strength, and crank up your cardiovascular fitness with intervals. While adjusting the resistance and your cadence, you’ll increase your endurance as you ride on simulated flat roads, develop greater muscle strength climbing hills, and boost your speed and power during sprints and speed intervals.

Throughout the ride, you’ll torch loads of calories, while gaining physical health benefits and serious psychological perks as well.

Before you get started, download the following songs and create a playlist. When you climb onto the saddle, have a towel handy and a large water bottle to keep you well hydrated throughout the ride. Now, get ready to kick it with this 45-minute workout!

Song:  Skinny Genes, Eliza Doolittle

What to Do: Warm up. With your hands on the back of the handlebars, sit and pedal with light resistance at a steady pace for 1½ minutes. Transfer the work to your ride leg for 30 seconds, then your left leg for 30 seconds. Engage both legs again.

Duration: 3 minutes     Speed (RPM): 80-100      Difficulty (RPE):  4-5

Song:  Lucky Strike, Maroon 5

What to Do: Add moderate resistance and pedal while seated for 30 seconds. Add a little more resistance, walk your hands out to position 3, and pick up the pace for 30 seconds.

Shift to a standing jog (hands in position 2) for 30 seconds. Return to the saddle, and repeat the sequence.

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

Song:  Prayer in C, Robin Schulz & Lily Wood & The Prick

What to Do: While seated in the saddle, pedal at a brisk clip with moderate resistance on the bike (just above a flat road).

Try to keep your pace steady all the way.

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

Song:  Thunder Clatter, Wild Cub

What to Do: Add a little more resistance but not so much that you feel like you’re climbing a hill. Pedal while seated for 1 minute, stand (with hands in position 2) and jog for 30 seconds. Repeat the sequence twice.

Duration: 4½ minutes   Speed (RPM): 60-80   Difficulty (RPE): 6-7

Song: Let Me Be Your Lover, Enrique Iglesias

What to Do: While seated, pedal at a brisk clip with moderate resistance, keeping your pace steady.

Duration: 4 minutes     Speed (RPM): 90      Difficulty (RPE):  7

Song: Can’t Hold Us, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

What to Do:  Add moderately heavy resistance and do a seated climb, keeping your pace strong and steady.

Duration: 4¼ minutes    Speed (RPM):  50+   Difficulty (RPE):  8+

Songs: Crazy In Love, Beyoncé; Cheers, Rihanna

What to Do: Add moderately heavy resistance and do a seated climb for 1 minute; stand up with hands in position 3, add resistance to create a heavy climb for 1 minute; bust through the resistance by adding 10 RPMs (or two pedal strokes) for 45 seconds; lower the resistance to a flat road and recover for 45 seconds.

Repeat. Ride in the saddle for the final minute.

Duration:  8¼ minutes  Speed (RPM):  50+   Difficulty (RPE):  7-9

Song: Heart Skips a Beat, Olly Murs

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

Duration:  3¼ minutes    Speed (RPM):  60-80    Difficulty (RPE):  5-6

Song: Push It, Salt-n-Pepa

What to Do: With light to moderate resistance on the bike, find a quick baseline pace and pedal steadily for 30 seconds; do a 25-second speed interval, pedaling as fast as you can. Repeat the pattern throughout the song. 

Duration: 4½ minutes         Speed (RPM):  70/110        Difficulty (RPE):  7-8

Song: Eyes Without a Face, Billy Idol

What to Do: Add medium-heavy resistance, and stand and pedal with your hands in position 3 for 2¼ minutes. Drop the resistance to a flat road and pedal as fast as you can for 1¼ minutes. Add resistance and return to a standing climb for the rest of the song.

Duration: 5 minutes       Speed (RPM):  50+/110      Difficulty (RPE):  8-9

Song: Mmm Yeah, Austin Mahone featuring Pitbull

What to Do: Cool down. While seated, pedal steadily against light resistance. For the last minute, sit up tall in the saddle, take some deep breaths, and do a series of upper body stretches.

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

After you’ve finished, climb off the bike and do a series of lower body stretches for your calves, quads, and hamstrings. Then, give yourself a mental high-five for a job well done.   

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