A 25-Minute HIIT Bike Workout Anyone Can Try
HIIT is one of the most popular acronyms in the fitness industry. It stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and high-intensity intervals have been proven time and time again to be the best bang for your buck when it comes to cardio and training.
You can try lots of strenuous exercise routines but you’d be hard pressed to find anything as efficient as HIIT. And if that’s not enough to convince you, here’s some compelling information specific to our HIIT bike workout, and why it’s a good idea for people of all fitness levels to give it a try.
A HIIT workout can be done in as little as 12 minutes. And while some might be content with that, we suggest people go a little longer and get more rounds in. Research from the Global Cycling Network indicates that just 20 minutes of HIIT cardio can get you the same calorie burn as 40 MINUTES of steady-state cardio. So instead of running 3 miles, saddle up on a bike and get a HIIT workout done in half the time! (Which leaves you time for a little strength training too.) This is one of the shortest, but also one of the most intense workouts.
More Fat Loss
In a 2008 study, says the Global Cycling Network, research showed high-intensity intermittent exercise led to a significant decrease in central abdominal fat, whereas the steady-state intensity exercise had non-significant decreases in central abdominal fat.
Less Plateaus in Weight Loss
A study from the University of Tampa revealed that when people add in LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State) they get a temporary boost in weight loss. “Subjects lost a couple of pounds the first week and after that they lost nothing. This happened because their metabolism completely adjusted to that and it became their new set point to what they had to do just to maintain.”
Your body is VERY smart, people! If you’re doing cardio training sessions at a steady state, your body will catch up pretty quickly. But if you’re spending 100% of your energy, you’re less likely to hit that plateau. Effort-based HIIT cardio sessions are great because no matter how healthy or fast you get, your workout will always be tough…and if you squeeze in some strength training, you’ll be twice as tough!
Plus the more you do HIIT, the more you increase your VO2 max which, according to information from the Global Cycling Network, is the amount of oxygen your body is able to utilize during maximal effort. Therefore, the better your VO2 max, the better you perform, and the better the health benefits, like improved strength, stamina, an even insulin sensitivity.
Which Bike Is Best?
There’s more than one way to do a HIIT bike workout, because there’s more than one type of exercise bike, because there’s more than one type of body and bike to best suit it. We looked to the Global Cycling Network and combed through some of GCN’s video instruction for information on their take on how these bikes differ.
The stationary bike is probably the one people know best because it’s been around the longest. The stationary bike is great for traditional indoor cycling, it’s easy to use, and will burn a decent amount of calories. Stationary bike workouts have a low incidence of injury and strengthen your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.
Recumbent bikes have many of the same indoor cycling attributes of the stationary exercise bike but a good reason to choose recumbent bikes is if you have balance issues or need a little more stability. And, although you are seated, you can still get a great HIIT workout that won’t take much time.
One of the best things about the spin bike is that you can move more, so you get a bigger calorie burn. The flywheel on a spin bike makes it the smoothest ride too, so a HIIT spin workout on this bike might be the most pleasant. (Which is definitely not to say a spin bike workout is the easiest, but if you’ve been to even a 10-minute spin class, you know that.)
Most spin bikes don’t have a console for you to enter your personal information, (and personal information is helpful when you want feedback on your progress, but trust us, you’ll FEEL your progress.)
No matter which bike you choose, you’ll be at the center of the action, and the overall health benefits will abound.
So, pick a bike and let’s HIIT it!
25-Minute HIIT Bike Workout
- 0-4 Minutes: Warm-up with a light pedal at medium resistance
- 4-10 Minutes: When you reach 4 minutes, pedal at high resistance for :15 seconds at FULL EFFORT*, then pedal at low resistance for 1:15 seconds. The low resistance is NOT meant to be a workout. It is meant for recovery; so make it easy. This will total up to 4 complete rounds of :15 sec of work with a 1:15 break.
- 10-20 Minutes: When you reach 10 minutes, increase your work time by pedaling at high resistance for :20 seconds at FULL SPEED, then pedal at low resistance for 1:40 seconds. Your last :20 sec sprint will be on minute #20. This will total up to 6 complete rounds of :20 sec of work with a 1:40 break.
- 20-25 Minutes: Cool down! Pedal at low resistance and take your time. (The Global Cycling Network pros stress that this cool down is crucial so don’t forget to do it.)
*Note: When pedaling at full resistance, crank things up so it’s difficult. Experts from the Global Cycling Network say it should feel like you’re riding the bike up a steep hill. Remember, speed isn’t as important as effort! Whether you’re on a stationary, recumbent, or spin bike, if you’re giving it 100% and going slower than you’d like, that’s ok! Just give this HIIT cycling workout your all!
Add some strength training to this mix and you’ll be fit as a fiddle in no time.