The Hurt Locker: How to do an indoor cycling workout the GCN way

Global Cycling Network's Conor Dunne takes you through a tough, half-hour high-intensity workout to smash your VO2 max training and sprint power.

Clock12:00, Monday 26th June 2023

What does this GCN training session contain?

As the name suggests, this one is going to hurt. After a warm-up, we get into a set of six VO2 max efforts with recovery breaks in between. Each effort is long, so you’re going to be working your aerobic engine to the max. Stick with it, and this session will do a world of good for your aerobic capacity. Be warned, though, this is a tough one!

Is this interval workout good for weight loss?

According to research from The British Journal of Sports Medicine, interval training accelerates fat loss by alternating high-intensity exercises with brief recovery periods. It elevates the heart rate, burns more calories, and triggers the afterburn effect, leading to increased metabolism post-workout.

In this session, GCN's Conor Dunne will take you through a training programme to help your body optimise fat metabolism and promote muscle development, yielding significant fat loss results and improved leg strength.

If you do a lot of cycling and are yet to see the benefits, it may be because you're miscalculating how many calories you're burning and consuming. For more info read our article on Why you may be struggling to lose weight through cycling.

'warm up' on a red cycling themed background

Start with a warm-up on your indoor trainer

Before we get into the HIIT session, we need to warm up. This sessions starts with a warm-up ramp that gradually increases the intensity, from 2/10 right up to 7/10, followed by a minute of respite at 3/10.

Top Tip

Don't go too hard on your warm-up. This is a hard session so you'll need to save some energy so you can go hard on the main interval session.

Global Cycling Network James Lowsley-Williams with 'sprint' text overlay on a red background

The main session: 6 max power sprint efforts with recovery in between

It's time to get to the hardcore training. We're going to do six 1:30 flat-out efforts with two minutes of super easy recovery in between.

This is a tough session, but make it through and soon you'll feel the benefits in your VO2 max and sprint power.

Top Tip

Push your legs as hard as your can during the intervals! Feel the burn to get the maximum leg-strength benefit from this indoor cycling workout.

Global Cycling Network's Manon Lloyd on a bike with 'cool down' text overlay

Bring up the RPM a little for the warm-down

After our final recovery period, we're going to push on the pedals a little more to spin out our legs. 4/10 for three minutes will be enough to spin out that lactic acid and bring the session to a close.

Top Tip

If you need a little longer to spin out your legs and release the tension, feel free to keep riding a little longer.

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