Break a Sweat With This 20-Minute Indoor Cycling Interval Workout

Indoor cycling can be just the remedy for that just-have-to-move feeling when you're cooped up inside. Not only will you get a low-impact workout that burns loads of calories, you'll even ease some stress.

You'll increase the intensity in this indoor cycling interval workout by moving your legs quickly for 30 seconds at a time.
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This speed-driven routine from Emily Booth, the education manager for cycle and group fitness at Life Time, will help you squeeze in a quick ride, whether you've invested in a home exercise bike or you're using a stand to turn your road bike into a stationary one.

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Your focus for the following intervals will be on RPM, or revolutions per minute, the measure of how fast your legs are moving around (and around) on your pedals.

Challenge yourself to hit 100 to 120 RPM on these 30-second sprint intervals. If you're easily approaching 120, dial up the resistance a bit. (Exact resistance levels and RPM will vary based on the bike you're riding.)

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As tempting as it might feel to skip the warm-up, taking the time to prepare your body to work hard will ultimately help you get a better sweat. Aim for at least five minutes of easy pedaling before building into the intensity of your intervals and go for 10 minutes if your schedule allows, Booth says.

When it is time to go hard, perform the sprint intervals at a very high intensity, near your maximum effort, Booth says. Always allow for full recovery between high-intensity workouts and never perform HIIT routines on consecutive days.

Step 1: Warm Up

  • Warm up with easy pedaling, gradually increasing your heart rate for five minutes.
  • You should begin to feel the intensity increase and your body heat up, but you shouldn't be working so hard that it's tough to talk.

Step 2: Alternate Sprints and Recovery

  • After the warm-up, increase your resistance slightly and go for all-out effort on RPM for 30 seconds.
  • Dial back some resistance and pedal easy for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat this interval a total of 10 times.

Step 3: Cool Down

  • Bring your heart rate back down with five minutes of easy pedaling.

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