High intensity interval training.

Thomas11

Likes Dirt
Start out with shorter periods and work your way up. My "least" favorite interval style workouts are;

Burpee challenge - 10 burpees as quick as you can in a 1 minute period (with good form and jumping at the end) resting for however long is left of the minute. Repeat 10 times for 100 burpees.

Skipping - 1 minute on 20 seconds off. Skip for as long as possible during that minute. Work up to 60 seconds of double unders or sprinting high steps. Repeat for 20 sets.

Snake bites - within a 1 minute period perform 5 pull ups, 10 push-ups and 20 crunches .Rest for remainder of the minute. Repeat as many times as you can. I'm aiming for 15 minutes..

Good thing about these ones are they help build strength and cardio together.
Do you even #crossfit?
 

slippy

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Mountain biking is sort of ad hoc interval training at times, one minute you're climbing a steep hill, the next you're coasting down one. Depends on where you ride, but that's the problem, you're not really controlling the intervals.

Taking a bike out on a long flat road or bike path it's much easier to choose when to sprint and when to relax. I used to find short sprints X 3 or 4 followed by a longer sprint, then repeat worked really well. You should feel almost completely focked by the end of it. Next time you go out, increase the length of the sprints just a smidge. Then reduce the recovery times a smidge. Really good for your recovery on your "real rides", you don't feel so rooted at the top of a hill that you can't keep going.

I used to think you had to ride 6 times a week to get fit. There is another way, ride 4 times a week but make sure you're increasing the length of your rides a bit each week.
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
Structured track training is still hands down the best interval training I've ever done that had the most positive results for me.
 

ianganderton

Likes Dirt
My 2 cents worth

#1 it's all about time on the bike. For now just get out and ride as much as possible for as long as possible but also make sure you are riding stuff you find fun.

#2 technique and being smart can make a huge difference when climbing hills. First off you need to make sure you are in the right gear. Nice and low with a steady highish cadence. If you are walking most hills at the moment it means you are trying to go to fast. Learn to pace yourself.

For long grinding hills you need to find a sustainable pace. Your aerobic threshold is at the point where you can still talk/hold a conversation. If your heart is pounding out of your chest and you are gasping it's dead simple, you are going to fast, learn to recognise this and slow down

Most experienced riders have just learnt the techniques that allow them to be very efficient. This makes them appear fitter than they are

Instead of looking up HIIT Google efficient hill climbing on a bike or aerobic threshold.

If you want a gadget to help with this a heart rate monitor is a fantastic investment. Sometimes called "a coach on your wrist" it can help slow you down when you need to or let you know you are not trying hard enough

The most important thing is to enjoy your cycling as this means you will do lots more and this will solve all your problems full stop
 

Miguel75

Likes Dirt
Do you even #crossfit?
Nope. I keep up my fitness for occupational reasons and search for workouts that address muscular deficiencies I find. I usually change the routines up every 6-8 weeks though find as I get older it's harder to stay motivated.

I spent the last two weeks playing around at Bright and while I ride a fair bit weekly (commuting) my poor little legs were killing me after 30km of riding up and down and all around Mystic Mountain... My fitness plan this year will include more exercises to help me ride my new bike all around Mystic without feeling like I'll implode.

:bananalama:
 

ajay

^Once punched Jeff Kennett. Don't pick an e-fight
Nope. I keep up my fitness for occupational reasons and search for workouts that address muscular deficiencies I find. I usually change the routines up every 6-8 weeks though find as I get older it's harder to stay motivated.

I spent the last two weeks playing around at Bright and while I ride a fair bit weekly (commuting) my poor little legs were killing me after 30km of riding up and down and all around Mystic Mountain... My fitness plan this year will include more exercises to help me ride my new bike all around Mystic without feeling like I'll implode.

:bananalama:
Simplify - ride more.

Doing CF style amraps and emoms are too short and explosive to build any kind of endurance for long rides. Great downhill fitness though.
 

Miguel75

Likes Dirt
Simplify - ride more.

Doing CF style amraps and emoms are too short and explosive to build any kind of endurance for long rides. Great downhill fitness though.
That's one of the goals for the year:) I'm not sure what an AMRAP and EMOM are though I shall exercise my google muscles...
 

rsquared

Likes Dirt
Simplify - ride more.

Doing CF style amraps and emoms are too short and explosive to build any kind of endurance for long rides. Great downhill fitness though.
Sorry Ajay but that is just simply wrong. HIIT has been proven to be very efficient at improving many of the physiological markers required for endurance. The programming, exercise selection and work:rest ratio may be wrong if you aren't seeing the benefits. AMRAP's & EMOM's are just fancy acronyms for different forms of HIIT. They are all just a period of 'Work' with a period of 'Rest/Recovery' in between. Stick to the basics, and gradually increase your work portion in relation to your rest and you will get fitter.

HIIT will improve VO2, maximise Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) causing increased calorie burning for 12-24hrs, maximally activate AMPK enzyme which increase mitochondrial size & quantity along with improving energy production (glucose uptake and fat burning) and concentric hypertrophy of the heart (increases the thickness of the heart muscle) which increases the stroke volume and the amount of oxygen that is transported to your muscles every beat. HIIT does all of this better than long slow rides.

So for the non-pros who are time crunched between cycling, family and work, there is a lot of value in HIIT during the week paired with some longer, lower intensity rides on the weekend.

Jellylegs, the key for you to improve your mountain biking is going to be improving your power-to-weight. Best way to make riding up hills easier is to carry 15-20kg less up them. Given you are struggling with hills and are 111kg, I'm going to guess that you have some excess body fat you could drop. Addressing this is going to be your quickest way to improving your cycling and the most efficient way to do this is through a combination of diet (as has been said already, eating good sources of carbohydrate, including protein in every meal/snack every 4hrs and getting good fats from eggs, avocados, fish, nuts etc is important. Cut down on processed sugar, fast food and alcohol at least 5-6 days p/week), HIIT and longer slower rides. Don't expect quick results either. Make the right improvements in lifestyle and just watch your weight and fitness results keep improving over 6, 8 & 12+ months. I would also recommend getting into the gym. Building up muscle strength, activation and mobility in the key areas will assist with injury prevention and metabolism. You will also look and feel better for it.

A basic form of HIIT is Tabata. You can do this on your stationary trainer. Tabata is 20 seconds of 100% effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat that 8 times. Try warming up with an easy spin for 15 minutes and then do 1 set of tabata (4 minutes) followed by 4 minutes easy spinning before repeating for 1 more set of tabata (4 minutes) and then cool down for 5 minutes. That's under 40 minutes for a workout. Do that for a couple of weeks and then decrease the rest between sets to 3 minutes, then 2 minutes after 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, introduce a 3rd set of tabata into the workout. That's a very simple way of introducing HIIT into your program that is specific for cycling, is easily progressed, is time efficient and will get you results. Don't do more than 2 high intensity sessions per week though, you must let your body recover properly. Do an easy spin outdoors for 45-60 minutes on the day between HIIT's to aid recovery.

Also, stay away from running (especially at a high intensity) or skipping until it doesn't cause knee pain. Reducing your weight will help with the load on the joints as well. When you do start jogging, do it on grass. Jog one length of a footy field, walk back, jog a length etc. If the knees don't hurt afterwards, then do more lengths next time. Keep it simple and progress within pain free ranges/quantities.

Good luck.
 
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ajay

^Once punched Jeff Kennett. Don't pick an e-fight
Sorry Ajay but that is just simply wrong. HIIT has been proven to be very efficient at improving many of the physiological markers required for endurance. The programming, exercise selection and work:rest ratio may be wrong if you aren't seeing the benefits. AMRAP's & EMOM's are just fancy acronyms for different forms of HIIT. They are all just a period of 'Work' with a period of 'Rest/Recovery' in between. Stick to the basics, and gradually increase your work portion in relation to your rest and you will get fitter.

HIIT will improve VO2, maximise Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) causing increased calorie burning for 12-24hrs, maximally activate AMPK enzyme which increase mitochondrial size & quantity along with improving energy production (glucose uptake and fat burning) and concentric hypertrophy of the heart (increases the thickness of the heart muscle) which increases the stroke volume and the amount of oxygen that is transported to your muscles every beat. HIIT does all of this better than long slow rides.

So for the non-pros who are time crunched between cycling, family and work, there is a lot of value in HIIT during the week paired with some longer, lower intensity rides on the weekend.
Fair enough! Ill eat my words :) In terms of tabata though, I was referring more to the work outs he listed - kettle bell work etc. Im sure spinning through a Tabata workout would be great, but would it achieve the same results as using weights? I did CF for 2 years, with heaps of this stuff, but only really saw improvements in short explosive riding, with mild increases in long endurance riding - that improved the most when I simply rode more and for longer periods. My training at CF was mostly weight based, and tabata would usually be kettle bell work and skipping. (Occasionally pushups and other body weight stuff)...
 
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Nambra

Postmeridian
There was a Quantum program on the benefits of interval training just before Xmas. They had a lot of good things to say about it. I'd recommend watching it. I think I'll watch it again and will be putting some of it into practice.
Actually it was Catalyst, and you can find it all here: http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4319131.htm. Quite an interesting story, and delves into the science of how interval training affects your body (which rsquared has more or less summarised in his post if my recollection of the Catalyst story is correct). Now we just need to work out how to increase our midichlorian count...

For a hack like me, it's time in the saddle for now, because as my fitness improves so does my velocity and as a result I also need to work on developing my technical skills; cornering, braking, drop-offs, pinch climbs and so on. That's hard to do on the stationary bike - although I'm sure my wife and kids would happily volunteer to throw rocks, sticks, snakes and horse shit at me for a more authentic experience.

I've found that mtb riding fitness is similar to touch footy - you're always going to be puffing at the top of a decent climb / sprint, it's how quickly you recover that indicates how fit you are. Going from the 'God I'm going to puke' feeling to 'quick drink whilst I keep riding on' was a satisfying transition.
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
For a hack like me, it's time in the saddle for now
Quite the opposite HIIT does wonders for unfit people compared to fitter people. My roadie buddy gained squat from our little venture into track cycling (which was basically 10 sec sprints from standstill, 20 from rolling and then longer all out 2,4,6 lap 'races'), he already had a high fitness levle and massive power to weight ratio. Me on the other hand, joe average, relies more on skill than fitness (ok probably mostly bravery haha) smashed so many segments when I was doing morning track sessions. The one thing HIIT does nto improve is long term endurance, muscles will fatigue fast becuase your new found fitness level means you push them easier.
 

Lurkin

Likes Dirt
Just a thought - if you have weight to lose and cycling gets painful, try swimming. I find it a really good way to do non impact exercise, also has the upside of making you really, really tired and helps relax some of the strained muscles. Definitely have a really good sleep afterwards, pumped for the next day. Once you've lost a bit of weight, calisthenics can also be an interesting avenue which doesn't require an expensive gym membership. Push ups, dips, chinups, muscle ups.. list goes on... not sure about where you are, but here in melbourne there are exercise things on the sides of bike trails. Get in early to skip hot jogger embarrassment.

Switching to a primarily plant, fish and really lean meat based diet helped me get back into shape. As others have said, replace processed meats/products with delicious fresh vegetables and fruit. Vietnamese cuisine is awesome for this, rice paper rolls, pho, chicken salads - their charged with flavour and full of goodness to help you repair. I found I stopped craving crap food after a while and this just makes it easier to keep at it!
 

big gags

Likes Bikes
I'm a big fan of HIIT for general fitness and find it to be good cross training for mountain biking due to the anaerobic nature of the exertions required to get me and the bike up and down the hills on the mtb. Road bike riding is a bit different and you can get into a nice cadence and then tap out a sustainable pace on what are generally longer climbs but mountain biking utilises the phosphate (anaerobic) energy system as well as the aerobic energy system and in my opinion (and experience) HIIT can be a big help for this. I ride both road and mtb and have ridden with guys who I can't keep up with on a climb on the road but when we get out on mountain bikes then they can't keep up with me on the climbs. At 195cm and about 102 kg I am not what you would call a classic climber but I go reasonably well on the hills on the mountain bike which up until about 6 months ago was only ever a single speed!!!

I run a boot camp at work and pretty much every session is circuit based with work rest intervals of 20 sec work 10 sec rest or 40 sec work, 15 sec rest, (or something similar). The guys and girls who attend have seen some great results in regards to weight loss and fitness and my cycling (especially SS mtb) has improved out of sight and I put this down mainly to the amount of leg work that we do at the bootcamp sessions. We do lots of bodyweight squats and lunges and I usually finish each session by putting the song Flower by Moby on the boom box and we all have to squat down and hold in the down position when the song says "bring Sally down" and then come back up on "bring Sally up". The guys who I ride with regularly don't do the bootcamps and they used to be faster than me or at about the same level but they will attest that I am much stronger on the bike now than I used to be and I know in myself that I now have much more strength on the climbs and can just ride away from most of them now on the uphills.

If you want to try something then maybe take up the challenge that I set my bootcamp guys - do 100 bodyweight squats per day for a month. It will take less than 5 minutes per day and I am pretty confident that you will be stronger on the bike by the end of the month. If you are unsure on technique for the bodyweight squats then check youtube as there are stacks of tutorials showing proper form. You might start out doing say 10 sets of 10 or 5 sets of 20 and I suggested to my guys to time each session (including any rests) and always try to beat your previous time. By the end of the month you should be able to pump out 100 in a row without too many problems and you will have new size, strength, and definition in your legs that is beneficial for mountain biking.

Cheers,

Gags
 

Miguel75

Likes Dirt
That Moby song is a killer. I've done push-ups to it and it's nuts, lower on Sally going down and hold your chest a fist height (tennis ball isn't too bad for height either) off the ground until Sally goes up. Repeat ad infinitum...

It burns!
 

pharmaboy

Eats Squid
You win a lolly!

When compared with no exercise, endurance training and high-intensity interval training elicit large improvements in maximal oxygen uptake.

https://www.researchgate.net/profil...led_Trials/links/565b341a08ae4988a7ba7446.pdf

Improving ones Vo2 max is the primary reason for endurance performance gains.
ok MWI, out of the gazillion versions of HIIT, Which one do you think has the best and most evidence for rewards? Stationary bike options.
 

Mywifesirrational

I however am very normal. Trust me.
ok MWI, out of the gazillion versions of HIIT, Which one do you think has the best and most evidence for rewards? Stationary bike options.
I don't actually have an answer for this off the top of my head, as I am not sure there is a definite answer yet... might be but I haven't been reading into this area a lot lately.

From my perspective there is two main ways to do HIIT:
-for aerobic improvements - to directly improve ones V02max and all the performance gains that entails.
-to improve anaerobic performance such as lactate threshold and lactate clearance - this is the most important aspect of elite performance once everyone has a sky high vo2max.

I know there are published guidelines for work to rest ratio's but I don't use them, working in the lab means we can measure most things in real time.

Generally for HIIT i just use a HR monitor and base the next interval when we get to a set recovery HR, as you know there max HR and training zones from pre testing it means we get the intervals perfect for how they are feeling for each session, won't work in a group environment.

Doesn't anwer the question your question unfortunately.
 
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