Using a Trainer

I use the following routine on my trainer. This is specifically targeted at improving aerobic fitness and cadence. The whole sequence is done at a constant load – only the cadence changes.

1 X 3 Min @ 80 RPM (Warm up)

2 X 5 Min @ 90 RPM with 1 min Recovery

3 X 4 Min @ 100 RPM with 45 sec Recovery

4 X 3 Min @ 110 RPM with 30 sec Recovery

5 X 2 Min @ 115 RPM with 2 min Recovery

1 X 5 min @ 70 RPM (Cool down).

This sequence is aimed at improving aerobic fitness and lifting cadence rate.

Although the full sequence takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes the actual time is usually as the full sequence is not always completed. The session is stopped as soon as the specified cadence (RPM) cannot be held (allow a recovery and cool down sequence as soon as you stop)

The way to set up the programme is as follows:-

  1. Select a load on the exercise device and gear on your bike to give a very light load when pedalling at 80 RPM. The pressure on the pedals should be less than your normal ride level.
  2. Ride for 3 minutes at 80 RPM then for 5 minutes at 90 RPM. Recover for 1 minute pedalling at slow speed. Then another 5 minutes @ 90 RPM followed by a 1 minute recovery. At this point you will probably be thinking this is a waste of time as there seems to be little effort. Don’t worry things will change! These first stages are to make sure you are thoroughly warmed up before the effort to come.
  3. Follow the sequences through for each of the cadence levels. As soon as you can’t hold the specified RPM stop pedalling & thenuse a full recovery period followed by the 5 minute cool down period
  4. For the second session, if you did not get into the 4 x 3 min @ 100 RPM section use a lower gear or load and repeat. Otherwise simply repeat the sequence at the same load.
  5. When you have achieved the full sequence in 2 consecutive sessions increase the load or gear ratio by a small increment.

This sequence was specifically designed for me, taking into account my level of cycling fitness by my then personal trainer Kent Dredge. You may find it too easy or too hard. If the sessions are too long you could reduce the number of repetitions for each cadence level. (1 x 3 Min, 1 x 5 Min, 2 x 4 min etc.) This will reduce the time for the session to 50 minutes. If the cadence is too high reduce all of cadence values by the same amount (ie 5, 20, 15 or 20 RPM). If the cadence is too low then all cadence levels can be increased by the same amount. Note that the cadence of 115 RPM should have been 120 RPM but it was reduced as I could not achieve it and still maintain a controlled pedal stroke.

If you find the session too easy simply keep increasing the load.

Remember that this sequence is designed for aerobic fitness abnd cadence. It should be accompanied by appropriate hill work to maintain climbing skills.

Peter Harrison