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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    HIIT Cycling Training Plan for Weight Loss?

    Has anyone used a HIIT cycling training plan for weight loss with good results?

    If so, which one do you recommend and where can one get that training plan?

    I'd like to start incorporating this more specifically than I do now and looking for the best way to do it without any wasted effort.

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    Would some regular speed work (interval training) be applicable?

    A popular workout BITD for me and my trackie bretheren on an out and back route was to take at minimum a 15-20 minute slow warm up spin, then followed by 30 second intervals at 100% intensity with 5 minutes to recover at a slow spin between intervals -maybe 4-5x max , and if your HR is recovering quick enough between intervals, the rest period doesnt absolutely have to be a whole 5 minutes - somewhere in the interval stage would be a turn around point , and soft pedal back home for a 15-20 minute cool down.

    This is a ride that should go 1.25 to 1.5 hours at most

    It sounds easy, but its not fun at all -- Regarding intensity , 100% means a 100% turn your guts inside out effort. The hard part for many is being able to dial it up that high even for short periods, but that is what all the soft pedalling and active rest is for, to keep your muscles supple enough to make it back to the house when done


    ----

    As an aside, you seem to be becoming quite the student of the sport ! I like the cut of your jib -- I'm clearing out the garbage from my fridge today in an effort to start following the primal blueprint a little better myself

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    Yeah, that sounds like the type of ride I'm thinking of. I'm just trying to find one specific to weight loss instead of performance. Meaning, I don't want to be out there killing myself any longer than I need to be just for weight loss purposes.

    I found this one on Bicycling.com:

    Bicycling's Weight-Loss Workout
    This one-hour workout delivers the double whammy of torching calories and building high-end aerobic power you can put to good use the rest of the season. It's strenuous, so do it a maximum of three times a week to allow for adequate recovery and best results.
    6 minute: warmup
    1 min.: fast pedal, spinning a light gear as fast as you can
    1 min.: recovery spinning
    1 min.: fast pedal
    1 min.: recovery spinning
    5x2 min. at maximum intensity, with 2 min. recovery spinning between each
    6 min.: recovery spinning
    5x2 min. at maximum intensity, with
    2 min. recovery spinning between each
    8 min.: cooldown
    Total time: 60 min.

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    It's hard to lose weight while training with intensity. HIIT, by its very nature, chews up your glycogen reserves. That makes you hungry, your body demands that you replenish them, and you can't continue delivering the intensity unless you do replenish them. That's why most racing cyclists will tell you that they can't lose weight during the season, they have to do so during the winter, when being in calorific deficit doesn't prevent them from training at the (lower) intensity they need at that time of year.

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    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    That thought seems to be changing:

    High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss

    I've been reading up on the idea of doing weights 2-3 days a weight, <75% HR cardio 3-5 hours a week, plus one hard interval session a week for best health and weight loss.

    I'm trying to figure out the best cycling interval session to do once a week at this point.
    Last edited by Jarrett2; 11-20-15 at 03:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
    That thought seems to be changing:

    High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss

    I've been reading up on the idea of doing weights 2-3 days a weight, <75% HR cardio 3-5 hours a week, plus one hard interval session a week for best health and weight loss.

    I'm trying to figure out the best cycling interval session to do once a week at this point.
    Yeah, I've read some of that stuff. There seems to be clear evidence that short bursts of very high intensity exercise (maximal effort, all out sprints) produces big improvements in various metabolic markers even in quite elderly subjects. But there's a lot of variation between individuals when it comes to fat loss, some subjects in HIIT trials actually gained weight.

    So I wouldn't for a moment suggest not doing HIIT. The question, as you imply, is one of balance. If you're planning on spending the bulk of your time on the bike at relatively low intensity - which I'd agree is a good idea - then I'd suggest making the once-a-week interval session short and very sharp. Maybe the puketastic 30 second on, 30 second off full-on sprints until failure, or something like that. Warm up first, though.

    We're all guessing here. The evidence is incomplete and sometimes contradictory. For example, it seems to me to be very dubious to compare a group doing nothi but HIIT to one doing nothing but low-intensity work. Experience and intuition would both suggest that some combination of the two must be the right approach.

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    10 intervals over a 1 hour time period sounds like a metric ton of work -- and tough to maintain peak wattage on the intervals at that pace ---- buuuuut ---- sounds like the goals may be different too.

    In my workout i outlined above, an interval is considered a failed effort if at least 1500 peak watts isnt hit somewhere in there on each interval, hence the longer periods between intervals , which are of a shorter duration as well --- but the goal of that workout is to develop max speed and wattage

    The Bicycling workout sounds very up tempo , but has to sacrifice some intensity to get in the volume it calls for


    I have a novel approach if your up for it --just enter the next Citizens/Cat 5 criterium that comes along -for 45 minutes its just sprint, sprint, sprint - then when you feel like the pace has settled in a bit, its time to sprint some more - i recall you reporting your HHH time and you seem to have finished that pretty strong, so you likely have the legs to give er a go

    Or - if racing is not your bag, try out the Superdrome in Frisco some weekend - there are a ton of ways to get in higher intensity workouts without having to race - (kilo training, flying 200's, - all sorts of good stuff ) ---- Done once a week or so, it will spice things up without having to mentally wonder "Was that my 6th or 7th interval and do i soft pedal now for 6 minutes or 2 minutes?"

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    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    On a rowing machine I use a simple 2 minute warm up then 8 sets of 30 sec all out hard, 90 sec easy and then another 2 minutes. for a total of 20 minutes. I got this from an outside magazine article a while back.....which said the sequence could be used for running, rowing, elliptical, cycles etc.

    I typically do this for a warm up before a simple dumbbell weight session (5 sets x 5 reps alternating between (squats, bench press, bent over row) and ( squats, pullups/lat pulldown, and clean,jerk,press)

    as for results.....not doing it consistently enough to make a difference yet but getting closer......and need to chill on the eating.
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    I haven't used his programs, but I've watched several of Graeme Street's Cyclocore vids on YouTube, and I think he really knows what he's talking about, and I would wager-- had I not already had a training coach-- that his programs are good.

    Check out this one, for example:

    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Street is interesting. His focus is very much on high intensity and he says he isn't a believer in volume, but I've read an interview with him in which he said that he doesn't think evey workout has to be intense - maybe between 30 minutes and 2 hours of really intense work spread across a 7-day cycle - and that one of the common mistakes is for people to make the intense workouts too long. I haven't subscribed to one of his programs, but it sounds as if what he's doing is going for a highly polarised regimen that includes a lot of core work off the bike. I can't see many people disagreeing with that as far as fundamentals are concerned.

  11. #11
    Senior Member LGHT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post

    It sounds easy, but its not fun at all -- Regarding intensity , 100% means a 100% turn your guts inside out effort. The hard part for many is being able to dial it up that high even for short periods, but that is what all the soft pedalling and active rest is for, to keep your muscles supple enough to make it back to the house when done
    I agree going 100% was really tough for me and after 2-3 intervals even only at 1.5 minutes I was spent for the rest of the ride and found I could only ride for 45-60 minutes durations. I actually found it more productive and beneficial to try and maintain 80% of my max HR for an hour. At the end of the ride I was done and just felt stronger the next ride. I guess being able to settle into a nice hard pace and focus on maintaining it just worked better for me.

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    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    @Jarrett2 be sure to let us know if you find one that works for you. I'm mostly in agreement with #chasm54 here but that is based on my results. I've found it dang hard to lose weight and improve athletically at the same time. Working hard makes me hungry.
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    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    I'd think that is the same notion as body builders have a bulk phase and cut phase. They don't do both at the same time as the calorie intake is vastly different.

    Another thing you need to account for in your intervals is where do you ride that doesn't have stop lights for 30-40mins. For me those places are not flat at all.

    I'm more with @LGHT on the training thing. Except my numbers are a bit different. You will benefit more by staying at a higher HR level with spikes to LT then going 60%HR to 100-110% HR for said 10 intervals (you won't make it to 10). When I'm training for speed, my body likes to stay in the 165-176 HR and save the 180+ HR for hills and near max sprint points. Max being say 186bpm. Why do I train this way? Well because this is how my body reacts to the fast donut rides on saturdays. Only time it drops out of that HR zone is for two things. Downhill or the peloton isnt drilling it. Does it work for the scale? doubt it..
    Rule #10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster.

  14. #14
    Non omnino gravis DrIsotope's Avatar
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    I lack the internal monitoring device and/or the discipline to interval train in any of the manners described. I did manage to determine my max and threshold heart rates (184 and 156, respectively) and just use those numbers as a guideline for rides that are something other than Z1-Z3 endurance rides. But the structured interval/rest thing grows monotonous ever so quickly, and I still have my brain tricked into thinking that cycling isn't exercise, so I need to mix up the ride tempo to maintain that self-generated illusion.

    All that said, I have many rides of 2+ hours where I averaged 155bpm-- right at the threshold. I'm getting faster and still losing weight, so I guess it works. I'm goal oriented (apparently) so when I pull out of the driveway, I have a simple goal" x number of miles, x number of feet climbed, how far can I ride in x time frame, whatever. Because I don't believe it's possible to waste effort on the bike. Get the heart rate up and ride. I see what I think to be a whole lot of overthinking on this forum. I have no riding plan, virtually no voluntary dietary restrictions (on content, not volume- I did reduce portion size,) and have averaged 1.2lbs lost per week for 40 weeks.

    If more energy is going out than going in, weight loss occurs. It's pretty simple.
    "I drink a whiskey drink, I drink a chocolate drink. And when I urinate, I use the kitchen sink." --Homer J. Simpson

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
    If more energy is going out than going in, weight loss occurs. It's pretty simple.
    That does work for a while.

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    Non omnino gravis DrIsotope's Avatar
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    No... that works forever. Because you know, physics. However, as fitness level increases, the amount of energy required to complete a task lessens-- so the intake must be constantly reduced to accommodate. But in the end, so long as output exceeds input, weight loss occurs. And this is coming from a guy that went from 237 to 190. It still works. I eat less now because I need to eat less. After all, I am now 20% smaller.
    "I drink a whiskey drink, I drink a chocolate drink. And when I urinate, I use the kitchen sink." --Homer J. Simpson

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    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    @Jarrett2 be sure to let us know if you find one that works for you.
    Will do.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
    I have no riding plan, virtually no voluntary dietary restrictions (on content, not volume- I did reduce portion size,) and have averaged 1.2lbs lost per week for 40 weeks. And this is coming from a guy that went from 237 to 190.
    Congrats on your weight loss. That works for a while, but eventually you have to get a little more specific about it. And that's coming from a guy that went from 405 to 252.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
    No... that works forever. Because you know, physics. However, as fitness level increases, the amount of energy required to complete a task lessens-- so the intake must be constantly reduced to accommodate. But in the end, so long as output exceeds input, weight loss occurs. And this is coming from a guy that went from 237 to 190. It still works. I eat less now because I need to eat less. After all, I am now 20% smaller.
    The issue becomes being unable to continue the high intensity work because you can't recover correctly. I'm doing some VO2max training with a group right now and any calorie deficit that day is destroyed by the fact that I'm absolutely starving the rest of the week, and even with a decent protein intake to help my muscles it takes me almost the entire week to recover or my numbers aren't good enough during the next session.

    I made the mistake of going on a not-particularly difficult ride three days after and completely undid the three days of recovery and was off by 20+ watts on the hard intervals after the first, and that defeats the purpose of the training.

    Physical laws still work, but you can't function that way for very long. You're fighting nature, but in a different way.

    Best weight loss happened with less calories burned in intense exercise, because my body wasn't screaming to replace the (as far as the animal brain is concerned) all important glycogen store.

  20. #20
    Non omnino gravis DrIsotope's Avatar
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    This clearly comes down to the difference between weight loss and training. I'm not training for anything, so I wasn't giving my body any time off. I rode 6 days a week, averaging around 230 miles per week, from the middle of July through the second week of November. Because it is irrelevant to me that ride #6 of any given week was probably at a slower pace than ride #1 had been. Some days would I under-eat and get a little light-headed? Perhaps. Might have happened. Energy in, energy out.

    So I guess I was a little more specific than some-- ride 40 miles a day (including at least one metric per week,) 6 days a week, at varying levels of intensity. Nothing like taking a break in the middle of a 65 mile ride to have some cheesecake. I'd much rather just go ride than spend time thinking about it. I don't even plan my routes most times, which is how a 50-miler can accidentally turn into a 70 miler. It happens.
    "I drink a whiskey drink, I drink a chocolate drink. And when I urinate, I use the kitchen sink." --Homer J. Simpson

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