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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-31-08, 09:40 AM   #1
jkemp9
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clydes/athenas doing intervals

I know a lot of little roadies do it but I'm curious to see how many clydes/athenas do intervals. I'd like to start doing them regularly and wondered if anyone has a plan or program for it (i.e. amount spent at high intensity, amount spent resting, number of times per week, recovery ride before and/or after, etc.). I can ride at my max for nearly minute then take off 5.

One website (http://www.intervaltraining.net/Lose..._Fat_Fast.html) suggests going 30sec at 90% then breaking for 90 seconds and repeating while progressively decreasing the break time between sprints every week. I know it is supposed to be for "belly fat" and looks gimmicky with the pictures of a woman in a bikini and such. This specific routine was meant for running. Is there such a thing as fat loss specific cycling interval training? Is there any way to modify this routine or could I follow it as is? If so, please enlighten me.

So, if you do HIIT, what is your routine? I do a 16.5 mile flat loop on my allez with 1/5 minute system. I also try to do hill intervals on my 80's schwinn world sport (for the extra weight) where I sprint up the hill, rest and repeat.
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Old 07-31-08, 09:44 AM   #2
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Find the nearest loose dog, ride by, get chased, drop him. Turn around, ride back, drop him. and repeat!

I do very unstructured intervals. I just push like hell, coast with easy pedaling, then push hard again.
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Old 07-31-08, 10:00 AM   #3
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I do interval training.

I use two methods, one is Tom Danial's way....I have a German Shepherd out in the country that I have a friendly coaching relationship with....he trains me for speed, and I train him for speed. We both enjoy it a lot!

The other is high RPM windsprint spins up a very steep hill.
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Old 07-31-08, 10:25 AM   #4
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I used to do hill intervals years ago. I fonud a hill that was the appropriate length (my favourite was ~ 1minute) then ride up it at a pace allowing me to do five to 10 reps. Different hills for different workouts.

I also tried doing heart rate based intervals wearing a HRM, but I found it much harder to stay motivated. Whereas every time I reached the end of a hill interval (ie climbed to the top of the hill) I felt a sense of accomplishment.

The hardest thing to do is pace yo0urself and not go too hard, because three ultra hard efforts give you less benifit than 10 medium hard efforts.
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Old 07-31-08, 10:40 AM   #5
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The idea that intervals will do spot reduction (e.g., get rid of "belly fat") is a steaming load of crap. The only spot reduction out there is liposuction.

Interval training has been around a long time, but it's kind of taken on a new face in recent years. Where previously it was seen as a way for athletes to improve peak performance, lately it's been promoted as a way to burn calories rapidly. While that's not total crap, the whole truth is a lot more complex. The resurgence in interest in interval training came from bodybuilders/powerlifters, who had a unique problem: they needed to ingest a lot of protein in order to (re)build muscle mass, but in so doing, they were taking on a lot of calories -- and lifting just doesn't burn a ton of calories. Since they already were spending a lot of time in the gym, these gym rats didn't want to tack on another couple of hours on the bike to burn all those calories, so...they went looking for shortcuts, and found intervals. Now it seems that bodybuilders are all about interval training as a way to burn calories rapidly.

Does it work? Well, yes and no. You will burn more calories in a half hour of interval training than you will in a half hour of pedaling at 7 mph, but the intervals have nothing to do with it -- it's purely a function of the intensity of the exercise. Interval training is based on the idea of a period of exercise at close to maximum effort, followed by the shortest possible recovery time, and then back at it again. It averages out to a more intense effort than the same time period at a "long slow distance" pace, so of course it burns more calories. You can burn the same amount of calories by exercising for the same amount of time at a consistent, sustained level of effort that is below maximum, but above your usual level of effort. Or, if you have the time, you can exercise for a longer period of time, and get the same results in terms of calories burned. Remember that the reason why powerlifters seized on interval training was simply to save time, not because it was some magic way to burn calories.

Are intervals a good idea for you? I don't think so, not if your goal is to burn calories. I do intervals because I participate in several sports where anaerobic fitness is important, and intervals are good for improving that. But it's easy to get hurt doing intervals. Coaches I know are cautious about introducing their athletes to interval training, because it's easy to screw up. If your sole goal is to burn calories, I have to say that I honestly don't think that intervals, or any other attempted shortcut, is the way to go.
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Old 07-31-08, 11:50 AM   #6
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Just do a criterium once a week. More intervals than you can shake a stick at. The acceleration out of every corner is an interval and they really hurt alot.
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Old 07-31-08, 11:50 AM   #7
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Actually, I started looking into intervals to help tackle hills. I can stay with a 20mph+ pack on flat ground but as soon as we hit a hill i'm at the back, and if there are multiple ones or even rolling hills I can't hang. Then upon doing more research I found sites that touted intervals for weight loss. While my #1 goal is in fact weight loss, I would also like to be a stronger rider and plan to keep riding long after I've lost weight. As far as intervals giving me washboard abs, I know it doesn't work like that, but I wondered if the intervals planned out on the site were useful. It increases sets and decreased recovery between sets so that by 8 weeks recovery time is down to 1/3 of the beginning and sets are increased by 2.5 x's. I want to know if 6 sets of intervals at ~90% is enough to be worth my time, or if I should be doing more sets. No one on BF can tell me the answer to that so I'd like to know what y'all do to compare it to what I do.
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Old 07-31-08, 01:33 PM   #8
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I do intervals in running and biking. Running I do better than biking, because I use a treadmill.

I do it less on biking right now, as I am just trying to do a 40 mile ride each day this week, so I don't do any intervals. Depending upon my attitude, I would do intervals every 3rd day on a slow week, but every other day on a good week.

I use my heart rate monitor to track my intervals both on the bicycle and on the treadmill.
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Old 07-31-08, 02:05 PM   #9
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I spoke with an exercise physiologist once about interval training. His main point was actually more about heart health. That the sudden drop off in intensity when you go from a high intensity period to a rest period exercised the heart muscles more then exercising at a constant heart rate. And that you'd see more improvement faster doing intervals. Also was supposed to help with the body’s physiological reactions to stress and surprise.

On the other hand he also told me that all that was for the gym, when I was on my bike I should just ride and not worry too much about keeping my heart rate in certain zones when I'm on my bike. I just wear my heart rate monitor when I ride just to keep track of the average heart rate, and to see how high it gets on the hills.
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Old 07-31-08, 02:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bramble View Post
I spoke with an exercise physiologist once about interval training. His main point was actually more about heart health. That the sudden drop off in intensity when you go from a high intensity period to a rest period exercised the heart muscles more then exercising at a constant heart rate. And that you'd see more improvement faster doing intervals. Also was supposed to help with the body’s physiological reactions to stress and surprise.

On the other hand he also told me that all that was for the gym, when I was on my bike I should just ride and not worry too much about keeping my heart rate in certain zones when I'm on my bike. I just wear my heart rate monitor when I ride just to keep track of the average heart rate, and to see how high it gets on the hills.

What is the reasoning behind, only doing it in a gym? Many people train outside year round and don't use a gym. I am just curious.
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Old 07-31-08, 02:36 PM   #11
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What is the reasoning behind, only doing it in a gym? Many people train outside year round and don't use a gym. I am just curious.
A few different factors, although I'm just guessing because I didn't get a full explanation at the time.

Riding a bike around up and down hills gives you a pretty good interval workout without trying anyways. I certainly peg my heart rate up about as high it can go on hills.

It also may be because he gave me some pretty specific heart rate ranges to try and meet, and finding a section of terrian that would match those would be pretty hard. For example it might be get your heart rate up to 180 and go for two minutes, then slow down until its at 125 again then go up to 180 again for two minutes, and repeat that cycle for about 30 minutes. To try and do that outside you might end up just looping around the same hill over and over again, which might be just as boring as doing it in a gym.
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Old 07-31-08, 03:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jkemp9 View Post
I know a lot of little roadies do it but I'm curious to see how many clydes/athenas do intervals. I'd like to start doing them regularly and wondered if anyone has a plan or program for it (i.e. amount spent at high intensity, amount spent resting, number of times per week, recovery ride before and/or after, etc.). I can ride at my max for nearly minute then take off 5.

One website (http://www.intervaltraining.net/Lose..._Fat_Fast.html) suggests going 30sec at 90% then breaking for 90 seconds and repeating while progressively decreasing the break time between sprints every week. I know it is supposed to be for "belly fat" and looks gimmicky with the pictures of a woman in a bikini and such. This specific routine was meant for running. Is there such a thing as fat loss specific cycling interval training? Is there any way to modify this routine or could I follow it as is? If so, please enlighten me.

So, if you do HIIT, what is your routine? I do a 16.5 mile flat loop on my allez with 1/5 minute system. I also try to do hill intervals on my 80's schwinn world sport (for the extra weight) where I sprint up the hill, rest and repeat.
When I'm "training" as opposed to just riding around I try to do intervals about once a week starting at 3 minutes on in zone 4 then 3 off in zone 2. Then I work toward lengthing the on time and the off time and finally keeping the on and shortening the off.
I vary where I do them from hammering on the flats to climbing. You can do intervals anywhere you want provided stop signs aren't a problem.

Hill repeats are also great I've got a nice little climb that takes about 5 minutes to get up and by the time I get down and around the roundabout at the bottom I'm back in zone 2 and ready to attack it again.
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