On this episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing a 20 minute bike HIIT workout, as well as showing you how to track your cardio progress.
This indoor upright cycle sprint workout is called “Stop Cheating Yourself”.
I’ll explain the inspiration behind this workout name shortly.
After finishing some work, I was excited to go outside for a 15 minute hill sprints workout.
But when I looked outside, my city was in the middle of a snow storm.
The good news is, fortunately I have a fitness studio in my condo building.
So I’m going to take you downstairs and show you how to complete a sprint workout indoors.
But first, let’s start with a little check in.
Since it’s February 10th, we’re now 41 days deep into the year.
That means over 10% of the year is behind us.
Or to be exact, 11.23% for all you over analytical types out there.
Based on this percentage, if your goal was to lose 30 lbs of fat this year, you should have already lost 3-4 lbs.
If you are 11.23% closer to your fitness goals, big Live Lean hi-5 to you.
If not, what’s up with that?
Your nutrition game should be on point, if you’re following the 7 Live Lean Laws to Nutrition.
Many people often think their workouts are burning more calories than they actually do.
Are you one of them?
Or maybe you’re not doing the right types of calorie blasting workouts.
Or worse, maybe you’re not even following a structured workout program.
If this is you, I’m shaking my head right now because you know how I feel about this.
But let’s keep it positive and say you are following a well designed workout program.
Do you honestly think you’re really giving it your all?
Well, there is only one way to take all subjectivity out of that answer.
It’s called measuring and tracking the effort given during your workouts.
Like the saying goes, the things that get measured, get managed.
Here’s how to objectively measure the effort of your workouts.
Let me introduce you to the heart rate monitor.
During this 20 minute bike HIIT workout, I will be wearing my heart rate monitor and chest strap.
This is key because it’s important to track your cardio progress to make sure you are progressing with your workouts.
I’ll show you how to do this in a bit.
Plus, using a heart rate monitor will keep your workouts honest, and will stop you from cheating yourself.
Hence the name of today’s “Stop Cheating Yourself” bike HIIT workout.
How does a heart rate monitor stop you from cheating yourself?
Well, the numbers don’t lie.
Most heart rate monitors track:
This is all based off of:
In other words, a heart rate monitor, simply and honestly, tells you how hard you’re actually training.
No more guess work.
I prefer to use a heart rate monitor with a chest strap, as it provides a more accurate reading.
Before putting the chest strap on my body, I simply wet the electrodes contact areas with a little bit of water.
Wetting the chest strap helps increase the sensitivity, which then makes the transmitter more accurate with the heart rate readings.
After the chest strap is damp, I strap it just under my chest.
By the way, most heart monitor chest straps are washable and shouldn’t hold on to sweat.
After you put your chest strap on, simply sync it with your app or heart rate monitor watch.
Most heart rate monitors come with simple step-by-step instructions that even my dog could understand.
He is a smart dog though 😂.
Once you have your heart rate monitor synced, you’re now ready to shed off that unwanted body fat, with this 20 minute bike HIIT workout.
The chest strap is optional, but if you want the most accurate and real-time heart rate readings, it’s the way to go.
You could also skip the heart rate monitor watch and just sync up the chest strap with an app on your phone.
But if money is not an issue, I recommend you go with both.
The readings are more accurate when using a chest strap, and the watch makes it easy to monitor your heart rate during the workout, compared to your phone.
Also, having a heart rate monitor watch that has a stop watch function to track your rest periods is a big benefit.
Here’s a post on how to calculate your HIIT heart rate target zones.
Here’s a quick summary:
These calculations will give you your heart rate training zones in beats per minute (bpm).
This means your heart rate should be reaching those beat per minutes during your high and low intensity intervals.
But don’t worry, if you don’t like math, most heart rate monitors will calculate this for you when you set up your profile.
Note: I was 33 years old during this workout.
With all this said, it’s time to get into the 20 minute bike HIIT workout.
Are you ready to get sweaty?
Before we start our bike HIIT workout, we obviously need to have a workout routine to follow.
So today I’m following sprint workout #1 from phase 3 of my Live Lean Sprint 1.0 workout program.
Our HIIT cardio equipment weapon of choice is a stationary bike, upright cycle, or spin bike.
Before getting started, make sure you adjust the seat, pedals, and handlebars to get comfortable.
You should also have your phone with you so you can sync your chest strap up to the heart rate monitor app.
Are you ready to work?
It’s go time.
Here’s the “Stop Cheating Yourself” bike HIIT cardio workout from phase 3, workout #1 found in my Live Lean Sprint 1.0 cardio program.
Start off with a warm up to elevate your heart rate.
On the app you should be able to see your heart rate, so you can properly track it.
Once I steadily get my heart rate up to 125-130 beats per minute (bpm), it’s time to start my first high intensity interval sprint.
Coaching cues: To increase the intensity of the sprint, turn the knob on the bike to crank up the resistance.
During the high intensity interval sprints, get ready to feel a lot of lactic acid burn.
Lactic acid burn is your friend when it comes to sprinting and fat loss, since it helps release growth hormone.
Growth hormone is an important hormone for fat burning.
Once the 40 second high intensity sprint interval is over, make a note to track where your heart rate is.
My heart rate during the high intensity interval got up to approximately 170 bpm, which is a little higher than my goal of 159 bpm.
To begin the low intensity active recovery interval, turn the knob to decrease the resistance, and slow down your speed.
The goal of active recovery is to allow your heart rate to come back down.
Before starting your next high intensity interval sprint, it’s important to first let your heart rate come back down to your low intensity training zone.
For me, I want my heart rate to get back down to approximately 122 bpm before starting my next high intensity interval sprint.
Once your heart rate drops to the low intensity zone, make a note to track how long it took to get there.
For me, it took approximately 2 minutes.
Once you’re ready, turn the resistance back up, because it’s go time.
Repeat this high and low intensity interval for a total of 6 sets.
The faster your heart rate drops during the low intensity interval, the better your cardio conditioning is.
This is an important way to track progress with your HIIT cardio workouts.
For example, in week 1 it may take you 2:30 to drop back to your low intensity heart rate training zone.
If in week 2, it takes you 2:20, this is a measurable sign that your cardio conditioning is improving.
Once again, if you’re unsure where your heart rate should be during the high intensity and low intensity intervals, most heart rate monitors will calculate and track that for you.
All you have to do is enter your age and possibly a few other metrics such as your weight and height into the heart rate monitor.
Then it’ll tell you exactly where your heart rate should be during the intervals.
This is another great reason to use a heart rate monitor during your HIIT cardio workouts.
You can also manually calculate your heart rate training zones here.
Don’t forget to track your heart rate in your heart rate monitor app to measure your progress.
Then during your next HIIT workout, you can see how high your heart rate gets, and then how long it takes to drop back down as well.
Remember, the faster your heart rate can comeback down after a high interval sprint, means your cardiovascular system is improving.
This is a good thing.
Like I said earlier, the numbers don’t lie.
Here are my heart rate numbers from the “Stop Cheating Yourself” 20 minute bike HIIT workout.
My Heart Rate Training Zones:
By now you should know that I am a huge believer in measuring your progress.
Heart rate monitors can help you do that.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.