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20 Minute Bike HIIT Workout

How To Track Your Cardio Progress

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.

Here’s The Deal

After finishing some work, I was excited to go outside for a 15 minute hill sprints workout.

15 Minute Hill Sprints Workout For Fat Loss

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.

Are You 11.23% Closer To Your Fitness Goals?

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

So Let’s Take A Look At Your Workouts

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.

Workouts That Burn The Most Calories

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.

Why I Love Using A Heart Rate Monitor During My Cardio Workouts

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.

20 Minute Bike HIIT Workout

What Do Heart Rate Monitors Do?

Most heart rate monitors track:

  • your heart rate
  • the amount of calories burned
  • real time intensity during the workout

This is all based off of:

  • workout length
  • what activity you did
  • gender
  • weight
  • height

In other words, a heart rate monitor, simply and honestly, tells you how hard you’re actually training.

No more guess work.

How Do You Use A Heart Rate Monitor?

It’s simple.

I prefer to use a heart rate monitor with a chest strap, as it provides a more accurate reading.

20 Minute Bike HIIT Workout

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.

If This Sounds Too Tech-y, Don’t Worry

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.


What Heart Rate Monitor Watch And Chest Strap Do I Use?

I currently use a combination of a Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap and Apple Watch.

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.

How To Calculate Your HIIT Heart Rate Training Zones:

Here’s a post on how to calculate your HIIT heart rate target zones.

How To Calculate Your HIIT Heart Rate Target Zones

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) = 220 – Your Age
  • High Intensity Interval Heart Rate Training Zone = MHR x 85%
  • Low Intensity Interval Heart Rate Training Zone = MHR x 65%

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.

My Heart Rate Training Zones:

Note: I was 33 years old during this workout.

  • Maximum Heart Rate = 220 – 33 = 187 bpm
  • High Intensity Interval Heart Rate Training Zone = 187 bpm * 0.85 = 159 bpm
  • Low Intensity Interval Heart Rate Training Zone = 187 bpm * 0.65 = 122 bpm

With all this said, it’s time to get into the 20 minute bike HIIT workout.

Are you ready to get sweaty?

Stop Cheating Yourself 20 Minute Bike HIIT Workout

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.

Here’s the link to the new and improved Live Lean Sprint 2.0 cardio program.

Live Lean Sprint 2.0

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.

20 Minute Bike HIIT Workout

Warm Up:

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.

High Intensity Sprint Interval:

  • Complete 40 seconds of all out effort

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.

Low Intensity Active Recovery Interval:

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.

  • 6 high intensity x 40 second sprint intervals
  • 6 low intensity x approximately 2 minute active recovery intervals

How To Tell If Your Cardio Conditioning Is Improving

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.

Track Your Heart Rate To Measure Your Progress

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.

How To Do HIIT Cardio Correctly

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.

My Heart Rate Results From The 20 Minute Bike HIIT Workout

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.

  • Average Heart Rate: 146 beats per minute
  • Peak Heart Rate: 171 beats per minute
  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Calories Burned In 20 Minutes: 233 calories

My Heart Rate Training Zones:

  • Low intensity interval: averaged 125 bpm (67% of my max heart rate)
  • High intensity interval: averaged 165 bpm (88% of my max heart rate)

Bottom Line On How To Track Your Cardio Progress

By now you should know that I am a huge believer in measuring your progress.

Heart rate monitors can help you do that.


Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.

Take the Free Live Lean Body Quiz


Did you enjoy this 20 minute bike HIIT workout?

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Question Of The Day:

  • Do you use a heart rate monitor?
  • If so, which brand do you use?

Share your experiences in the comment section below.

Check out our free workout videos here.

Check out my free recipe cooking videos here.

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17 responses to “20 Minute Bike HIIT Workout

  1. The will power score can go above ten. Did a brutal mountian bike ride today with 118 min in zone 5 and 50min in zone 4 and five min in zone 3. No resting. Max heart rate of 190. Got 11.7 will power score. I have several other scores in the 10-11.5 range. I race bikes and am pretty young and fit. Had a polar befor and could maintain multi hour rides averaging above 160.

  2. I know I asked this already but since I am trying to loose fat and wight
    but I trying to gain muscle would doing this 4 days a week kill my muscle

  3. do you have any workout plans to help me max the army pt test? 80 pushups
    80 situps (2 min) and a 13 min 2 mile. im at 14 min for 2 mile and 50
    pushups and situps

  4. What happenes to the Polar heart rate monitor you had during the Santa
    Monica stair sprint? Was it no good?

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