Cycle Circuit Fun, Part I

First in a two-part series This fun cycle circuit program can be modified to enable you to run, walk, swim or hike, but it will be described with an indoor group cycle high intensity interval format. Wherever the cycling segments are detailed, you may insert a running, walking, swimming or hiking cardio component instead. This is a 75-minute program, however, it may be shortened to as little as 30 minutes if you prefer. This week the program details will be provided and next week the actual cycle circuit featured. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Cycle Circuit Fun Program – 75 minutes – 3 rounds

This program format is designed as follows:

  • Five to six minute warm-up on the bike elevating RPE’s to a 1-2 which is very light to light exertion.
  • Three HIIT cycling segments six minutes in duration-the rider should expect to become completely winded during each exertion interval, recover quickly and exert again.
  • Three, 7-station compound and isolation exercise circuits concentrating on muscular strength and power included in this circuit is a specific core station, pushup station and a cardio station.
  • Five to six minute cool down stretch.

Program Specifics:

  • Warm-up followed by round one of the 7-station circuit – 75 seconds on each station; 30 seconds exertion, 15 seconds to recover and repeat, then move to the next station.
  • Upon completing the 7-station circuit, immediately get on the bike and perform the prescribed six minutes of HIIT training.
  • Then, back off the bike and perform round two of the 7-station circuit (i.e. the core station exercises will change each circuit but all other stations will remain the same).
  • On the one cardio station during the circuit, you should strive for 75 seconds of the highest intensity you can manage and should expect to become winded by the end of the interval.
  • This series is repeated three times through. If you require a shorter duration workout, you may perform one or two rounds of each rather than three rounds.

Program Frequency and Intensity:

  • You may perform this program two-three non-consecutive days/week.
  • You may lower the HIIT segments on the bike in intensity if needed. Obviously, the higher the intensity, the greater the caloric expenditure, but work at a pace that suits your specific fitness needs.

Program Suggestions:

  • It is imperative to move quickly from the bike to the circuit and back.
  • Moving quickly from one station to the next keeps the heart rate elevated which is the goal. You should not require more than 15 seconds to change stations. So, set up this circuit to be efficient throughout.
  • Choose motivating music that will work on and off the bike.
  • Use a timer rather than counting reps if possible.
  • Strive for quality over quantity particularly during the heavy weight training stations. Sloppy training leads to sloppy results. Knocking out repetitions when the form/technique is poor, may lead to injury.
  • This includes the use of momentum, which in many cases diminishes the effectiveness of the exercise and may “teach” the body to use momentum rather than true muscular strength.

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