The ’30-30’ Cycling Workout

by Amanda Russell

This workout is perfect when you want an incredible workout that will breed quick results and produce that euphoric endorphin high – not to mention that the time will fly by (This is one of my favorite workouts: fast yet efficient).
Like my 30 min treadmill workout, it can be intense, but only YOU will have the power over just how intense it can be – so if nothing is stopping you, give it everything you’ve got!

Where to do it?? I perform this workout on a stationary spin bike in a gym, or on the trainer I have put my road bike on at home. If biking isn’t your thing you could definitely do this work out on an elliptical machine or any of the cardio machines in the gym.
And for all those real ‘cyclists’ and ‘triathletes’ – this is an excellent training workout – I actually learned it from a good friend and world-class ironman - it will make you strong, fitter and faster.

The incredible aspect about ’30-30’s’ is that it only really entails 15 minute of ‘all-out’ hard effort – which sounds easy enough but it is the limited recovery and high intensity bursts that make it very challenging – similar to running the 200m dash 30 times with only 30 seconds of recovery. By the 20th repeat you will be feeling it – be strong and push through.

Resistance?? I recommend putting enough resistance on the bike so that your legs are NOT spinning out of control (anything from what feels like a flat road to a slight incline). You will likely have to add resistance on your sprints to keep from spinning out of control.

Modification: As mentioned above this workout is intense and is meant to be performed at a high level of exertion, that being said, if you don't quite feel at the level to handle the duration of the workout, it is better to shorten it (do less intervals) and maintain high intensity rather than skimp of the intervals and complete the whole time. If you are just beginning try 3-5 intervals, take a 5 min break of easy cycling and then repeat one more segment of 3-5 intervals.


  • 5-7 Min Warm-UP
  • 30 seconds ‘ON’ (Hard-Moderate- Hard Effort)
  • 30 seconds ‘OFF’ (Recovery)
  • x 30 repeats
  • 5-10 min Cool-Down

Definition of Exertion Levels:

Hard Moderate (HM): HR: 80%-90% of Max. Pace fast and a bit uncomfortable; breathing forceful. Improve anaerobic capacity and threshold, improved speed

Hard (H): HR: 90%-100% of Maximum Pace, a sprinting effort, unsustainable for long period of time;labored breathing. Builds anaerobic and muscular endurance, increased power.

Recovery: Heart Rate (HR) comes back down. Perceived Exertion: Relaxed, getting your breathing back. Keep legs spinning but take speed and any resistance off the bike

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