Ladder Intervals on the Bike

Mixed it up in Spin Class this morning. We did some interval training, which was a good way for me verify my cycling heart rate zones.

After a good 15 minute warm-up we started in with 5 minutes at an easy pace (Zone 1). Then 4 minutes of a little harder work (about 5 beats per minute higher). I was trying to stay around 125 bpm during this interval, which is right on the edge of Zone 2. Next it was 3 minutes of even a little higher intensity, 130 bpm, which is in the middle of my Zone 2. Then, you guessed it…2 minutes at a little harder pace. HR increased into Zone 3 during this interval (138-142 bpm). Then it was 1 minute as hard as I could go. HR made it up to 156, which is in Zone 4. Any more than a minute at this pace and HR would have no doubt made it into the 160’s…pushing towards my 175 max heart rate.

We repeated this set one more time, then did a smaller ladder of 3 min., 2 min., and 1 minute before cooling-down. When it was all said and done, I spent and hour on the bike and got in lots of good aerobic (Zone 2) and even some anaerobic (Zone 4) work.

My heart rates during the intervals matched what I thought they should be. Level of exertion was low during the 5 minute and 4 minute intervals, and my HR reflected that. Once I starting pushing it, my HR moved up into Zones 3 & 4…as expected. I think I’ve finally nailed down my HR Zones on the bike!

1 hour on the bike (description above)
45 min. of weights (chest, triceps, abs)

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