Here’s what you’ll need to perform this fast and efficient 15 minute protocol: a stationary bike that has adjustable resistance and a stopwatch/clock or some other way to keep time.
First, begin pedaling for 5 minutes with the resistance of the bike from 0-25%. This should be a fairly light resistance just to warm up. After five minutes of warming up, you are going to begin pedaling as fast as you can for 10 seconds. Once 10 seconds of pedaling as fast as you can passes, you are going to increase the resistance of the bike to its highest resistance and pedal for 20 seconds. After these 20 seconds are up, decrease the resistance back down to the first setting (between 0-25%) and pedal at an easy pace again for 90 seconds. Once the 90 seconds of light pedaling up, we are going to repeat the intense phase. So again, we will pedal as fast as we can at the same resistance for 10 seconds, we will then increase the resistance of the bike (while still pedaling) to its highest setting and pedal for 20 seconds, then decrease the resistance back down to the pre-intensity phase speed (0-25%). Repeat this cycle for 15 minutes and that’s all she wrote! But be warned, it will be a tough 15 minutes!
Now, if you are unable to pedal at the highest setting or if you find that you are simply too tired after 2 or 3 intensity phases, there are two ways you can scale back and build up your work capacity. First, you can only increase the intensity for the intensity phase to somewhere between 50-100%. You still have to pedal hard but it will not be as taxing with less resistance. The second way to scale the workout back is to take a longer rest phase. The rest phase is the period where you are pedaling slower for 90 seconds in between the intensity phases. So perhaps increase this to 120 seconds and then gradually progress to less and less time.
- Pedal at an easy pace with a light resistance (0-25%) for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes are up, pedal as fast as you can at the same resistance for 10 seconds. This is the beginning of the intensity period.
- Increase the resistance to the highest possible level (or if you need to scale it back, to 50-75%) and continue pedaling as fast as you can for 20 seconds at the increased resistance.
- Decrease the resistance back to the previous light resistance and pedal for 90 seconds at an easy pace again. This is the active rest period.
- After 90 seconds, begin the intensity period again with 10 seconds of fast pedaling followed by 20 seconds of intense pedaling with the highest resistance. Continue repeating this protocol until 15 minutes are up.