Cycling Strength Workout

Try this workout to make uphill riding easy! Suitable for a stationary, road, or mountain bike. 

Workout Summary

Warm up

10 minutes of easy spinning (higher cadence, lower resistance), slowly building effort from RPE 2 to RPE 4 (RPE: Rate of Perceived Exertion)


3 x 20 seconds @90-100 rpm and low gear/level with 45 seconds easy spin in between

3 x 20 seconds @60-70 rpm and high gear/level with 45 seconds easy spin in between

Main Set

5 x 2 minute climbs in a high gear and @60-70 rpm. 2 minutes recovery at 90 rpm.

Progress from moderate to harder intensity over the five repititions.

Cool Down

Easy riding for 5-10 minutes @80-90 rpm to finish.

Workout description

If you're outside on a bike, pick a route with a long-ish flat section for the activation exercise, and a hill that's long enough to complete your 2-min efforts up.

Warm up is important as it will allow to gradually elevate your heart rate, activate your cardiovascular system and raise your muscle temperature.

The fast pedalling drills should be a fun part of your workout. This is the opportunity to activate all lower body muscles, including your core.

Explore how your body is responding to higher and lower cadence spinning and make necessary corrections to your technique.

Focus on smooth and even pedal strokes, engaging your glutes and core. Stay in the saddle during fast pedal drills.

You might notice some heaviness and strain in lower body muscles during this part of the session, but your breathing still has to remain steady and controlled.

The main part of 2-minute intervals is the most challenging part of the session.

Get into a smooth rhythm (like a clock) from the start and try keeping it until the end of each interval.

The initial 30s of each interval shouldn’t feel too hard, but the remaining time will ask for a lot of focus and willpower to sustain an even effort.

Using a progressive approach is a great option for this session: start from moderate effort and build to high intensity.

Finish the session with 5+ minutes of relaxed, easy spinning, which will help to “flush” all fatigue metabolites and lactate from your muscles. Enjoy!