Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Two Weeks to Burning More Calories


By Hunter Allen, PCG CEO/Founder and Master Coach
originally published in Bicycling Magazine

Peaks Coaching Group Ride Burn More Calories

Weight loss is partially a math problem. Thirty-five hundred calories equals one pound of fat. Divide 3,500 by seven days, and that’s 500 calories you need to reduce each day in order to lose one pound a day. Or you could burn 500 more calories a day and maintain your gluttony without guilt at each meal. Or you could do a bit of both; reduce your calories by 250 a day and increase your burn by 250 calories by increasing your exercise volume, intensity, or both. I’ve got a workout for you that will do exactly that.

Follow the plan below to increase your metabolism in just two short weeks. Whatever your current exercise level is now, in order to increase your metabolism, you’ll have to increase it by riding more intensely or longer. With that in mind, I’ve devised additions to your current workouts to help you; add them in each day for improved fitness and calorie burn.

Day 1. Lengthen your normal ride by 30 minutes and add in 3 intervals, each lasting 10 minutes each and close to your threshold power (the average power or heart rate you can maintain in a 20-minute test) or heart rate. Rest for five minutes between each, pedaling lightly.

Day 2. Add in five intervals for 3 minutes each and do these as hard as you can while maintaining a steady pace. Don’t go so hard that your pace slows after a minute, but go as hard as you can to maintain the highest possible power or heart rate for the entire 3 minutes. Rest only 3 minutes between each, pedaling lightly.

Day 3. Lengthen your ride by 45 minutes and add in a short sprint (8-10 seconds) every 2 minutes in the extra 45 minutes; make them only about 80% of your normal sprint. The rest of the time, just ride at a moderately fast pace, or what is called tempo pace.

Day 4. Add in 10 short 1-minute intervals. Do these really aggressively and attack them so that you fade in the final 15 seconds, but push to the end. Rest for 2 minutes between each. These will help improve your anaerobic capacity and stimulate your metabolism with short, high intensity efforts.

Day 5. Do your normal ride or take a rest day. Watch your food intake!

Day 6. Do your normal ride. Start your ride without eating anything for breakfast, and only drink black coffee. In other words, start on an empty stomach. Take plenty of food with you and begin eating at the two-hour mark so you don’t bonk.

Day 7. Do your normal ride, but if possible increase the duration by an hour. Just ride longer. Start your ride without eating anything for breakfast, and only drink black coffee; again, start on an empty stomach. Take plenty of food with you and begin eating at the two-hour mark so you don’t bonk.

Day 8. Do your normal ride or take a rest day. Watch your food intake!

Day 9. Add in 4 intervals of 10 minutes each and do these at threshold power or heart rate. Push yourself in the last 2 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes between each.

Day 10. Do 10 hard sprints. Make these very intense, as if you are Mark Cavendish sprinting for the finish line. Rest for 4 minutes between each. Do both small-ring and big-ring sprints.

Day 11. This is one of my favorite workouts emphasizing anaerobic capacity, with short recovery intervals and intense intervals. Do 3 x 2-minute intervals, striving for 135% of your threshold power with 2 minutes of rest between each. Then do 5 minutes easy, followed with 3 x 1-minute intervals, striving for 150% of your threshold with 1 minute’s rest between. Then ride 5 minutes easy and finish with 3 x 30 seconds ALL out with 1 minute of rest.

Day 12. Lengthen your ride by 45 minutes today and pick up your pace in that last 45 minutes to almost your time trial pace, or what is called upper tempo pace.

Day 13. Do your normal ride, but if possible increase the duration by an hour. Just ride longer. Start your ride without eating anything for breakfast, and only drink black coffee; start on an empty stomach. Take plenty of food with you and begin eating at the two-hour mark so you don’t bonk.

Day 14. Do your normal ride, but if possible increase the duration by an hour. Just ride longer. Start your ride without eating anything for breakfast, and only drink black coffee; again, start on an empty stomach. Take plenty of food with you and begin eating at the two-hour mark so you don’t bonk.

Good luck to you!



Hunter Allen is a USA Cycling Level 1 coach and former professional cyclist. He is the coauthor of Training and Racing with a Power Meter, co-developer of TrainingPeaks’ WKO software, and CEO and founder of Peaks Coaching Group. He and his coaches create custom training plans for all levels of athletes. Hunter can be contacted directly through www.PeaksCoachingGroup.com.

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