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10 Indoor Cycling New Decade Resolutions

10 Indoor Cycling New Decade Resolutions

by: Dru Ryan
Sunday, December 29, 2019 - 10:35am

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Whether you ride Soul Cycle, FlyWheel or your neighborhood boutique studio, chances are your first few rides were very similar to your last few. Out of the saddle junkies tend to stay out of the saddle. Slow pedalers (under 60 revolutions per minute) who sway back and forth as they ride don’t become cadence mavens. Those who crave sprints typically eschew steady state intervals.

As we enter a new decade, here are ten bike resolutions to treat your legs to some new experiences in 2020 and beyond.

  1. Invest in Wearable Technology. — SmartWatches, GPS monitors and fitness trackers are the number one trend in fitness for the second year in a row according to a survey by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Move beyond max heart rate and delve into newer metrics like heart rate reserve and heart rate variability. Commit to learning more about how YOUR body works in 2020!


  2. Increase cadence/resistance while maintaining heart rate. — We are experts at losing our breath. Incrementally add resistance or cadence (how fast you pedal) to teach your body how to maintain effort. The majority of your training should be aerobic, orunder 80% of your all out intensity. Embrace the slow burn.

  3. Maintain effort in and out of the saddle. — The ability to maintain your effort while sitting puts the ‘cycling’ back in indoor cycling. Professional cyclists spend 95% of their time sitting. Swaying back and forth out of the saddle (aka penduluming), robs your legs of a workout. Always favor form over resistance and be willing to let your legs, not torso, do the work.

  4. Invest in bike shorts. — Now that folks are wearing bike shorts for fashion again (shout out to the 90s!), why not wear the padded version for their intended purpose? It might make sitting in the saddle a bit more pleasant. Lululemon is even down with cycling shorts now!

  5. Recover gracefully . . . don’t just stop pedaling. — Recovery heart rate measures how fast your heart rate declines after an exhaustive effort. At the end of a sprint, lose resistance but let the legs keep turning. Teach your body to ‘pedal fast and breathe slow’ and it will soon become a habit. Recovery means ‘less’, not stop.

  6. Don’t accept the recovery song. — Forty five minutes is 3% of your day. Recovery song for what?

  7. Pedal to effort, not music. — Athletes in competition aren’t allowed to listen to music during an event. Research shows music can enhance performance which is why ‘audio doping’ is frowned upon. The magical synchronization of pedaling effort and the end of a song or chorus can be limiting. The willingness and ability to pedal to effort will push your body in ways pedaling to the end of a song chorus can’t. Breathless is an individual choice, not a group effort.

  8. Ride with an instructor who rides outside.— The majority of indoor cycling instructors don’t ride outside. Take a class or two with a triathlete or an outdoor cyclist. I’m not talking someone who wears cycling stuff. Look for someone with scars on their knees! Just introducing your body to different will yield positive results. And you might just learn something. [Live in DC? Check these folks out]

  9. Increase resistance while maintaining cadence. — Adding resistance is often accompanied by a demonstrative physical reaction from the rider. Popping out of the saddle, lower cadence, swaying shoulders . . . or worst, of all the despair face. The face that lets everyone know how hard you’re working. Just like adding another 5 pounds to the barbell, it shouldn’t wildly impact your form. Take on the resistance and maintain your cadence.

  10. Resist the seduction of the countdown. — Three, two, one . . . the countdown means the end is near and you should NOW go faster. But what about the other two minutes? Much like the marathon runner who takes a cab to the last mile and sprints across the finishing line, waiting until the end to put in effort cheats your body of the true experience. If needed, do your own countdown every 30 seconds. Go hard all the time!

About the Author

Dru Ryan is a daily bike commuter, indoor cycling coach (EquinoxCrunch, Mint DC) and road cyclist who averages 200 miles a week. Follow Dru on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook or visit his website