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Tabata with Road Bike


I've been reading T-Nation for the past couple years and have gotten some good stuff. I finally gave in and decided to subscribe so I can start doing some posting of my own. A couple months ago I read an article about the tabata method using a stationary bike. ( http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/the_tabata_method_perfected ). I just bought a road bike in order to do some fasted cardio in the mornings to help lose some excess bodyfat. I was wondering if anyone had some experience with using road bikes for a workout. Some info about myself: I am 5'9" 175 and about 15% bodyfat. I want to get down to the single digits in bodyfat. I am training for volleyball so I am not really looking to get big. I am currently using bodylastics bands for weight training that have helped me gain strength without getting excessively big. Any helpful hints would be appreciated.


Hi buddy.
I ride a road bike. If your looking to tone up and your not too concerned about muscle loss, then the road bike is your best friend.
I suggest 1 hour rides followed by hill repeats. Find a hill, about 150m long, with about a 30-40 degree incline, and ride up as hard as you can, and then repeat. Try and do as many as you can, and try to beat that number when doing it again a week later.

And another thing; burn your pink elastics and start lifting some real weights. Do 2 heavy sessions a week, and I promise you wont turn into the Hulk, especially if your riding the bike 3-4 times a week.

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Thanks for the advice. Greatly appreciated. I also got a bike computer to tell me how fast I am going, time, distance, etc. How fast or effort should I be putting in during the one hour bike rides followed by the hill sprints?


No probs buddy.
Its hard to say what average speed you should be aiming for as that will vary greatly depending on stoppages, hills, wind etc etc. Try and pace yourself for the hour ride. You want to be pushing yourself.
I would choose a route that has minimal stoppages(traffic, traffic lights, pedesterians etc), and aim to improve your time on that route.
Also another way to improve your bike fitness is to ride with people who are faster than you. That is the best way to get faster/fitter. And its fun aswell.

By the way kiddo, what bike did you get?

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terrible advice bird gave you... terrible...

you just bought a bike and his advice is hill repeats right away..

maybe call your local bike shop, as most shops sponsor bike racing teams, and ask the shop owner his/her advice on training..

my advice is dont rush into intervals till you have a few months of riding in your legs.. you may be fit from previous exercises/training but you are not cycle fit. give the specific leg muscles time to adapt to the movement before you do hill repeats...

your choice.. good luck.


Settle Grettle.
I have assumed the kid has had his bike for a week or so and has gone for a few rides to get used to the bike. I dont think starting on some hill repeats are going to kill him.

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Funny you bring that up BBB. Ive attempted tabata on my road bike on my magnetic trainer once a week for the past 2 weeks, and I cant seem to get the settings right for a decent workout.
I feel the lactic acid and Im out of breath, but I dont feel the intensity that people report with tabta.

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thanks for all the advice. I guess when I was looking at the tabata workout, I was looking for the fastest results which I know isn't always the best way to go. I already have a lifting routine that I switch up every month or so. I am looking for some type of extra cardio to further help me reach my goal of single digit BF%.


People report?

OP, if the goal is fat loss, why not try tabata front squats? Also, if you are not lifting heavy weights in the lifting routine, you might want to try. If your diet is dialed in, you won't have to worry about putting on size.


Yes, people report that after Tabata they are physically exhausted. While I feel I do get some benefit from Tabata on my bike, I dont feel as stuffed as I think I should. I think it is due to not having nough resistance on my magnetic trainer.

Front squats tabata sounds great, but I think OP has purchased a bike for pleasure and fitness, and is wondering how to get best results for fat loss using his new bike.

Riding for 3-4 times a week for an hour will definately show results, but like you mentioned its all about diet. I agree on lifting some weights.

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I agree with everything you've written. I just posted the question 'cuz I was surprised you have never given tabata front squats a try.


I will in the off-season. I still need to get my front squat technique right aswell. Sounds brutal.

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