by Hunter Allen, Peaks Coaching Group Founder/CEO and Master Coach

Two weeks to burning more calories on the bike - Peaks Coaching Group

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 have to cut out 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. 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 or intensity, or both. Click through for two weeks of workouts 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, you’ll have to increase your metabolism by riding more intensely or longer. With that in mind, I’ve devised additions to your current workouts to help you; just 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 or heart rate. Rest for five minutes between each, pedaling lightly.

Day 2
Add five intervals for 3 minutes each. 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
Same as 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; 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 Peaks Coaching GroupHunter Allen is a USA Cycling Level 1 coach and former professional cyclist. He is the coauthor of Training and Racing with a Power Meter and Cutting-Edge Cycling, 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 PeaksCoachingGroup.com.

Article originally published in Road Magazine.

13 COMMENTS

  1. A different energy system every day! Plus tacking on 30-60 min ever day is probably closer to an extra 300-800 calories not the 250 that you recommend adding on. Good luck doing back to back days starting with no food for 2 hrs and then expecting to ride for an extra hour at the end of the second day. ride hard 6 day in a row with no rest, you have that kind of time right? Remember, you aren’t Mark Cavendish, don’t have his physiology, his time to train, or even the same goals as him, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train like him!

  2. I read to about day 3 and just started to doze off. I know the importance of training, and doing specific work, but some of this stuff seems just too robotic and boring to me…

  3. Day 1: Eat donut and drink coffee for breakfast. Eat non-sensible lunch. Ride after work and love every minute of the suffering!

    Day 2-14: Repeat.

  4. How is this so complicated? Weight loss on a bike is ridiculously easy. I’ve had to scale back rides because I found that I just couldn’t eat enough to make up for it. For example, ride for two hours and you’ll need at least 800-1000+ calories above your BMR to maintain your weight. *In addition* to anything else you do that day.

    Also, the phrase “increase your metabolism” is misleading. Yes, your metabolism increases when you ride, because you require more energy to fuel your activity. Instead of just fueling your brain, heart, lungs, liver, etc, you’re now fueling that Strava PR attempt. For example, on a ride day it might take 2400 calories (as opposed to 1800 calories) to maintain the same weight. Voila. Your metabolism increased for that day.

    But your resting metabolic rate doesn’t budge. The next day, if you don’t ride, it might take only 1800 calories (as opposed to 2400 calories) to maintain the same weight. Does adding muscle increase your resting metabolic rate? Barely. Skeletal muscle plays a small role in the number of calories you burn.

  5. Is this: How to become overtrained in two weeks?
    ADDING those intervals to your daily workouts and increase them in time… That does not seem to be the correct strategy. Just get a decent training plan and watch your nutrition.

  6. 3500 calories = 1lb., so to loose 1lb per day you have to burn 3500 extra calories per day not 500. An extra 500 calories a day will net 1lb weight lose in a week.

  7. Here’s a better plan: do high intensity interval training (Tabatas) or calisthenics on days you don’t do a ride. The intervals don’t even have to be on the bike. It will give you more power and raise your metabolism for a few hours. Be sure to rest one or two days a week. Eat less processed sugar and white bread. Even if this doesn’t make you lose weight, you will be healthier and stronger.

  8. Not 3500 calories per pound but 7000 apparently…

    “the 3,500-calories rule is largely accurate if you’re burning a pound of flesh in a chemistry lab. However, the human body isn’t a lab, where you can isolate and analyze one factor at a time. Rather, the body is an organic whole, and has many reactions to changes in calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, metabolism, exercise, and hormones.
    When you’re dieting, almost all these interrelated events conspire to lower your daily metabolic rate through a process known as “metabolic adaptation.” As a result, a daily deficit of 500 calories produces slightly less effect on each subsequent day. The difference isn’t big at first, but grows substantially with longer periods of time, producing just 50 percent of the expected weight loss over 12 months.”

    http://www.runnersworld.com/weight-loss/biggest-weight-loss-myth-revealed

  9. What is the base ride length for this? Also, good luck in calculating your calorie deficit when you increase your training. With the above schedule you could be chomping through 3500 k/cal and still be at a huge deficit. If you are normally a 2000 k/cal person the jump in needed intake will probably result in a lot of lethargy and bonking on rides. As already mentioned the 3500 = 1 pound is not an accurate conversion. A better strategy would be to keep your current schedule and try doing some cross training like yoga or strength training.

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