Home trainer exercises

Are you excited to own a home trainer but not sure where to start or how to progress?
Here are a few tips to guide you as you learn a new way to cycle.

Woman on a home trainer

A few of the many home trainer exercises 

Speed and coordination = ability to maintain a fast cadence

Strength = ability to ride on a high gear without slowing down

Explosive power = ability to sprint

Maximum aerobic power = the slowest speed at which you reach VO2max

Threshold = heart rate at which muscles are getting less oxygen and start to feel sore

Speed and coordination training

GOAL: Relearn how to maintain your cadence by moving your legs fast (up to 150–160 RPM - revolutions per minute - for speedsters!)

EXERCISE 1: 48 minutes

•10-minute warm-up

Repeat sequence three times:

•45 seconds left leg
•45 seconds right leg
•45 seconds left leg
•45 seconds right leg
•5 minutes at 110 RPM
•90-second active recovery at 85 RPM

•10-minute recovery

EXERCISE 2: 40 minutes

•10-minute warm-up
•20 minutes at 65% of your maximum heart rate at 100 RPM
•10-minute recovery

EXERCISE 3: 1 hour

•10-minute warm-up

Repeat sequence three times, gradually increasing your cadence.

•3-minute acceleration from 80-110 RPM + 2-minute active recovery
•3-minute acceleration from 90-120 RPM + 2-minute active recovery
•3-minute acceleration from 100 RPM to your maximum cadence (140? 150? 160?)  + 2-minute active recovery

•5-minute cool-down

Man on a home trainer

Strength training

GOAL: Improve your strength

For this exercise, put the home trainer on the highest gear (as far right as it will go) for maximum resistance. Your cadence should not exceed 70 RPM and you should not feel out of breath.

EXERCISE 1: 35 minutes

•15-minute warm-up 5 minutes at 60 RPM +2-minutes active recovery 5 minutes at 60 RPM
•10-minute recovery

EXERCISE 2: 50 minutes

•15-minute warm-up
•8 minutes at 55 RPM
•7-minute active recovery
•10 minutes at 60 RPM
•10-minute recovery

Woman on a home trainer

Maximum aerobic power (map)

GOAL: Increase your ability to use the maximum amount of oxygen in your blood (VO2 max).

The higher your VO2 max, the better your performance. The first step is the most fundamental work, the foundation that will let you combine other specific workloads, like strength or explosive power. MAP = maximum effort over 5 minutes

EXERCISE 1: 42 minutes

•10-minute warm-up
•6 x 30" MAP/30" active recovery
•10-minute recovery
•6 x 30" MAP/30" active recovery
•10-minute recovery

EXERCISE 2: 54 minutes

•15-minute warm-up
•8 x 30" MAP/30" active recovery
•8-minute recovery
•8 x 30" MAP/30" active recovery
•15-minute recovery

EXERCISE 3: 53 minutes

•15-minute warm-up
• 6 x 45" MAP/45" active recovery
•10-minute recovery
•6 x 45" MAP/45" active recovery
•10-minute recovery

Man on a home trainer

First threshold (60–70% of map)

GOAL: Build up to a speed between 60% and 70% of your maximum heart rate, roughly the effort of running a half-marathon or cycling 70 km.

EXERCISE 1: 40 minutes

•10-minute warm-up
•10 minutes at threshold
•5-minute active recovery
•10 minutes at threshold
•5-minute cool-down

EXERCISE 2: 1 hour

•10-minute warm-up
•15 minutes at threshold
•5-minute active recovery
•20 minutes at threshold
•10-minute cool-down

Woman on a home trainer

Explosive power (sprint)

GOAL: Condition and train your body to perform short, intensive bursts such as sprints and accelerations.

EXERCISE 1: 40 minutes

•10-minute warm-up
•10 x 15-second sprints
• 105-second active recovery between intervals
•10-minute cool-down

EXERCISE 2: 55 minutes

•10-minute warm-up
•5 x 30" acceleration/30" active recovery
•8 x 15" sprint/1-minute active recovery
•10-minute recovery
•8 x 15" sprint/1-minute active recovery
•10-minute recovery

Man on a home trainer

Find all our guided home trainer workouts on the free Decathlon Coach app!