Stationary Bike Workouts to Increase Speed

Want to bike faster? This program will help increase the cadence (pedal speed) that you're able to maintain while biking or spinning. If you're new to using a stationary bike or exercising, start with the Beginner program. As you progress, slowly increase your time and eventually move to the Intermediate and Advanced workouts. Because this is a general program, you may need to adjust the recommended speeds, intensities, and times to suit your fitness level.

This program assumes the levels on your stationary bicycle go from 1-20. If this is not the case, adjust based on comfort level. Use the intensity guidelines (right column) as a guide for how hard to work. (Find a full explanation of intensity below the workouts).

Beginner Speed Program
 Adjust the bike to  Keep your pace  For how long  Intensity (1-10)
 Level 1, low resistance  Comfortable  5 minutes  3.5
 Level 3, medium resistance  Moderate  2 minutes  5
 Level 4, medium resistance  Fast  2 minutes  6
 Level 3, medium resistance  Moderate  5 minutes  5
 Level 5, medium-high resistance  Fast  3 minutes  7.5
 Level 3, medium resistance  Moderate  2 minutes  5
 Level 1, low resistance  Slow  5 minutes  3.5
Total Beginner Workout Time: 24 minutes

Intermediate Speed Program
 Adjust the bike to  Keep your pace  For how long  Intensity (1-10)
 Level 3, low resistance  Comfortable  5 minutes  3.5
 Level 5, medium resistance  Moderate  2 minutes  5
 Level 6, medium resistance  Fast  2 minutes  6
 Level 5, medium resistance  Moderate  5 minutes  5
 Level 7, medium-high resistance  Fast  3 minutes  7.5
 Level 5, medium resistance  Moderate  4 minutes  5
 Level 6, medium resistance  Fast  2 minutes  6
 Level 5, medium resistance  Moderate  5 minutes  5
 Level 7, medium-high resistance  Fast  3 minutes  7.5
 Level 5, medium resistance  Moderate  2 minutes  5
 Level 3, low resistance  Slow  5 minutes  3.5
Total Intermediate Workout Time: 38 minutes

Advanced Speed Program
 Adjust the bike to  Keep your pace  For how long Intensity (1-10)
 Level 5, low resistance  Comfortable  5 minutes  3.5
 Level 7, medium resistance  Moderate  2 minutes  5
 Level 8, medium resistance  Fast  2 minutes  6
 Level 7, medium resistance  Moderate  5 minutes  5
 Level 9, medium-high resistance  Fast  3 minutes  7.5
 Level 7, medium resistance  Moderate  4 minutes  5
 Level 8, medium resistance  Fast  2 minutes  6
 Level 7, medium resistance  Moderate  5 minutes  5
 Level 9, medium-high resistance  Fast  3 minutes  7.5
 Level 7, medium resistance  Moderate  4 minutes  5
 Level 8, medium resistance  Fast  2 minutes  6
 Level 7, medium resistance  Moderate  5 minutes  5
 Level 9, medium-high resistance  Fast  3 minutes  7.5
 Level 7, medium resistance  Moderate  2 minutes  5
 Level 5, low resistance  Slow  5 minutes  3.5
Total Advanced Workout Time: 52 minutes

An Explanation of Using the RPE Method to Measure Intensity
Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) may be the most versatile method to measure exercise intensity for all age groups. Using this method is simple, because all you have to do is estimate how hard you feel like you’re exerting yourself during exercise. RPE is a good measure of intensity because it is individualized—it’s based on your current fitness level and overall perception of exercise. The scale ranges from 1 to 10, allowing you to rate how you feel physically and mentally at a given intensity level.
An RPE between 5 and 7 is recommended for most adults. This means that at the height of your workout, you should feel you are working "somewhat hard" to "hard."
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Member Comments

I love how the "around the web" ads on the side are all recipes for desserts and high-cal tater tot casserole. Sigh.
Otherwise, helpful article... my hips are wonky, so I can no longer to my couch-to-5K running program, but I can ride the bike. It just seemed so boring and low-key. This'll rev it up! Report
Great information!!! Thanks! Report
I love using the stationary bike. Thank you for these great tips! Report
BONDMANUS2002
Absolutely great Report
MARIAAERAC
but how long should I stay till I go to intermediate? Report
Thank goodness for Spark. I just bought a stationary bicycle because I can no longer walk or do aerobics for cardio exercise. I knew I could count on SparkPeople to have a workout program. Yay!! Report
I sure hate riding my exercise bike but maybe I could try this to help keep me challenged, and for variety in my workouts. Report
Very informative article. Report
I just ordered a recumbant bike, so this will be a great tool to use once I get it in! Report
I needed some guidance. Helped a lot. Thanks Report
Great indoor workout. This comes in handy for bad weather months. Report
Just moved and our new place has a gym ... this definitely helps because I love biking, but its cold and icy out, so stationary it is. Report
This definitely increased the intensity of my workout!! Thanks Report
I was given a bike 2 weeks ago. I have been doing pretty good but this looks like the plan I was trying to make for myself. Thanks this sure does help.


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About The Author

Jen Mueller
Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid runner, she is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach, medical exercise specialist, behavior change specialist and functional training specialist. She is also a RRCA-certified running coach. See all of Jen's articles.