If you want to follow precise protocols about defined objectives, it is better to stay focused. Indeed, for each of the exercises I propose below, it is necessary to keep an eye on your heart rate, pedalling rate and stopwatch.

Before getting to the heart of the matter, I will simply recall a few basic tips:

  • Perform home-training sessions in a room without heating and airing,
  • Have a counter with pedalling cadence,
  • Cardio-frequency meter essential,
  • Have at hand a canister containing at least water, or better still an energy drink, as well as a towel.

One last thing: many home trainers have a system to modulate the resistance using a controller connected by cable. I use equipment that has fluid braking. The resistance increases gradually with speed. This allows me to play the derailleur, as on the road, to reach the parameters to be respected (beats per minute, rotations per minute).

And since this training model uses the concept of heart rate intensity rate, here again, is the formula to calculate it in each case.

(FC max fc rest) x % effort intensity + FC rest

For example, for a cyclist whose FC max is 165 bpm and the rest frequency is 55 bpm, the effort intensity of 50% corresponds to 110 beats per minute. In this respect, it is useful to be able to consult during the session a table indicating your own FC intensities, from 30% to 90% (for the record because I strongly advise against increasing to such an intensity during sessions on home-trainer, without specific medical advice on this subject), and from 5 to 5.

The exercises presented range from relaxation to testing to assess your potential. It should be noted that some exercises the most challenging are more reserved for runners and cyclosportives. As a reminder, be sure in advance not to have any medical contraindications (1) to perform such a session (see with your attending physician).

Relaxation session

  • Low intensity pedalling on a reduced gear, at 60% of its maximum FC, the pedalling rate at 90 pm, for 5 minutes.
  • For the next 5 minutes, increase the gear a little and follow 70% FC max, 90 rpm.
  • Repeat these 2 sequences 3 times.
  • Finish with a 5-minute recovery on very small gear.

Total: 35 minutes

Substantive work

This is about maintaining your aerobic qualities. This is a fundamental endurance.

Chain 5 mn to 40% of its fc max, 5 mn to 45%, 5 mn to 50%, 5 mn to 55%, 5 mn to 60%, 5 mn to 70%, 5 mn to 65%, 5 mn to 60%, 5 mn to 55%.

Finish by 5 minutes on a very small gear, cool.

Total: 50 minutes


The aim is to improve his gestural flexibility and increase his ability to use high pedalling rates.

Velocity 1

  • Warm-up: rise slowly to 60% of its FC max in 10 minutes.
  • Maintain for 20 minutes at 60% intensity, with a speed of 90 rpm or more if possible, on a small gearbox.
  • Finish by 5 minutes on a very small gear, cool.

Total: 35 minutes

Velocity 2

  • Warm-up 5 mn

Adjust your gearbox to follow the following instructions:

  • 8 mn : 65% FC max, 75/90 rpm
  • 2 mn of recovery
  • 8 mn : 70% FC max, 90/95 rpm
  • 2 mn of recovery
  • 8 mn : 70% FC max, 95/100 rpm
  • 2 minutes (minimum) of recovery, very cool.

Total: 35 minutes

Velocity 3

  • Warm-up: 5 mn. Reach 70 rpm
  • Every 3 minutes, increase the pedalling rate by 5 rpm.
  • After 21 mn: 90/95 rpm
  • Keep this rate for 5 minutes.
  • Never exceed 75% of its maximum FC.
  • Recovery: 5 mn

Total: 36 minutes

Aerobic endurance

Pyramidal session to be performed on brackets to follow the mentioned heart rates.

  • We start at 5 minutes at a very moderate pace
  • 2 mn at 40% of FC max
  • 2 minutes at 45%.
  • 2 mn at 50%.
  • 2 mn to 55%.
  • 2 mn to 60%.
  • 2 mn to 70%.
  • 2 mn to 65%.
  • 2 mn to 60%.
  • 2 mn to 55%.
  • 5 mn, go down to 40% of FC max
  • 3 mn at 50%.
  • 3 mn to 60%.
  • 3 mn to 70%.
  • Recovery on a small gearbox, cool, for 5 minutes.

Total: 42 minutes

Strength training

This type of session aims to contract the muscle fibres by using large gears, which prepares you for trips with steep gradients.

Warm-up: in 15 minutes, rise very gradually to 70% of FC max

For 2 minutes, shift into a large gear and pedal at 50 pm.

Reduce the gearbox for 2 minutes to 90/100 rpm

Repeat the alternation of these 2 sequences 5 times, taking care not to exceed 70% of intensity.

Recovery: small gearbox for 5 minutes at 85/90 rpm and 70% of the max. FC.

Total: 40 minutes

Work at the threshold

The objective is to push back the aerobic/anaerobic threshold: the limit at which it becomes difficult to pedal much harder. First of all, aerobic means that energy is produced during biochemical reactions that require the presence of oxygen. Anaerobic is the opposite process; it is a chemical reaction that takes place without oxygen(2).

The aerobic-anaerobic threshold is between 75 and 85% of its FC max depending on its level.

To push this threshold back, the work consists in gradually increasing it in 15 minutes to this intensity zone, maintaining 10 minutes, then pedalling in the recovery phase for 10 minutes at 60% with a speed of 90/100 rpm.

Total: 35 minutes


  • We aim to improve its resistance to pedalling in strength and to be able to follow during group outings in strong groups.
  • 5 mn heating up to 60% of its FC max
  • Then gradually increase in 4 minutes to 70% in 4 minutes
  • Then pedal for 7 minutes, stabilizing at 75%.
  • Recovery 4 mn at 65%.
  • Repeat 3 accelerations of 30 seconds, spaced 2 minutes apart, during which time 65% of the acceleration will be recovered.
  • Continue for 5 minutes at 85%, good gear, 90 rpm.
  • Recovery 5 minutes cool.

Total: 30 minutes


This exercise must be repeated over time to measure its progress. To this end, different parameters should be noted each time: gears, pedalling rates, maximum and average FC.

Heating for 5 minutes, up to 55/50% of its FC max

You vary your FC as follows:

  • 5 mn at 60% of its FC max
  • 5 mn to 70 %.
  • 20 seconds of strong acceleration
  • 2 mn to 70%.
  • 3 mn to 65%.
  • 2 mn to 60%.
  • 3 mn to 75%.
  • 2 mn to 60%.
  • 3 mn to 80%.
  • 2 mn to 60%.
  • Follow a “time trial” sequence of 5 minutes (or more)
  • Recover 5 min at 60%, with a rate of 95/100 rpm.

Total: 42 minutes


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