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Mix it up on the weekend

Mix it up on the weekend to help burn more body fat and manage your weight.

If you are stuck in a cycling rut by training at the same speed, riding the same routes, or avoiding the same hills, it’s time to break through to new levels of bike fitness. Challenge yourself to become a better, faster cyclist by incorporating variety into your cycling program. Even a short ride can be extremely valuable to your fitness, as long as you give it purpose and variation in intensity.

Short-Sharp Intervals

This workout, when done correctly, is taxing. It will challenge several aspects of fitness, such as neuro-muscular, cardio and speed, with its short intervals of intense effort. After a solid warm-up of 20 minutes easy, and three to five more minutes of moderate riding, find a false flat, a road that rises ever so slightly. When you've done the first 25 minutes stand out of the saddle and attack the bike  for three to five seconds - getting your speed up as high as possible. Then, settle in the saddle but continue to increase bike speed for another five to 20 seconds. Take a full three to five minutes of recovery before you a launch again, and don’t exceed five of these rounds in your first workout. The entire effort shouldn’t exceed 30 minutes in your first few weeks—one short-sharp interval a week is plenty.

If you are stuck in a cycling rut by training at the same speed, break through to new levels of bike fitness with these elements. Remember to plan ahead so that you depart for each ride with full knowledge of what you’re doing and why.

Cycling is a great way to control or reduce weight, as it raises your metabolic rate, builds muscle and burns body fat.  Research suggests you should be burning at least 8,400 kilojoules (about 2,000 calories) a week through exercise. Steady cycling burns about 1,200 kilojoules (about 300 calories) per hour. Research shows that a half-hour bike ride every day will burn nearly five kilograms of fat over a year.