How to train if you only have 30 minutes a day

30 minutes a day: how can we train and maintain our high physical fitness (and maybe participate in some competitions) if we only have this limited time.

Actually 30 minutes a day they are enough to work well, if you train consistently, organized and according to a structured training plan. In this article we will see together how to train functionally even if you only have 30 minutes a day to do it.

30 minutes a day? Quality before quantity

Certainly, studies on endurance sports theoretically claim that training volume is the main variable related to performance. However, it must be considered that cyclists who manage themselves often tend to train with very high volume regimes (they spend a lot of hours on the bike) but without varying current or load. Thus, they end up falling into a plateau of stagnant fitness that only produces fatigue and not physical improvement.

If you have 30 minutes a day to train your password must be of quality: you have to train in an organized, conscious and structured way. If you want to understand how to organize your training according to these 3 principles, I talked about them in this video:

Quality is working on specific skills, which are in line with the performance you will have to achieve in the face of your cycling challenges. Analyze the main race (or trip or outing) of your season e think about the physical characteristics you will need to develop. Do you need a lot of aerobic capacity? Or do you have to work hard on the lactate threshold? Do you need to develop your muscular strength or your endurance? Do you have to resist progressive fatigue or do you have to be able to sustain heavy rhythms for a few minutes? It is essential to do this analysis, because then you will have to build daily “micro-workouts” that will lead you to develop these characteristics.

You don’t have to cycle every day!

If you have 30 minutes a day, that doesn’t mean you have to cycle for 30 minutes every day. Instead, you have to work on your whole body, inserting the right recovery times, also working on muscle strength and lengthening and joint mobility and you have to respect your body’s need to activate the overcompensation process. Cycling every day could produce a reduction in your performance, rather than an improvement, especially if you train at high intensity every day.

Weekly plan for the cyclist who only has 30 minutes a day

Let’s imagine the creation of Paola’s training plan, which can train 30 minutes a day during her lunch break. How would his plan be structured? Let’s start with the analysis of the performance model.

Paola is a bicycle traveler who travels for a week and rides 80 to 100 km a day in gravel, with an undemanding drop. What are the physical abilities he needs to develop? Here they are in detail:

  • Excellent aerobic base withstand long journeys;
  • Good core strength, to avoid the appearance of back pain due to the position held for hours;
  • High muscular enduranceto be able to overcome the climbs even after cycling all day.

Now let’s create Paola’s weekly training plan, remembering that she only has 30 minutes a day to train. Here’s how it could be structured:

Day Activities
Monday Joint mobility and stretching
Tuesday HIIT on the rollers
Wednesday Power
Thursday HIIT on the rollers
Friday Heart
Saturday Joint mobility and stretching
Sunday Long in the gravel

Sunday is the day when Paola can train intensively. On Monday, he recovers from the Sunday outing and devotes himself to joint mobility. On Tuesdays and Thursdays he works at high intensity on the rollers to boost mitochondrial density (essential for creating a solid aerobic base). On Wednesdays he trains endurance strength and on Fridays he does basic training specifically for cycling. Finally, on Saturday, he rests and devotes himself to joint mobility.

30 minute workouts per day

Let’s go into more detail and see how Paola’s workouts can be structured.

Aerobic endurance training on the rollers

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Paola trains on the rollers to focus on aerobic capacity. For this, he performs HIIT (interval training) with long intervals and also long recoveries, since the objective is the improvement of the use of oxygen to form ATP.

A session can be structured as follows:

  • 3 minutes free pedaling warm-up
  • 4 sets of 4 minutes of reel shooting and 2 minutes of recovery
  • 3 minutes final cooling

Total duration 30 minutes


Interior preparation

For cyclists

Resistance Strength Training

Paola must increase the resistant strength of the legs, because she must be able to release muscle tension even in a regime of progressive fatigue. For this reason, the focus will be on monopodal training (which simulates the gesture of pressing the pedal) repeated at length.

Here’s a seating idea:

  • 3 minute jump rope warm-up
  • 4 sets of 6 minutes of monopedal lifts on a base (2 sets per foot);
  • 3 minutes of recovery with a leisurely walk

Total duration 30 minutes

Muscle building in cycling

ONLINE COURSE – Become stronger cyclists. To do at home or indoors

abdominal training

Paola needs a strong, fatigue-resistant core because she has to pedal for many hours and the risk of back pain is very high. That’s why he dedicates one session a week to basic training. We start with isometric exercises and then end with dynamic exercises.

An example of a Paola session could be:

  • 4 sets of 4 exercises done in a row: elbow plank, right side plank, left side plank, boat, 30 second hold, 30 second recovery
  • 4 sets of 4 exercises performed in a row: scissors, jack, leg extension, Russian twist, 50 repetitions per exercise, 60 seconds of recovery
  • 1 set of 10 blades on the AB roller

Total 30 minutes

Train well even if you only have 30 minutes a day

We’ve seen how to create an effective and structured workout plan for Paola that requires a commitment of just 30 minutes a day.

Sand you too have little time available and want to maximize it by training in a structured and targeted way, you can join the “Train with Bikeitalia” service. More than 50 athletes train with us every month.

After a preliminary interview and a road test to assess your physical condition, our trainers (specialized in cycling and certified in physical education) will provide you with a monthly training plan on rollerblades, on the road, indoors (even at home) and stretching, because we believe that a cyclist should train holistically. The program is built on your skills, characteristics and goals. We believe in the seriousness of our service to offer the possibility “Money Back Guarantee”. If after one month you are not satisfied, we will refund the full amount paid, no questions asked.

To be followed by us in your training, you can click on the box below:

image by block formed with Bikeitalia

Add Comment