This blog series is based on becoming a better climber using your stationary trainer and power meter. I’ll share what I’ve learned about training for climbing rides from 6 time U.S. National Champion Arnie Baker, MD, and emphasize training mostly indoors through the winter months a stationary trainer.

Quick Recap: In Part 1, we discussed some of the basic set up for indoor training, along with how to account for mileage, etc. In Part 2, we’ve covered breathing, rhythm and focus. And in Part 3, we covered gear selection and saddle position.

Today, we’ll get into the meat and potatoes of climbing workouts on a stationary trainer, with a power output focus.

Despite the fact that most of the United States is trapped indoors due to winter weather, we can still be productive with our training. With the help of your handy stationary trainer and power meter, you can achieve solid climbing form by spring time.

Most of the stationary trainer rides we received from Arnie were between 1.5 and 2 hours. They incorporated a warm up, a few work sets, and a proper cool down. Here’s one of my favorites…
Warm up: 10 minute warm up in a small gear (39 x 23 or 34 x 23). RPM should be high – work up to 110-120 and hold it for at least 5 minutes of the warm up.

Work Sets:

  1. 12-16 minutes, climbing isolated leg training, 3-4 minute per leg, then switch. This should be done in the big ring (53×12, etc) Target 50-60 RPM and wattage should be 50-60% of FTP.
  2. 15 minutes of climbing (using two legs) in the big ring. Target 50-60 RPM and 75-80% FTP
  3. 12 minutes of up/down reps – in and out of the saddle. This is done in the big ring (53×12, etc) at an average of 50-60 RPM and 80% of FTP. Do 3 reps of 3 minute intervals, alternating in and out of the saddle. For example, 3 minutes up, 3 minutes down, 3 minutes up, 3 minutes down, 3 minutes up, 3 minutes down and done. Follow this immediately by 3 reps of 1 minute up, 1 minute down.
  4. Back to climbing isolated leg training; 1, 4 minute rep on each leg to finish the work sets.

Cool down for 10 minutes and you’re done!

Be sure to prop up your front wheel and incorporate the principles discussed in the previous parts of this blog series. Work this workout into your routine twice a week to start. If you’re planning to tackle a killer hill ride like the Triple Bypass or The Death Ride, refer back to Part 1 of this series to determine the climbing mileage suggested for these types of rides.

Do you have questions regarding nutrition, weight loss, training, or technology? I can help. Please contact me at downtownsdmobility. Thank you!

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