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Unleash Your Cycling Potential: HIDIT Interval Training to increase time in VO2max

Pro cyclist on indoor trainer


In the world of sports science, researchers are constantly exploring innovative training methods to help athletes reach new heights. Three recent studies have shed light on the benefits of high-intensity decreasing interval training (HIDIT) for cyclists, offering valuable insights into optimizing oxygen consumption, endurance, and performance. Let's delve into the findings of these ground-breaking papers and discover how they can elevate your cycling game.

HIDIT Research Methods:

The studies conducted by Vaccari and Bell et al. utilized a combination of physiological assessments, performance metrics, and training protocols to investigate the effects of HIDIT on cycling performance. Through rigorous experimentation and analysis, the researchers aimed to uncover the optimal strategies for enhancing aerobic capacity, time to exhaustion, and overall cycling performance.

Main Findings:

  1. HIDIT, as explored by Vaccari et al., was found to significantly increase the time spent above 90% of VO2 peak. This novel training approach offers a promising strategy to maximise oxygen consumption and improve endurance [1][2].

  2. Bell et al. provided insights into the physiological profile of multiple Tour de France-winning cyclists, highlighting the unique physiological adaptations required for elite cycling performance [3].

  3. Vaccari's research also demonstrated the effectiveness of high-intensity interval training in optimising oxygen consumption and time to exhaustion, leveraging the exponential reconstitution behaviour of W'prime (Anaerobic Work Capacity) [4].

Practical Implications:

For athletes, coaches, and trainers, these findings offer actionable strategies for designing effective training programs. Incorporating HIDIT protocols and HIIT into cycling training regimes can lead to significant improvements in aerobic capacity, endurance, and overall performance. By understanding the physiological demands of elite cycling, individuals can tailor their training approaches to maximise their potential on the road and in competition.

HIDIT Indoor Cycling Workout to Increase Time at 90% of VO2MAX

🔥 Warm-up:

  • Duration: 10 minutes

  • Intensity: Easy pedalling at 50-60% of VO2MAX. If you don't know your power at VO2MAX use your best 5 minute power as a guide.

  • Purpose: Prepare your muscles and cardiovascular system for the upcoming high-intensity intervals.

🚴‍♂️ Main Workout:

HIDIT Interval Structure:

  • Protocol: High-Intensity Decreasing Interval Training (HIDIT)

  • Total Duration: 30 minutes


  1. Interval 1:

  • Duration: 5 minutes

  • Intensity: Start at 110% of VO2 peak power and gradually decrease by 10% every minute until reaching 90% of VO2MAX.

  • Purpose: Priming your body for the upcoming high-intensity efforts.

  1. Interval 2-4:

  • Duration: 4 minutes each

  • Intensity: Maintain 90% of VO2MAX power.

  • Purpose: Sustain the effort level to maximize time spent at 90% of VO2MAX.

  1. Interval 5:

  • Duration: 3 minutes

  • Intensity: Increase power to 100% of VO2 peak.

  • Purpose: Push your limits and challenge your aerobic capacity.

  1. Interval 6:

  • Duration: 2 minutes

  • Intensity: All-out effort at maximum sustainable power.

  • Purpose: Finish strong and push beyond your comfort zone.

🧘‍♂️ Cool-down:

  • Duration: 5-10 minutes

  • Intensity: Easy spinning at 50-60% of VO2MAX

  • Purpose: Aid in recovery and promote circulation to flush out metabolic by-products.

🎯 Aim:

  • Increase time spent at 90% of VO2MAX to enhance aerobic capacity and endurance.

  • Challenge your body's ability to sustain high-intensity efforts over prolonged durations.


One thing is clear: the power of high-intensity interval training cannot be underestimated. By embracing innovative training methodologies and leveraging scientific insights, cyclists can unlock new levels of performance and achieve their goals. So, lace up your cycling shoes, hit the road, and embark on a journey of transformation fuelled by the science of HIDIT.

🌐 Sources:

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