Wednesday Windtrainer Workout: Chris Carmichael’s HillSprints™

With the Tour of Southland currently in progress and today’s stage including the Crown Range which is a decisive place that can determine the outcome of the tour and yesterday’s stage going over Blackmount on the way to Te Anau this weeks session has been inspired by these key points in the race. The session itself will increase power for when you need to accelerate up an incline such as particularly Blackmount or maybe in a Mountain Bike race.

Cycle Training
Rod CARPINTER of ITM climbs Blackmount in the Tour of Southland yesterday.

Each Wednesday I’ll post a Wind Trainer session that you can do in about 60 minutes to enhance your cycling. See a previous post about training intensity (Levels) to know how hard to work. If you are working directly with Coach Ray he will in most cases prescribe either a Power Zone or Heart Rate Zone to work within if you are training with these tools. This weeks session is a little longer than 60 minutes, however is a great tool when used in association with a Power Meter to determine your training intensities or as a workout to develop your cycling fitness.

Chris Carmichael’s HillSprints

  • 20min Warm Up Level II;
  • 3x 8-12sec Uphill Level V, 10min RI Level II;
  • 10min Cool Down Level II;
  • 5min Stretching

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) of 20 minutes easy riding at Level II. If done on the road ride towards a course that has some undulations.

The main set includes three reps of 8-12 sec stomping on the pedals as hard as possible at Level V as you hit an incline. Make sure you are in a moderate to light gear  and as you hit the base of the hill, jump up out of the seat and really go for it. As the slope increases so too will the resistance. Stay up out of the saddle for the entire sprint. This will work your glutes, lower back and triceps. Hold the top end speed for the full duration of the interval. Ensure you get maximal recovery of riding for ten minutes at Level II between efforts to ensure you can maximise your effort with each rep.

Conclude the ride with a minimum of ten minutes riding at Level II for your Cool Down (CD).

Finish with ten minutes stretching to assist with your recovery.


This session can also be done out on the road just as easily as on a wind trainer, but is a lot more effective on the wind trainer. Credit for this workout belongs to Chris Carmichael who has worked with some of the worlds most well known (as well as infamous) cyclists. This workout along with others can be found in his book “The Lance Armstrong Performance Program” (and yes, the book is solely about training and is well worth the read).

If you would like further advice feel free to contact Coach Ray.

Coach Ray is the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

Coach Ray is a triathlon coach who specialises in coaching beginner and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. He can be contacted at, and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to his monthly informative newsletter.

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Coach Ray is the author of a number of books including the ‘Top 10 Cycle Workouts From Coach Ray’.

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