Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel

HIL sprents

noun, verb

Hill Sprints are short, intense efforts up a hill.

Example usage: I'm going to do some hill sprints to improve my leg strength.

Most used in: Areas with hilly terrain, such as England.

Most used by: Triathlon cyclists looking to improve their speed and power.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 2/10

Also see: Interval Training, Hill Repeats, Sufferfests, Climbing Intervals,

What are Hill Sprints?

Hill sprints are a type of sprinting exercise used to improve a cyclist’s acceleration, power, and endurance. It involves riding up a steep incline and then quickly accelerating on the way down. This type of training is particularly effective for cyclists who participate in hilly races and competitions, as it helps them to build strength and stamina that will be required to tackle the hills.

Hill sprints are a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and can be a great way to increase your overall fitness and power output. They involve short bursts of intense effort for a few minutes, followed by a short rest period. During the sprint, the cyclist will usually ride up a hill at a very high intensity for a short period of time. This can be repeated several times for a great workout.

Studies have shown that hill sprints can be an effective way to improve a cyclist’s performance. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that cyclists who did hill sprints twice a week for six weeks improved their power output by 8.5%. Additionally, they also increased their time to exhaustion by an average of 16%.

Hill sprints can be a great way to improve your cycling performance and overall fitness. However, it is important to note that they are an intense form of exercise and should be done with caution. It is recommended to begin with shorter sprints and gradually increase the intensity and duration over time.


The Origins of the Cycling Term 'Hill Sprints'

The term 'Hill Sprints' was first used in the early 1900s to refer to a type of cycling race that took place in the hills of the northern part of England. The races were held on a circuit of steep, hilly roads and were popular among amateur racers.

Hill sprints were different from traditional road cycling races in that they emphasized climbing speed over overall race time. This meant that riders needed to be in peak physical condition and had to know the course well in order to be successful. The races were often held on the same course each year, giving riders an opportunity to practice and perfect their technique.

Today, hill sprints are still used in cycling as a way to measure a rider's power and overall fitness. Hill sprints are also popular among amateur riders as a way to improve their leg strength and endurance. The popularity of hill sprints has spread to other parts of the world, including the United States, where they are often used as part of a training regimen for professional cyclists.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3