A lot of people consider the stationary bike as one of the most boring exercise machines around. Unless you’re in a group class surrounded with pounding music and an instructor to keep you pumped up, using an indoor bike is not exactly an exciting experience. But if you’re told that the lone bike that you naturally ignore at the gym can burn fat like crazy (provided you use it right), you may change your mind about it.
According to Jennifer Tallman, indoor cycling instructor at New York Sports Clubs, stationary bikes are great for everyone, regardless of fitness level. “Workouts on the bike build your cardiovascular endurance and strength in your legs, which translates to benefits off the bike, too.”
Another great thing about the indoor bike is that it’s considered a low-impact machine. This is good news for people who want to avoid too much stress on their knees. This also makes the stationary bike a good machine for beginners or just about anyone who wants to add a little diversity to their fitness routines.
Should You Join a Group Bike Class or Not?
There are people who perform better when working out with a group and if this is your case, then a group class may be the thing for you. Roxie Jones, a certified strength coach and instructor at SoulCycle in New York City, gives a great reason for joining spin workouts.
“Spin workouts are low-impact, making them accessible to people with any injuries that can’t handle the impact of another sport like running. You can also do them indoors during colder months, making it super convenient, and spinning requires a rider to engage their core when up and out of the saddle, while also improving endurance and cardio health overall.”
Now if you don’t find group workouts appealing and would rather bike in peace, you can just go at it solo. You can use any stationary bike at your local gym or invest in your own bike so you can cycle at home. Where you bike doesn’t really matter when it comes to your capacity to burn fat.
Indoor Cycling Workouts for Maximum Fat Burning
These trainer-recommended workouts will work wonders, whether you’re looking to burn loads of calories the low-impact way or developing a steady fitness routine.
1. All-Levels Welcome
If you’re a total newbie to the stationary bike, this is the perfect workout for you. This routine is mostly aerobic but includes short and challenging intervals that burn calories.
First, you begin with an easy warm-up and then move 3-5 rounds of 6-minute work.
The intensity of your work and rest periods will be gauged according to your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) on a scale of 1 (very easy) to 10 (maximum effort). This means that you bike at a pace that works for your level of fitness.
If you’re a beginner, stick to 3 rounds of the main block work. For more advanced levels, all 5 rounds are great.
2. Cardio and Strength for Higher Levels
In this 45-minute workout, indoor and outdoor cyclists will build three elements in their performance. These are cardiovascular fitness, leg strength, and an efficient pedal stroke.
You will start with a 10-minute warm-up before you move on to the main event, where the goal is to nail 3-minute work sets. The main workout should be repeated for 2-4 rounds. A 5-minute cool down caps off this routine.
This workout is made for intermediate and advanced cyclists, as you can see on the length of the workout sets.
3. Intro to Hill and Speed Intervals
This workout, which is designed for beginner and intermediate levels, runs for 40-minutes. Your heart rate will be taken through different zones, working on three intervals of different work-to-rest ratios.
The payoff is tons of scorched calories and an enormous boost to your fitness level.
The best thing about it? This is actually easy on the joints!
4. Cycle Fartlek
Kristian Flores, CSCS, a strength and conditioning coach in New York City, says that “Fartlek training is a fun way to mix HIIT with steady-state cardio.” Fartlek training is usually associated with running, but in this case, the principle of “speed play” can be applied to stationary biking and any other activity.
Fartlek workouts are often unstructured, which is part of its big appeal. You can go as hard as you can, for as long as you can. Afterwards, you can recover until you are ready to cycle hard again. So this is really all up to your strength and determination.
This makes Fartlek applicable to all fitness levels, a great way to build endurance and power.
5. 25-Minute Intermediate Intervals
This workout is structured according to your effort level. This is best for people who already have ample experience on the bike, preferable those who have done intervals. Jess Cifelli, master instructor at CYCLEBAR, said that in this way, you’ll have a basic understanding of what different effort levels feel like for you.
The effort levels are the following:
- Low. This requires just a light resistance, something you can do while having a conversation with the person biking next to you.
- Medium. The resistance is cranked up a bit – you can still talk, but not as effortless as the first one.
- High. Forget about the conversation at the moment. Stand up in the saddle to handle the work better.
- Maximum. Definitely no more speaking and there is no assurance you can do this for more than 30 seconds!
6. Power Intervals
According to Lauren ‘Lolo’ Wilson, senior master instructor at CYCLEBAR, “High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts like this pack a punch in a relatively short amount of time.” With this 45-minute routine, you will improve your aerobic capacity, build muscle, and of course, burn fat outrageously.
This is best done by people who exercise 3-5 days a week consistently for at least 6 weeks. For those new to HIIT, Wilson recommends to start with 10 power intervals and add 2 intervals to each workout until you reach 20 total intervals.”
Are you interested to bike but not up to the task of joining a group class? You can just buy your own indoor bike and do this solo in the comforts of your own home. Let our staff help you get the perfect bike for your workouts. Contact Primo Fitness to see our merchandise today!