Are you looking for a workout that will help you lose weight? If so, then you should consider buying a spin bike. Spin bikes are great because they allow you to burn more calories than most other types of exercise. You can also do them indoors, which means they’re perfect if you live in an area with bad weather or if you simply don’t want to go outside on cold days.

They’re also easy to use and don’t require any special equipment—just the bike itself and your own body weight as resistance. In this post, we’ll talk about some of the best spin bikes for weight loss so that you can find something that will work for you!

Right here on Buy and Slay, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on stationary bike workout for beginners, stationary bike workout for obese, stationary bike workout for seniors, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Best Spin Bike Workout For Weight Loss

The spinning trend isn’t dying down anytime soon. Studios like SoulCycle and Flywheel have been ruling the fitness space for years, and the craze has only expanded: You can also have some friendly team competition at Swerve, or even cycle in the water at Aqua. So, why is everyone so obsessed?

Spin classes promise transformation, and because of the enthusiasm, top-20 dance hits, and affirmations shouted to participants by the instructor, they’re never monotonous. You’ll definitely see benefits from hitting up regular classes — from weight loss to bettering your physical health — but there are some important things to keep in mind before getting your sweat on.

1. It’s an Impressive Cardio Workout — But You Might Not Be Burning as Much as You Think

Spinning is long known to decrease fat and help people drop pounds. In fact, it’s so effective that research has shown replacing one bout of moderate intensity exercise with two 30-minute sessions of the high-intensity workout can improve everything from your cardiovascular health to your body composition. But are you burning as many calories as you think you are?

Even though it feels like a killer spin class gives you a little leeway when it comes to indulging in the cupcakes your coworker brought in, that’s not the case.

“An average spin class burns between 400 and 600 calories,” says Will Torres, fitness expert and founder of Willspace, a personal training studio in New York City. “Spin three times a week and you torch up to 1,800 calories, but a pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. So to see weight-loss results, it’s not realistic to allow for wiggle room.”

2. It’s Great for Any Age, But You Need to Be Careful

Because spinning is a low-impact workout, it’s just as great of a workout for older adults as it is for trained athletes — you just need to be weary of how much you do it. One study, for instance, found that when done too often, the high intensity levels of spinning could contribute to a decline in performance rather than an improvement.

Then, there’s the aspect of what kind of spin class you take. Studios like SoulCycle and Flywheel have a hand-weight component, but experts agree that it’s no substitute for strength training — and could be setting you up for injury. Because spin studios are often dark, the instructor can’t see whether or not you have proper form, explains Amelia DiDomenico, assistant fitness manager at Crunch Sunset. Aside from that, using weights for only about five to seven minutes means the effort definitely doesn’t condition you as much as a 30-minute circuit that you may follow with a trainer.

Finally, the over-conditioning of your thighs could negatively affect your other muscles: “Any time you perform the same activity without cross-training, you wind up creating an imbalance between opposing muscles groups,” says Torres. “In the case of spinning, hip flexors and quads overdevelop, leading to imbalance and eventual injury.”

That’s where the whole “spinning-bulks-up-your-thighs” thing comes from, too: Tracy Anderson, celeb trainer and creator of the Tracy Anderson Method, says, “I have women who come into my office after spinning exclusively for six months, wondering why they can’t fit into their jeans. Spin may burn calories in the short-term, but if that’s all you’re doing, it’ll bulk your thighs.”

3. You Need to Switch Things Up

The cardio aspect of spinning strengthens your heart, and the dance-club-like atmosphere is undeniably fun — but if you do want to lose weight or inches, it’s a smart idea to have a little variety in your workout schedule.

Aside from your weekly spin classes, try some personal training sessions. A trainer can recommend the best workouts for the results you want and assess your form. Then, you can practice on your own.

“Using weights will tone your muscles, making you look smaller,” says DiDomenico. “And the more muscle you have, the more efficient your body becomes, which means you’ll burn more calories when resting.”

And when it comes to other classes, first figure out what you like best about spin class: Is it the camaraderie? The awesome tunes? The fact that you don’t have to think for 45 minutes because the instructor is telling you exactly what to do? If it’s the group-feel, try CrossFit. All about the music? Look into a dance class or Zumba. Want to turn off your brain? Drop in on a bootcamp. After all, as spin class teaches you, success is all about keeping up the rotation.

4 Stationary Bike Workouts That Burn Fat

Unless you’re in a pounding-beats, heart-pumping group class, stationary bike workouts don’t exactly scream excitement. No matter where you are—from a health club to a dinky hotel or apartment complex gym—you’re bound to find at least one stationary bike. If you’re inclined to walk right past that lone bike and hop on the treadmill instead, consider giving it a chance next time. Done right, stationary bike workouts are no joke.

“Stationary bikes are great for everyone of all fitness levels,” Jennifer Tallman, indoor cycling instructor at New York Sports Clubs, tells SELF. “Workouts on the bike build your cardiovascular endurance and strength in your legs, which translates to benefits off the bike, too.” Since biking is a relatively low-impact workout, these machines are helpful for those recovering from injuries—just be sure you get fitted properly to help avoid knee issues, and always check in with your doctor if you’re dealing with a specific injury. With very few bells and whistles, they’re also great for beginners or anyone looking to simply add some diversity to their fitness regimen.

If group workouts aren’t your jam, you don’t have to join a class at your gym, or book a spot in a SoulCycle or Flywheel class to log great stationary bike workouts. You can ride solo and kick your own butt on the machine, too. Since you can control the speed and resistance levels on the bike, you can decide how to challenge yourself—it’s completely customizable to your fitness level and goals.

Working out regularly is great for your body and mind, and is and should be a goal unto itself. But if you have another specific goal—like losing weight, or lowering body fat percentage, or building muscle—you’ll need to pair your workout routine with a strategic and healthy nutrition plan. For certain goals, like weight loss, that means creating a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume in a day), which requires making sure to eat quality calories and watching portion sizes.

For anyone who has a history of disordered eating, even if you’re in recovery, you should speak with a doctor before you pursue any weight-loss goal, including starting a new exercise routine. And even if you don’t have a history of disordered eating, it’s really important to have realistic expectations and make sure you’re pursuing weight loss or body composition changes in a healthy way. The truth is that weight loss, fat loss, muscle building, or other body composition goals are never just about one thing—in order to make changes, you need to look at your life and habits in a holistic way. And it can take a lot of time to see results. Many factors come into play—like getting good sleep, managing stress levels, genetics, health conditions, and the medicines you take. And your fitness routine itself has to be varied and include both cardio and strength training for real change to occur.

Whether you’re looking for a good low-impact workout to burn calories, are trying to develop a steady fitness routine, or simply need a new way to beat gym boredom, try these four trainer-recommended indoor cycling workouts.

1. Crush this 20-minute interval workout that alternates between easy, moderate, hard, and all-out levels of exertion.

Tallman suggests doing intervals, rather than cycling at a steady state, to get the biggest fat-burning payoff on a stationary bike. “Working on a scale of your own perceived exertion (easy, moderate, hard, all-out), and utilizing the resistance, is going to get you the most bang for your buck.” She provides some notes on what each “perceived exertion” level feels like below, so you can get an idea of how much to push yourself in each part of this workout.

Easy = This is a flat road (with a slight base resistance) and you’re moving at a pace you could hold all day.
Moderate = This will start to feel like work but is still maintainable. You’ll notice that your breathing will get a bit heavier, too. “You could talk here but not in full sentences.” You should use enough resistance that you feel like you’re on a slight incline up a small hill.
Hard = You are working! “Breathing is heavy and it feels hard to hold this. You could say a word or two, but you wouldn’t want to!” You should be using medium to heavy resistance at this point.
All-Out = Give an everything-you’ve-got level of effort, using the heaviest resistance you can handle, while still being able to push your legs. “You shouldn’t be able to speak during this, you want this to be OVER!”

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2. This workout uses your target heart rate to tell if you’re putting in the right level of work.

“The general population is convinced they need to murder themselves in a gym to achieve their perfect body,” Andrew Kalley, founder of Kalley Fitness and NYC-based triathlon coach and personal trainer, tells SELF. “Yes, intervals and HIIT are great forms of training, but not the end-all.” He recommends combining intervals and longer, moderate aerobic training to burn fat. “It’s a slower burn, and it takes time to condition the body to burn fat.” Kalley recommends doing at least three days of cardio work each week if this is your goal.

For this workout, you’ll need a heart rate monitor. According to Kalley, the right three-day mix for beginners is two days of steady-state training (cycle at 60-70 percent of your max heart rate for 45-90 minutes) plus the routine below (don’t forget to include a warm-up and cool-down). The exact resistance and speed necessary to get your heart rate high will vary depending on the person, explains Kalley, but he suggests either choosing very heavy resistance at a moderate pace, or more moderate-to-high resistance at a quicker pace. You should be able to reach your max heart rate (MHR) either way. Here’s the routine:

1 minute: Cycle at 76-85 percent of your MHR 2 minutes: Recover by cycling at 60 percent of your MHR Repeat 6x

There’s still a debate about what’s the best equation for measuring peak heart rate in women, but the Mayo Clinic and American Heart Association both note that most basic method is to subtract your age from 220. Then find your target heart rate zones for each of the intervals above.

3. Try a Tabata stationary bike workout.

You may have done a Tabata strength workout before, but you can do it on a stationary bike, too. In fact, the Tabata protocol was first studied with athletes performing bouts of intense activity on a stationary bike. Jacqueline Crockford, exercise physiologist and education specialist at the American Council on Exercise (ACE), suggests focusing on your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) to tailor this Tabata workout for you. RPE basically means your level of intensity, and it can be changed by increasing your speed and/or your resistance. “An RPE of 5 would be a 5 on a scale of 0-10, 10 being 100 percent effort. So by that thought, RPE of 5 equals 50 percent effort,” Crockford explains.

In the below workout, the “20 seconds of work” should be done at 80-100 percent effort, so between an RPE of 8 and 10—you can choose to reach the target RPE by cranking up the resistance and pedaling at a more moderate pace, or opting for a middle-of-the-road resistance level with a quicker pace, she explains. During the rest and recovery parts of the workout, you should be doing as little work as possible to keep the pedals moving, so resistance should be very low. “As long as you are exercising at the RPE (truly), then you know you are at the right gear and cadence for your fitness level,” Crockford explains. Let’s get to it!

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4. And this HIIT workout uses short bursts of activity to get your heart pumping.

Developed by researchers at the department of exercise and sport sciences at the University of Copenhagen, the 10-20-30 interval training method is organized by blocks of intervals, followed by two minutes of active recovery, Jessica Matthews, M.S., senior advisor for health and fitness education for ACE and assistant professor of exercise science at Miramar College, tells SELF. “Each of the blocks consists of five consecutive one-minute intervals divided into 30, 20, and 10 seconds at various intensities,” she explains. “This is one of my personal favorite ways to structure a time-efficient HIIT workout, and it can easily be adapted to a number of different pieces of cardio equipment such as an elliptical or an upright bike.” (The method is officially called 10-20-30, but you perform the timed intervals in reverse.)

Matthews recommends using the same resistance throughout the workout—the key is that there is enough resistance to keep your pedal strokes smooth and controlled. Then, you control the intensity level by speeding up and slowing down.

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Stationary Bike Workout For Beginners

The stationary bike is one of the most popular cardio machines that help you achieve your fitness goals. The best feature about it is that it’s easy to use, requiring very little know-how to begin and minimal supervision. 

Whether you’re a beginner or someone who needs a cardio machine that you can use without any help at home, the stationary bike provides everything you need to help you effortlessly perform workouts and achieve your aims.

Popular bikes for home use include the Schwinn 130 Stationary Bike, the Gold’s Gym Bike, the LeMond Stationary Bikes, and the Nautilus Stationary Bike.

Just 10 minutes a day on your bike can significantly improve your moods and boost your energy levels, let alone the cardiovascular benefits you get out of it. 

Beginner Workouts 

The bike is the chosen cardio machine for those who have injuries or suffer from arthritic joints thanks to the cyclical movement, which places minimal pressure on your critical joints. Equally, it’s ideal for beginners too, who haven’t grown accustomed to high-impact workouts.  

As a budding new fitness enthusiast, you mustn’t make high impact, high-calorie burn workouts your priority. Instead, focus on longer workouts to help improve your endurance so that you can perform high-intensity exercises efficiently in the long term. 

Also, it’s important to remember that your priority should be to stay safe and not try too many things all at once. Take each day as it comes or a week at a time and write down the goals you may want to achieve. You should avoid overexerting yourself by dealing with the pain during the workout – you should feel the challenge but not to the point where you’re writhing in pain! 

The below workouts are tried and safe but remember that everyone’s different, so do what you feel is the most comfortable for you in terms of time intervals and methods. 

Low-High Intensity Interval Training

As a beginner, this type of workout plan is ideal as you let your body adapt to bursts of high-impact intervals. Then, you give it a downtime for recovery during the low-intensity intervals. The latter also gives you something to look forward to during the rigorous portions. 

You might be thinking this won’t be effective at burning calories, but actually, it’s been proven to shift more calories than just pedaling at a constant speed.

The adaptations and sharp changes that the body experiences from high to low-intensity intervals challenge your body not to get used to the consistency, thereby using up more energy and burning more calories. 

To do this:

  • Begin: A low impact, 5-minute warm-up to start with will ignite your muscles for the work ahead. Pedal at a moderate pace until you feel warmed up.
  • Workout: After the 5 minutes are up, jump straight into a 30-second sprint, pedaling with all your effort. Rest for 10 seconds and then perform the 30-second sprint again. Make this pattern about 10 times, all in all giving you a good 15-minute workout on your bike. 
  • Rest: Once you’ve completed the rounds, pedal slowly for 5 minutes for your heart rate to get back down to rest.

After a week to a fortnight of performing this workout, make it your aim to progress by adding another 5 minutes to the workout. Then, try this out for about a week and see how you feel. 

You can even change it up by performing 40-second sprints and 10-second rest intervals if you’re up to the challenge. Or continue with the same interval pattern but extend the overall time to 30 minutes. 

Performing a 30-minute workout is golden because that’s achieving the recommended amount of exercise per day. Once you’re at this point, you can build up to more challenging high-intensity workouts.

Beginners Calorie Burner 

For those beginners who want to be pushed to their limits, this calorie burner workout is going to do just that! As a reward, you can burn up to 15 calories in just one minute – that’s 150 calories in 10 minutes! It’ll challenge your body and significantly improve your endurance in the long term.

To do this:

  • Begin: Pedal at a moderate pace for about 5 minutes to get your muscles warmed up.
  • Workout: Putting in your best effort, cycle for about 90 seconds, then have a 90-second recovery break where you cycle at a level that’s half of your best effort. Switch it up then, put in your best effort, cycle for 60 seconds, and then have a 30-second recovery break where you cycle at a level that’s about 70% of your total effort. Keep alternating between the two sets for 30 minutes or more if you can! 
  • Rest: Cycle for 5 minutes at a gentle pace and allow your heart rate to come down slowly. 

Strength Train

Contrary to mainstream beliefs about building muscles, you don’t have to lift weights to build and tone muscles. As a beginner, your bike can be your avenue to training your body to be competitive and helping you achieve goals like strength building in a safe way.

Stationary bikes have a dial or similar that lets you change the “rate of perceived exertion” or RPE, the intensity of the resistance on your bike that comes in levels. A level 4 RPE should be a comfortable pace for beginners and be used in your warm-up. You should use levels 5-6 during the workout periods, though.

You can build muscles by adding RPE or resistance on your bike, which will feel like you’re cycling up a hill. Initially, you’ll notice that as you add in the resistance, you slow down. But that’s because your leg muscles are expelling more energy that, in turn, makes your leg muscles, glutes, and quads tone up and get stronger. 

If you have some dumbbells handy, you can always perform bicep curls as you’re pedaling, so you can give your arms and upper back a good workout at the same time. 

It’s important that when adding in resistance, you keep your lower back safe by not exerting too much pressure on it. You can do this by positioning yourself out of the saddle in a “danseuse” position, so your glutes and quads take the bulk of the pressure rather than your lower back. 

Do this every 5 minutes or so, and it’ll also encourage your body to use dormant muscles. 

Conclusion

The above workouts will give you a headstart to getting the most out of your best stationary exercise bike every week, allowing you to develop a fitness goal for yourself. It’s important to remember not to overexert yourself if you experience too much pain and feel like you can’t go on. 

Instead of giving in altogether, try pedaling at a slower pace during workout intervals or add some extra seconds to rest intervals. 

Also, you can try listening to some music, watching some TV, or teaming up with a workout buddy to help you through the longer 30-minute workouts. 

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