Spinning Workout For Weight Loss

As a fitness instructor, I’m often asked about weight loss. People want to know how much weight they can lose in a certain time frame and which workouts are best for burning fat.

I tell them that everyone is different, but there are some basic things you can do to get results.

First and foremost, you need to eat right. That means cutting out processed foods — they are full of sugar, chemicals and artificial ingredients that don’t do anything good for your body. Instead, eat whole foods like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins like fish or chicken breast.

In addition to eating healthy food, exercise is also important. You should try to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five days per week at a moderate level (about 60 percent of your maximum heart rate). This will help keep your metabolism going strong throughout the day so you burn more calories even when you’re not working out.

Spinning Workout For Weight Loss

Spin bike workouts are a great way to burn fat and build muscle. The combination of high resistance, endurance and cardio training is perfect for weight loss.

Spin bikes are also known as stationary bikes or indoor cycles. Spin bikes provide an intense workout that incorporates the upper body, lower body and core muscles.

The spin bike is a type of exercise machine that simulates the action of riding a bicycle. It has two pedals connected to a crank arm at one end and an adjustable seat at the other end. The user sits on the seat and pedals, pushing down on the pedals to move them up and down while turning them in circles, just like they would when riding a bicycle outdoors.

The main difference between regular bicycles and indoor cycles is that spin bikes do not have wheels, so they cannot be used outdoors unless they are mounted on a stationary frame like an indoor trainer bike. Indoor trainers are different from spin bikes because they have no gears or brakes; instead their resistance comes from weight stacks or air resistance systems built into the frame itself.

Spin Bike Workout For Weight Loss

A group of multi-ethnic friends spend time working out one afternoon. They are bonding while taking an indoor cycling class together.

8 Tips to Lose Weight With Indoor Cycling

Whatever your weight loss goal is, exercise likely needs to be part of the equation. Exercise will help you preserve muscle mass, which is healthier for your body and better for your appearance.1 Plus, maintaining muscle will make your weight loss easier to sustain for the long haul.

While a leisurely bike ride outside isn’t likely to help you lose significant weight, indoor cycling can. But to get the most out of an indoor cycling routine, you’ll want to heed some basic rules of nutrition and training.

Besides torching 400 to 600 calories in a 45-minute class, indoor cycling also helps rev up your metabolism (your body’s calorie-burning engine). It offers the opportunity to tone and strengthen all of the muscles in your legs, glutes, and core.

Eat Before (and After) Your Ride

Contrary to what you may have heard about the benefits of exercising on an empty stomach, it’s smart to provide your body with the energy it needs to ride hard and get maximal benefits from the workout.2 Even if you take an early morning class, eat something small 30 minutes before you ride. This could be a small banana, a slice of toast with jam, or a handful of whole-grain cereal.

Do the same an hour or two before afternoon or evening cycling sessions by having a combination of protein and carbs (perhaps a small apple with a tablespoon of almond butter or a few tablespoons of trail mix). 

Besides helping you fuel up for the workout, eating beforehand can help you burn extra calories, thanks to the thermic effect of food.3 Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after the ride, too. Your body needs sufficient water intake to keep your metabolism humming and burning calories efficiently.

Replenish Your Muscles Properly

Within an hour after your workout, consume a combination of carbohydrates and protein (such as 12 ounces of low-fat chocolate milk or a small handful of walnuts with a pear) to replenish your muscle glycogen stores and provide amino acids for muscle repair and building.2 This will keep your muscles and your metabolism operating smoothly and prepare your body for your next workout.

Vary Pace and Difficulty

With most forms of exercise, interval training can pump up your metabolism more than exercising at a steady state—and the same is true of indoor cycling. Think of it as a way of tricking your body into burning calories faster.

By alternating bursts of harder pedaling (meaning, a faster cadence against heavier resistance) with a more comfortable pace, you’ll burn more calories during the workout than you would have at a steady, moderate pace. Varying pace and exertion will also trigger greater excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (the after-burn effect), causing you to continue to burn more calories for a few hours after cycling.

Switch Up Your Workouts

Do the same type of ride day after day, and your body will adapt to the activity, and you won’t get as big a metabolic bang for your effort as you did initially.5 The solution is to regularly vary the types of rides you do (alternating between endurance, strength, interval, and race-oriented rides) and the intensity to coax your body into burning calories faster during and after the workout.

Split Your Workouts

If you don’t have time for a 45-minute cycling class, do two 25-minute solo sessions and you’ll burn just as many calories between the two as you would with one longer class. You might even push yourself harder during a shorter session, torching more calories. Either way, you’ll reap the after-burn effect twice in a day instead of once, allowing you to burn more calories in 24 hours.

Do Resistance Training

The more lean muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate (RMR) will be, and the more calories you’ll burn 24/7.6 To build muscle outside the cycling studio, perform at least one set of strength-training exercises for each major muscle group two or three times per week, says Wayne Westcott, PhD, director of exercise science at Quincy College in Quincy, Massachusetts, and author of “Get Stronger, Feel Younger.”

Strength training helps you add muscle mass and crank up your RMR in the process.1 Whether you use weight machines or free weights, resistance bands or kettlebells is up to you.

Don’t Give Yourself a Dietary Free Pass

Some people make the mistake of thinking that since indoor cycling is such a high-intensity exercise, they can eat whatever they want and still lose weight. Even if you ride your heart out, you’ll burn at most 400 or 600 calories in 45 minutes. If you treat yourself to a piece of chocolate cake, you’ll consume 537 calories, essentially eliminating the calorie incineration you did in cycling. 

Keep Moving

If you’re exhausted after a hardcore cycling session, don’t give yourself permission to become a sofa spud for the rest of the day. Do this and you’ll end up compromising the calorie-burning effects of your cycling workout and your progress toward your weight-loss goal. A better approach is to move more to lose more.

How to lose weight using an exercise bike

how to lose weight using an exercise bike: image shows woman on exercise bike at gym

Want to know how to lose weight using an exercise bike? If we take it back to basics, there’s one simple equation to remember. To shift excess weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Cardiovascular exercise can be a great way to increase the calories you burn and so is a useful tool in your weight loss strategy alongside a healthy diet.

Sticking to a new exercise regime can be a challenge. If you’ve ever found your motivation for a run vanish at the sight of a raincloud then indoor options could be a good alternative. The exercise bike offers a great way to get a high-intensity workout that minimizes strain on the joints. 

With increasing options for the best exercise bikes for home workouts, you need never skip cardio because of the rain again. We’ve also found these other forms of cardio that burn more calories than running. 

Is cycling on an exercise bike good for weight loss?

So, why choose an exercise bike for your cardio workout? Dr. Erin Nitschke(opens in new tab), personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist told Tom’s Guide: “Exercise bikes are fantastic for more than just a goal of weight loss. A bike provides a non-weight-bearing form of cardiorespiratory training, so it’s a great option for someone with joint concerns or balance considerations.”

When it comes to achieving a healthy weight, it can be helpful to think in terms of fat loss rather than weight loss. Erin explained the difference: “Weight loss is a reduction in body weight overall — think about the number you see on a bathroom scale or at the doctor’s office. Fat loss is a change in body composition and an overall reduction in non-lean tissue. Body weight fluctuates throughout the day and from day to day — we lose water, expel waste, ingest food, etc., all of which impact the number we see on the scale. Relying on body weight alone as a measure of health or indicator of leanness is invalid as well as inaccurate.” Reframing our goals in terms of fat loss can encourage a healthier, more sustainable approach.

So how can an exercise bike help with fat loss? Helen Vanderburg, Balanced Body(opens in new tab) Integrated Movement Specialist and owner of The ACADEMY Fitness Club(opens in new tab) explains that: “As cycling uses the large muscles of the lower body, the number of calories burned in a workout can be very high.” An exercise bike workout can support you to reach a caloric deficit. 

The benefits of an exercise bike for improving body composition are supported by research. A 2019 review published in Medicina(opens in new tab) showed that indoor cycling may reduce fat mass as well as improve aerobic capacity and the best results were in combination with a healthy diet. When it comes to fat loss, don’t forget that calorie intake is the other part of the equation. You’ll want to focus on eating nutrient-dense, whole foods so you don’t undo your efforts.

How to lose weight using an exercise bike

Ready to hit the pedals? Erin suggested that if you’re new to exercise starting small and building up is the best strategy. She recommended that: “individuals engage in whatever type of cardiorespiratory exercise they enjoy and will do consistently. An exercise bike is a great option and accumulating a few days a week of activity is a wonderful place to start.” If running is your thing, here’s how to lose weight by running. 

If your goal is healthy fat loss, both Erin and Helen agreed that you’ll get the best results from combining exercise bike workouts with a couple of sessions of strength training per week. This builds muscle, and the greater proportion of muscle you have, the more calories you will burn at rest.

Long workouts aren’t necessarily better when it comes to fat loss. Incorporating exercise bike intervals into High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can burn a significant number of calories in a short time. This adds up to an efficient workout. Helen advised that: “the key point with HIIT is the workouts need to be performed at a very high to anaerobic intensity and the recovery needs to be adequate for the work intensity.”

Erin advised adjusting the length of training depending on your fitness level and schedule. The US Department of Health and Human Services(opens in new tab) recommends 150 – 300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 – 150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week or an equivalent combination of both. Helen suggested that: “consistency is important for the best overall gains. Planning a weekly schedule will keep you on track.”

Using exercise bike workouts as part of an overall strategy can have the best results for your body composition and your health. Erin advises that you “should engage in a combination of cardiorespiratory training like an exercise bike, strength training, mindful nutrition practices and remember to reduce stress and prioritize sleep.”

Ready to get started? Helen suggested this 30 minute HIIT workout with exercise bike intervals.

  • 5 minute warm-up: Easy cycle for 5 minutes 
  • 5:00 minutes: 5 X 30 seconds very hard cycle followed by 30 seconds of recovery
  • 2:00 minutes: active recovery 
  • 6:00 minutes: 6 X 20 seconds very hard cycle followed by 40 seconds of recovery
  • 2:00 minutes: active recovery  
  • 5:00 minutes: 5 X 20 seconds all-out maximum effort cycle followed by 40 seconds of recovery 
  • 5 minute cool down: Easy cycle for 5 minutes  

You’re more likely to stick to your exercise plan if you find something you enjoy. If you’ve tried other options and they’ve fallen by the wayside, now may be the time to give the exercise bike a try. 

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