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Exercise Bike Workouts For Weight Loss

Updated on September 3, 2012
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Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. A keen cyclist, runner, and obstacle racer, he ran his first ultra-marathon in 2016.

Exercise bike workouts can help with you general cycling
Exercise bike workouts can help with you general cycling | Source

Cycling is a great way to lose weight

Exercise bike workouts can be a fantastic way to lose weight

Whether you choose to exercise on a stationary exercise bike like those often found in a gym environment, a recumbent bicycle, or a road type bicycle fitted to a magnetic style bicycle trainer, you can find an exercise bike workout to help you lose weight and get fitter.

Benefits of using an exercise bike for weight loss

Exercise bikes offer some fantastic benefits for performing cycling workouts

  • You can exercise indoors in a dry and comfortable environment
  • Exercise bikes offer low impact on the joints
  • Exercise bikes offer a controlled cardiovascular workout
  • They remove the need for balance required for riding a bicycle outdoors
  • You can choose to exercise in your own home or a gym environment depending on personal preference
  • The opportunity to take participate in group Spinning classes for a more advanced workout

Long duration exercise bike workouts for beginners

If you're new to training on an exercise bike it makes sense to develop your fitness slowly. While you may be targeting your exercise workouts for weight loss it does not make sense to push yourself too far too soon. While you may want rapid weight loss it is more realistic to target improving your long term fitness as this will not only result in weight loss but potential gains in your general psychological, physiological fitness and wellbeing.

Long duration workouts on an exercise bike

Long duration exercise bike workouts are distance workouts performed at a controlled and moderate intensity. For those new to cycling they can be performed at a relatively easy pace with intensity built up over time

For beginners new to exercise bike workouts aim initially to cycle for around 20 minutes in total and build that up over time. Never add more than 10% in terms of time for each workout as this will allow your body to recover and adapt after each workout

Instructions for a typical long exercise bike workout

  1. Warm up thoroughly for around 10 minutes. Start at a relatively easy pace and slowly raise your heart rate to around 70% of your maximum over the 10 minute period
  2. Maintaining your heart rate at 70-80% of maximum heart rate or pedalling at what you would consider a moderate intensity ride for 20 minutes or more
  3. Finish with a 10 minute cool down to help relax your muscles. Slowly drop down from 70% of your maximum heart rate to a very easy pace.

Interval training workouts on an exercise bike

Interval training can help turbo charge your weight loss by added increased intensity to your cycling workouts. Intervals are a period of time exercising at a higher than usual intensity followed by a period of recovery, and then repeated again as many times as you choose.

As calories burned while cycling is significantly higher when you're exercising at higher intensities you have the option of increased weight loss as a result of interval training workouts.

A typical interval training workout on an exercise bike for beginners

Time (Mins)
Description
Heart Rate (% of max)
10
Warm up- build up intensity steadily
Resting up to 80% of max
3
Raised intensity
85%
2
Recovery Intensity
70%
3
Raised intensity
85%
2
Recovery Intensity
70%
3
Raised intensity
85%
2
Recovery Intensity
70%
3
Raised intensity
85%
2
Recovery Intensity
70%
10
Cool down- steady drop in HR
70% down to resting
A typical beginners interval exercise bike workout for weight loss

Tabata Interval Workouts on an exercise bike for weight loss

An alternative version of interval workouts for weight loss on an exercise bike are Tabata intervals. Tabata intervals are ultra short intervals at near maximal work rate and therefore are only recommended for intermediate level exercisers that have been training for more than a few months.

The near maximal work within a Tabata interval is a fantastic weight loss tool which burns a phenomenal number of calories in a short space of time.

An example Tabata exercise bike workout for beginners/ intermediates

Time
Description
Intensity
10 mins
Warm Up to ensure body ready for exercise
Low up to moderately high intensity. Aim for a Heart Rate of around 80% max
10 seconds
Very Hard effort
Very High
10 seconds
Easy recovery
Easy
10 seconds
Very Hard effort
Very High
10 seconds
Easy recovery
Easy
10 seconds
Very Hard effort
Very High
10 seconds
Easy recovery
Easy
10 seconds
Very Hard effort
Very High
10 seconds
Easy recovery
Easy
10 seconds
Very Hard effort
Very High
10 seconds
Easy recovery
Easy
10 seconds
Very Hard effort
Very High
10 seconds
Easy recovery
Easy
5 mins
Steady recovery
Moderate intensity
2 mins
Repeat 10/10 second Tabata Intervals
Very High/ Easy
5 mins
Steady recovery
Moderate intensity
2 mins
Repeat 10/10 second Tabata Intervals
Very High/ Easy
10 mins
Recovery Interval- Slowly drop intensity
Decreasing intensity to easy
An example tabata workout interval for beginners on an exercise bike

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