No matter how small or dinky the space may be, every commercial, hotel, or apartment gym usually has a few treadmills and at least one stationary bike. If you typically just walk right past that lone bike, you should consider giving it a chance next time.
“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 a great workout on the bike. You can ride solo and kick your on 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.
Whether you’re looking for a good low-impact workout, 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 for some no-frills, no-joke fat burning.
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!”
The post 4 Ways To Turn The Stationary Bike Into A Fat-Burning Machine appeared first on SELF.