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Best Exercise Bike Workouts for Weight Loss

In the last few years, spinning classes have only grown more and more popular. On the other hand, workouts on stationary bikes – have not. However, the reality is that figuring out how to get a good workout out of a stationary bike is one of the easiest ways to ensure you will always be able to get your exercise in. 

Not only can stationary bikes be found in any commercial gym, but they’re also one of the cheapest and most effective pieces of equipment to have at home. There’re lots of budget starter bikes available online and in stores nowadays.

It’s a myth that riding a stationary bike is easy. It all depends on how much you want to challenge yourself. The reality is that the stationary bike allows you to get in a low-impact, sweaty session that will increase your cardiovascular endurance and strengthen your legs. 

In this article, we will give you three workout routines that you can do on the stationary bike – be it at home, in the gym, or in a hotel. 

Let’s get started. 

1. 20-minute Interval Workout

If you really want to get your sweat on while working out on the stationary bike, you should opt for doing intervals instead of just cycling at a steady pace. In order to effectively do it, you first need to figure out which settings and what kind of intensity on the bike you feel is easy, moderately difficult, hard, and all-out. To do that, you can follow this scale:

  • Easy: You can hold the pace for hours, you’re breathing easily, and it doesn’t exhaust your muscles.
  • Moderate: You’re starting to feel like you’re working out, but still, you can easily maintain this effort for a while. 
  • Hard: You’re breathing heavily, sweating, and you find it difficult to hold a conversation. You shouldn’t be able to hold this pace for too long.
  • All-Out: This is a “sprint” on the bike essentially – you’re giving it all you got, you shouldn’t be able to talk, and the maximum amount of time you can hold this pace for is 30 seconds to a minute. 

A bike interval workout can look something like this: 

  • 5-minute warm-up at an easy pace.
  • 30 seconds hard
  • 30 seconds moderate 
  • Repeat these 30-second intervals for four rounds
  • 1 minute easy
  • 1 minute hard
  • 30 seconds moderate
  • Repeat one minute hard and 30-seconds moderate for four rounds
  • 1 minute easy
  • 45 all-out sprint
  • 15 seconds easy
  • Repeat 45 seconds all-out/15 seconds easy for three rounds
  • 2-minutes easy pace 

2. Do a Tabata-style Workout 

Tabata-style workouts are another training variation that has gotten popular in the last few years. However, most people associate them with pilates or strength training. The cool thing is that you can actually do them on a stationary bike as well. The Tabata protocol for a stationary bike workout is focused on first finding your RPE (rate of perceived extortion), as you need that knowledge to be able to tailor your training sessions for you. 

On the stationary bike, your RPE is changed by either adding more resistance or increasing your speed. The scale you should use is from 1-10, with 5 being 50% effort and 10 being 100% or all-out effort. 

An idea for a Tabata-style workout can go like this: 

  • 5-minute warm-up (4-5 RPE)
  • 20 seconds (RPE 8-10)
  • 10 seconds (RPE 0) 
  • Repeat for eight rounds
  • 1-minute recovery (RPE 3-5)
  • Repeat for a total of 4 times
  • 5-minute cool down (4-5 RPE) 

3. HIIT Workout on a Stationary Bike? Absolutely Yes. 

You have to have lived under a rock for the past five years to have not heard of a HIIT training session. The abbreviation stands for “high-intensity interval workout,” and it’s one of the easiest ways to get your sweat on, as it requires maximum effort over a certain period of time. So if you’re short on time, but you want to max out the calories you can burn, then your best option is to hop on the stationary bike for a quick session. 

It can go like this: 

  • 7-minute warm-up (RPE 3-4) 
  • 30 seconds (RPE 5-6)
  • 20 seconds (RPE 7-8)
  • 10 seconds (RPE 9-10)
  • Repeat these 30-20-10-second intervals five times
  • 2-minute recovery (RPE 3-4)
  • 30 seconds (RPE 5-6)
  • 20 seconds (RPE 7-8)
  • 10 seconds (RPE 9-10)
  • Repeat these 30-20-10-second intervals five times
  • Finish with a 4-minute cool-down (RPE 3-4) 

In Conclusion

As you’ve hopefully learned from this article, getting in an effective workout on the stationary bike is absolutely possible. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to get your sweat on without putting too much stress on the joints and the muscles. Along with that, it’s accessible to people at all fitness levels, including kids and the elderly, and even athletes who are on the way back from injury. 

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