There are lots of ways to burn fat, and get fit. For example, you can run, walk, swim, cycle, lift weights, play sport – basically any activity that gets you moving!
There are pros and cons to each of the above methods, for example the benefits of running are that it’s a great aerobic workout, and also strengthens the legs, however the downside is that it’s high impact, and can cause knee/lower back pain.
I get lots of my clients doing different forms of cardio, in terms of which cardio I advise them to do, it all depends on what their goals are, and their current physical condition.
One of the pieces of cardio I get clients to do very frequently is either road cycling, or cycling in the gym (most clients will do workouts in the gym). There are lots of benefits to using a bike and that’s what we’re going to look at in this post…
Does a cycling bike help to lose weight?
In short, YES, a bike can help you to lose weight. In order to lose weight you need to create a calorie deficit i.e. burn more calories than you consume. You could burn between 600-900 calories per hour cycling – the amount of calories you burn will depend on your intensity. For example you can increase intensity by going faster, or use more resistance.
Benefits of cycling…
There are plenty of benefits to cycling, which include…
Aerobic Fitness – cycling for 30-60 minutes at 50-60% of your maximum heart rate will do wonders for your aerobic fitness.
Weight Loss – we’ve already touched upon weight loss. But cycling for 30-60 minutes will burn a good amount of energy, which if combined with a good nutritious diet, will see you lose weight.
Improved Circulation – like with most cardio activities, cycling will improve circulation around the body, particularly the legs.
Stronger Legs – this is pretty obvious, as you are using your thighs and glutes throughout your cycling session they naturally get stronger and more toned.
Helps to reduce cellulite – cycling can have a positive impact on reducing cellulite, and is particularly good for targeting the buttocks (visit website for more information). This is thanks to improved capillary function and blood circulation in the lower limbs.
Different Types Of Exercise Bikes
At home, standard exercise bikes can be used, namely:
- Stationary mini-bikes
In terms of which one is the best to use, it all depends on personal preference. I’d recommend checking out online reviews before buying a fitness bike. Fitness bikes can be expensive (for a good one you’re going to be spending at least £700). So, if you don’t want to buy one, then it’s best to join a gym. In most gyms there’s a variety of different fitness bikes to choose from (spin bike, upright fitness bike, seated bikes, etc) so try them all and see which you like best.
Different Styles Of Training…
There are lots of ways to use a bike, for example you could do a HIIT workout, which stands for High Intensity Training – this is where you go flat out for a period of time, followed by a period of rest, or slow recovery cycling…
For example you sprint as fast as you can for 20s, then do slow cycling for 40s (to recover), then you go again, doing this for 10-20 mins. This is a great way to get fit in a short period of time. It’s ideal for footballers, and rugby/tennis players – due to the changes in pace. It’s also a great way to get in a workout without needing to spend hours in the gym.
The other way to use a fitness bike is to do LISS training which stands for Low Intensity Steady State Cardio – this is where you cycle at 40-50% effort, a bit like a walking pace, and the aim is to just burn calories. This is perfect for those people who are knew to fitness, or who are coming back from injury. It’s also good for elderly people, who still want to train, but don’t want to place too much stress on joints and muscles.
A good length of time to do LISS training is 45-60 mins. The intensity is medium to light, and the aim is literally to just cycle steadily and burn calories. LISS training is also done by bodybuilders when they are leaning down for a photoshoot, or to compete on stage – the low intensity favours fat burning, making it ideal for people wanting to get leaner.