Indoor cycling to lose weight


Although we all have many reasons for riding a bicycle, one of the most common reasons is to try and lose the excess weight that we can carry. Indoor cycling is a great form of exercise to help us lose weight while keeping us fitter and healthier.

Cycling is an endurance sport without weight, which makes it attractive when it comes to choosing a sport for weight loss purposes. In addition to these physical benefits, cycling has mental and emotional benefits as we release endorphins (often called feel-good hormones) after exercise, which help maintain good mental health and help you pursue your goals.

When it comes to weight loss in particular, we need to understand that there are several underlying principles no matter what type of exercise you choose to participate in. Some of them include:

1. Set realistic goals

Whether your goal is to lose weight or become a better rider, you need to make sure you set realistic and achievable goals. Make sure you set short, medium, and long term goals that you think are within your reach.

This is vitally important as your goals are the number one factor that motivates you to continue to be physically active and allows you to lose the extra weight you may be carrying.

2. Get enough and good quality sleep

Good quality sleep has been shown to be important in weight loss. Try to make sure you get about six to eight hours of sleep (depending on the person) per night. Not only will this put you in a good position to lose weight, but it will ensure that you recover sufficiently from session to session to allow you to continue your training.

3. Avoid sugar and processed foods

Try opting for a pre-race treat or meal that is more natural than the sugar-filled bars or treats you can eat before the race. While supplements are great for high intensity workouts, you should consider your weight loss goal and use supplements appropriately.

On a personal note, as a coach, I am a big advocate of allowing you a treat on occasion. So don’t be afraid to order this croissant yourself on your next group training outing, but keep the number of sweet and processed treats to a minimum.

4. Stick to the diet you have chosen to follow

This article is not meant to open a box of worms on the right diet you decide to follow, but we suggest that you do your best to stick to a healthy diet. Our Ultimate Guide to Cycling Nutrition is a good resource, but if you’re able, it may be helpful to consult a dietitian to help you plan a good meal plan to follow. We also have a guide for nutrition and indoor cycling, which you can tap for even more useful tips.

Close-up on the Wahoo Kickr V5

Riding indoors is a safe and convenient way to exercise (Image credit: Wahoo)

How can indoor cycling help?

Indoor cycling provides a great platform for any individual to get started on a good exercise routine. We can do a good workout, in a short amount of time, and often it can be done in the comfort of your own home – what’s not ideal about that?

The main goal of any weight loss program is to consume fewer calories than you burn on a daily basis. While it is not that simple, exercise is one of the best ways to increase calorie expenditure and therefore promote weight loss.

The best turbo trainers allow us to do regular exercise sessions in a safe and controlled environment. Adding indoor cycling apps like Zwift, Rouvy, and TrainerRoad made indoor riding more enjoyable, which is ideal as it motivates us to follow a training program to help us lose weight.

For these tips for losing weight with indoor cycling, we’re going to focus on what’s called the polarized training approach, where you spend around 80% of your workouts at low intensity and the other 20 at high intensity. .

80%: ride often at an easy to moderate pace

In general, fat burning is greatest at low to moderate intensity. Therefore, to make sure that we are using fat as a source of fuel, we need to exercise at an intensity that focuses on that.

Riding at an intensity of around 60-75% of your maximum heart rate will allow you to focus on using fat as your primary source of energy during activity.

Sessions of 45 minutes to an hour can easily be done indoors on a daily basis.

20%: add high intensity intervals to your workout

While low-intensity exercise focuses on using fat for fuel, high-intensity training allows us to burn more total calories. There has been a great debate about the ideal method of losing weight, with many practitioners recommending a combination of the two, and that is polarized training.

It’s entirely possible to add two to three high-intensity sessions per week, with indoor training being the ideal setup to complete these sessions.

Include training on an empty stomach

Fasting training is exactly what the name suggests, fasting training. These sessions are often also called IMTG (intramuscular triglycerides) sessions and are best done by exercising before breakfast.

Your body is forced to use its fat stores for fuel during training due to a lack of carbohydrates. These sessions can be trying and tricky at first, so doing them indoors gives you a safe environment to end them.


Having fun makes it easier to maintain any form of regular exercise. Explore the different routes of your online training platform, interact with the people around the world you ride with, go on group rides or even take part in a race every now and then.

There have never been so many tools available to us to make indoor cycling as enjoyable as it is now, so be sure to jump online and have fun, and before you know it. , you will find yourself in a regular exercise routine.

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