Seven Exercise Bike Workouts For a Full Body Burn

Posted by on Feb 5, 2018 in biking, Cycling, workout | 0 comments

Exercise bikes are probably the most common piece of equipment in both commercial and home gyms and yet they are also the most likely to be underused.   That’s because most people assume they are good for nothing more than working your legs by putting in one long, boring cycling session after another.  In fact, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Both standard and recumbent exercise bikes can be used to achieve a full body burn with the right type of workout.  

 

Here are seven examples of how you can feel the burn with your exercise bike:

  1. Speed – In order to get the most out of your exercise bike the key is to use interval training, changing up the intensity of your workout rather than just working at one speed throughout.  Your goal is to push hard for a certain amount of time, then wind down to recover and then push again.  Start by warming up at an easy pace for 10 minutes and then do a series of sprints for 6 sec every minute for a 10-minute period, then do a hard sprint for one full minute followed by one full minute at an easy pace.  Finally, allow yourself another 10-minute easy period to warm down.
  2. Burn Fat– To really begin to burn fat you need to increase the amount of time you spend in high-speed sprint mode and also change up the level of resistance.  This can easily be achieved with standard or recumbent exercise bikes.  Just shift between low cadence and high cadence and low resistance and high resistance, doing 5 minutes at low/low, then 5 minutes at high cadence/low resistance and then 5-10 minutes at low cadence/high resistance, then 10-14 minutes of Tabata sprints before another 5 minute warm down at low/low.  
  3. Endurance – In order to truly maximize your full body burn, increase endurance and improve your aerobic energy, you need to exercise in the upper range of your maximum heart rate.  Most standard and recumbent exercise bikes are able to automatically monitor your heart rate to make this goal easier to achieve.  As with the other workouts, you want to vary the time you spend at each level of your MHR, starting with 5 minutes in the 50-60% range and moving up from there until you complete 15-17 minutes at 80-90%.  As always, end with a 5-minute warm down at an easy pace.
  4. Sprints – By alternating a lighter pace with all out sprints at your maximum effort and heart rate you can not only increase the burn but also improve your endurance.  The idea is to start with 10 minutes at an easy pace and then for the next 10 minutes do a six second sprint at the start of each minute.  Then for the next 20 minutes, alternate 1 minute of hard effort with 1 minute of easy effort.  Finish with a 10-minute warm down at an easy pace.  This workout will help you build your power so that you have the strength to push through the bursts at maximum effort.
  5. One Hour Push – The ultimate body-burning workout is staying at your maximum speed and effort for as long as possible.  The eventual goal is one hour, but you shouldn’t try for that right away…you need to build up to it easily so that you don’t overtax your body.  Start with 20 minutes and with every successive session you do, add on five minutes until you work your way up to 40 minutes.  Once you reach this level you can begin trying for the full hour, but remember to vary your speed so that you don’t burn out before you hit the full 60 minutes.
  6. Tabata – This is a great form of interval training that can really get your fat burning process going full blast.  After the usual 10 minute warm up period, do 20 seconds at full speed followed by 10 seconds of rest and repeat 8 times.  It’s a quick session that you can complete during your lunch hour or when you have a short break period but it can still be extremely effective as it increases your metabolism and helps you to burn that fat.
  7. Recovery – While pushing yourself to your limits can help to put fat burning into overdrive, it is also important to allow yourself easier workouts in order to recover from your higher intensity workouts.  All that high intensity work can build up lactic acid and other waste products in the leg muscles and a longer, slower paced session will allow for that waste to be flushed out so that you can recover quicker.  45 minutes of consistent, steady pedaling at an easy pace should be the perfect counterpoint to all that hard work.
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