Many people who rent exercise bikes in gyms and health clubs assume that they just need to climb aboard and get on with their workout. That isn’t the case. In order to ensure that your workout isn’t interrupted by a technical issue, you should make sure that you follow some basic instructions before starting your ride. Once you’ve learned to safely use your exercise bike, you can begin creating effective workouts that help you achieve your fitness goals. The following is a list of effective exercise bike workouts.
1. Warm-up on the Bike
Warming up on the Bike will help you avoid injury throughout your workout, especially if you’re new to using an exercise bike. When warming up, try increasing resistance by just increasing the friction, increasing effort by shifting into a higher gear or pedaling faster, or decreasing gear changes by pedaling at different speeds. Doing so ensures that your muscles are warmed up before you start work out with more resistance. Before starting your workout, warm-up on the cardio machine for five minutes at moderate resistance before you begin with five minutes on the exercise bike to get comfortable with your new machine.
2. Pedaling in a High Gear
A high gear produces low resistance and higher pedaling speeds. One of the best ways to increase your cardio fitness is to pedal at a moderate pace in high gear. For example, if you’re riding on a 15-gear bike, start out in the second-highest gear and pedal at a speed where you can’t pedal any faster. Once you can’t go any faster, increase your resistance by turning up the friction or shifting down two gears—the one below your current gear and next to it. Then begin pedaling again using your new resistance levels. When you’re able to pedal just as fast as before without increasing resistance, try increasing friction/resistance or shift into an even lower gear. This will help you get your cardio running at a faster pace for the entire time you’re on the Bike.
3. Pedal Periods of 9 Minutes
If you’re new to using an exercise bike, start out by riding for nine minutes. After nine minutes have passed, have your workout partner check your heart rate using your pulse-oximeter (pulse-sensor). If it’s not in the 140-160 range (on the heavy side), try increasing resistance by pedaling in a higher gear or pedaling faster; if it’s in that range, you should be able to increase resistance without getting too tired. If you’re able to pedal for nine minutes without getting tired, try increasing resistance by pedaling in a higher gear or pedaling faster.
4. Pedal Periods
- Once you’re comfortable with the nine-minute workouts, you can begin doing twelve-minute workouts. Once again, check your pulse after every twelve minutes to make sure that you aren’t pushing yourself too hard; if not, increase resistance by pedaling higher/faster or shifting to a harder gear.
- Pedal Periods of 15 Minutes With One-Minute Rest Periods Between Each 15 Minute Session. Once you’re comfortable with 12-minute exercises, start adding rest periods between each exercise period. Rest for one minute and then begin a new fifteen-minute session.
- Pedal Periods of 20 Minutes With Two-Minute Rest Periods Between Each 20 Minute Session.
- Once you’re comfortable with the 15-minute sessions, try adding two-minute rest periods between each twenty-minute session. Rest for two minutes and then begin a new twenty-minute exercise period.
- Pedal Periods of 30 Minutes or More.
- Once you can get through a 20-minute session without stopping, you should be able to pedal for 30 minutes or more without experiencing too much fatigue. If you’re new to exercise bikes, it’s best to keep your sessions under 30 minutes so that you don’t find yourself over-exerting yourself and causing injury.
Other Tips for Using Your Exercise Bike Effectively
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with resistance levels by increasing or decreasing them during your workout periods. This will help keep your workout interesting and help you stay motivated throughout the entirety of your workout—and it doesn’t have to cost you any more money than you’ve already spent on the exercise bike itself.
- Don’t push yourself too hard in the beginning—exercise bikes are notorious for causing injuries to people who are new to using them. While you can increase resistance to get a better workout, start out slowly until you’ve become comfortable with using your exercise bike.
- Set your goal before you begin working out. You could set out to increase endurance by doing more work in less time, increase speed by pedaling faster or decrease how many times you have to pedal over the course of a session—or even decrease how much time it takes for your heart rate to reach a specific level. Whatever goal you set for yourself, make sure that you clearly understand what your goals are before setting up any workouts.
- Make sure to take your time on the Bike when you’re working out—exercise bikes can’t perform magic; they won’t make you faster if you don’t pedal fast enough. Try to keep your heart rate between 60 and 140 (on the heavy side) during your entire workout period. If it’s not, increase resistance by pedaling at a higher gear or pedaling slightly faster.
- Use proper form when exercising on the Bike—your body will thank you greatly for using proper form and will help you get fitter and healthier in no time.
- When you first start using an exercise bike, start out easy—just pedal along at a comfortable pace for five to ten minutes without pedaling in a higher gear. This will help you become familiar with the feeling of pedaling on the Bike and will help you get used to your new exercise equipment.
- To increase the intensity of your workout, try increasing resistance by pedaling faster or decreasing it by pedaling in a lower gear. If you can pedal faster in high gear, try shifting down to the next hardest one during your workout period or if you can’t pedal any faster or in any harder gears, try reducing friction/resistance by pedaling in a lower gear during your period.
- If you’re on the heavier side, try pedaling on a bike with a resistance that is set at one level lower than the heaviest setting. For example, if your Bike is set at “smooth” resistance, it would be best for you to keep your resistance setting on “smooth-light.”
- Try doing interval training—pedal as hard as you can for 15 seconds and then pedal slowly for one minute. Repeat this three times and increase the exercise period by 5 minutes each time, or try doing 30-second intervals of hard exercise and 2 minutes of rest (repeat three times).
Exercise bikes are a good way to get in shape. They can help you to burn fat and lose weight, make you feel better about yourself, and improve your cardiovascular endurance. Exercise bikes aren’t for everyone, but if you’re interested in losing weight and getting healthier, give it a try! Just don’t go overboard—too much time on the exercise bike can be bad for your joints. You want to do enough exercise that you see results, but not so much that it causes injury or pain. If the pedal feels uncomfortable when you use it, purchase an exercise bike with a wider pedal—the wider the pedal area, the more comfortable it will be when pedaling on it.