Have you been pedalling your exercise bike for hours and still not getting significant results? Perhaps, it’s time to take things to the next level and try HIIT on an indoor cycling bike for weight loss.
HIIT can burn more calories than steady-state sessions within the same workout duration according to researchers. With the stamina-building abilities of HIIT and the cardio impact of an exercise bike, you’ll burn maximum calories in less time.
HIIT is undoubtedly one of the best ways to lose weight. But what’s in high workout intensity and interval training that makes this combo effective? Are all exercise bike types ideal for HIIT? How do I ease into HIIT indoor cycling exactly?
These questions need answers to ensure you’re doing your HIIT workouts right. So, let’s get to it!
Why Do HIIT on Indoor Cycling Bikes for Weight Loss?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of workout where you alternate short bursts of intense exercise with periods of active recovery. When applied to biking workouts, it means intense pedalling for a few seconds, followed by cycling at a moderate pace.
Exercise bikes are excellent for HIIT because of their variable resistance and speed. Some models even have an incline/decline mode. These adjustable features are essential in creating an intensified workout that can elevate your heart rate fast, pushing your body to burn more calories.
Moreover, cycling is a low-impact exercise, making it easier to train hard without hurting your joints. There are 3 other reasons, backed by research, why you should combine HIIT with an indoor cycling bike if you’re after weight loss.
1. HIIT Cycling Burns More Calories
HIIT involves intense workouts, and vigorous exercises result in higher calorie burn.
The Harvard Health Publishing report explains this fact. Based on their findings, a 57-kg individual can burn 210 calories in a 30-minute moderate stationary bike workout.
However, switching to a more vigorous workout with the same body weight, exercise type, and duration results in 315 burned calories.
Another research in 2015 also concluded that a 30-minute HIIT workout burns 30% more calories than 30 minutes of steady-pace exercise.
All these findings emphasise that intense workouts require a constant supply of energy. Higher energy consumption means efficient caloric burn. This explains why HIIT with an indoor cycling bike works for weight loss.
2. HIIT Cycling Increases Your Metabolism
One of the best features of HIIT is its impressive ability to continue burning calories even after your workout.
This process happens because of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) or the after-burn effect. What is this exactly? Your body consumes energy to power up your workout, increasing your metabolism. However, doing HIIT requires more energy during your session and post-workout.
Have you noticed how returning to the pre-exercise state takes time after an intense session? You’ve probably kept sweating for several minutes after you finish exercising. That’s because you use and stress out more muscles during heavy exercise.
Once you stop exercising, your body uses extra energy, oxygen and time to help them recover. It’s as if your body is still in “workout” mode even if you are already resting. With light-to-moderate exercises, body recovery is much faster. That means you stop burning calories as soon as your workout ends.
So, the harder your workout, the higher the EPOC, and the more calories you burn.
3. HIIT Cycling Encourages Fat Loss
Efficient weight loss with HIIT on an indoor cycling bike is not all about burning calories.
Remember, you also need to burn fat for a leaner physique. Good thing HIIT is also an expert in reducing body fat because of its anaerobic feature.
While cycling intensely, your breathing becomes heavier. At times, you might even need to stop to catch your breath. This stage means you are in anaerobic training mode. Your workout intensity is so high that you can no longer take in oxygen fast enough.
Once this happens, your body starts consuming energy that does not require additional inhaled oxygen. This energy source is your fat. Burning fat through HIIT indoor cycling is also the perfect technique for continuous weight loss.
During your fitness journey, your weight loss progress will slow down and eventually stop at some point. We call this process fitness plateau. However, you can counter this by doing exercise routines, like HIIT, that result in a higher metabolic rate. HIIT sessions keep your body challenged and allow you to continue losing weight.
Which Indoor Cycling Bike is Best for a HIIT Weight Loss Plan?
There are different exercise bike types. And while all of them can help with weight loss, some models are more suitable for HIIT indoor cycling.
Here are a few types worth considering.
Spin bikes give good HIIT workouts mainly because of their flywheels. They ensure smooth rides, making intense pedalling enjoyable and free from obstruction.
Flywheels on spin bikes are also quite heavy, pushing you to exert more force and work harder. Once a heavy flywheel starts spinning, you need considerable leg power to slow it down, too.
Spin bikes may also come with toe cages and clip-on pedals. These features let you use clip-on athletic shoes to pedal more fluidly.
The magnetic resistance of spin bikes is another excellent feature for interval training. It is precise, allowing you to track progress easily and observe workout consistency.
Nothing beats air bikes if you’re after tough cycling workouts. Like spin bikes, air assault ones are excellent for HIIT because of their flywheel.
These industrial-fan-like flywheels rely on airflow and your physical input to generate resistance. That means you’ll be working with infinite resistance levels with these cardio machines.
You won’t have to fiddle around the console to switch from high to moderate resistance. All you need is to pedal harder or slower.
Another aspect of air bikes that makes them ideal for HIIT is their moveable handles. You can move these back and forth as you push the pedals, giving you a full-body workout.
It’s a great add-on to target more muscle groups. Remember, the more muscles you work, the more calories you burn. Check out this air vs spin bike comparison for weight loss to learn more.
How Should You Start Your HIIT Indoor Cycling Workout?
We now know that indoor cycling bikes and HIIT are best for efficient weight loss. The next step is to start doing it. If you are trying it for the first time, start with something simple and suitable to your capacity.
Here’s a 25-minute HIIT workout sample to get started.
|0 to 4 minutes
|Warm up with light cycling at medium resistance.
|4 to 10 minutes
|This is the first stage that requires 4 rounds. Start by pedalling at high resistance for 15 seconds, then shift to low resistance to recover for 1 minute and 15 seconds. Repeat four times.
|High then low
|10 to 20 minutes
|This is the second stage that requires 6 rounds. Start by pedalling at high resistance for 20 seconds, then shift to low resistance to recover for 1 minute and 40 seconds. Repeat six times.
|High then low
|20 to 25 minutes
|Cool down with light cycling at low resistance.
Not sure how high resistance is different from medium and low? You can use outdoor cycling as your reference.
High resistance is like riding your indoor bike up a steep incline, while medium resistance is going up a small hill. And low resistance is similar to flat-road cycling.
Find time to read about the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale to understand this further.
Other HIIT Indoor Cycling Reminders
Ready to start your weight loss HIIT routine with your indoor cycling bike? Don’t forget to apply these tips:
- Always warm up and cool down. Prep your body each time you start and end an intense workout to avoid injuries.
- Stick to a healthy, realistic HIIT schedule. As HIIT is a hard workout, limit it to two to three times weekly. Give your body ample time to recover, and do strength training or light cardio between sessions. Also, your HIIT should not be more than 30 minutes.
- Have a pre-workout meal. Start your HIIT with ample energy. Enjoy a light snack or meal before you start.
- Stay hydrated. You’ll sweat a lot during exercise, even more so with HIIT. So, have your water bottle within easy reach.
Conclusion on HIIT Weight Loss with Indoor Cycling Bikes
You’re heading in the right direction if you start doing HIIT on your indoor cycling bike for optimum weight loss. On top of burning calories, it’s the perfect workout to keep your metabolism up, burn fat and avoid the dreaded fitness plateau.
As HIIT is very flexible, you can start with a beginner-friendly HIIT cycling routine. Then, tweak it whenever you’re ready to push your limits.
With the proper workout and a good-quality exercise bike, you’ll burn those extra calories and get your desired results soon!
Questions on HIIT and Exercise Bikes
1. Is HIIT indoor cycling suitable for beginners?
HIIT workouts are generally challenging and require mid-level stamina and strength. So, they may be a bit too much if you’re only starting your fitness journey and have not worked out for some time. However, once you gain enough strength, HIIT beginners should start slow and choose levelled-up workouts that match their fitness level. And if you have any health conditions, consult your doctor first and ask if such intense exercise is good for you.
2. Aside from HIIT, how can I maximise my calorie burn on exercise bikes?
Biking with the correct form and practising workout diversity help optimise your bike sessions. You should also start observing your heart rate during cycling and maintain a consistent fitness routine for a higher caloric burn.
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