Interval training with an exercise bike burns more calories within a shorter time. The training involves intense cycling at a maximum effort followed by short periods of active recovery.
Let me explain HIIT better by highlighting how this concept works and its benefits, particularly in weight loss.
What is High-Intensity Interval Training?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a brief cardio workout where you’ll alternate short periods of intense exercise with low-intensity rest. If we apply HIIT to indoor cycling, we can describe it as biking at maximum effort, on and off, for less than 30 minutes.
Biking at max effort depends on the person’s age and maximum heart rate zone. There are several quick guides for this online, or you can also compute for it manually.
Once you know your heart rate zone, you can use it as your reference for your HIIT workout.
To keep things accurate and objective, I recommend wearing a heart rate monitor during HIIT or using the pulse monitor of your exercise bike if it has one.
Using your physical judgement, an intense activity should make you breathless, and your heart should be pounding. While in this phase, you can still speak in single words, but talking in complete sentences or singing will be difficult, if not impossible.
While it is challenging, you should still consider stationary bike interval training as it provides several benefits, including effective weight loss.
As you build strength, you can tweak your original HIIT routine later by stretching your total work time or shortening your rest period.
Just remember that HIIT workouts generally last for 30 minutes or less. Also, limit HIIT to 2 to 3 times a week to allow your body to recover.
Why Try Stationary Bike Interval Training for Effective Weight Loss
A HIIT cycling workout has several perks. One reason more people are interested in this levelled-up training is its high-calorie-burning ability.
After all, most of us probably have weight loss written at the top of our fitness wish list. What makes HIIT so effective?
Here’s a more in-depth explanation.
1. HIIT cycling lets you burn calories fast.
Doing stationary bike interval training lets you enjoy quick workouts plus effective weight loss.
Instead of doing steady-state or moderate cycling for 1 hour, you can do HIIT and burn the same number of calories in half the time.
Research has also highlighted this time efficiency feature of HIIT.
For instance, a study in 2017 by Wewege et. al. concluded that high and moderate-intensity training led to moderate body composition changes in obese and overweight individuals.
However, the researchers also suggested that HIIT may be a good component of weight management programs, considering that it only required 40% less training time.
2. HIIT cycling lets you burn calories even at rest.
Moderate cycling encourages the body to consume energy or burn calories. However, once your workout ends, the caloric burn rate drops, too.
The body responds differently to HIIT. After an intense workout, have you noticed how it takes longer for you to stop sweating?
Your body temperature stays high for several minutes, too. That burning or throbbing sensation all over your body also seems more pronounced. It is because you activate and stress out more muscles during HIIT.
Once your workout ends, the body continues to consume energy and take in oxygen to help your body recover and return to a pre-exercise state. It’s as if your body is still in “workout” mode even if you are already resting.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, your body burns 6-15% more calories for 2 hours after your HIIT.
Health experts call this excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) or the after-burn effect.
It’s a process where your body consumes energy during and after your workout, increasing your metabolism for longer.
In other words, the harder your workout, the higher the EPOC, the more calories you burn (Journal of Sports Sciences 2006).
Researchers in a recent 2021 study by Panissa et. al. also supported this, noting higher EPOC values for HIIT than moderate exercises.
An earlier 2015 research by Wingfield et. al. had the same conclusion, too, using recreationally active women as participants.
3. HIIT cycling lets you burn fat effectively.
Stationary bike interval training is ideal for effective weight loss because of its ability to burn fat. The primary contributing factor to this is the anaerobic feature of HIIT.
As mentioned earlier, intense cycling can make you breathless – an indication that you are switching to anaerobic training.
During this time, your exercise intensity becomes so high that you can no longer take in oxygen fast enough. When this happens, your body starts using energy that does not require additional inhaled oxygen. And this source is your fat.
Several studies also support this HIIT ability. For instance, a study in 2011 published in the Journal of Obesity noted that HIIT has promising effects on subcutaneous and abdominal fat.
The same research linked this finding to the ability of HIIT to induce fat oxidation, increase aerobic and anaerobic fitness, lower insulin resistance, and suppress appetite.
In another study by Fischer et. al (2015), the researchers concluded that HIIT improves insulin sensitivity, reduces blood lipids, decreases body fat percentage, and enhances cardio fitness.
One research in 2017 by Batacan Jr. et. al. also noted that the fat loss effect from HIIT appears to be most effective in overweight or obese individuals.
4. HIIT cycling prevents fitness plateaus.
Cycling indoors is one way to boost your metabolism. A higher metabolic rate helps you burn excess calories and fat.
However, as you perform the same exercise pattern or level day after day, your body adjusts and burns fewer calories. Less energy is necessary for too-easy exercises, after all. Unfortunately, that also means slower weight loss progress.
In addition, your metabolism starts to slow down further as you lose weight and muscle mass. Eventually, you’ll reach a state that experts call fitness plateaus.
It’s a condition where the body is no longer as responsive to your physical activity that you start seeing little to zero weight loss results.
Stationary bike interval training can help counter this issue and ensure effective weight loss.
With HIIT, you boost your workout intensity, pushing the body to use more energy and burn calories despite a slower metabolism.
Moreover, doing an exercise with alternating intervals keeps the body guessing. The body becomes more attentive and responsive while learning or experiencing something new.
Conclusion on Stationary Bike Interval Training
Without a doubt, stationary bike interval training is your ticket to more effective weight loss. It boosts your metabolism for longer and promotes fat loss while keeping your body guessing.
So, if you’ve been building strength through regular exercise, shifting to HIIT is the best strategy to use your newly earned power.
It’s a definite win-win move for gaining optimum health benefits despite your busy schedule. For best results, make sure to use the right exercise bike that can support your intense workouts.
Other Questions on Interval Training
1. Which exercise bike is ideal for interval training and weight loss?
All exercise bike types can help with weight loss, but some models are more suitable for HIIT. Spin bikes, for example, are best for HIIT workouts mainly because of their flywheels and magnetic resistance. Air assault bikes are also ideal for this type of training because of their industrial-fan-like flywheels, infinite resistance, and moveable handles. Check out this air vs spin bike comparison for weight loss to learn more.
2. Is stationary bike interval training suitable for beginners?
Anyone with low health risks can give high-intensity cycling a go. But beginners should start slow and concentrate on doing workouts that match their fitness capacity first. When ready, they can initially try a training plan with shorter work intervals and extended recovery periods. This step-by-step guide on HITT cycling can help you get started.
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