If you are planning to start an exercise program for weight loss you should definitely consider purchasing a stationary exercise bike or joining a gym that has it in use. Using this equipment is popular as it is fun and entertaining to train with.
Types of stationary bikes
In general, there are three types of stationary bikes. One of the bikes is called the recumbent bike. With this bike you can lean back slightly as it is provided with a backrest and pedal away as you watch your favorite movie or read a book. The pedals are out to the front so you stretch your legs towards it to make pedal strokes. Riding on this particular bike is the safest as the posture that it forces the users to maintain is soft and easy on the body. The seat of this bike is also wide and comfy with added padding. Most people who use bikes use it to work on their backs, core strength and abdominal area.
Another type of stationary exercise bike is an upright bike. This given bike almost resembles the traditional bike although the seat is likely bigger and wider than a normal outdoor bike. With this bike you maintain an upright posture and it is great for toning your legs, knees and bums.
The third type of stationary bikes is the spin bike that looks just like an outdoor bike. This exercise bike is rated with a flywheel that is at the front. This given bike can be adjusted to different positions so as to give you the feel as if you are on a racing track of cycling. It is more of a professional exercise bike so use it once you have already gotten used to using the other bikes like the recumbent bike.
Benefits of a stationary bike
There are multiple benefits of using a stationary bike for general wellness. Some of them include; weight loss, boosted energy levels, better sleep and mood, improved immune system and toned muscles.
The question then becomes what rpm should you set for weight loss specifically
Indoor fitness equipment like that stationary bikes stated above has now been modernized to give you real-time performance analysis. For instance, a tech-advanced stationary bike should be able to display on its console your speed, cadence, revolutions per minute, heartbeat and mileage covered. This article particularly focuses on revolutions per minute (RPM). RPM refers to the speed or rotational frequency of the bike’s wheel. Simply put, this is the number of spins/rotations of the wheels done per minute.
Once you decide to start exercising for weight loss specifically, there are a few things you should. First, you should come up with a concise workout plan on how you want to go about it. Remember that in exercising if you want to have tangible results, you need to really push yourself to your limits. One of the ways is by adequately preparing yourself for the calories you want to burn, the level of resistance you will settle for and revolutions per minute you are targeting.
According to fitness experts, beyond resistance, one of the factors that weigh in when it comes to exercising for weight loss is the cadence or revolutions per minute. Cadence also referred to as the bike pedaling speed basically means how fast you are. For most riders, they are able to comfortably maintain RPMs of between 60 and 70. For pro cyclists like Tour de France winners, some go up to 110rpm when riding outdoors. Therefore, anything beyond 90rpm is quite fast and likely to be at moderate-low resistance levels.
With all these figures, it can become quite hectic to know exactly which rpm to work with for proper weight loss. First, if you are looking to burn loads of calories and you are up for an intense workout, know that high resistance has pretty much everything to do with it.
While riding on 110 rpm sounds endearing, this is far from reality while using stationary bikes like a spin bike. For weight loss, one thing that highly matters is the level of intensity you are riding at. To ride on more than 100 rpm for a long time without breaking a sweat, chances are you are on really low resistance. When cycling across a beautiful expansive garden, pedaling that fast would be possible. However, if you are looking to lose weight in all the right places, you should go for slower and more intense workouts.
Therefore, while there is no set standard on the required rpm for weight loss, know that resistance heavily determines what speeds you can reach. If you are a pro cyclist and you usually average more than 100 rpm, this might not be so easy when you have a simulation like riding up a steep hill and this is where the real deal is.
We all have different potentials. For beginners and the occasional rider, they would be comfortable to ride somewhere in between 50 and 60 RPM. More advanced riders can push themselves to ride closer to 80 or 100 revolutions per minute. This is mainly possible with those riding weighted flywheels as opposed to motorized exercise bikes like the upright bike.
When a rider increases their resistance of a stationary bike in order to stimulate a hill it is obviously more challenging to maintain a fast bike pedaling speed. However, fast pedaling at high resistance is exactly the correct process to easily lose weight and tone your body.
Average bike pedaling speed when you are cycling at a high resistance should be around 60 to 80 beats per minute. If at all you begin to feel uncomfortable or that you cannot maintain this given speed at that resistance, you can dial it down a notch. Since there is no particular directive on the rpm to use, it is mostly trial and error to find what works for you. A foolproof way is to set the resistance at the highest point you can manage. Once you have adjusted your resistance level, you will then need to modify your rpm to reach your fitness goals.
As already stated, you can go faster than this on low resistance but it will have minimal impact on your fitness journey. In fact, pedaling too fast can lead to overstraining and harming of your body muscles. If you are working at this rate (1000rpm+) consider that it might be too easy for you thus reducing the effectiveness of the workouts. For more efficient workouts, increase the resistance.
You should also know there is a very big difference between pedaling and spinning your legs faster. Once you are cycling you should ensure that you are not bouncing unnecessarily and your legs also do not just spin randomly. The best way to ensure these is by keeping your leg straight and also creating an equal motion of paddling as not to paddle fast and slow in the same session you ever go for paddling first and take breaks when the need is or paddle slow and value for a longer time.
As you exercise on a stationary bike you should remember that warming up and also cooling down is very necessary. This should never be an exception. When you are warming up you ensure that your blood is flowing easily and your heart is at rest. Getting into a warm up before working out also prepare your joints and muscles for the workout session that is about to begin.
Once you are down with your workout, do a cooldown. Most people often finish riding, get off the stationary bike and leave. This is not the right way of doing it you should take a moment to gather yourself. You can also get into a mindfulness meditation and yoga session to further de-stress the mind.
Finally, you should make use of a scale called the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) which in full is the rating of perceived exertion. It is a subjective measure of your whole workout sessions. An RPE lets you know your warm-up and cool-down intensities as well as the intensity during the workout phase of a session. 0 in the scale means you feel nothing at all, three means moderately, 5 is relatively heavy and from there up to ten it means very high intensity to push you to your maximum potential.
If you are looking to lose weight with constant training, a stationary bike is a right product for you. This is because they come with various resistance levels. For weight loss, specifically, it requires you to dial up the button as you start your cardio.
Remember, no pain no gain. Both speed and resistance key factors that you should watch out for once you decide to start exercising on a stationary bike. Sometimes speed can be compromised but resistance should never be compromised.
In a nutshell, pedaling faster will not help you gain that dream body as much as increasing some resistance will.