Wondering how to lose weight at the gym? Recumbent bike workout could be a great solution. This aerobic activity boosts your metabolism and promotes weight loss. The device is more comfortable to use than a traditional stationary bike, and like any indoor bike activity, the workout comes with numerous side benefits.
In fact, you’ll not only lose weight. Recumbent bike workout improves your heart rate and keeps your blood pressure under control, it increases your lung capacity and builds muscular strength.
In addition, this aerobic workout speeds out your metabolism. Combined with a balanced diet, it’s an awesome way to lose weight and get in shape before summer.
But what’s the best type of workout? How many calories can you expect to burn in a session? If you’re looking for the answers to these questions, this guide is for you!
Recumbent Bike Workout: Facts
Just like any cycling activity, exercising on a recumbent bike is useful mostly for your lower body. Unlike an assault bike that trains your upper body too, this device helps you build leg muscles and models your abdomen and buttocks.
To achieve satisfactory results, however, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. That’s why it’s crucial to keep yourself motivated. You can’t expect to see the first results within a week but sticking to a good routine will pay off in the long run. Yet, if you’re not consistent in the choices you make, the recumbent bike might not be for you.
An hour of recumbent bike exercise burns up to 300 calories, depending on the length of the training session, intensity, and your body weight. Fortunately, most recumbent bikes come with board computers that allow you to monitor your parameters and indicate an approximate calorie consumption per session.
The most sophisticated bikes even have ergometers that allow you to adjust your effort to achieve maximum calorie consumption. These models even display an accurate index that shows the user’s training power in watts, the distance, length of the session, calories burnt, heart rate, and more.
Recumbent Bike Workout Training Session
To lose weight, either with the recumbent bike or with any other aerobic exercise, as a matter of fact, the intensity of your training must reach the aerobic threshold. Divide your routine into 1-hour sessions three times a week, and combine your recumbent bike workout with exercises that work on your upper body. In broad lines, your training session should look like this:
- Heat up phase – 10 minutes of slow to moderate pedaling;
- Primary phase – 20 minutes of fast pedaling; this allows you to achieve an aerobic exercise;
- Intensive phase – 20 minutes of fast and intense pedaling that helps you burn fatty tissue;
- Cool down phase – 10 minutes of moderate to slow pedaling.
Repeat the routine three times a week in alternate days and work out your upper body in the other days. If you didn’t practice any sport in the last years, it is recommended to start with 20-minutes sessions of HIIT training and increase by 5 minutes each week until you reach 1 hour.
Once you’ve reached your aerobic threshold, it’s important to continue your session without breaks. However, you can take 5-minute breaks at the beginning, to let your body get used to the new workout regime.
It’s also important to maintain a correct posture on the bike. Otherwise, you could end up with low back pain, muscular pain, and other conditions that can demotivate you. Talking about the pain, you will fill it at first – but this will happen regardless of what sport you practice. As the time passes by, you’ll build muscular strength, your aerobic threshold will increase, and you’ll feel more energetic and motivated.
Also, don’t train for more than an hour in an attempt to burn more fat. You could achieve an opposite effect and your body could start burning your muscles instead of the fatty tissue. It’s also recommended to start and end each training session with 5 minutes of stretching.
Aerobic Threshold And Maximum Heart Rate – How To Lose Weight?
To lose weight, you should know what’s your aerobic threshold by calculating your maximum heart rate. Then, just use a heart rate monitor during exercise to avoid exceeding this value.
There are many ways to calculate your maximum heart rate, but the easiest way is to use Cooper’s formula. This is an approximate method, therefore you should stay under this value at all times during your training session.
According to Cooper’s method, your max heart rate is 220 minus your age. For example, if you’re 30 years old, your max heart rate is 220-30=190.
To lose weight, not only you have to keep your heart rate under this value, but in accordance with the best cardio exercise practices, you should aim to keep your heartbeat in a range between 65 and 75% of the maximum heart rate. On the example above, this means you should keep your heartbeat between 123 and 142 beats per minute.
Now, you might be wondering what happens if you don’t meet or exceed these thresholds. Well, if your heart rate during exercise is below 65% of your max heart rate, you’ll burn fat at a very slow rate and will have to increase your training sessions to achieve a satisfactory result.
To burn fat, you have to work out in the aerobic range and the first 20 minutes of intense training are only preparatory, thus the 40-minutes intense workout sessions. In the preparatory phase, your body draws its energy from the sugars in the bloodstream and you’ll only start to fuel your movements by burning fat when these sugars are gone. What this means is that you won’t burn any fat in the first 20 minutes, although you are going to build muscular strength.
On the contrary, if you exceed the 75% threshold, you risk burning muscles instead of fat. At a too high heart rate, your body starts using proteins from the muscles which are easier to process than fat. Muscle burn is also associated with a hypo-caloric diet as well as exaggerated and prolonged physical effort. The heart is subject to excessive stress and lactic acid will also start building up in your muscles, causing cramps.
Obviously, the only way to know if you’re performing an efficient exercise is by controlling your heart rate during the training session. The most advanced recumbent bikes will do this for you, or you can use an app or a heart rate monitor.
Recumbent Bike Workout Tips
Listen To Your Favorite Music
Cycling on a recumbent bike can easily become monotonous. Avoid this by listening to your favorite music. Choose some alert songs that inspire and motivate you. This simple trick will boost your energy and will improve your mood, keeping you going for longer.
Train In The Morning
The best time to work out is between 7 and 10am, before breakfast. Not only you have more energy at this time, but your metabolic rate is higher, helping you burn more calories. The benefits of morning workout extend throughout the day, burning fat even when you’re not training.
If you don’t have the time for morning training sessions, only work out on an empty stomach.
Set A Short-Term Goal
Long-term goals are great, but they won’t keep you motivated for too long. Instead of planning to lose 50 pounds in 6 months, set your goal to losing 10lbs in one month. Short-term goals are easier to achieve than long-term ones, and they motivate you for the future.
Drinking plenty of water is essential if you want to lose weight. Keep a sports water bottle at hand at all times and during the HIIT sessions drink mineral water that compensates for the loss of minerals and salts.
One of the most frequent mistakes overweight people make when trying to lose weight is cutting down on eating. But you shouldn’t starve yourself to death. Losing weight should be achieved through sport and you should only cut down on junk foods.
Avoid sugars and fast food, eat healthy meals at regular intervals and, above all, eat the right quantity for your body type, height, and age.
Recumbent bike workout is one of the easiest ways to lose weight at the gym. Follow the tips above and work in close relationship with a personal trainer who can help you set and achieve your goals. The #1 rule to losing weight is not giving up.
While it could take a while to see the first results, your patience and determination will certainly pay off in the long run!