Exercise bikes provide a low-impact cardio workout that burns body fat and can be performed to target different muscle groups. While they offer numerous health benefits, you won't see results overnight - just like all types of exercise, achieving noticeable change will take time, patience, and dedication to your exercise routine.
What results can you achieve with a stationary bike?
It's important to first establish the two main types of stationary bikes - the recumbent bike and upright bike. Recumbent stationary bikes are designed so that users cycle in a more reclined position, whereas the upright stationary bike is more like a standard road bike, where the pedals are below your center of gravity and you can lean over the handlebars.
Stationary bike: weight loss
The stationary bike provides a low-impact cardio workout, making it a great option for burning calories and supporting weight loss goals.
You can increase or decrease speed, as well as resistance levels, on an exercise bike, allowing continual progression with your workouts. By increasing the resistance, you'll make your workout more challenging, building muscle mass and burning more calories in the same amount of time as a lower resistance ride.
Stationary bike: toning muscles
All that pedaling on your exercise bike is going to provide an excellent lower body workout, helping you achieve your muscle tone goals. It doesn't only work your legs and lower body muscles though, you can also strengthen and build muscle in your core and upper body.
On an upright stationary bike, if you pedal in a standing position you can get a total body workout too.
Stationary bike: improved cardio fitness
Exercise bikes help improve your cardiovascular fitness and endurance. With a healthier heart, it will be able to pump blood and deliver oxygen around the body more efficiently, increasing lung capacity.
Seeing results with a stationary bike
The rate at which you notice results depends on a number of individual factors. These range from your existing health and fitness level, the frequency and duration you use the bike, as well as the difficulty you set the bike to.
As a general rule, the average person should start seeing noticeable results after one month of using an exercise bike as part of their regular routine.
Exercising is a long-term commitment, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t see results straight away. Push through and you will notice results in time.
1 month exercise bike results
After one month of incorporating your exercise bike into your exercise routine, you can expect to:
- Lose weight and be several pounds lighter
- See more muscle definition
- Have more stamina
- Have increased metabolic rate
- Have more energy
Not everyone will see the same results however, exact results will vary based on personal factors such as weight and age.
How long does it take to lose weight with a stationary bike?
When it comes to weight loss, a calorie deficit is required - meaning you need to consume fewer calories than those burned. It's a simple calculation: for example if your maintenance calories are 2000 a day, then to achieve a caloric deficit you will need to only consume around 1500-1700 calories.
Exercising burns calories, making it a great way to achieve a caloric deficit. But exactly how many calories will you burn on an exercise bike?
Exercise bikes provide excellent aerobic exercise, and are therefore highly effective at burning calories. The number of calories you burn depends on various factors including age and body weight. Studies suggest that a 155-pound person will burn 252 calories in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity stationary cycling, and 278 calories in 30 minutes of high-intensity stationary cycling. In comparison a 185-pound person will burn 294 calories in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity stationary cycling, and 441 calories in 30 minutes of high-intensity stationary cycling.
By increasing the intensity, you can burn more calories - more on this below.
For sustainable weight loss, a goal of 1-2 pounds a week is generally considered safe. In order to lose 1 pound of body weight, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you consume. Meaning a 125-pound person would need to cycle between 5.5 - 8.5 hours a week to burn 1 pound of fat.
How can you get the best results when using a stationary bike?
It is important to ensure that you’re training with proper form to avoid injury. Adjust your seat position so that you can ride comfortably - a good starting point is to level the seat height to your hip height when standing next to it.
The longer you spend on the bike, the more calories you will burn.
To lose weight in a cardio workout, you need to make sure your heart rate is in the 'fat burning zone' for a minimum of 30 minutes. The 'fat burning zone' is 85% of your maximum heart rate, calculated by subtracting your age from 220. So, for a 50 year old, the maximum heart rate is 170, and the corresponding fat-burning heart rate zone is around 145 bpm.
Exercise bikes come with different levels of resistance that you can adjust accordingly. By increasing the resistance level, you'll make your workout more challenging, building muscle mass and burning more calories in the same amount of time as a lower resistance level ride.
Work your whole body
Riding a stationary bike that allows full-body training will get your heart pumping and help you hit your weight loss goals faster, as well as toning the whole body.
Incorporating HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) into your stationary bike workouts will make your heart, lungs, and muscles work harder than a lower intensity ride, helping you get better results in less time.
HIIT workouts alternate short high intensity intervals with periods of recovery. Indoor cycling is a great option for HIIT training, as you can easily adjust the variables that create intensity and allow for recovery. You can use your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) to guide your speed and, if you're adding it, resistance.
One of the biggest benefits from a HIIT bike workout is that you can burn a higher number of calories compared to moderate intensity exercise, such as normal cycling and even strength training. This makes it an ideal workout for weight loss.
Studies show that this intense workout can help you burn the same number of calories as normal cardio and weighted exercises in a shorter amount of time. A 30-minute HIIT workout burns up to 30% more calories than 30 minutes of exercising at a steady pace.
Find out more about HIIT bike workouts here.
The key to long-term results is consistency. Finding what fits in your lifestyle gives you the best chance of maintaining a consistent routine.
Exercise is important, but if losing weight is your goal, then your results will be much slower if you don’t pair your exercise routine with a calorie controlled healthy diet.
Regardless of whether your goal is weight loss, pairing your exercise regime with a calorie controlled healthy diet is essential for good health. But if in particular your goal is to lose weight, then the right diet will help you achieve this.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is also important, not only for hydration but it will also help to curb hunger levels.
What results can you achieve with CAROL Bike?
CAROL is the smartest, most effective exercise bike—with workouts backed by science. 5 minutes, 3x a week. Scientifically proven to be the most effective cardio workout—and so easy to fit into your routine:
- Get fitter - improve your cardio by 12% in just 8 weeks.
- Live healthier - reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by 62%—and blood pressure by 5%.
- Live younger - improving your VO2max by 12% is like turning your body clock back 10 years.
- Maximize your metabolism - you’ll burn more calories on a 15-minute CAROL ride, than a 30-minute run.
Exercising with a stationary bike is a great way to hit your fitness goals. If you exercise regularly, and eat a healthy diet, you can expect to see noticeable results within one month of use. There are a number of factors that can impact how quickly you will see results, including exercise intensity, good form and the bike that you ride.