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How to choose a stationary bike workout that will fit your goals

Discover the different CAROL Bike workouts that are designed to help you burn calories, increase your cardio fitness level, and improve overall fitness.

With a variety of indoor cycling workouts, it can be overwhelming to choose. Hill rides, interval cycling sessions, an easy ride for beginners, or long endurance marathons—which should you include in your training plan? With proper choice, your exercise bike will help you effectively meet various exercise goals—from extra calorie burn to improved cardiovascular fitness and decreased risk of multiple diseases.


What is more, by combining different types of stationary cycling, you can break the monotony of your spin routine and reap all the benefits of cross-training. Unlike other stationary bikes, CAROL Bike offers you scientifically proven workouts designed to help you achieve specific fitness goals. Read on to find out the most effective ways to increase your cardio fitness, lose weight and improve overall health

Goal 1: Increase cardio fitness with intense REHIT

Interval training will improve your cardio fitness level by working harder, instead of working longer. This is the best way to train your heart muscle, push the limits of your cardiovascular system, and improve performance.


VO2max is an accurate way to measure your cardio fitness. This indicator shows how much oxygen your cardiovascular system can deliver across your body during exercise. Increasing your VO2max will prevent you from running short of breath during intense or long-distance rides.


HIIT trains your body by switching it between aerobic and anaerobic modes. During short bursts of vigorous activity, your heart and lungs are engaged in an all-out effort, and during brief periods of rest, they keep working to pay out the “oxygen debt” becoming stronger and more enduring. A 2021 study showed that after 12 weeks of sprint interval training on a stationary bike, participants’ peak cardiac output increased by 6% and their VO2max grew by 21%.


Some research has shown that sprint interval training possibly becomes more effective at improving VO2max when fewer sprint repetitions are performed. CAROL Bike worked in collaboration with the world’s leading exercise researchers to create the shortest, most effective workout that consists of just 2×20-second sprints—Reduced Exertion HIIT (REHIT).


In just 8 weeks, this training can improve your VO2max by 12% which is like turning your body clock back 10 years. Another 8-week study showed that REHIT elicited greater improvements in the cardiovascular system in less time than traditional training. The cardiorespiratory fitness of REHIT program participants increased by 12% compared to a 7% increase in the traditional group.


CAROL’s classic 5-minute REHIT workout consists of:

  1. 20-seconds – 2-minute warm-up
  2. 2×20-second sprints
  3. 1-3-minute recovery in between
  4. 3-minute cooldown


This is the most intense version of REHIT training. You can also select one of the REHIT variations to suit your preference::


  • REHIT Intermediate (2×15-sec or 3x-15 sec sprints) is a lighter version of the main workout.
  • REHIT Energizer (2×10-sec or 3×10-sec sprints) is the easiest version of the main workout.

During the 2 all-out sprints, your personalized, optimal resistance is automatically applied—instantly and at exactly the right time—making the most efficient workout easy to follow and suitable for any age and fitness level.


If your main goal is improving your cardio fitness level, include 2-3 REHIT sessions per week in your training plan.


In addition to cardiovascular health, this universal workout works great to lose weight and obtain multiple health benefits. REHIT boosts your metabolic rate for hours after exercise, reduces your blood pressure and glucose, increases good cholesterol (HDL), and cuts down the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 62%—the same as people who take Metformin.


2×20-second sprints, 3x a week, will give you superior health and fitness gains in 90% less time than regular training. It’s a moment of effort you can always master to build a habit that lasts.

CAROL Bike is scientifically proven to give you superior benefits compared to regular exercise—in 90% less time.

Goal 2: Lose weight with interval Fat Burn Ride

When it comes to weight loss, high-intensity interval training has the highest calorie burn rate among all types of exercise—burning up to 25-30% more calories according to some studies. Short intervals of vigorous cycling increase the body’s metabolism and induce excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) which adds an extra 6-15% calories burned in the hours after a workout.


According to the findings of 2017 research, HIIT is more effective at burning abdominal fat than low-intensity training. Performing 3x HIIT sessions per week for 15 weeks resulted in significant reductions in total body fat, subcutaneous leg and trunk fat, improved body composition, and insulin resistance in young women compared to the same frequency of regular exercise. 


CAROL Bike’s Fat Burn programs were designed to maximize the EPOC effect and help you burn calories most effectively. This efficient fat-burn riding consists of 30-60 short 8-second sprint intervals and has been shown to have a substantial afterburn effect. The higher the “oxygen debt” created during intense training is, the longer it takes for your body to get back to its basal metabolic rate leading to extra calories burned. EPOC can happen for up to 24 hours, according to some sources.


During a 2021 study, researchers compared the EPOC effect of CAROL Bike’s REHIT and Fat Burn Ride with treadmill exercise. The results showed that participants of the REHIT program got 66% of calories burned post-exercise—4 times more than the average afterburn effect of HIIT. For the Fat Burn Ride participants, this number mounted up to 196%. The duration of EPOC following the Fat-burn ride was also significantly longer compared to REHIT: 167.4 min vs. 77.4 min.


CAROL Bike’s Fat Burn programs last between 17-25 minutes and consist of the following stages:


  • 2-minute warm-up
  • 8-second sprints (choose whether to do 60, 45 or 30 sprints)
  • 12-second recovery in between each sprint
  • 3-minute cooldown

The AI personalization tailors the workout to you and helps you push to your limits during the sprints.


If weight loss is your main objective, add 1—3 Fat Burn rides to your baseline workout routine of 2 REHIT rides per week.

Goal 3: Improve overall health with Zone 2 cardio

Are you looking for a workout that delivers plenty of health benefits and will help you live longer? Opt for a Zone 2 stationary bike workout (also known as a steady-state cardio or endurance workout.)


This type of training is usually performed at low-to-medium intensity—a pace where you can maintain a conversation—for longer periods, usually 45-90 minutes. There is evidence that regular steady-state cardio cardio alleviates many age-related changes and significantly boosts longevity.


Research published in BMJ observed 36,000 participants above 40 years old and found a correlation between higher levels of physical activity, even at a low intensity, and substantially reduced risk for premature mortality.


Longer workouts are the perfect training method to keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Zone 2 training is more effective for strengthening the heart muscle, increasing your capillary density, and regulating glucose and cholesterol levels than intense sessions. Regular cycling in Zone 2 will reduce age-related risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.


Low-impact workout in Zone 2 combats aging processes on the cellular level: it improves mitochondrial function and increases telomere length. Mitochondria are the energy-producing structures within cells, and their decline is the main reason why our metabolism slows down and we feel less energy as we age. Telomeres are the DNA segments responsible for cell division, which becomes hindered as they naturally shorten with age. Some researchers suggest that moderate-intensity endurance exercise is the most effective for lengthening telomeres.


CAROL Bike offers several options for Zone 2 training:


  • Zone-Based Free Ride: Keeps you automatically in a specific training zone.
  • Constant Power Free Ride: Allows you to select a target power as the bike automatically adjusts resistance to keep your power output at that level.
  • Regular Free Ride: Lets you directly control resistance levels.

For optimal longevity benefits, longer sessions of about 60-90 minutes completed in Zone 2, like those possible on CAROL Bike, are recommended weekly.

Low-impact workouts in Zone 2 combats aging processes—providing optimal longevity benefits.

CAROL Bike tailors the stationary bike workout for you

A stationary bike should give you enough flexibility to build a workout program suited to your fitness level, goals, and available time per week.


With CAROL Bike, each workout is designed to offer time-efficient solutions to your workout goals with greater effectiveness. As well as offering multiple variations of certain rides to make them easier or harder, CAROL is powered by AI which optimizes each workout to your ability and fitness level. So whatever ride you choose, CAROL will get you fittest, fastest.

FAQ about stationary bike workouts:

What is a good workout on a stationary bike?


Stationary bikes offer a variety of workouts for different fitness levels and goals. HIIT training is the most effective to burn more calories, an intense REHIT workout is the best way to boost your cardiovascular fitness, and Zone 2 indoor cycling will help you stay healthy and increase your longevity.



How long should I use a stationary bike for a good workout?


Workout duration depends on the intensity and type of your training. REHIT is the shortest, most effective workout that offers superior health and fitness benefits in 90% less time compared to regular cardio. It will take just 5 minutes, 3 times a week.


A regular HIIT cycling session lasts 20-40 minutes. A steady-state endurance cycling training will take from 45 to 90 minutes.



Can you lose belly fat by riding a stationary bike?


If burning fat is your main objective, opt for REHIT or a Fat Burn Ride by CAROL Bike. These workouts are designed to maximize your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) and help you burn more belly fat in the shortest time.



Is 30 minutes on a stationary bike enough exercise?


30 minutes is the duration of a good HIIT session. 2-3 30-minute HIIT sessions per week are enough to see weight loss and cardio fitness improvements after a few weeks of regular training.


If you want to reduce your training time while obtaining superior benefits, try REHIT. It’s a 5-minute workout that is easy to fit into your life.



How many calories can you burn on a stationary bike in 30 minutes?


The amount of calories that you burn depends on the intensity of your training. During a medium-intensity workout, a stationary bike burns on average 210 calories for a 125-pound person, 252 calories for a 155-pound person, and 292 calories for a 185-pound person.


When you are doing HIIT or REHIT training, a large share of your calorie burn happens after your training because of EPOC. During one study, REHIT burnt 43.4 calories during the 5 minutes of training and twice as much—87.7—after the exercise.

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All our experts have MSCs in Exercise Science, and they’re here to answer your questions. Whether it’s about the science behind CAROL Bike, or general fitness advice, whatever’s on your mind—we’re here for you.

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