Cycling Workouts Produce Insane Results
We’ve previously covered the benefits of awesome cardio workouts like like high intensity cardio and CrossFit. Today, we’re going to go in-depth on the benefits of cycling workouts. For those of you that are regular weight lifters, there’s a good chance that you’ve overlooked cycling. However, we’ve all seen those cycling classes at our gyms.
Like HIIT cardio and CrossFit, cycling workouts are built on the same basic concept. Get in a high intensity cardio session in a shorter amount of time than the traditional long-distance cardio session. Great cycling workouts are simply an efficient way to simultaneously engage the fat burning and muscle building processes.
It’s important that we note that it’s impossible to replace fat with muscle. Fat must be burnt and replaced with muscle mass. So, keep in mind that these are two completely separate processes! But, whether you’re looking to build muscle, get cut, or burn fat, cycling workouts are an ideal way to do it.
Cycling Workouts can be Adjusted to Your Fitness Level
One of the great benefits of cycling workouts is their flexibility. Whether you’re a beginner or a premier athlete, the intensity of cycling workouts can be adjusted to push you to your individual limits. This means that you’re constantly improving your fitness level and challenging yourself. By constantly competing with yourself to improve, you will definitely notice rapid results.
The other benefit of cycling workouts is that they’re typically easier on the knees than running either outside or on a treadmill. So, if you suffer from bad knees like many athletes, you can still get in a quick and efficient cardio exercise without any reduction in the workouts effectiveness.
A Couple Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Cycling Workouts
- What’s my current fitness level?
Before beginning any fitness routine, especially an intense one like cycling, be sure to consult with your physician. This is especially important if you have preexisting injuries or medical conditions or are just getting back into exercising. A quick physical examination will reveal any potential hazards of intense cardio.
While cycling is a great option for anyone that wants to improve their fitness and/or reduce their fat, it could be potentially hazardous for people with joint problems or who suffer from vertigo. However, in these cases, an athlete is often able to engage in cycling workouts on a stationary bike. But, no matter what, extra caution should always be a priority when other health issues exist.
- What’s my goal?
At the end of the day, if you’re health enough to engage in an intense cardio activity like this, then this is the next logical question. If your goal is to build muscle mass then you will likely want to spend a longer time workout against higher resistance levels. Whereas, if you’re looking for more a fat burning cardio workout, you will likely want to spend more time at a slightly reduced resistance level but moving at a higher rate.
Either way, it’s important to mix a combination of both high resistance and lower resistance levels to fully engage the muscles, create muscle confusion, and push you body to its limits.
- What type of bicycle will I use?
If you’re planning on performing cycling workouts outdoors on a real bike, then it’s important that you utilize the perfect bicycle that’s designed for your needs. A big part of choosing the right bike is dependent on the climate of the region in which you live.
When looking at the climate of your region, it may be that outdoor cycling will be difficult to enjoy all year long. It may make sense to invest in a stationary bike that you can use in the comfort of your own home. There is also the option of buying into a gym membership.
It’s also important that you buy a quality bicycle; however, don’t break your budget until you’re fully committed to using it to work out regularly. Nothing is worse than spending a thousand or more dollars on a bike that sits in your garage.
Additionally, where you plan to bike will greatly impact which type of bike is right for you. Since cycling workouts can be performed on all sorts of different terrain, you’ll need to pick a bike that is ready for where you’re riding it. Simply put, don’t buy a speed bike if you’re going to be riding through rocky trails – and vice versa.
Set the Right Fitness Goals for Your Cycling Workout
To improve your fitness by cycling, it’s important to set specific, realistic, and achievable results that are still challenging. It’s important to regularly analyze your fitness level and continuously aim to improve it. As we said either, with cycling you are competing with yourself. Thus, your results will depend on how hard you push yourself. If you’re not a self-starter, you may not find it easy to continuously challenge yourself to improve.
Other types of workout, like CrossFit, incorporate group motivation. However, cycling workouts will require you to have a strong level of commitment. Only you know if you’re up for it!
How Long Should a Workout Last?
The length of your workout could vary greatly. The answer depends on your fitness goals and how often you perform other cardio workouts. At the end of the day, only you know your limits and what your body needs.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to highly intense cardio workouts is that you’ll want to aim for about 100 to 150 minutes per week. This of course depends on your fitness level and how intense your workout is. For example, some workouts may only last 10 minutes if you’re spending time near your output ceiling. However, a workout could last 45 minutes or longer if you’re not pushing yourself quite as hard.
I would recommend starting toward the 100 minutes per week over 5 days per week and adjust based on your results. Fitness is different for everyone and it will take some tweaking to perfect your routine.
Another Option to Strive for Results
Once you get started, it may make more sense to transition from focusing on the time you work out to the results of your workout. Consider setting firm milestones for yourself such as miles per hour, a particular distance within a certain amount of time, or a physical route which you want to conquer. This will be a nice way to give you some direction and allow you to know when you meet a number of different milestones along the way.
Even More Cycling Workout Modifications
You may have fitness goals that include controlling glucose levels, losing weight, strengthening your heart or improving your blood pressure. If this is the case, you can use a good stationary bike that tracks your heart rate. If you don’t have access to a stationary bike, you can find a wearable device that will help you monitor all of the important stats.
Cycling Workouts for Muscle Strength Or Weight Loss
A detailed cycling plan is perfect for helping you to lose weight and gain muscle. In order to lose weight, you need to make sure that the cycling regimen includes good periods of cardio workouts. Longer times of breathless exercise and interval training will help you to burn even more calories. In order to build up your muscle strength, you should be doing a resistance style workout. This should be a routine that will be a bit difficult to pedal so that you build up your leg strength. Because you will be moving at a slower pace, you can focus on using your muscles to maximize your results.
Variety Is Always Smart With Cycling Training (And All Other Workouts)
No matter what type of regimen you choose, it is always best to include a range of challenges will boost your cardio vascular health, improve your balance, build muscle mass and help you burn fat. This means you should include shorter workouts of a higher intensity level and longer workouts at lower intensity levels, as well as workouts that combine the two.
Are You Ready for the Next Level of Cycling?
If you are a more advance cyclist, or once you become one, it’s time to think about using dumbbells during your cycling routine. This is a great way to burn more calories and add on muscle, you just have to be sure that you are focusing on maintaining good balance, keeping your posture in check and breathing properly. If you’re not ready for weights, you can use resistance bands to help you improve the results of the exercise for your upper body.
The Wrap Up
The bottom line is that you have to get moving to stay fit and cycling workouts are a great option for athletes at any level. Whether you are hitting the gym or the outdoors, cycling is an awesome exercise with countless benefits. If you’re ready to challenge yourself to a serious results producing workout, then be sure to give it a shot.
And, as always, we’ll be here to take your results to the next level!