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9 Fun Stationary Bike Workouts You Should Try Out

Get a good spin with these great workouts.

Stationary bike workouts allow you to take control of your training session and dial in a specific area without worrying about route, surface or weather.

Also known as exercise bikes, stationary bikes are bicycles used for indoor training. There are many types of stationary bikes, but most of them focus on recreating a standard biking experience with the main difference that stationary bikes remain in place, spinning a flywheel that you can often adjust to offer different resistance.

They are a great tool to enhance your overall conditioning and improve your endurance.  

Stationary bike workout are low impact and strengthen major muscle groups such as your glutes, quads, hamstrings and back.

Stationary bike workouts benefits

There are many benefits to training using a stationary bike to work out. The main benefit is that you can use your stationary bike indoors and don’t have to be aware of your surrounding while working out. Obstacles such as a rough surface type, roadblocks or traffic won’t affect your session; neither will wind, rain or adverse weather.

Because you don’t have to focus on these outside factors, you’re able to work out to precise specificity. An exercise bike allows you to do exactly what you want to do in a training session.  

Stationary bike workouts are a controlled form of exercise; you can dictate the power and intensity of your workout, as well as your environment and form of entertainment. They can remove a barrier to working out, as you don’t have to convince yourself to get outside if the weather or time of day aren’t favourable.

Indoor cycling is gentle on the joints but can provide an incredibly solid workout and help you improve your endurance over time.

woman on indoor bike doing static bike workoutsSource: Munbaik Cycling Clothing on Unsplash

Stationary bike workouts

Stationary bikes are highly effective training tools. Cycle smarter with these 9 great stationary bike workouts.

Beginner stationary bike workout

  • 3x 10 Minutes Progressive

After you’ve warmed up a little, start a 10-minute timer and, with each minute, increase the intensity of your cycling. The last minute should be the hardest. Repeat three times.

Progressive sessions require you to learn how to pace yourself and distribute your effort throughout your workouts.

You also practice how not to go out too hard, which is a problem many people face when working out. Progressive sessions offer a slightly abnormal pacing strategy, and so give you a feeling on how strong you can be at the end of a workout.

Fat burning interval session for GTN

CrossFit bike workout

5 Rounds for Time:

  • 15 calories on the bike
  • 10 burpees

As fast as possible, perform 15 calories on the bike followed by 10 burpees for five rounds. This CrossFit-style workout will test your endurance.

Calories allow you to pick how hard to go, but to fulfil the workout’s stimulus, you should go a little harder than what feels comfortable.

Interval bike workout

2-minute reps building intensity at:

  • 50%, 60%, 70% … 90% of maximum power output (Heart Rate or Wattage)

1 minute recovery between reps

Make sure you keep your legs moving during recovery periods by tuning the bike to its lowest resistance and pedalling slowly. This will keep your blood flowing in between hard efforts and help you recover better.

You can always increase the time of each rep or repeat the set if you want to extend this workout.  

Pyramid workout

Two rounds of:

  • 1-minute effort
  • 3-minute effort
  • 5-minute effort
  • 3-minute effort
  • 1-minute effort

You can choose the rest between each round. Resting longer means you’ll recover better, so will end up working harder during your reps. Use this technique if you want to improve your ‘short and sharper’ power output.

A lower resting time will result in less recovery, so your performance each set might be lower. This is a good training method to improve your endurance.

  • 30 minutes at slightly higher than lactic threshold

Your lactic threshold is roughly the intensity you can ride at between half an hour and 60 minutes.

Lactic threshold stationary bike workout

  • 30 minutes at slightly higher than lactic threshold

Your lactic threshold is roughly the intensity you can ride at between half an hour and 60 minutes.

Work out what your maximum power output is and perform this stationary bike workout at about 51% of it, so you’re riding just a tiny bit above your lactic threshold.

31-minute indoor bike workout from GTN

Advanced workout

  • 10x 1 minute

2 minutes rest between reps

This is a killer session; two minutes allow you enough time to recover fully, so going all out for 10 reps is going to be hard. Keep in mind that the volume of this workout is pretty high when you tackle it and try to keep your pacing consistent throughout all reps.

Backwards

  • 8, 6, 4, 2-minute efforts

This is another hard workout, as you’ll go into reps that require more intensity already tired out.

Make sure you’re working harder as the efforts get shorter towards the end of the workout.

Is a stationary bike workout better than a real bike workout?

We have already alluded to the benefits of stationary bikes, but what is their difference with real bikes?

You can get the same level of workout with both, but of course there are differences.

A stationary bike will offer a set-up training scenario which you don’t get in “real life.” If you’re training for a race or want to improve your functional fitness, you should also include outside rides to learn how to deal with potential adversities.

You’ll also work more muscles during outdoor bike workouts, given that you’re more likely to shift your position to accommodate for ascends or wind. On the flip side, these aspects can also take away control from your training session, so a stationary bike workout would trump depending on your goals.

Ultimately, real bikes offer more than a workout; they provide transportation, get you outside and are fun, but stationary bikes let you take full control of your training.

Read more: Pavel Tsatsouline Explains How to Build Endurance the Right Way

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