Compared to other types of cardio machines, the recumbent bike offers a much more comfortable workout and because of this, most people don’t initially consider a recumbent bike as the perfect machine for weight loss. In fact, the bike’s reclined position and thick luxurious seat gives the impression that you won’t burn many calories per workout, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. With the right type of workout, recumbent bike weight loss is totally possible. But how?
If you’re familiar with interval training workouts, then you know you can use this type of workout for pretty much every type of exercise machine, even the recumbent bike.
How to Use Interval Training to Boost Your Recumbent Bike Workout
If you’re not familiar with interval training, it’s an intense, short form of cardio. When working out, you’ll alternate between less intense sequences and bouts of an intense activity. As an example, you can run for a short period of time, alternating with walking. In fact, you can adapt most types of cardio workouts to an interval training session. You can increase the resistance level or pedal speed when you’re riding the recumbent, for a more intense and challenging workout, followed by a lower resistance level or slower pedaling speed during the less intense portion of the workout.
You’ll set times for these intervals, based on your current fitness level. You can increase the length of the high-intensity portion and shorten the length of the recovery period every few weeks in order to continue to challenge your body.
To start, make sure you set the recovery period to twice the length of the high-intensity period. As an example, if you’re high-intensity period is sixty seconds, set your recovery period for two minutes. During the high-intensity portion, crank up the resistance level and pedal as fast as you’re comfortable going, then during the recovery portion, turn the resistance down to a level that’s more comfortable and manageable. Repeat these intervals for twenty to thirty minutes.
Most pros recommend beginning with a five to ten-minute warmup, followed by the actual workout, then finishing with a five to ten-minute cooldown period which will gently bring your heart rate down.
Your goal should be to work your way up to forty-minute interval training sessions three to four times a week for the best weight loss results.
On average, you can expect to lose one to two pounds a week when combined with a healthy diet. Of course, over time, your body will become used to this type of workout, so be prepared to change up your routine using different resistance levels and shorter or longer workout sessions.
Tips and Tricks for a More Effective Recumbent Bike Workout
Aside from interval training, there are other ways you can make your recumbent bike workout more challenging and effective. If you’re using a recumbent bike to rehab an injury, you’re significantly overweight, or you suffer from an underlying medical condition, make sure you consult your physician before you try a high-intensity recumbent workout.
If you’re a beginner, start off slow. Doing so will condition your body, preparing it for an intense workout after giving your body a few weeks to adjust to exercising in general.
As we mentioned, your body can quickly become accustomed to working out on a recumbent, so you must adjust the speed and intensity and make variations. If you fail to do so, then the odds are you’ll run into a weight loss plateau, which can be very frustrating and discouraging. When you change up your workouts, you’ll keep your body challenged, which will allow you to lose more weight.
Use a heart rate monitor to train with so you can stay in your target heart rate zone. The target heart rate zone refers to the percentages of your max heart rate. When you’re in the zone, your body is able to burn more calories.
Exercising using the right form is very important to both your progress and your comfort. Make sure you adjust the backrest and seat which can provide improved lumbar support while reducing pressure on your joints. If you’d like to learn more about the importance of upgrading the recumbent bike seat, you can find more information here.
In the beginning, especially after you lose a few pounds, it can be easy to overdo it. But if you decide to go for it and work out every day you can easily injure yourself. Decide on the length of your workout and stick to it.
Taking one to two recovery days is also important and can lead to improved weight loss because you’re giving your body the rest it needs to recover and repair itself.
If you’re new to working out, choose the best recumbent bike with pre-set workout programs. These programs are usually offered for beginners and advanced cyclists and they can help to ensure you’re getting the type of workout you need to burn calories and lose weight. They can also make your workouts more fun and challenging. So if you have a tendency to become easily bored with your workouts, these preset programs are a great solution.
While not as common as a traditional recumbent exercise bike, check out a recumbent bike with hand pedals if you’re interested in a stationary bike that can offer a total body workout.
Recumbent bike weight loss is possible if you consistently work out and change up your routines. In the beginning, you’ll want to start off with a lower resistance level and work up to higher levels in order to avoid an injury. You should also pace yourself in terms of the length of your workouts. Pay attention to how your body feels as you’re pedaling and stop once your workout becomes uncomfortable or painful. By following these tips you can look forward to a stronger, healthier body, and an average weight loss of one to three pounds a week depending on intensity and workout frequency.