In our society, being overweight is a severe problem affecting health and self-confidence. If you’ve decided to get rid of those pesky pounds, it’s already a step in the right direction.
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HOW DO I BEST DO THAT?
Most people who want to lose weight ask themselves this question because there are so many tips on the Internet and in glossy magazines about how to do it.
We have a simple answer: Use an exercise bike to lose weight because it is valid and has numerous advantages.
What are the advantages of losing weight on the exercise bike?
Imagine starting a diet full of vigour on New Year’s Day to finally reduce your body fat percentage so that you look good in summer.
You’re in luck because changing your diet is comfortable for you.
And the sun is shining too, so on the first sunny days of January, you can lace up your running shoes or take a bike ride to burn calories.
Barely a week later, however, winter sets in again with snow, rain, and sleet showers. Do you think you will still be motivated to go cycling or running outdoors?
This is precisely where the most significant advantage of a good exercise bike comes into play: you can train at home without getting wet or freezing.
Of course, you now say you could also go to the gym.
Of course, you are right! But from our own experience, we know that the motivation to go to the gym also wears off over time.
This is not only bad for your fitness and weight loss goals but also bad for your wallet in the long run.
Annual membership in the fitness club costs several hundred euros.
But the training motivation is much higher if you look at your exercise bike every time you come into your living room or bedroom.
The flexible use also means purchasing a treadmill, cross trainer, rowing machine, or a bicycle ergometer.
Do you feel like burning some calories spontaneously in the morning before work? No problem.
Or do you want to kill two birds with one stone and melt your body fat while watching your favourite Netflix series?
Then an exercise bike is an ideal partner for you.
Losing weight does not necessarily mean losing weight.
But stop! Let’s take a closer look at losing weight before getting down to business.
Many blogs, YouTube channels, and lifestyle magazines must understand this.
Therefore, it is no wonder that radical diets and far too high energy deficits are not uncommon, which harm your body more than they help.
Here you can find out more about calculating your energy requirements.
If you take such an approach, you will undoubtedly lose weight. But is that the goal you want to achieve with the help of your exercise bike?
Rather not, because what it is actually about is fat loss. Logically you will say! In practice, however, it is more complex.
And that’s because most athletes use the wrong tool to measure their progress: the scales.
Libra is a false friend.
Even if it sounds paradoxical, the biggest mistake is to rely on the scales to lose weight. This is especially true for beginners.
While weight loss progresses very quickly in the beginning, you will find that your blood pressure decreases slowly.
Eventually, it stagnates, and you start to doubt your plans.
So that it stays pretty close, you should stow your scales in the last corner of your bathroom and only take them out every two to three weeks for a check.
WHY THIS DRASTIC STEP? VERY EASILY:
Your scales say little about your actual progress.
The high weight loss of the first few days is not due to lost body fat but mainly to water excreted from the tissue.
Also, the amount of water in your body fluctuates daily, so you have gained weight all at once despite a calorie deficit.
Furthermore, especially as a beginner, you will build additional muscles through training, giving the impression that you are not progressing on the scales.
So you see that you should rely on something other than this instrument. Instead, trust your reflection and a good old tape measure.
All that matters is your shape. Hold the circumference of your abdomen, hips, chest, thighs, and upper arms every three days.
Also, take a photo of yourself in front of the mirror. So you can follow along live as you get in shape.
The Fat Burning Myth
Now, from theory to practice. You will indeed have picked up the phrase that you must exercise for half an hour or only burn fat with a pulse of X.
In this form, however, the two statements are wrong.
You can exercise on the ergometer for a certain amount of time and have the precise pulse necessary to burn fat.
We want to stay within our body’s energy supply processes. But so much can be said: The organism never uses only one fuel to generate energy.
The ratio of metabolized fats to metabolized carbohydrates depends on training experience and intensity.
With endurance performances and during the day, fats and carbohydrates are always burned in parallel.
So you don’t need to be driven crazy in this regard because the bottom line for fat loss is energy balance. If this is negative, you lose body fat – it’s that simple.
You should only watch your pulse if you want to improve your fat metabolism specifically.
This is what endurance athletes do, for example, who want to program their bodies to conserve their carbohydrate stores and instead increasingly use fat as an energy source.
How much energy is in a kilogram of body fat?
Since it all comes down to the amount of energy burned, you naturally ask yourself what kind of weekly fat loss you can count on during ergometer training.
To do this, we first must know how much energy there is in a kilogram of body fat. Unlike pure edible fat, the kilogram does not add up to around 9,000 kcal.
Since body fat consists partly of water and is covered with blood vessels, the calorific value is 7,000–7,300 kcal.
Which device do I burn the most energy with?
Now that you know how much energy you need to burn to get rid of a pound of body fat, the price question comes up:
“WHICH EXERCISE BIKE DO I USE TO BURN THE MOST CALORIES PER HOUR OF TRAINING?”
Since time is valuable and efficient training is desirable, this question is essential for purchasing the right exercise bike.
How much energy is burned depends primarily on which muscle groups are involved in the movement.
The more, the higher the calorie consumption and, of course, the muscles’ training stimulus.
The following table shows the calorie consumption during a 60-minute training session on various exercise bikes with moderate training intensity.
Exercise bikes Energy consumption per training hour.
Elliptical machine 570 kcal
Treadmill 880 kcal
Exercise bike 520 kcal
Rowing ergometer 700 kcal
These values will be different for each person based on their body weight, how much they train, and how hard they train.
Nevertheless, the table gives an excellent comparative overview of the expected calorie consumption.
To lose one kilogram of body fat, you must spend a good ten hours on the rowing machine at moderate intensity or eight hours on the treadmill.
HIIT – The acronym for the ambitious
If you want to lose weight efficiently with your ergometer, you don’t have to rely on classic “slow-and-steady” cardio training.
The so-called “high-intensity interval training” provides an exciting alternative that can be performed on any exercise bike.
HIIT training is about burning as much energy as possible in as little time as possible. This is how HIIT works.
This happens through training intervals with changing intensity, which can be regulated very precisely on ergometers and exercise bikes thanks to the integrated training computer.
Such a HIIT unit lasts between 20-30 minutes and runs, for example, on a bicycle ergometer according to the following pattern:
- 60 seconds of easy pedalling (100 watts)
- 30 seconds of high-intensity pedalling (250 watts)
- 60 seconds of easy pedalling (100 watts)
- 30 seconds of high-intensity pedalling (250 watts)
You follow this pattern until your training time is up.
And even though you train much less, you use at least as many calories in HIIT training as in a classic-style workout twice as long.
Take advantage of the afterburn effect.
Many studies, including one from Canada’s Laval University, have shown that HIIT training significantly increases pure body fat loss over time.
The latter is due, among other things, to the so-called “afterburn effect.”
The intense training load ensures that your metabolism increases significantly for up to 24 hours after training. You burn extra calories.
The beautiful thing about high-intensity interval training is that you can adapt it to your performance level.
You can either vary the training time or experiment with the lengths of the intervals. For example, you can shorten the cool-down phases by increasing fitness.
How often should I exercise on the ergometer for the best results?
The golden rule applies when losing weight on the exercise bike: Nothing much helps. And that’s because of two things.
- Firstly, an excessive energy deficit sabotages your entire weight loss project.
- Second, you have to give your body enough time to regenerate between workouts so that it can recover.
Pay attention to regeneration.
These two reasons demonstrate that spending 60-90 minutes on the ergometer or performing an intense HIIT unit daily makes little sense.
As a beginner, you should slowly improve and start with 2-3 training units per week.
Also, starting with 48 hours of regeneration between two training units makes sense.
If you are already more experienced, you can increase the number of workouts to 4-5 per week.
When planning your training, you can combine classic “slow-and-steady cardio” with HIIT units to save time and use the afterburn effect.
This, in turn, has an impact on regeneration time. While 24 hours of relaxation between two loose sessions is enough, you have to give your body 48 hours of rest after a HIIT workout.
The cause is additional stress on the central nervous system.
Ergometer training instead of starving
We’ve already talked briefly about how a calorie deficit that is too big hurts you more than it helps.
This is because of a biological mechanism that evolved to keep you from starving when there isn’t enough food.
This so-called emergency metabolism slows the body’s metabolism and breaks down muscles.
The fact that your body can hold on to fat in a jerky way if you don’t eat enough calories and especially fat every day is a deciding factor.
It sounds strange, but it makes sense because fat is a source of energy and essential for making hormones and digesting vitamins.
Controlling the calorie deficit only through nutrition is not the best way to do it without getting too deep into the biochemical details.
To avoid getting into hunger metabolism, it’s best to control the daily energy deficit, primarily through exercise.
A weekly calorie deficit of 3,500–5,000 kcal is already sufficient to reduce body fat in the long term in a healthy way.
THIS CORRESPONDS TO A BODY FAT LOSS OF 0.5-0.7 KG.
You will be healthier and more likely to keep going if you don’t have to go hungry but save a lot of calories by eating less during training.
This is due to the release of happiness hormones, the so-called endorphins.
And by the way, it is a seductive idea to eat a good meal without a guilty conscience, even in a diet phase.
Which ergometer suits me best?
Before you can start, there is, of course, the question of which ergometer best suits you and your needs.
This decision primarily depends on your taste because you want to have fun in the long term and stay on the ball.
If you prefer cycling, a bicycle ergometer is a right choice. If you’re more of a runner, it’s the treadmill.
Or do you want to train your upper body and your legs? Then a rowing ergometer is a right choice.
However, these personal preferences are not everything because not all devices suit everyone.
For example, if your knees hurt or you are overweight, you shouldn’t use a treadmill or a rowing machine.
In return, however, cross trainers and bicycle ergometers are available.
The latter is even available as recumbent bikes (recumbent bike ergometers), which make training with significantly overweight people much more comfortable.
So losing weight with the right exercise bike is not only very useful in the long term but also fun.
You can find out how to plan your diet the best, find the motivation to exercise every day and consider when to buy a good exercise bike.