In our society, being overweight is a severe problem that affects both health and self-confidence. If you’ve made up your mind to get rid of those annoying pounds, it’s already a step in the right direction.
HOW DO I BEST DO THAT?
Most of those who want to lose weight ask themselves this question because of the countless tips disseminated on the Internet and in various glossy magazines. We have a simple answer to this: 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 vigor 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?
PERHAPS. MAYBE NOT.
This is precisely where the most significant advantage of a good exercise bike comes into play because you can use it to train at home without getting wet or freezing. Rightly, of course, you are now saying that 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 counterproductive for your fitness and your diet goal, but also your wallet in the long term. Annual membership in the fitness club costs several hundred euros.
But if you look at your exercise bike every time you come into your living room or bedroom, the training’s motivation is much higher. The flexible use also speaks for the purchase of a treadmill, cross trainer, rowing machine, or 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 favorite 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 the concept of losing weight before we get down to business. This is misunderstood on many blogs, Youtube channels, and also in lifestyle magazines. 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 not quite that simple. 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 pressure decreases slowly. Eventually, it stagnates, and you start to doubt your plans. So that it doesn’t get that far, 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 that is excreted from the tissue. Also, the amount of water in your body fluctuates from day to day, so you seem to have gained weight all at once despite a calorie deficit.
Also, especially as a beginner, you will build additional muscles through the training, which in turn gives the impression that it does not go ahead on the scales. So you see that you shouldn’t rely on 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 live how you get in shape.
The Fat Burning Myth
Now from theory to practice. You will surely have picked up the phrase that you have to exercise for half an hour to burn fat or only burn fat with a pulse of X. In this form, however, the two statements are wrong. You neither have to exercise on the ergometer for a certain amount of time nor a precise pulse necessary to burn fat.
We don’t want to go too deep into our body’s energy supply processes. But so much can be said: The organism never uses only one fuel to generate energy. How the ratio of metabolized fats and carbohydrates turns out depends on the training experience and the intensity of exercise.
With endurance performances and also 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 ultimately, it all comes down to the amount of energy burned, you naturally ask yourself what weekly fat loss you can count on during ergometer training. To do this, we first have to 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, of course, elementary 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 naturally differ in individual cases depending on body weight, training status, and intensity level of the training. Nevertheless, the table gives you an excellent comparative overview of the expected calorie consumption. To lose one kilogram of body fat, you have to spend a good ten hours on the rowing machine at moderate intensity or a good 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 offers an exciting alternative and can also be carried out on all exercise bikes. HIIT training is basically about burning as much energy as possible in a short amount of time. 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 unit twice as long.
Take advantage of the afterburn effect.
Numerous studies, including an investigation by the Canadian Laval University, have shown that pure body fat loss during HIIT training is significantly increased in the long term. The latter is due, among other things, to the so-called afterburn effect. The intense training load ensures that your metabolism rate remains significantly increased up to 24 hours after training. So 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 with increasing fitness.
How often should I exercise on the ergometer for the best results?
In general, the golden rule also applies when losing weight on the exercise bike: Not much helps much. And that’s because of two things.
- Firstly, because an excessive energy deficit sabotages your entire weight loss project.
- Second, because you have to give your body enough time to regenerate between workouts so that it can recover.
Pay attention to regeneration.
These two reasons show that it makes little sense if you spend 60-90 minutes on the ergometer every day or even do an intensive HIIT unit every day. Especially as a beginner, you should slowly improve and start with 2-3 training units per week. Also, it makes sense to start with 48 hours of regeneration between two training units. If you are already a bit more experienced, you can increase the number of workouts to 4-5 per week.
When planning your training, you can also combine classic “slow-and-steady cardio” with HIIT units to save time and use the afterburn effect. This, in turn, has an impact on the 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 have already briefly mentioned that an excessively large calorie deficit harms you more than it benefits you. You owe this to an evolutionary biological mechanism that is supposed to protect you from starvation in times of food shortage. This so-called emergency metabolism ensures that metabolic activity is reduced and muscles are broken down.
Your body’s ability to hold onto body fat spasmodically if the calorie intake, but especially the daily fat intake, is too low, is a decisive factor. It sounds paradoxical, but it is quite logical because fat is not only an energy source but also vital for the production of hormones and the digestion of vitamins. Without wanting to go too deep into the biochemical depth, it emerges that the control of the calorie deficit solely through nutrition is suboptimal.
To prevent entry into hunger metabolism, it is better to control the daily energy deficit mainly through training. 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.
Not having to go hungry, but saving a large part of the calories through the consumption during training is not only healthier but also conducive to your perseverance. This is due to the release of happiness hormones, the so-called endorphins. And by the way, it is a seductive idea to be able 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 the right choice. If you’re more of a runner, it’s the treadmill. Or do you want to train your upper body as well as your legs? Then a rowing ergometer is the right choice.
However, these personal preferences are not everything, because not all devices are suitable for everyone. For example, if you have problems with your knees or are very overweight, treadmills and rowing machines are not appropriate. In return, however, cross trainers and bicycle ergometers are available. The latter is even available as recumbent bikes (recumbent bike ergometers), which makes training with extreme overweight much more comfortable.
So you see, 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.