We're an affiliate
We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Thank you if you use our links, we really appreciate it!
Indoor cycling is a great exercise to do because it’s low-impact and does an awesome job of keeping you in shape.
The number of times you participate in an indoor cycling class per week depends on a lot of factors for example; other exercises you might be doing, your personal fitness goals, and whether you’re using the exercise to lose weight.
Indoor cycling for a total of three times per week is plenty.
Doing it less or more than that may work better for you depending on your current fitness level.
If you’re a runner, for example, you likely won’t need a cycling class more than once or twice a week because let’s face it; you already run regularly.
That’s plenty of cardio!
If indoor cycling is your only exercise activity, you really should shoot for three to four days per week.
Table of Contents
What Is Indoor Cycling and Why Is it So Good for You?
Indoor cycling is just another name for riding on a stationary bicycle but don’t let how easy it sounds make you think that it isn’t a good workout.
If you’re a beginner and want to start slowly, there is nothing wrong with taking just one cycling class a week because the calories that you’ll be burning in that one session are worth a lot.
Of course, one of the biggest perks about indoor cycling is that you don’t have to go to a gym to participate in it.
You can purchase a stationary bike for your home and work out there but a cycling class at the gym is likely to keep you more motivated because you’ll have other people around you and an instructor who is constantly pushing you and challenging you to do better.
For this reason, most people choose to go to regular cycling classes so they’ll stay motivated and challenge themselves regularly.
Indoor cycling is also good to increase stamina, improve muscle tone, and improve your overall cardio health.
In addition, although it does a great job of getting your heart rate up while you exercise, indoor cycling is not a difficult form of exercise. In fact, all you do is hop on your bike and start pedalling.
It’s super easy to get used to, is a lot of fun, and won’t put too much of a strain on your joints and muscles, making it perfect for those with arthritis and other conditions that may limit other forms of exercise.
How Fast Should You Cycle?
Of course, when we talk about the calories burned while cycling, these numbers are averages.
The number also depends on how fast you’re willing to pedal once you get on the bicycle.
Naturally, you won’t be able to go very fast when you first start out but you can increase your speed over time and eventually reach your goals.
The speed is actually calculated as the number of revolutions per minute, or RPMs, and the recommendations are based on what a real cyclist would do bicycling outdoors.
If you’re new to indoor cycling, you should be careful not to go above these numbers as many cyclists do in the beginning because they are so anxious to get a good workout.
Again, build up slowly until you get to the 80 to 110 range. It’s best not to take too many of those simulated hills in the beginning because they are much more of a challenge than the flat roads are.
Even after you get used to the 80 to 110 range, you can stay there safely from then on.
This is enough of a challenge to give you a great workout without it bringing your heart rate up too much and becoming unsafe.
Fortunately, most indoor cycling bikes come with an easy-to-read display that shows you how fast you’re going at all times so it’s easier than you think to remain at the recommended level without going too slow or too fast.
Great if you’re doing HIIT workouts!
What Is a HIIT Workout?
HIIT is short for high intensity interval training, and the way it works is simple.
You simply perform a very fast exercise routine for a certain number of minutes, then slow down for a minute or two, then start the routine over again.
Of course, “slow down” in this workout does not mean stopping.
Indeed, with this type of training, you are continuously working out intensely, slowing down, then starting all over again.
If you’re interested in some high intensity interval training when you cycle, you can create your own routine but if you’re not sure how to get started, you can always do this:
- Start with a warm-up of three to five minutes
- Do 60 seconds of a very fast speed
- Then 60 seconds of a speed that is a bit slower
- Perform the 60 seconds fast/60 seconds slower routine a total of eight times
This should take you roughly around 16 minutes.
When you’re done, make sure that you spend three to five minutes cooling down slowly so that your heart rate doesn’t just stop but gets lower gradually.
Although 60 seconds doesn’t sound as if it is a lot, when you’re cycling at high speeds for that length of time, it can feel like much more of a challenge.
Indeed, when you participate in this type of activity, you’re going to learn to welcome the 60 seconds of slower activity just to give yourself a slight break!
This workout can be utilised with other forms of exercise as well and it is a great addition to your workout program when weight loss is your main goal.
Does Indoor Cycling Always Help You Lose Weight?
Indoor cycling is definitely a great way to help you lose weight but if you’ve been cycling regularly and aren’t losing the weight that you want to lose, there could be several reasons why.
If you feel as though you’re getting a good work out each time you exercise but the pounds just aren’t dropping off, it might be due to one of the following reasons:
- Watch your posture: Your feet should be flat on the pedals, your bottom flat on the seat, your elbows at a slight bend, and your core should be giving it all you’ve got.
- Don’t start out too fast: If you push yourself too much in the beginning, you won’t have enough energy left over for the end of the workout, meaning that your total exercise time will be much shorter.
- Make sure that you drink enough water: It’s easy to get dehydrated when cycling so make sure that you hydrate regularly during the workout.
- Challenge yourself a bit more: If you don’t push yourself, you won’t improve and therefore won’t lose weight.
Remember also that cycling doesn’t necessarily help you lose weight right away. It may take a while so don’t expect to lose weight in a week or even a month. The key is to be consistent, keep going, and try to push yourself a little more each time that you work out. Consistency is the key so if you don’t give up, you’ll eventually reach your health and fitness goals.
Not Just for Women You Know!
Although many people consider indoor cycling to be a women’s exercise routine, more and more men are actually getting into it as well.
We’ve already discussed the many benefits of participating in indoor cycling on a regular basis and guess what?
They work for men just the same as they do for women!
If you’re a man with joint problems, you’re trying to lose weight, or you’re just interested in meeting some hip and fit women, a good indoor cycling class might be just what you need.
Indeed, indoor cycling is great for dozens of reasons, the most significant one being that it offers a great way to improve your cardiovascular health, but it doesn’t stop there.
It is also a lot of fun and since both women and men enjoy riding bikes, it only makes sense that they would both love indoor cycling as well.
Indoor cycling has become increasingly popular in recent years and there is little wonder why.
It provides a great workout for people of all ages and genders, is easy on the joints, burns lots of calories, and keeps you in great shape year after year.
You can benefit from indoor cycling without getting up to super-high speeds and if you participate in a cycling class instead of cycling at home, you can enjoy the company of like-minded individuals and enjoy the motivational benefits that you can’t get at home.
Building up to three or four indoor cycling sessions a week is perfect for most people and it’s an exercise that you won’t regret trying.
Again, if you participate in other forms of exercise, you can cycle fewer times per week; if you want to push yourself, you can shoot for more.
The number you choose is up to you because the important thing to remember is to be consistent with your efforts so you can see results.