Remember when cycling was just cycling? With the advent of Soulcycle, Peloton, and now The Sufferfest, an indoor cycling training program that’s created using officially licensed footage from some of the world’s greatest races, like the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, those days seem long gone. For those who find cycling or even working out in general tedious, these new indoor workouts offer a way to engage riders and make what can be a horribly brutal cycling experience into something actually enjoyable. That’s right, the “road to nowhere” can not only propel your fitness to the next level, but can prove to be pleasurable. We spoke with the team behind The Sufferfest to get more insight into the reasons why we should all consider adding a few indoor rides to our weekly wellness program. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Indoor cycling is more time-efficient
Not only do you save time getting ready, but a 60 minute ride inside is equal to a 90 minute ride outside. This is because riding indoors is so much more efficient: there is no coasting, stopping at red lights or getting caught behind slow moving traffic.
2. It’s a better workout
Cycling is perfect for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). But the unpredictable nature of riding outside — changes in terrain, wind, traffic, stop signs, etc. — make it nearly impossible to do a truly structured workout. When you’re riding indoors, though, you have no interruptions and can do your intervals at the exact effort and duration required for maximum fitness benefit.
3. It doesn’t take much in terms of equipment
No need to pack food, spare tubes for flats or a helmet. Let’s face it — riding a stationary bike is way more convenient. You simply get on the bike, or show up to a class and ride. You don’t even necessarily need cycling shoes as most indoor cycling bikes can accommodate regular sneakers.
4. It’s entertaining
Many of the most innovative cycling studios are using video technology as a way of enhancing the rider experience. Some of the most exciting and effective cycling videos are by The Sufferfest. These videos (which you can use at home or at a licensed studio) are structured HIIT workouts with climbing, sprinting, descending, and flatland racing. They’re the only videos in the world to feature officially licensed footage from professional races like the Tour de France, the Tour of Italy and the World Championships. Footage from within a bike race adds a new thrill to indoor cycling classes. It’s easy to work hard when a class pushes you to close a gap to a breakaway or attack over the top of the climb to win the race. Not to mention, these videos are packed with great music, on-screen instructions and — believe it or not — an amazing sense of humor.
5. It’s safer
Especially for new riders, riding outside can be intimidating — not to mention that in urban areas there tends to be a lot of traffic. Indoor cycling provides all the benefits of road cycling in a traffic-free environment without the risks of crash injuries.