4 of the Best Stationary Bike Workouts

men working out with stationary bike, cycling, exercise

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Winter is here, which means most road and mountain bikers will be forced to spend their workouts indoors. Rather than flopping down on the couch for a long, inactive winter, hop on the stationary bike at your gym or mount your road bike in your living room. When the spring thaw begins you’ll be ready to crush the road or your favorite trails with ease.

Whether you’re a biking fanatic or just need a low-impact exercise to trim fat, tone your legs, and amp up your heart rate, these stationary bike workouts in a variety of durations and intensities will have you inspired and motivated all winter long.

4 Minutes: Tabata Protocol Interval

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The Tabata Protocol Workout is an aerobic cardio routine that was created by Izumi Tabata and requires you to perform 20 seconds of intense work followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of eight cycles. This entire workout lasts only four minutes making it the perfect option when you have limited time and need to blast out some energy.

  • Give yourself 5-10 minutes of warm up to get your muscles moving. During this time find a resistance you’re comfortable with and one that is difficult enough that once you start sprinting your legs wont spin out of control.
  • Pedal as fast and as hard as you are able for 20 seconds.
  • Bike very slowly for 10 seconds to catch your breath.
  • Repeat this for a total of eight rounds or four minutes total.
  • Finish with a 5-10 minute cool down at an easy tempo.

 35 Minutes: Speed Workout

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

This calorie blasting stationary bike workout burns 370 calories in just 35 minutes and moves you from the seated position to standing before bringing you back down for a much-deserved cool down.

  • Warm up for 15 minutes, moderate effort (RPE 5).
  • Pedal hard for 10 seconds, remain seated (RPE 8). Recover for 1 minute (RPE 3).
  • Pedal hard for 20 seconds, remain seated (RPE 8). Recover for 1 minute (RPE 3).
  • Pedal hard for 30 seconds, remain seated (RPE 8). Recover for 2 minutes (RPE 3).
  • Pedal hard for 10 seconds, standing up (RPE 8). Sit back down and recover for 1 minute (RPE 3).
  • Pedal hard for 15 seconds, standing up (RPE 8). Sit back down and recover for 1 minute (RPE 3).
  • Pedal hard for 20 seconds, standing up (RPE 8). Sit back down and recover for 2 minutes (RPE 3).
  • Ride 5 minutes at RPE 5, then cool down for 5 minutes at RPE 3.

40 Minutes: Push It

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

You’ve heard of or experienced the intensity of a spin class, but at $30 a class it isn’t a feasible option for your daily workout. This routine was created by Lisa Niron the head coach at Peloton Cycle and is a total calorie crusher.

  • 0 to 1: Pedal in the saddle (first position) at 100 revolutions per minute (RPM) for 30 seconds. Then, pick up the pace for 30 seconds (100+ RPM).
  • 2 to 4.5: Rest for 15 seconds. Alternate 30 seconds of 100 RPM bursts and 15 seconds of rest, three times.
    5 to 5: “Jog” out of the saddle (80-95 RPM) for 30 seconds, moving from second to third position at your discretion.
  • 5 to 7: Starting in third position, do two sets of tap backs (6 to 12 reps). Sprint in the saddle for 30 seconds. Rise to third to recover for 15 seconds. Repeat.
  • 7 to 8.5: Stay in third position for 15 seconds, then return to the saddle for 30 seconds. Repeat.
  • 5 to 9: Rise to third position and sprint for 45 seconds. Add resistance and drop to the saddle for 45 seconds.
  • 9 to 11: Staying in the saddle, push to 65 RPM for 15 seconds, and to 75+ RPM for another 30 seconds. Rise up to third and return to 65 RPM for 15 seconds. Repeat.
  • 11 to 11:30: Actively recover by doing “four corners,” or moving to each side of the bike: top left, top right, back left, back right for 30 seconds.
  • 11:30 to 12: Begin out of the saddle at 70 RPM. Push to 80 RPM for 8 counts. Recover for 8 counts. Repeat.
  • 12 to 13: Build speed at third position for 15 seconds. Drop to first and sprint for 45 seconds.
  • 13 to 14: Recover in third position for 30 seconds. Add resistance and hit the saddle for 30 seconds.
  • 14 to 15: Reduce the resistance and rise up to third for 30 seconds and increase speed (75+ RPM). Drop to the saddle and ride on a flat road (100 RPM) for 15 seconds. Add resistance for 15 seconds.
  • 15 to 17: Stay in the saddle for 30 seconds (80+ RPM). Rise to third to recover for 30 seconds. Repeat.
  • 17 to 18: Return to first position and ride on a flat road (100 RPM) for 15 seconds. Push for 15 seconds (120+ RPM). Add resistance. Jump to second position for 8 counts. Return to the saddle for 8 counts. Repeat jumps.
  • 18 to 20: In the saddle, speed up (125+ RPM) for 60 seconds, increasing resistance after 30 seconds and speed for the final 15 seconds.
  • 20 to 23: Sprint in the saddle for 30 seconds. Recover out of the saddle for 15 seconds. Repeat three more times.
  • 23 to 26: Begin out of the saddle holding the pace at 65 RPM for 30 seconds. Sprint for 45 seconds. Recover for 30 seconds. Sprint for another 45 seconds. Tap it back for 30 seconds.
  • 26 to 27: Staying in third position, add resistance and continue for 15 seconds. Drop to the saddle, remove the resistance, and push to your max speed for 45 seconds.
  • 27 to 30: Begin out of the saddle at 50 to 60 RPM for 45 seconds. Sprint for 45 seconds. Return to the saddle for 45 seconds. Increase your resistance, and return to third for 45 seconds.
  • 30 to 31: Return to the saddle and reduce resistance so you’re on a flat road.
  • 31 to 33: Still on a flat road, speed to 100+ RPM for 30 seconds. Recover for 30 seconds. Add resistance. Increase speed (100+ RPM) for another 30 seconds. Recover for 30 seconds.
  • 33 to 36: Rising to third, tap it back for 20 seconds. Staying in third position, sprint for 20 seconds. Drop to the saddle, add resistance, and sprint for another 20 seconds. Rise to third, and repeat two more times.
  • 36 to 38: Staying in third position, pedal at a moderate pace for 30 seconds. Drop to the saddle for 30 seconds. Rise to third position for 30 seconds. Drop to the saddle for 30 seconds.
  • 38 to 39: Start in the saddle on a flat road. Increase speed for 15 seconds. Recover for 15 seconds. Add resistance. Increase speed for 15 seconds. Rise to third position. Push to anything above 65 RPM for 15 seconds.
  • 39 to 40: Drop to the saddle on a flat road and race 60 seconds to the finish line.

1 Hour: “Hills” Workout

bike

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This one-hour workout will take you up six “hills” but you’ll also get to enjoy the release of pedaling “downhill” after. With all the ups and downs it’s no wonder this hour long workout will have you burn an estimated 635 calories.

  • Find a hill that takes about 1 to 1½ minutes to climb. Warm up for 15 minutes, moderate effort (RPE 5).
  • Hill climb 1: Stay seated, use moderate resistance (RPE 6). Recover by pedaling downhill in easy gear (RPE 2).
  • Hill climb 2: Stay seated, increase resistance (RPE 7). Recover by pedaling downhill in easy gear (RPE 2).
  • Hill climb 3: Sit halfway up the hill, then stand, using moderate resistance (RPE 7). Recover by pedaling downhill in easy gear (RPE 2).
  • Hill climb 4: Sit halfway up the hill, then stand using hard resistance (RPE 8). Recover by pedaling downhill in easy gear (RPE 2).
  • Hill climb 5: Stand the entire way using moderate resistance (RPE 7). Recover by pedaling downhill in easy gear (RPE 2).
  • Hill climb 6: Stand the entire way using hard resistance (RPE 9). Recover by pedaling downhill in easy gear (RPE 2).
  • Ride at a moderate effort for about a half hour (RPE 5), then cool down for 5 minutes at easy effort (RPE 3).

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