A lot of exercise goals are geared towards losing weight. Whether it’s for health reasons or to feel more comfortable in your own skin.

Before starting any new diet or exercise programs though, please consult your doctor. They can help you determine which plans are right for your body and your current health state. 

The science of weight loss

How exactly does one lose weight effectively?

This is the key factor you need to understand when moving forward with any type of exercise plan – exactly what exercises can help you lose weight?

It's a loaded question because there’s so many elements to consider and it varies from person to person.

For the purposes of this post, we’re going to look at the general best practices to losing weight through your indoor cycling workout.

The diets behind weight loss

We want to think of weight loss in terms of what is healthy.

A healthy weight loss can see the loss of about 1-2 pounds per week – people on this type of path are more likely to keep the weight off than those who go on a crash diet to lose weight quickly.

This isn’t a magical solution – it’s an entire lifestyle shift.

Young woman holding up her left arm, hand in a fist. Proud of her accomplishment.

You have to be ready to commit to changing aspects of your diet, your physical activity, and your mindset.

To lose weight you have to increase your physical activity while decreasing your calorie intake.

At least this is the most common consensus among researchers.

There have been multiple trials done regarding weight loss through different diets and exercise routines, but the main problem that always seems to crop up is adherence to the plan.

People get bored of eating the same things and being told what they can and cannot do.

There is a 2015 study that followed 800 people eating the same meals for a week and every single person had different results.

The results of the above study suggests that although there is a lot of hype around certain diets, you have to choose what feels right for you.

Look at your lifestyle and determine what kinds of changes you want to make.

  • Gradually adjust your diet. Choose 1 or 2 items to focus on, and then once you’ve got those as a habit, choose 1 more small switch to make.
  • Focus on what you’re eating rather than what you’re not eating.
  • Start by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet and cut back on sugar.

The exercises behind weight loss

While you can lose weight through diet alone, it’s not nearly as effective as when you combine it with physical activity.

Setting a daily goal for yourself to have some form of activity for at least 30 minutes is an excellent place to start.

But working out consistently can sometimes be a big undertaking.

We get it.

This is why gym memberships boom in January and then are empty a few months later.

The only commitment you need to make at the beginning of your fitness journey is to keep moving.

"But exercise hurts sometimes."

Yes it does.

There’s that old saying, “No pain, no gain”, which is often related to the pain you feel the day after a rigorous exercise session.

This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and occurs due to the amount of stress we put on our muscles during a workout.

It’s perfectly normal and usually occurs at the beginning stages of a new routine.

But if you’re in pain during your workout?

That’s when you need to be concerned and talk to your trainer or doctor.

If you’re in pain during a workout then something needs to change. It could be your form or it could be something more chronic.

That’s why indoor cycling is a great way to ease yourself into creating a regular routine – the low impact and high-intensity workouts are the perfect blend.

Now, we’re not saying that indoor cycling is the only exercise you should be doing, it should be though, a part of it.

You need a mixture of cardio and strength training to see real results.

Young woman lying with her back on the floor doing a crunch, with her elbow crossing over to touch her opposite knee.

How indoor cycling can help you achieve your weight loss goals

Alright, this is the good part as far as we’re concerned!

As people who are passionate about the sport, we love talking about the benefits of cycling.

For your weight loss goals, cycling is a great starting point because it targets the largest muscle groups: your hamstrings and glutes.

By activating these larger muscles your body produces hormones to signal muscle production, which then helps burn fat across your whole body.

Indoor cycling can also be a full-body workout if you choose the right program.

By completing a ride that involves hill climbs, sprints, and sitting and standing positions, you’re able to target multiple muscles in one workout.

In all positions, make sure you engage your core as this will help your form and increase the power your body can relay to the bike with each pedal stroke.

Standing while pedalling works your thighs and glutes – squeeze your inner thighs during each stroke to maintain the most efficient form.

Changing the resistance on your bike can increase the difficulty of your ride. By increasing or decreasing the resistance you can make different sections of your program easier (like in a sprint) or more challenging (like on a climb).

A sample program could be:

  • Warm-up for 10 minutes of easy pedalling on a lower resistance
  • Ride at a medium resistance for 5 minutes
  • Sprint for 30 seconds at a medium resistance - repeat 3 times with 30 seconds breaks
  • Ride as a medium resistance for 10 minutes
  • Ride at a high resistance for 10 minutes
  • Ride at a medium resistance for 5 minutes
  • Ride at a medium/high resistance for 5 minutes
  • Sprint for 30 seconds on a medium resistance - repeat 3 times with 30 second brakes

This is just one sample - there are so many online sources where you can find great programs by cycle instructors.

There’s also a lot of digital platforms where you can find programs. (like Wexer, The Sufferfest, Intelligent Cycling, and BODY BIKE On-Demand)

Something you definitely need while doing a workout though is something to keep you motivated.

Choose songs that amp you up - or check online for indoor cycle playlists.
If that’s not your thing, you can watch TV or listen to a podcast while you’re riding.

Or, even move your BODY BIKE outside and enjoy the sun!

Blonde woman riding her Body Bike outside on a very sunny day

Your Goal. Your Workout.

The main point to realize before starting any new fitness routine or diet is that you need to get in the right mindset to make a change.

Your mindset controls your success.

Keep yourself motivated and try to find someone who will help you stay accountable - in a positive way!

Indoor cycling can improve your overall health and help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Try different styles of ride programs and see what suits you best.

You’re more likely to stick with something you enjoy, so keep it interesting.