One of the best ways to maximise your weight loss during a cycling workout is to use the interval training method. This means cycling at high intensity for a short while, then giving yourself a break with an easier segment. The easier segment allows your body to recover from the exertion of cycling at high intensity. Try to alternate riding styles throughout the course of your workout to help improve your weight loss rate.
Cycling at high intensity will increase your heart rate, which in turn increases your metabolism, an essential if you want to lose weight! You burn more calories the harder your body works. But you need to alternate this high intensity with an easier segment so that your body learns to recover more quickly from the exertion. The more you cycle in this way, the shorter your recovery times will be and the more calories you will burn.
Burning the fat
You need to burn calories in order to shed fat from your body. As an example, to lose just 1lb of fat you will need to burn around 3,500 calories. A person of average weight who is cycling around 12 miles per hour will burn about 563 calories, 493 calories if on a stationary indoor bike.
Doing this regularly will increase your fitness levels, which in turn increases your speed. Once you are cycling at around 14 miles per hour, the calorie burn rate will increase to around 704 calories per hour when you are cycling outside.
Steady-State Interval Exercises
If you want to increase the speed you cycle at, which in turn will increase your calorie burn, try some steady-state interval exercises. Warm up for 10 minutes then cycle at near maximum capacity (what you think of as around 8 out of 10 for effort). Take a rest and pedal at an easy rate for 5 minutes, before increasing to your near maximum again for another 10. Repeat this at least three times during the course of your workout and you will find your speed increases in no time at all. When you are doing this easily, increase the amount of time you spend on the more intense part of the interval.
Making the most of hills
If you are cycling outside, you will find that hills provide you with natural, ready-made intervals. If you are exercising inside on a stationary bike, you can recreate the effect of hills by using a higher gear or by increasing the resistance level on the bike.
When you are outside you can maximise the impact that climbing hills has on your calorie loss by climbing the hill whilst sitting down on the first ascent, half sitting and half standing on the second ascent and standing for the whole climb on the third ascent. On your fourth ascent you will want to give it all you’ve got and climb the hill at maximum capacity whilst you are standing.
Cycle everywhere and anywhere you can
The beauty of cycling for weight loss is that you don’t have to make any special effort to fit your workout into your routine. You can cycle to and from work. You can cycle to see your friends. You can cycle on a day trip. You can cycle wherever you like and keep burning those calories.
This article was contributed by Lloyd, a freelance writer and blogger, on behalf of Reebok Fitness.