Here’s the simple answer:
In 30 minutes of cycling at a moderate pace on a stationary bike a person of average weight will burn up around 260 calories. That’s according to Harvard Med School.
So, is an exercise bike effective if you’re trying to reduce body fat? Stick with me till the end of this article and I’ll let you into a secret about this.
Want a bit more detail?
Okay, well then let’s dive into this and take a closer look.
First, comparing this figure with another independent source, the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services. Based on figures they’ve published, that same person pedaling at the same speed burns around 247 calories in a half hour.
That’s good news. Both of these reputable sources quote approximately the same amounts of calorie-burning power for stationary biking.
If we break down the “simple answer” stated above, “moderate cycling” would mean keeping up a pace where you can continue to hold a normal conversation. “Vigorous cycling” on the other hand would mean going flat out at a pace where you’re virtually unable to do more than grunt occasionally.
Vigorous cycling will, however, burn up more calories. Quite a lot more as we’ll see in a moment.
A person of average weight is taken to mean someone at around 155 pounds / 70 Kg. You’ll burn calories more quickly the heavier you are. Conversely, a person who is lighter will burn calories slower on an exercise bike.
Is it possible to increase the calories burned on an exercise bike?
If you want to max out on the fat-burning, then using up calories via an exercise program will only give you half (at best) of the solution. To get the most benefit you’ll need to team it with a healthy eating schedule. Of course, if you have any concerns about your health, then always check with your physician or health professional prior to changing anything.
With all that though, it is possible to burn up A TON of calories on the stationary bike, and there are loads of ways to take it to the max and use a much greater rate as your legs spin.
We’ll look at a few of the easiest methods to build your burn rate now.
If you consider it carefully, you’ll only really burn calories when you pedal. You might believe that you’re pedaling every second, but unfortunately, there’ll be lots of occasions when you’re not: Starting off slow. Taking a breather in the middle. Freewheeling towards the end of the cool-down.
If you make certain to take all opportunities to keep those legs spinning, even at those times, then you can dramatically increase your calorie burn rate. Don’t coast!
(Don’t) Hang on
One mistake that new stationary cyclists make is to hang on too tightly to the handlebars through their workouts. You might imagine that uses up extra calories (by gripping tightly). And, it does, but actually you’ll end up leaning on the handlebars for support as you get more and more tired. This means that you’ll be engaging fewer muscles, particularly those in your core and legs. Fewer muscles engaged means fewer calories burned.
Lift your butt
Try an experiment and see how it feels cycling in a seated position and then with your butt lifted off the seat. Feel the difference? When you’re sat down, the bike will be supporting most of your weight through the saddle. That means that your muscles won’t need to work quite as hard and, as a result, you’ll be burning less calories.
Add in some standing cycling work to your bike programs and you’ll really feel it through your legs and central core. All good news for weight loss and toning.
When you workout by yourself it can oftentimes be hard to motivate yourself to really go for it. You’ll still be burning calories, but you could burn a lot more if you really worked hard. Try working out with some of the many free classes you can get on YouTube. These will push you so much harder and afterwards you’ll really feel the benefit. Okay, maybe once you’ve had chance for a quick lie down…
Get your speed on
Earlier we saw the calories you can burn spin cycling at a moderate pace – the sort of speed that you can still hold a conversation at. What happens when you really push your foot down and bump up your speed?
According to the Harvard research, increasing your speed to ‘vigorous’ (i.e. when you can’t hold a conversation) will increase the calories you burn by a massive 50%! Now, isn’t that worth it?
Can you transform your body using a stationary bike? Yes!
If you’re thinking about starting a weight loss program (or you’re on one right this moment), you might be wondering just what results it’s possible to achieve by cycling on a stationary bike.
Have a look at this YouTube to see how one man got on with a Peloton bike. The before and after assessments are amazing and show just what’s possible.
So, is cycling on a stationary bike an effective method of cutting down on body fat? As this study from Erzincan University shows, the answer is definitely: Yes!