Knowing your limits with exercise is essential.
Too much and you risk injury, too little and you risk not reaping the rewards.
We asked Personal Trainer Laura Braziulyle for her insight and tips on getting the most out of cycling.
According to Laura, “Cycling is a cardio workout form that can help you with both weight loss.
You need to do it for a certain amount of time, at a certain intensity and regularly, to really see the weight-loss benefits from cycling.”
So how much should you cycle to lose weight and see the results you crave? Laura shares her thoughts below:
1. How much should you cycle to lose weight?
The basic rule for losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume.
Cycling is a perfect tool for that. It allows you to get your heart rate up and to burn an impressive number of calories with minor wear and tear on your knees, ankles, and other joints, compared with running or jogging.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week or a combination.
So, if you started with 10 to 15 minutes of cycling in one session, you should slowly add on a few minutes to each session until you’ve reached at least 150 minutes of cycling in a week to achieve your goals.
If you struggle to keep track of your workouts, then read on to find out how I recommended you keep on top of it all!
2. How hard should you push yourself?
If you want to burn fat, you need to ride at a pace that gives you a heart rate of approximately between 60 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate.
To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220.
For example, if you’re 35 years old, subtract 35 from 220 to get a maximum heart rate of 185.
This is the average number of times your heart should beat per minute during max effort exercise.
If your maximum heart rate is 185, then for a fat burn workout, you’ll be maintaining a heart rate of between 111 (60% of maximum heart rate) and 138 (75% of maximum) throughout the session.
If you don’t have any devices to calculate your heart rate, you need to aim for a pace that makes you breathe more rapidly and more intensely, but at the same time you would still be able to maintain a conversation if needed.”
However, if you don’t have time for an hour ride at a moderate pace, you can try HIIT. HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise alternated with intervals of low-intensity exercise. With cycling, a HIIT workout may look something like this:
- Cycle as fast as you possibly can against high resistance for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Then, do 2 to 3 minutes of easy cycling with low resistance.
- Repeat this pattern for the next 20 to 30 minutes.
This type of exercise can help you burn more calories in less time and improve your cardio fitness and help you lose fat. Combining these two types, HIIT and moderate-intensity of training, during the week, you’ll achieve great results.
There is a brilliant app called CyclingDiet that can help you manage all of the above, making sure you are getting the very best results for your hard work.
More on that shortly.
3. How long should recovery take?
Recovery is the most crucial part.
Training is just a stimulus for all the processes after that. So make sure you’re getting enough sleep (7- 8h at night), and your diet is well-balanced.
Sometimes, putting in the hard work on your bike won’t be enough. You need to eat a balanced diet to go alongside this.
After the workout, refuel yourself with carbohydrates and protein to help your body repair, build strength, and keep you healthy for more riding.
Also, be sure to take recovery rides, a critical ride for any training plan that is slow and easy.
The best thing about cycling is how much fun it is.
Whether you like speeding along country lanes, ripping along mountain bike trails, long contemplative rides on your own, or social rides with friends, there are loads to love, and you’ll almost forget you’re exercising while you do it.
A lot of my clients say that they struggle with motivation to get on the bike or to keep a track of their cycling progress. And I always say that they do not need a personal trainer next to them because there’s an app that I love and trust- it’s called CyclingDiet.
It is the perfect solution for those looking to lose weight, build muscle, or achieve their fitness goals, all with your bike.
They have a range of plans tailored to your preferences – all crafted by cycling professionals, so you know you are getting the best advice possible.
It is an excellent and budget-friendly alternative to hiring a specialist or personal trainer, and you can work at your own pace, no matter what your experience.
There is a vast amount of other cool features to go alongside the app, including a keto desserts recipe book, should you wish!
The recipes are tasty and contain all the nutrients you need, taking out the hard work for you.
Like the cycling plans, these recipes are all prepared by expert nutritionists. So you can rest assured that you will be getting the best possible results.
We also really love the possibility of speaking directly to a coach or nutritionist, all through the app.
You can purchase consultation and discuss your goals, working together to achieve them,
We recommend that you try the free CyclingDiet quiz and see how they help you.
It only takes a minute to complete, and worst-case scenario, you get to find some helpful information, all free!
Results may vary due to personal features.