The noisy holidays are over, now is the moment when you planned to start creating a better version of yourself. It is quite possible that it is worth starting with a physical form. Cheerful feasts with excesses, a lot of dishes that were prepared for one night, and became the basis of the diet for the first week of the year — this does not pass without a trace. And in any case, when the heat comes, we all want to get into those jeans or maybe play with shapes in something tight. How to achieve a result and not get off the track, barely starting? We have the answer.
If the goal is to lose weight — great is cooler than football
What is an exercise bike capable of, or more precisely, what are you capable of on an exercise bike?
— I see people who come to classes, we communicate. One of our first tasks is to determine the purpose of training, what a person is ready to do on the simulator. Some people want to tone up their muscles, tighten their body. A lot of people want to get rid of excess weight. By the way, there are a lot of women in sykle. Probably, men traditionally prefer outdoor games: football, tennis. Meanwhile, cycling, cycling have the maximum benefit for both the cardiovascular system and weight loss. With a great you will lose excess weight faster than running after the ball, — says a professional athlete.
What is a cycle?
To put it simply, these are active fitness workouts on an exercise bike. But not a simple pedal twisting, but a planned cardio load, in which many muscle groups are loaded. In the cycle, we work with our feet, hands, and the whole body.
The idea is very simple. In the warm half of the year, we can ride a bike, pedal in the fresh air. But how to keep fit and what to do in the cold season? Yes, the same, just in comfort and under the roof. That's what an exercise bike is for.
Proper fit is the basis of everything
— If we are talking about vertical models, then in many ways they repeat the way we sit on a regular bike. Therefore, it is important that the bike station has the ability to adjust the saddle height and horizontal displacement. If, in addition, there is an option to adjust the steering wheel position, this is the top," the expert notes.
All other things being equal, your landing on a bicycle and on an exercise bike will coincide. The knees in the correct position should be positioned in an identical way with respect to the axes of the pedals, the legs will work the same way. If you still have doubts, you can always contact the masters.
— Landing is where we start, it's the base, the basis for everything. The correct fit, taking into account individual anthropometry, provides convenience, and it also allows you to avoid injuries.
You can be sure that if it is inconvenient for you to train at a bike station (or ride a bike), you will not last long in the saddle. Well, you will suffer a couple of times, be patient, and then you will score on such a sport, you will say that it is not yours. And the whole problem, perhaps, is that the saddle stood a couple of centimeters higher, that's all. The most persistent with such a problem can endure until the ligament is damaged and after that they will still throw their cycling far away, besides they will tell everyone in a row what it is harmful to health.
— Setting up a normal landing will not take much time, but it will save you from trouble in the future. In addition, these are quite accurate digital parameters: once you set your landing on an exercise bike, you can repeat it on your bike. With the help of a tape measure, it is easy to put the saddle and steering wheel in the right position, — says the professional.
Note: when choosing a vertical exercise bike for home, make sure that it is possible to adjust the position of the saddle, and if possible, the steering wheel.
Aerobic or anaerobic?
We got acquainted, sat down with great comfort in the saddle. What's next?
— I need to know about all your contraindications, health issues — this is mandatory. Therefore, a preliminary visit to the doctor is important, especially if you suspect yourself of any limitations. Next, in any case, I will observe how your body reacts to the load. A person can say that he is completely healthy, but with the load it is bad — shortness of breath, he suffocates. Then we work 80% of the time in the aerobic zone, we almost never enter the anaerobic zone.
Aerobic or anaerobic — what is the difference?
To put it quite simply, it's all about the degree of stress on the body through the prism of heart rate, that is, pulse.
The aerobic zone is low—intensity physical activity. The heart does not pound, but works in a relatively comfortable mode, the muscles receive enough oxygen, energy is taken mainly from glucose and burned fats.
Anaerobic zone — high intensity physical activity. The pulse is high, there is not enough oxygen, the body uses reserves of adenosine triphosphate and creatine phosphate in the muscles to get energy.
— You monitor your workload, control your heart rate — and everything happens by itself. It is enough to work in the range of 120-140 beats per minute (with acceleration it can be up to 160) — and that's it, you lose weight. This is a cool pulse zone in which fats burn, but there is no overload, the work is moderate," the expert continues.
The good news is that in order to do cardio, almost any exercise bike will suit you. You can carry out such a moderate, even smart workout in every sense both on an entry—level device and on an expensive model - the whole difference is in the nuances and, as a result, in the price.
— We are gradually increasing the pace, entering the pulse zone, stretching our PANO (the threshold of anaerobic metabolism; if you don't want to go into details, the broad concept of endurance will be a suitable synonym) — this is the right mode of operation. What is the difference between cycling and cycling or pedaling on a simulator? The fact that cycling is, one might say, cycling. We get out of the saddle, put our hands on the steering wheel, do exercises. This is a variety of work that allows you to work on many muscle groups, not just on the legs. It's like stretching, like a bar, but more dynamic, more fun.
At the same time, the coach is a conductor. They look at him and see how to do it right, he watches and controls how every violin in his orchestra plays.
— Men often overestimate their expectations from training. Superhero Mode: Give me something heavier. This is not how it works, you need to clearly perform the tasks of the coach. Otherwise, you can work out at high speeds once, and then lie on the couch for a week — what's the point? An unprepared body may need 3-4 days to recover after looking into the anaerobic zone. Our task is to go to our goal in a smart way, to reach the finish line, and not to get off at the beginning of the path. To do this, you need to dose the effort, increase the load step by step, receiving feedback from a person," the professional athlete explains.
A regular workout lasts about an hour, but at home you are free to manage your own time. First, you definitely need a warm—up, and after the main workout, a hitch.
— I would say that the hitch is a gratitude to our body for the work. We gradually reduce the pace, stretch the muscles so that they become more elastic and fatigue does not cover the next day," the expert noted.
If you are in doubt about how to properly perform these important elements of training, it makes sense to at least start classes under the supervision of a specialist — this way you will get up to speed faster.
How to keep your finger on the pulse?
Effective workouts are based on calculated work in pulse zones. Accordingly, you will literally have to keep your finger on the pulse, control your heart rate. Fortunately, there are enough gadgets now that allow you to do this with high accuracy. It remains to decide which option is right for you.
Advanced exercise bikes have not only a built-in heart rate monitor, but also an option to connect a heart sensor.
— In my opinion, it is not quite convenient to constantly hold on to the sensor located on the simulator. When doing exercises, this is not always possible. In addition, my personal experience suggests that errors were often detected in the readings obtained by this method. Which is understandable: somewhere the hand moved, somewhere the sensor was released, the grip was changed - monitoring stopped.
It is much more reliable to fasten a heart sensor on an elastic belt on the chest and receive information from it. It is convenient, nothing presses anywhere and does not interfere with breathing. The experience of the absolute majority of professional athletes who constantly use such equipment only confirms this.
And that's where the option of pairing an exercise bike with a heart sensor comes in handy: the pulse value will always be on the screen in front of your eyes, you will be able to control the intensity of the lesson and not be distracted by anything.
If you plan to combine exercise bike classes with other sports (running, swimming, riding a real bike), then buying cardiolent and specialized smart watches will be justified.
— By the way, if the data comes from a heart sensor on the chest (and this is the most accurate way to measure the pulse during sports), then it is not necessary to wear a watch on the wrist. It will be inconvenient to raise your hand every time to check your pulse. Therefore, hang the watch on the steering wheel in a convenient place and tighten the strap — in fact, they will turn into a full—fledged bicycle computer - a professional life hack will help you.
Well, the simplest, though a compromise option is to use smart watches or fitness bracelets, which may help you in everyday affairs. They also know how to track the pulse, besides there are enough different applications to accompany training. The disadvantage is that the watch must be on your hand, and this is not too convenient if you prefer to follow the numbers.
As for the accuracy of wrist readings, during our own experiment, we came to the conclusion that the values are close enough to what a professional sports kit will show, but there are still discrepancies. This is critical for high—achievement sports, for your own classes - decide for yourself.
What are horizontal exercise bikes?
We will offer you this comparison: a vertical, that is, an exercise bike familiar to everyone, is a stationary model of an ordinary bicycle, while a horizontal exercise bike rather resembles a catamaran. You also pedal, you can do it quite intensively and usefully, monitor your pulse, but at the same time you are located in a comfortable chair, which is located much lower and behind the pedal axis, if compared with a bicycle.
The idea is to significantly relieve the back. There are various situations, sometimes working in a classic bicycle saddle is prohibited for medical reasons just because of the condition of the spine. A horizontal exercise bike solves this problem. For those who, for various reasons, are not used to cycling, it will seem much more comfortable, while the same cardio load will be provided.
A portable exercise bike is a small and very simplified bicycle system. It can be used in tandem with a comfortable home chair or armchair. It turns out something like an anti-crisis horizontal exercise bike. This is hardly the best option for full-fledged cardio training and keeping fit during the cold period, but everyone has different goals, and a portable simulator is quite capable of toning muscles and providing some level of physical activity.
Finally, another option to pedal at home is to use a bike stand. This is a device that allows you to use your own bike. It is installed on a machine that provides the required load level. Advanced models at the same time are able to measure the power with which you pedal. Coupled with pulse tracking, you will have all the same data that professional riders are guided by, and the use of special interactive applications allows you to play a professional cycling race. A computer game with obvious health benefits — how do you like the idea?
This does not mean that the same opportunities are not available to you in the fitness center, where work is carried out under the supervision of a professional trainer.
— In our gym, for example, there are Wattbike simulators with all possible options and systems. This equipment allows for professional training of both cyclists and triathletes, who during training are guided not only by the pulse, but also by the power of pedaling.
Professional tips for beginners
— How often can you train so as not to overdo it?
— If we are talking about calculated, moderate and controlled loads, then you can work on an exercise bike every day, and it will not be stressful for the body. Even on the contrary: slags leave with sweat, the heart muscle is pumped. Of course, we are talking about a person who has no medical contraindications for such activity.
— Does a beginner need special equipment, like cyclists on the Tour de France?
— Taking into account the duration of the training, there are no large requests for equipment. The usual sportswear, in which you will be comfortable, sports shoes will be suitable. Exercise bikes have tuklips on the pedals — in order for pedaling to be as circular and efficient as possible. Therefore, there is no special need to buy special shoes and contact pedals separately. Cycling shorts with a diaper — it works for your comfort, but, again, one hour in the saddle is not much, it is unlikely that you will have problems in ordinary clothes. Although everything is individual.
— Riding a regular bike in the fresh air is an active and interesting activity. How not to get bored when you pedal for an hour a day in four walls?
— Turn on the music, create a suitable atmosphere. In our classes, I display recordings from the stages of large cycling races, such as the Tour de France. This is music, drive, dynamics. For a second, you can imagine yourself a real cyclist.
— Well worked out, sweated — what to do then?
— Have a good rest. Recovery is crucial. As soon as you recover, that's how you train. Therefore, we monitor nutrition and sleep. If you went to fast food an hour and a half before training, and then came to cycling — nothing good will come of it, the training will not be productive.
— Then what should I eat before training, what should I eat after it?
— It's best to eat something about three hours before the start of the class, so that everything has time to digest. A piece of meat will be digested for five hours. Therefore, it would be more correct to choose carbohydrates: pasta, rice, buckwheat. Well, 50 grams of meat is a maximum. Haven't had enough, do you feel hungry before training? Eat a banana an hour before the start — it will add energy.
After cycling, the carbohydrate window closes after 30 minutes. It is very important to eat something carbohydrate during this period so that the body begins to recover faster. He also spent glycogen, glucose. The best option is boiled chicken with buckwheat and a little olive oil, that's cool. I'm talking about my experience, but if you approach the issue of nutrition correctly, then you need to communicate with a nutritionist.
— Which is better to choose: a rocking chair or cycling?
— It all depends on what goal you set. If you lose excess weight, as I have already said, it is difficult to find options better than cycling. If you want to build muscles, then it's in the gym, you won't build them on a bike. A bicycle or exercise bike will only allow you to tone them up.
At the same time, the gym alone is stressful for the body. Muscles are straining, gaining water, inflating them. Therefore, it is important to combine this load with cardio training: sweat to balance heavy loads.
If there is an opportunity and a desire to practice regularly, I would suggest this option: a gym three times a week, the rest of the days can be ideally scored with cycling. One will build up muscles, the other will allow you to recover, disperse lactic acid, improve blood circulation, tone up the cardiovascular system. On Monday I worked in the gym, on Tuesday I pedaled and on Wednesday you will be back in the gym as new.