I think everyone should ride their bike everywhere. Riding a bike is (among other things) a great way to lose weight and get in shape. People who don’t even own bikes have figured this out which is one of the reasons indoor cycling classes are so popular. Ride a bike with a power meter and you’ll soon discover that you can burn a ton of calories turning the pedals over. More and more cyclists I know are, for many reasons, putting power meters on their bikes…but that’s a different post. In the spin room, I’m lucky to teach on bikes that track cadence, much less power…anyway, back to weight loss…
I’ve seen people shed serious pounds in the cycling studio. But it’s not uncommon to see people in indoor cycling classes start out successfully losing weight only to hit a plateau months later. If this has happened to you, you know this can be frustrating, perplexing and downright discouraging. But before you retire your Spin shoes, take a moment to think about your classes.
Tracking your basic nutritional intake every day is a very useful tool in weight loss and weight maintenance. It’s very easy to over estimate the amount of calories you’re burning and under estimate the amount you’re consuming. Journal (old-school in a notebook or online) everything you eat. If this sounds difficult then don’t worry about the results for the first few days, just start journaling to get yourself into the habit, then you can start looking at the numbers.
Exercise intensity affects weight loss. This is a whole blog topic in and of itself and one that we’ll have to cover later. For now check out the links below and just know that gauging your intensity can help you track your nutritional needs. Do you have a heart rate monitor? If you don’t already own one, consider purchasing a HR monitor with a coded receiver/chest strap. Polar, Garmin and Suunto are all very reputable brands. You want a model that uses a chest strap because they’re far more accurate and a coded receiver ensures you’re picking up YOUR heart rate and not your neighbor’s. Using a heart rate monitor will help you more accurately track calorie expenditure and exercise intensity. Honestly, I’m partial to training with power. I’m not a huge HR monitor fan for training purposes but indoors on bikes without wheels that don’t go anywhere, they’re VERY beneficial and a worthwhile purchase.
Here are a few links that I thought might be helpful:
The above articles are geared towards cyclists facing a winter’s worth of trainer rides but keep in mind an hour of spin class is roughly equivalent to one hour on the trainer.