Can You Lose Weight On A Spin Bike? What You Should Know

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kathlene pierson spinning instructor and writer
By Katie Pierson

Spinning® Instructor & Personal Trainer

 Katie holds ten different fitness certifications, including Group Fitness, Spinning Elite, Rockstar Spinning, and Personal Training.

Cycling is an excellent form of exercise when trying to slim down. Read on for everything you need to know.

How Often & How Long Should I Cycle to See the Results?

The duration and frequency of riding your spin bike will initially depend on your fitness level. As you continue ramping up your fitness level, the cycling magic begins to happen. To begin to see results, we recommend spinning about three times per week and including a weight session on an additional day as well. Depending on the intensity of your workout, thirty-minute sessions at higher intensities can help torch calories. If focusing on lower-intensity workouts, try increasing your riding minutes closer to 45-minutes per session. The surge in your fitness level will also supercharge your workouts, allowing you to see results more quickly.

Besides the goal of shedding a few pounds, there are many benefits associated with cycling. After a couple of weeks of killing it on your indoor cycle consistently, you will begin to see an increase in your stamina and strength. In addition, some results of a great ride can be experienced right after you unclick from your bike, including the release of endorphins to make you feel happier, less stressed, and ready for more. Specifically interested in weight loss? The team at GirlBikeLove is here to help set you up for success.

Can You Lose Weight On An Indoor Bike?

Types Of Exercise Bikes & Which Is More Effective for Weight Loss?

Before we break into the different types of exercise bikes, let us address which bike is more effective for weight loss. Of course, the most effective bike for weight loss is the bike you continue riding. So now, let’s talk about bike options.

  • Recumbent Bike: For those riders that are newer to fitness, are coming back after an injury, or suffer from balance issues, a recumbent bike is a fantastic bike option. This model is only ridden in the seated position. This bike allows riders to be closer to the ground and doesn’t require much core stabilization. This is an ideal option for longer endurance rides in the saddle as the seat is larger than a standard saddle and much more comfortable. 
  • Upright Bike: An upright bike is a great entry-level bike. This bike design does require greater core activation than a recumbent bike. Often the console includes various riding profiles to fit your workout needs. Rides are meant to be completed in the saddle as the tiny flywheel cannot accommodate a standing rider.
  • Commercial Grade Indoor Cycling Bike: An indoor cycling bike is designed to provide a superior riding experience. This type of cycle can accommodate and challenge riders of all fitness levels. If you are not interested in needing to trade up your fitness equipment as you become a faster and stronger rider, then a commercial-grade indoor cycling bike should be your selection. So many new and exciting models are coming on the market that offer features such as live and on-demand classes, scenic rides, the ability to watch your favorite shows, and automatic resistance and incline changes.

All three of these bike styles can deliver the opportunity to improve your health and reach your fitness goals. However, finding which style best accommodates your needs and fitness goals is up to you.

Is Indoor Cycling Good For Weight Loss On Stomach (Belly Fat)?

Although it would be fantastic to select exactly where you would like to lose weight, that is not how weight loss works. You absolutely can experience weight loss from your stomach with indoor cycling; however, you will lose it from everywhere else too. 

It is also important to note that how your body sheds body fat also comes into play when you will see results on your stomach. Most people usually begin to see fat loss in three different variances. 

  1. Bottom-up Shedders– these people start to notice body fat changes in their legs first and their upper body last.
  2. Stomach First– composition changes in the stomach first and then are noticed in the upper and lower body later.
  3. Top-Down– changes are first seen in the upper body and then trickle down, with legs being last on the list. 


*This is my fat loss pattern. I will notice more toning in my shoulders and arms before anything else, and my thighs are the last to show change.

How Much Weight (On Average) Can You Lose If You Are Spinning for A Month

Many factors contribute to successful weight loss besides how long you are spinning. One of the most overlooked aspects of weight loss is not how long you are on the bike but instead what you are eating. For example, you could cycle for 30 minutes a day, five times a week, and not see the scale move if your diet is off. The winning combination is diet, cardio, and strength training. 

Safely, you should not lose more than one to two pounds per week with spinning or any exercise program to help keep the weight off long term. Instead of just relying on the scale to gauge your success, take note of how your clothes start to feel. The scale can be deceiving since sometimes you lose body fat while increasing muscle mass, which can make the scale remain the same. Instead, use a measuring tape before beginning your new cycling routine to record in a journal the circumference of your waist, hips, thighs, and arms every couple of weeks. Monitoring body fat changes through methods such as hydrostatic weighing, calipers, or a DEXA scan will give a better picture of your success. 

Diet plays a pivotal role in your weight loss success. When I speak about diet, I refer to supplying your body with the right nutrients to fuel your body correctly. Proper nutrition will help your body perform better and torch more calories during every ride.

Understanding that you should focus on making a lifestyle change instead of a quick fix is crucial. Quick fixes almost always backfire and result in regaining the weight and even maybe a few additional pounds.

Tips for A Healthy Weight Loss with Indoor Cycling

Start Slow

It can be tempting to want to ride 5-6 times a week to reach your weight loss goals, but that can be a recipe for disaster. Instead, listening to your body and increasing your intensity and duration as your fitness level continues to improve is crucial.

Change Your Training Stimulus

Our bodies are incredible at adapting to different stresses, but when it comes to exercise and weight loss, this can result in a plateau. Changing the training stimulus will help your body to continue to be challenged and allow you to continue making fitness gains. For example, if you are riding three times a week, changing up your rides to include a selection of endurance, strength, and intervals will keep your body guessing.

Recovery Time

Allowing your body to recover is just as important as the work itself. Allow for a 24-48 hour recovery time between challenging workouts. Adequate recovery time will allow your next training to be more productive while decreasing your chances of injury.

Set Realistic Goals

Set yourself up for success with a measurable and attainable goal. For example, a goal to lose thirty pounds by the end of the month is not very realistic if you are aiming for long-term weight loss. Instead, selecting a more realistic window to lose the weight of 5-6 months is a more realistic goal if following the 1-2 pound per week recommendation. 

Understand That Setbacks Happen

Don’t let that one busy week at work or unexpected trip derail your progress. Instead, let the disruption go and start riding as soon as possible rather than giving up altogether.

Have Patience

Significant weight loss will not happen overnight. Patience is key to success, as even a little weekly progress helps get you one step closer to reaching your goal. 

FAQ

How many times a week should I cycle to lose weight? Are 3 Times ok?

When first beginning a cycling routine, it is vital to ease yourself into the program to decrease the chance of injury and burnout. Start with twice a week, and you can increase to 3-4 workouts per week if desired.

How much should I cycle a day to lose weight?

First, you should not be cycling every day. Overtraining sets you up for injuries. If cycling is your primary form of exercise per week, aim for three thirty-minute workouts with rest days.

Is cycling better than running?

Cycling and running both offer fantastic cardiovascular benefits. However, cycling provides a more low-impact exercise that can be easier on your joints.

Katie Pierson

Katie is the creator of MT Girl Fitness and has been a certified fitness professional for almost twenty years. She currently holds ten different fitness certifications, including Group Fitness, Spinning Elite, Rockstar Spinning, and Personal Training. Fitness is her passion, and she loves seeing her clients reach goals they never imagined.

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