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Are the conditions unfavorable, is it dark outside, or do you lack the time to go cycling?
Indoor cycling is the answer!
What is an indoor cycling workout?
There is a lot of equipment that allows you to simulate a bike ride outside at home or at the gym, like under-desk pedal systems, rolling cylinders, exercise bikes, or indoor bike trainers. Of course, it will not be the same, but for example, an indoor trainer can do the job pretty well because firstly you can ride your own bicycle. Secondly, if it is a smart one, you can choose what course you want to ride and have an immersive experience, by feeling the resistance of the uphills and yet see the route in real-time along the way.
When you do an indoor cycling workout you have a bunch of training possibilities, such as virtual competitions with other people, virtual spin classes, or cycle classes in an indoor cycling studio.
Why should you do indoor cycling training?
Indoor cycling offers numerous benefits and advantages that make it worth considering.
- Convenience: You don’t have to worry about taking hand pumps, spare tire tubes, tire repair kits, and tools unlike a bike ride outside, and you don’t have, equally, to think about a safe route that is free of traffic and has well-maintained paved roads. Also, if it rains, snows or if you are in a 40-degree heat zone you can comfortably cycle at home and do not make the weather an excuse 🙂
- Controlled environment: Since you are indoors, you can control all the variables of your training, like the indoor temperature (this one is perfect for specific competition training because if you have a competition in a place where the climate is hot and humid you can simulate the same conditions and be much more prepared), choose the exact intensity and resistance of the workout without any limiting factors and you can see in real-timing your data performance (cadence and training zones).
- Time-efficiency: You can do really cool training sessions in 45min or 1 hour with everything that you need. You can do a HIIT train or work with longer work intervals with medium-high intensity or do an all-out in a 30-minute cycling session, everything depends on your objective and fitness level. Some cycling training apps have a lot of indoor cycling classes that can select. This is only possible because you will always be pedaling and focusing on your training, in contrast to outdoor riding when you have to stop because of the traffic lights or traffic. So all of your effort will be for training without distractions.
- Fitness improvements: With indoor cycling, you can improve all your fitness qualities, like cardiovascular and muscular endurance, strength, power, and speed.
- Social interaction: There are a lot of possibilities to do indoor group cycling, through online cycling classes or online rides and competitions, in person cycling class, at the gym or at home, or in spinning events.
Spinning event in Valencia, Spain
What do you need to have to do an indoor cycle?
Indoor Cycling Space
The first thing to think about is where you going to do it, at the gym or at home. Usually, this depends on your training goals, your own convenience and comfortability, and how much money you want to spend.
If you are thinking to do it at home there are a few things to consider:
- Pick a place where you have enough space to put all the equipment (trainer and bike) and a table in front to put the tablet, tv, or your PC for the training app
- Make sure that you choose a place that has a flat floor, for when you go pedaling you don’t have that bouncy effect
- You going to sweat a lot, so if you have a carpet or a wood pav, try putting a mat to protect the floor. Try to select a mat that is flat and hard to prevent bumpiness. Plus, if you live in a building, your downstairs neighbors will also appreciate the fact that you put up a mat underneath, believe me
- If you live in a shared house try to select an indoor trainer that makes a low noise, of course, if you don’t have already one, if you already have one and it isn’t quiet try to locate it in a place where it won’t affect the others or in a soundproofed room
- Last, of all, try to create a space that you like, this will give you more motivation and pleasure to do your workouts. If you ride a lot and want to dig in at indoor training you may consider having a special place to do it, like a “pain cave”. I will leave some ideas below:
There are several equipment that allow you to do indoor cycling. The most common ones are static bikes or smart bikes, turbo trainers or smart trainers that can be wheel-on trainers, and direct-drive trainers.
Smart static bikes
Indoor bikes are more common to see at gyms or in hotels because they are a bit more expensive and heavy. However, you can also get one for home, especially if you don’t want to buy a bike, and only want to ride at home and do the indoor cycling classes already programmed in their app with customized intensity through their “Coach By Color workouts”.
This one is a more classic trainer and much cheaper than the rest because, first is a wheel-on trainer and second it is a manual resistance, meaning it is you who choose the resistance of the roller by using a lever.
A little bit more expensive, because they offer advanced features and technology for an immersive and interactive training experience. It’s possible to connect to various devices such as smartphones, tablets, or computers to indoor cycling apps, like Zwift, TrainerRoad, or Rouvy for interactive training and making your 3-hour endurance training session less boring.
These ones can also provide performance analysis with detailed metrics, including power, cadence, speed, and heart rate. Some smart trainers have compatibility with third-party apps, devices, and sensors meaning that you can use your own material without having to buy a branded one.
About direct drive-trainers, the biggest benefit is that you don’t need to install an indoor rear wheel or you just need to connect the drivetrain to the cassette of the trainer, and it’s ready to use!
Tips for your Indoor Bike Riding
- Indoor training can be really tough and your body temperature can go up a lot, try to have a fan in your setup or an AC
- You will sweat a lot and the sweat can be very corrosive to the painting of your bike, so it is recommendable to have a towel nearby
- Put on some TV series, music, or podcast to keep you motivated during the session and make your training more enjoyable
- You will dehydrate a lot so make sure you fill up all your cans with water before training and if you are going to do a long session have something to eat on hand
Having said that… Get ready to take your indoor cycling to the next level! Enjoy the exhilaration of intense workouts, the convenience of training at home, and the satisfaction of seeing your fitness soar. With every pedal stroke, you’re one step closer to achieving your goals. So, hop on your bike, let the music energize you, and enjoy the journey to get stronger. Have nice rides! 😊💪