Beginner Guide to Stationary Cycling Workouts

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It is easy to improve your health, increase your fitness level, train, and lose weight through cardio-centered workouts. Stationary cycling has proved to be a low-impact option that has multiple benefits. 

Benefits of stationary bike workouts

Many people choose this type of workout because it improves one’s cardiovascular health and fitness. Stationary cycling can improve your aerobic fitness as it increases your lung capacity and strengthens your heart. It is an easy exercise to begin if you are recovering from an injury, are senior, overweight, or less active in general as you can slowly increase your endurance as your fitness improves. 

Starting a new exercise regime can come with some challenges. To avoid getting injured and to ensure that you get the most from your workout we have compiled some helpful tips to take you from a beginner to a master of stationary cycling workouts.

Finding The Right Space 

Stationary cycling is not limited to public indoor gyms. You can find a great space in your home for your stationary bike. Choosing where to place your stationary bike is important as it will aid in your motivation to work out.

workout equipment
Designate a specific space for your workouts.

Workout with a view

Pushing your stationary bike up against a wall and staring at the paint could strip the joy out of your workouts. Face your stationary bike in front of a window. You can also open the window to get some much-needed fresh air during an intense workout. 

Try to avoid having your bike face the TV or anything too distracting. Remember you are there to train, not to idly peddle whilst you watch your favorite show. 

Ground and Surface choice

The surface on which you decide to place your stationary bike requires careful consideration. We recommend you choose a stable solid floor space in your home. If your stationary bike feels like it is rocking on the uneven ground then perhaps invest in a workout mat to place under your bike to make it stable.  You do not want to tip over your bike mid-workout and injure yourself. Be sure that your flooring is sturdy with no cracks in tiles or holes forming in wooden floors. Stationary bikes are heavy and you do not want to go crashing through the floor mid-workout. 

Get ready to work up a sweat. 

Other floor types to avoid are carpets and porous floors. You want a nonporous floor that you can easily wipe clean after a sweaty workout. You do not want your space to have any lingering odors post-workout.  Using a bike mat is a solution to protect your flooring and is easy to clean.

Be mindful of others

Whether or not you live alone, you likely have neighbors. Workouts can get loud especially if you have music playing to motivate yourself. Be mindful of your neighbors and avoid placing your bike somewhere that may disturb them. Just because you wake up at 5 am to work out on your stationary bike does not mean they want to wake up too. If you share your home with family or roommates, be considerate about choosing a place to work out that will not interfere with their use of the home. 

Home Cycling Workouts

Adopting a new workout schedule can be difficult to maintain, so we advise that you create realistic and achievable goals for yourself to remain motivated.  

indoor biking
Follow a workout app to remain motivated.
  • Find a pace and resistance level that works for you. You do not want the workouts to be too easy or too difficult. 
  • Always warm up at a comfortable pace with no resistance. 
  • Set an achievable and realistic time frame for yourself. Start with 20 minutes a day and work your way up. When you first start on your bike your leg muscles will not be used to the motion, they will tire easily. Slowly build muscle through shorter workouts more often.
  • Give yourself rest days. Begin with working out three times a week with a rest day in between.
  • Slowly add more time to your workout or increase the intensity of your workout. 
  • Always stretch your body after a workout.

Find a workout app that can keep you motivated, such as Zwift. Zwift is an interactive training app that provides you with a workout structure that is easy to follow. 

Workout schedule for beginners

Focus on finding the right intensity for your workout. 

Beginner Friendly Stationary Cycling Workout Schedule

  1. 5 minutes – Warm-up
  2. 3 minutes – Increase workout pace by 3 increments. You should start to feel your heart rate increase. This is your baseline pace. 
  3. 2 minutes – Increase your pace and resistance so that you are working slightly harder than your baseline pace. 
  4. 3 minutes – Decrease your pace back to your baseline pace. 
  5. 2 minutes – Increase your pace and resistance so that you once again are working harder than your baseline pace. 
  6. 5 minutes – Decrease your pace and resistance to a comfortable level and cool down. 

This is merely a guideline to get you started. Once you feel that you have a good feel of things, you can add on different actions that can make the workout more difficult such as lifting yourself off your seat or adding ankle weights. 

Picking the Right Stationary Bike

There are a couple of different stationary bikes that you can choose from. Although they each more or less serve the same purpose it is worth learning more about different bikes and finding one that will work for you, and your budget, and fit in your allocated workout space.  

indoor bike exercise
Indoor exercise bike.

Critical Features to have for your Stationary bike

You want to choose a stationary bike with features that will make your workout more effective and efficient. Some features to keep an eye out for when shopping for your stationary bike include:

  • Track resistance 
  • Speed
  • Timer
  • Distance tracker
  • Resistance levels
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Calories burned

Different Types of Exercise bikes

There is a long and extensive list of different exercise bikes that fall into this category. The cost of an exercise bike ranges from cost-effective to costly. Different exercise bikes have different features that will increase the price of the bike. 

One stationary bike that we do recommend is the recumbent elliptical. One of the biggest benefits of this exercise bike is that it is good for your knees, and it allows for slow-paced biking. This is a great starting point as you can slowly increase your range of motion the fitter you get. 

Bike trainer and rollers

If you already have an outdoor bike and want to save a couple of bucks, try using a bike trainer or bike rollers. These are devices that you can mount your conventional bike on to keep them spinning on the spot and prevent you from riding through your window. 

The Takeaway

Finding ways to remain healthy and active is important in living a long life. Once you feel strong and confident on your stationary bike you will be ready for cycling outdoors in more difficult terrain. Focus on a slow, consistent workout pace to start and slowly start to improve your stamina and strength. 

Although fitness might be the motivating factor, having fun should also be high on the list. If you have fun during your stationary cycle workouts, the more likely you are to stick with your workout program. 

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