Like any other exercise machine, the stationary bike requires a few weeks of training before seeing any results. You can achieve your fitness goal with patience and perseverance if you keep your workouts challenging and consistent.
Expecting overnight results will disappoint you as your body needs to process the calories burned and adjust the consumption of fat deposits accordingly. So, do not give up if you cannot find any changes in the first couple of weeks but remember that you can see them after 3 to 4 weeks.
As you keep going, your friends and acquaintances will notice the change initially, and later, you will feel the improved fitness levels internally. You can surely notice the results after a month’s training. However, you need to consider a few other parameters also.
The changes are visible only if the multiple factors that we mention are also satisfied, and understand that your results are a comprehensive output of combining all these efforts. These factors include your usage frequency of the bike, the resistance settings, the time you exercise for, the diet you follow, and your exercise routine.
As we go, you will learn in detail how soon we will see the results and how each factor contributes to optimizing them.
As already mentioned, it takes about one month for an average person to see noticeable results after they start exercising on a stationary bike. However, the person using the stationary bike can have different weights or speeds than an average person leading to different results.
Also, each person’s motto to workout differs, and their desired result will require focusing on certain aspects that differ based on the individual’s goal. For instance, if a person’s goal is to lose weight, a heavier person will lose more weight than a lighter person.
It is because a heavier person expends more energy than a lighter person causing them to lose weight quickly. This metabolic rate proportion applies during rest, exercise, and daily activities, due to which a heavier person notices quicker results than a lighter person.
Now that you know all person’s results are not equal do not try to compare and think something is wrong with your stationary bike workout. You can easily see how the results differ from person to person by referring to the simple example mentioned above.
Whether your goal is muscle toning or fat loss, do not be discouraged if you do not see results at a faster pace. Ensure that you follow the proper length of exercise time, frequency of exercise, difficulty, exercise routine, and diet for optimal results.
How to maximize your result using a stationary bike?
Unless you have a serious commitment to riding a stationary bike, you cannot expect to reach your fitness goals efficiently. Create a consistent exercise bike routine and not just a fun brief ride that gives you the maximum advantage of using this equipment.
A step-by-step guide is provided below for your reference to help you achieve your goals without fail and to avoid any unintentional mistakes you might be doing that are hindering your progress.
You can burn more calories by spending more time on the bike. Quick rides also give results but are not as reliable as long rides. So, to get noticeable results, the time you spend exercising on your stationary bike does matter.
When I say long ride, it should be a sensible amount of time that does not overpush your limits which can cause injury to your muscles. Your exercise routine should not burn you out or put any stress on your joints, bones, and muscles that result in soreness and fatigue.
Once you reach this stage of over pushing your body, your performance is affected, and your fitness goals are set back. So, it is important to ensure that you provide your body enough break to recover and hydrate it with ample liquids.
To reach your fitness goal healthily, avoid putting yourself into mental or physical strain by listening to your body and taking rest when necessary. Busy people can choose to work longer and a couple of times a week, say 30 to 60 minutes using proper intervals.
On the other hand, if you can work out daily, go for 15 to 20 minutes of the slow-paced ride. When done regularly, even short rides can show results in a month by burning 1000 calories a week.
It is established that even when you work at a slow-paced speed of 12mph, you can burn 563 calories an hour. No matter what kind of phase you choose, remember that you need to account for your body’s response and act accordingly.
The difficulty of your workout depends on the resistance level you choose. Stationary bikes usually come with three resistance levels, namely, low, medium, and high. By choosing a higher resistance, you can shed more calories in less time, but you need to exercise with caution.
It is like changing the gears while using an actual road bike. Based on your target goals and your body’s endurance, you can start from beginner and woke up your levels to intermediate an expert gradually by increasing the resistance as you master each level.
When you shift to a higher resistance level, you will give yourself an extra challenge by providing an extra workout for your legs. It is because when you change the gears, the pedals of the bike become harder to push.
The gears are provided to cycle better on certain terrains, but they require stepping up your energy to push through. This effect is offered to a stationary bike through resistance settings. As you consistently practice biking, you will get the hang of it even if you are a beginner.
Always start with a lower level for the few initial sessions and only then gradually increase the resistance levels. Starting straight away with high-level resistance is more damaging than being advantageous.
Sometimes, it is measured in revolutions per minute (RPMs), calibrated as 60, 80, and 100. It implies that a setting of 60 RPMs will allow you to make about 60 complete revolutions in one minute with one pedal.
Frequency of exercise
Frequency is the number of times you train each week to adapt your body to a routine. The repetitive training you implement from time to time plays a significant role in helping you reach your fitness goals, such as muscle toning or weight loss.
This consistency you follow offers you faster results than an inconsistent regimen. It is best to involve yourself in physical activities more often than riding just once or twice a week to maximize your results.
Here the emphasis is on establishing a routine rather than focusing on short-time activity or long-time activity. The rides can be as frequent as two to three times a week when performing longer bouts or every day when you choose shorter sessions.
As already mentioned, you should keep it repetitive by following the same gap between sessions each week for optimal results irrespective of the duration you choose to exercise. In simple, repetition, consistency, and persistence are key factors for quicker results.
A balanced diet is particularly important in achieving your fitness goals. Research says that your body toning or weight loss efforts are 25% based on exercise and 75% on your intake. Unless you support your workout efforts with a proper diet, you cannot optimize the results.
The diet you take should support your calorie intake limit and supply your body with essential elements required for proper body function. Macronutrients such as healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates, along with micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, should be supplied as necessary.
While macronutrients support the body functions, micronutrients focus on keeping you healthy, and their deficiency can lead to health issues. Foods such as nuts, vegetables, seeds, and fruits are rich in micronutrients. Few other useful foods you can have to maintain health and fitness are:
- Brown rice
- Grains such as quinoa
- Leafy green vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Sweet potatoes
- White meats or tofu for vegetarians
Tips to make your stationary bike ride interesting
You can make your otherwise monotonous workout interesting by choosing any of the suggestions mentioned below:
- Watch an outdoor cycling video during the workout
- Listen to motivating music that encourages you to pedal
- Watch your favorite movie or television show
- Alter between high and low difficulty or speed in set intervals
- Ride alongside a friend
You now know how each factor influences the output and how to use them to maximize your benefits. While these are ideal suggestions, everyone cannot follow all of them. However, you can use or adapt certain tips to improve your results.
Combine few options or try adding one by one to your workout routine or implement them in any manner that suits your lifestyle and yields satisfactory results. If you want a suggestion on which to focus first, I would say diet as it constitutes 75% of your efforts.