Is Indoor Cycling a Good Workout?

After contemplating your first exercise bike purchase, you might ask yourself: is indoor cycling a good workout? Those who exclusively cycle outdoors tell a different story while people training on an exercise bike at home abide by its benefits.

Who is right, and can you consider your indoor cycling efforts as a reasonable effort?

This is the primary thing; know how to achieve the result. If you are a beginner, use the formula below:

  • 3 x 45-minute cycling workouts each week

In this article, I bust myths surrounding cycling by looking at some scientific research about cycling as a workout. I’m confident you’ll get satisfactory answers concerning cycling as a workout.

See Also: What is a Good Speed on a Stationary Bike?

Is indoor cycling a good workout?

According to research, you can burn at least 600 calories during a one-hour indoor cycling workout. This is a lot more than other types of activities. For example, you might only burn 440 calories per hour lifting weights. Cycling is a good workout and even a better workout for better cardiovascular health and weight loss.

In another study on 40 people, indoor cycling helps you lose weight. Together with a low-calorie diet, it also lowers cholesterol levels by activating your legs. It takes 12 weeks to see weight loss and lower cholesterol while training on an indoor bike.

Constant training with a high heart rate that triggers weight loss in indoor cycling. However, both weight lifting and cycling cause weight loss. In this comparison, cycling helps you lose weight faster.

Is indoor cycling a full-body workout?

Cycling isn’t considered a full-body workout, even if you use your legs and your arms on the bike. It’s the legs that do most of the work. Your quads and hamstrings do a lot of work during cycling together with your glutes and even with your calves. All of these muscles work together during an indoor cycling workout.

Does indoor cycling tone up arms?

Indoor cycling only targets the muscles in the legs, which tend to become fitter after a few training weeks. However, the low body fat percentage across the entire body leads to firmer upper body muscles.

Will indoor cycling get my back fit?

Though cycling mainly targets the lower body muscles, cycling can help you eliminate the fat on the upper body; thus, developing a well-shaped torso. Keep in mind; fat loss occurs across the entire body but not a single point. But if you want a strong back, cycling alone can’t give you that.

Is cycling good for abs?

Cycling doesn’t build abs, but it can reveal abs by getting rid of the layer of fat covering your abs. However, cycling doesn’t build thicker abs, and it doesn’t require active muscle contraction to get more prominent abs either.

How does indoor cycling change your body?

Cycling changes your body by helping you build better endurance. Besides, it tones your legs while helping you get rid of core fat covering your abs. The main changes in your body are seen in the following areas.

  • Quadriceps: The quadriceps are muscles at the front of the thigh, and they play a critical role in cycling. These are the primary muscles you will see changing when you begin cycling. The result usually is muscle definition due to loss of fats. Also, the muscles increase in size.
  • Hamstrings: Hamstrings stabilise your posture better, and they are responsible for more muscular legs. They are located at the posterior part of the thigh.  Cycling strengthens your hamstrings to help you with daily tasks such as getting up from a chair easier.
  • Calves: Calves are also activated during pedalling, even on an indoor bike. Located at the back of the leg, calves have a stabilizing role in the lower leg. So, stronger calves result in stable ankles and improved stability.
  • Core: You will not build super-fit abs with cycling alone, but you will learn to use your core for balance. Cycling requires good balance, and you will practice it a lot as you move on the bike and as you get on and off the saddle during your workout. As a result, you will learn how to control your core and your body better.

How long should I bike for a good workout?

A good workout on a bike depends on your age, fitness levels, and goals. Simple training for beginners can last 20 minutes; whole advanced cyclists can train up to 60 minutes multiple days per week.

Indoor bike workout duration for beginners

For beginners, a 20-minute session on an indoor bike is enough. However, you can increase the time slowly as you build your fitness.

Indoor bike workout duration for intermediate cyclists

Cycling sessions of more than 30 minutes a day is a good workout. You can alternate slow-pace cycling with sprints during this training period. Also, have more periods of relaxed-paced cycling at this stage.

Indoor bike workout duration for weight loss and experienced cyclists

A 60-minute session per workout is excellent for experienced cyclists. You can consider interval training with frequent pace changes and simulate plenty of hill climbs by adding resistance and getting off the saddle to pedal with full power.

Is indoor cycling good for weight loss?

Indoor cycling is good for weight loss when you cycle for 45 minutes at least 3 times per week. However, you can speed up the process by cycling up to an hour at least 3 times per week. A 60-minute training session is the standard approach for weight loss.

How often should you cycle to lose weight?

At least 3 cycling workouts per week is is enough to initiate weight loss. Depending on your goals and body response, you can cycle more sessions. Just ensure you have enough recovery before cycling.

Can you lose weight on a Peloton?

You can lose weight with Peleton bikes, especially with long or guided classes. Peleton bikes have online community plans for beginner, low impact, or Tabata ride classes. Each class has a different fitness goal – building stronger legs or losing weight.

Stationary bike workout for beginners

Beginners should start with 5 minutes of low-intensity pedalling, which serves as a warm-up routine. Use the next 5 minutes for medium-intensity pedalling.

To see the benefits of cycling and prepare your body for more complex workouts, you can continue with up to 2 minutes of intense pedalling followed by a cool-down 5-minute moderate pedalling pace. You can finish the workout with 5-10 minutes of low-intensity cycling.

See Also: Treadmills vs Exercise Bikes for Burning Belly Fat?

Benefits of spinning every day

Spinning every day can be demanding, and you may wonder: is indoor cycling a good workout? Look, once you get into the habit, you will see the following benefits.

Burn calories fast

Spinning every day is an efficient way to burn calories. Different studies show that a one-hour spin can burn up 1000 calories. So, spinning every day is one of the best methods of ensuring faster weight loss results.

Improve cardiovascular endurance

Do you want your heart to be healthier? You need to train with aerobic exercises such as spinning to help you train at higher beats per minute and build a stronger cardiovascular system.

See better muscle definition.

Your muscles are going to look fitter as you start to lose your body far. Better muscle definition is almost guaranteed when you cycle every day, even if you don’t have the makings of a professional cyclist.

Improve your mood and feel energized

Cycling and exercising, in general, have been shown to improve mental well-being. Spinning every day is an occasion to get away from the computer and constant social media notifications and allow your brain to relax.

See Also: What are the Benefits of Riding a Stationary Bike?

How long does it take to see results from cycling?

It takes 12 weeks to see cycling results. The first results include reduced weight. You can track this by weighing yourself at the beginning of your cycling journey. Lower cholesterol can also be seen in about the same period.

Is cycling better than running?

Running activates more muscles and burns more calories than cycling. However, not everybody can run, and in some cases, running is detrimental to your health – for instance, it can put immense pressure on your knees if done wrongly.

By contrast, cycling isn’t as demanding on the body, and you can start cycling even when you carry excess body weight.

Can indoor cycling reduce belly fat?

Cycling burns hundreds of calories per hour and triggers weight loss. At first, you will start to lose weight on your legs and your upper body in general. Belly fat is typically the last part of the body that sees weight loss. With continuous cycling and following a healthy, low-calorie diet, you can start to lose belly fat with visible results in 2-3 months.

What does indoor cycling do to your body?

Indoor cycling helps you lose weight and shape your muscles. Additionally, it helps tone your legs and look fitter in general. Invisible benefits include losing bad cholesterol, which triggers better cardiovascular health.


Indoor cycling can tone your body, build muscles, improve your heart health, and helps you lose weight. Besides, it enhances mental health and improves blood circulation. Beyond leading a healthier life, cycling will improve your mobility and coordination.

Compared to other exercises, indoor cycling exerts less pressure on your body. So, there is possible minor damage to your knees. What’s best, you can begin seeing results in as little as 12 weeks.

So, is indoor cycling a good workout for you?


  1. Indoor Cycling Guide
  2. The benefits of a spin class
  3. Stationary bikes for excellent aerobic workouts

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