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Indoor Cycling Tips - Why You're Not Getting the Most From Your Workouts

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Are you an indoor cycling enthusiast? Do you participate in group indoor cycling or spin classes? You might not be getting the most benefit from your workout because of a few simple mistakes. Let's find out what they are and how to fix them...

If you're an indoor cyclist, you're one of millions of fitness enthusiasts who have turned to this form of exercise as a great way to keep fit. Whether you cycle independently or in a group fitness class, you can get a fantastic fat burning and muscle toning workout.

And yet, many people don't get the optimal benefit from indoor cycling. How about you? To find out for sure, here are three common mistakes and how to fix them...

Tip #1: Proper Bike Set Up

Proper bike set up is the most important factor for correct form. You need to be aligned properly on your bike to create the ideal dynamic for cycling.

The first issue is the bike seat. Most people have their bike seat too low. Why? Because it's easier to peddle when the seat is lower. You aren't required to use the entire extension of your legs to propel the bike, and as such, you aren't using all of your leg muscles.

Your seat should be aligned at a height where your leg is ever so slightly bent at the bottom of the peddle stroke. You shouldn't be riding on your toes either, which means the seat is too high. But if there's more than a very slight bend, raise your seat up a notch or two. Not only will you derive more benefit from your efforts, it will be much safer and less stressful on your knee joints.

The same is true for horizontal seat adjustment. Your seat should be set forward enough so you're not hunched over just to reach the handle bars.

Tip #2: Don't Fear The Resistance Knob

The key to a good indoor cycling workout is to use a challenging amount of resistance. In group classes, your instructor will coach you on the level of resistance you should have on your bike.

Our instructor actually tells us to look at the resistance knob and note the plus and minus marks on the surface. Then, when she asks us to add a half or full turn of resistance, she tells us to look at the marks as a guide.

Remember, the resistance knob is your friend, not your enemy. Using proper resistance levels will get you the results you want.

One sure way to tell if you don't have enough resistance on your bike is to look in the mirror. Are you bouncing in the saddle? If you are, you need to increase the resistance. A good saying to remember is, "You need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable". Pushing yourself a bit is the only way you will change your fitness level for the better.

Tip #3: Your Heart Rate Doesn't Lie

In any workout, it's a good idea to periodically monitor your heart rate. A good fat burning zone is 60 to 70% of your maximum heart rate, and you should plan to be firmly planted in that zone for at least 20 minutes.

You can tell your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Then, take 70% of that number to find your fat burning zone.

The bottom line is simple. Your heart rate doesn't lie to you. It will give you an excellent indication whether or not you're putting forth your best effort. You have already dedicated the time to your workout, so why not get the most benefit?


You can derive the most benefit from your indoor cycling routine by avoiding three common mistakes. First, be sure to properly set up your bike. Not only is proper set up a safety issue, but your body will thank you for helping it avoid needless injury.

Next, don't fear the resistance knob. Using the right amount of resistance will give you faster results. And finally, monitor your heart rate. It will tell you in no uncertain terms if you're putting forth the necessary effort.

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