While cycling outdoors is a great way to enjoy the scenery and get exercise, indoor cycling offers some compelling advantages that make it a smart choice for maintaining fitness even when the weather isn’t ideal. From the convenience of training from home to the built-in motivation of online classes and leaderboards, online cycling training provide an effective and engaging alternative to outdoor rides.
Convenience and Flexibility
One of the key advantages of online indoor cycling workouts is the flexibility and convenience they offer. When doing outdoor cycling, your rides are constrained by daylight hours and weather conditions. You can only ride when the sun is up and it isn’t raining. However, with online cycling classes, you have complete control over your schedule. Classes are available on-demand anytime you’re ready to train. Busy work schedules no longer get in the way of maintaining fitness.
If you’re running short on time, you can squeeze in a 30 minute session during your lunch break. For parents with kids’ activities after school, a cycling class is easy to fit in afterwards once the kids have gone to bed. You also have the convenience of training from home. No need to drive to the gym or find childcare – just hop on your bike whenever works best for your lifestyle. Whether that’s a 5am class before starting your day or a late night ride to unwind, indoor cycling is highly flexible.
Built-In Motivation and Competition
Among the main benefits of online indoor cycling classes is the built-in social motivation and competition they provide. While cycling alone on a stationary bike may seem isolating, participating in live or on-demand online classes connects you to a community of other riders. Being able to see your fellow cyclists pedaling alongside you in real-time adds an engaging competitive element that keeps workouts feeling energetic and pushes you to perform at your best.
Many platforms showcase performance metrics in class like output, cadence, heart rate, distance cycled and time in the saddle. This allows you to track your stats against others participating. Some platforms take it a step further with detailed leaderboards so you can see how you stack up against the pack. The ability to gauge your efforts alongside other cyclists taps into our innate competitive spirit. It gives you motivation to increase your output or sustain a higher cadence to move up the ranks.
Varied Class Types for Different Fitness Goals
Online cycling platforms provide an extensive library of class styles that cater to an array of fitness objectives. Riders can select workouts matching their current goals or desired training focus. Endurance-oriented classes like “ride and run” simulations concentrate on building aerobic capacity over longer durations. These are suitable for improving stamina and preparing for endurance events.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes incorporate intense bursts of effort followed by recovery periods. They are excellent for boosting calorie burn and advancing fitness levels at a quicker pace. Recovery rides provide low-impact cycling to aid in muscle recovery following tough training sessions. The gentle pace helps flush out lactic acid and reduce soreness. Endurance rides simulate outdoor cycling routes over extended distances to develop leg strength.
Customized Training Plans
Online cycling platforms offer customized training plans to help users reach their fitness goals in an organized, progressive way. These plans are developed by expert coaches and cycling instructors to target specific goals like endurance, speed, or weight loss. Training plans span multiple weeks, usually 4-12 weeks in duration.
They systematically increase the intensity and duration of workouts over time in order to continually challenge the body. In the early weeks, rides may focus on building an aerobic base through lower intensity steady state efforts. Later weeks introduce more high intensity interval training to improve speed and power. Duration is also extended gradually.
On-Demand Instruction and Cues
One of the key advantages of online indoor cycling classes is the guidance and coaching provided by expert instructors. Even though the classes are not live, the instructors’ instruction is recorded with the class to ensure riders receive real-time cues and feedback just as in a live studio environment. Throughout the duration of the workout, the instructors will call out important details to help riders optimize their performance.
Specifically, instructors will announce upcoming changes to the resistance level on the bike, allowing riders to adjust accordingly. Cadence, which refers to the rate of pedaling, is another metric that may be targeted during intervals. By cuing riders on cadence goals, instructors can challenge riders to push their pace. Interval changes are clearly communicated as well, whether that means increasing or decreasing the intensity.
Many indoor cycling classes aim to provide a full-body workout, not just a lower body focused routine. While cycling primarily works the muscles in your lower body like your glutes, quads and hamstrings, engaging your entire body yields greater benefits. Incorporating upper body and core exercises into cycling classes helps to prevent muscle imbalances and overuse injuries that can occur from only lower body training. Most classes will include additional strength moves you can do right on the bike. Common exercises use just your own bodyweight or light dumbbells/resistance bands.
For the upper body, some popular moves are bicep curls and tricep dips that work the muscles in your arms. Your core gets attention through planks and other abdominal exercises to strengthen your midsection. Some platforms take full-body training a step further by allowing cross-training between different types of cardio equipment. If your studio-style setup allows, you may be guided through intervals where you switch between the cycling bike, treadmill and rowing machine. This style of high-intensity interval training class challenges your whole body with varied movements.
From the convenience of training at home to the built-in motivation of live classes and leaderboards, online cycling provides an effective way to stay active all year round. The variety of class styles and customized training plans ensure cross-training and continual progress. Expert instruction keeps workouts engaging and efficient. Indoor cycling allows athletes to compete virtually through online leaderboards, creating friendly indoor cycling competition even when riders are miles apart.