INDOOR CYCLING – WHAT ARE THE BASICS – IS IT FOR ME?
Physical and Mental Benefits
Indoor cycling is great exercise. Cardiovascular health and muscle strength are the keys. Regular and repeated cycling workouts with varying levels of resistance builds heart muscle, strength, and boost endurance, which powers your every live moment.
What Can I Expect?
- A FULL BODY WORKOUT. Indoor cycling definitely taxes your whole body. Many indoor cycling programs (including those offered by Fortis Fitness) include yoga, hand weights, resistance bands, etc., all designed to work the upper body and then to stretch and unwind.
- MUSIC & VIDEO – FUN and FIT. Ever notice how the music just seems to take your mind off the peaks and valleys of pushing yourself to the limit? Reach your speed and endurance goals while you are lost in a song.
- BURN THOSE CALORIES. 700 – 800 calories per hour are typical for the average indoor cyclist; no different than an hour on a trail or mountain bike ride, or say, 15 miles on your road bike at 15 mph.
- LOW IMPACT WORKOUT. With proper positioning, indoor cycling places very low impact on the knees, back and other joints.
TARGET SPECIFIC MUSCLES AND DEVELOP CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS. Combinations of positions are utilized to target different muscles, burn calories at different rates and develop different aspects of cardiovascular fitness.
I’m not an accomplished cyclist? No problem, everyone picks up indoor cycling quickly! Every workout is your own – you regulate the intensity of your every ride.
- HYDRATION = DRINK, DRINK, DRINK. You can probably over-hydrate if you really work at it, but for the most part, the problem is the reverse. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your workout – stay hydrated.
- RECOMMENDED ATTIRE. Wear form fitting workout gear, padded bike shorts are best, loose clothing will chafe you or get tangled in your cycle, or both.
PROPER POSITIONING – Three (3) Hand Positions and Five (5) Core Positions. Indoor cycling uses three specific hand positions and five core movements. Hand positions 1, 2 and 3 indicate where on the handlebars your hands should be placed. The five core movements are seated flat, seated climb, standing flat, standing climb and jumps. Combinations of positions and movements work different core and leg muscle groups.
- Seated flat, with hands centered in the handlebars (this is hand position one). This position is used for flat road simulations, warm-up and cool down. Cadence or revolutions per minute typically ranges from 50% – 65% of maximum (80 and 110 RPM).
- Seated climb, with hands placed on the rear of the handlebars, closest to the rider’s body (this is hand position two) is used typically with increased resistance and a lower cadence (like pushing a big gear at 75 RPM).
- Standing flat (also known as running), uses hand position two with the rider standing upright and centered over the crank (where your pedals run through the frame). When properly positioned, your body weight is carried by your core muscles, not your hands (if your fingers are getting numb, you’re not quite there). Cadence or revolutions per minute typically ranges from 50% – 65% of maximum (80 and 110 RPM).
- Standing climb simulates just what is suggested. An all-out assault on the hill from a standing position. Hands are placed wide and forward (thumb tips are touching as far forward towards the end of the handlebars as possible – this is hand position three) to open up the chest and increasing lung capacity. Even a slight lean or cant forward is typical to maximize force exerted onto the pedals. Standing climb typically uses a heavy resistance and a moderate cadence of 60-80 RPM.
- Jumps, (or lifts), is the term for alternating between seated and standing positions (start in the seated climb position and then jump up to the standing flat position, then back down and repeat). Hands are placed in position two. Jumps are most often done in short repetitions or cycles of between 2-8 seconds (figure one pedal stroke per second and you get the idea). Cadence or revolutions per minute typically ranges from 50% – 65% of maximum (80 and 110 RPM).