Here are ALL the indoor cycling tips for the obese or overweight woman or man who wants to pedal for fitness and fat loss.
Indoor cycling including the spin class can burn a substantial amount of fat for even novice obese and overweight exercisers.
There are two kinds of “indoor cycling”: use of a stationary bike in the cardio equipment section of a gym or your own home; and use of the bike in a spin class.
I’ve noticed that spin classes do not attract many obese or overweight participants, which is puzzling, because this type of format should be inviting to self-conscious exercisers.
The room is on the dim side, and there is little distinction between the lean buff participants and any very overweight participants in a spin class, in that all body types are doing the same thing: sitting and pedaling.
Spin Class Tips
Check out the equipment during non-class time and get familiar; take the bike for a little spin to get a feel for it.
A small thin cushion will ease initial seat discomfort. For the actual class, bring a towel.
If the seat becomes uncomfortable, join the crowd: This is a common issue and diminishes over time. Don’t let this stop you from subsequent participation in a spin class.
Bring ear plugs if the music is too loud; sometimes spin class instructors crank the volume up all the way. It’s perfectly okay to request a reduction in volume!
Keep your hands light on the handlebars. Don’t use a death grip.
If the instructor calls for a standing position while pedaling, make sure there is enough resistance on the flywheel to allow for a stable, smooth pedaling stroke.
If you decide a spin class is not your cup of tea, and decide to just use a stationary bike in the cardio section of the gym or at home, then the No. 1 rule is to abandon reading while pedaling.
The minute you start reading, you’ll lose focus and merely go through lame pedaling motions. This is a guaranteed result.
To make indoor cycling outside of a spin class burn the most fat — not just during the pedaling but for hours after you get off the bike, apply a simple technique called HIIT: high intensity interval training.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.