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Use a Bicycle Trainer to Maintain Your Fitness

Posted Apr 13 2011 8:17am


Let's face it…there are a lot of distractions out there keeping you from getting into, and staying in 'fightin' shape. While there are few shortcuts to physical fitness, sometimes having the right tools makes the job a lot easier.

My indoor bike trainer is a fitness tool that's saved the day for me many times, particularly during the winter.

Short Days, Cold Nights Equal Belly Fat
Getting in a decent workout is a real problem during the dark, cold days of winter. And in many parts of the country, winter seems to last forever. Combine a reduction in workouts with Thanksgiving feasting, Christmas dinners, and Superbowl parties, and you'll start to feel your belt getting tighter, and your belly 'muffin-topping' over your waistband.

I've noticed that some of the most popular articles on FitBuff.com are related to sex appeal , and developing a 'gut spill-over' isn't on the list of how to increase your desirability.

Going to work in the dark and getting home from work after the sun goes down isn't conducive to getting outside for a run or a bike ride.

That's when riding time-efficient workouts at home on bike trainers pays real dividends. By working out at home, you eliminate the inconvenience of having to drive to and from the gym, waiting in line for the right equipment, and suffering the embarrassment of inadvertently violating gym-rat protocol.

Some Workouts On A Bike Trainer Are Better Than Others
When getting ready for the bike racing season I've spent as much as four hours at a time on a bike trainer.

I don't recommend it.

The monotony of riding in one place can be mind numbing, so doing interval-style workouts is more appropriate on a bike trainer. Plus, recent research is demonstrating that doing very hard efforts during a workout, interspersed with rest periods increases calorie expenditure significantly. That's because it causes your metabolism to be raised for hours after the workout.

Increased metabolism means more weight loss.

But how does an 'interval' style of workout relate to different types of bike trainers?

Get A Bike Trainer That'll Provide High Resistance Levels
The amount of effort a cyclist puts into their ride is measured in watts. A pro cyclist sprinting at the end of a race like the Tour de France can produce over 1500 watts of energy for the finishing sprint.

I bring that up as a point of reference because different styles of bike trainers can provide different levels of resistance.

Top-notch fluid bike trainers like the Kurt Kinetic Pro or the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine can generate up to 3000 watts of resistance. So…no matter how strong you are, or how hard you're doing your interval sprints, you won't be able to 'over-power' a good fluid bike trainer.

Wind trainers may not do the same for anyone other than a beginner cyclist. Unless you get a stationary bike (not the same thing as a bike trainer) with a huge fan, a wind trainer's little wind impeller won't be able to push enough air to allow you to go 'all out'.

Mag (magnetic) trainers have come a long way over the last few years, with several models providing enough of a workload to withstand interval training.

Although I'm sure mag trainers work just fine…I can't help but think of the report by one guy who stood out of his saddle while on a bike trainer and started sprinting for all he was worth…only to have the magnetic resistance 'let go'. The sudden slackness in the pedaling resistance forced his manly parts to come crashing down onto the top bar of his bike.

I'm sure that after that incident, having a bit of extra belly fat seemed like a minor inconvenience…

About the author: When he's not treating patients in his Chiropractic practice, Ron Fritzke spends a lot of time on his bike. He also seeks out and reviews a host of cycling gear on his website, Cycling-Review.com.

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