Cardio: Indoor Cycle Class

Ever thought about taking a cycle class at your local gym? Indoor cycling is one of the greatest way to burn calories, build strength, and get in to shape. Today we are going to answer all of your questions about cycling.

What is a cycle class like?
Every cycle class is different. Finding an instructor that motivates you and has music that you like is vital to getting the best workout. It doesn't matter if you are a new to exercise or if you are an elite athlete, with cycle, you can adjust the class to your fitness level. There aren't any complicated moves and you control your resistance, so any fitness level can participate. Let the instructor know you are new so that they can help you adjust the bike to your height. Having the bike adjusted to you protects you against injury or joint pain.

How many calories will I burn in a cycle class?
The number of calories you burn depends upon your weight, the activity you are doing and, most importantly, the intensity level with which you are exercising. The average person burns up to 600-750 calories in a 60 minute cycle class!

What should I bring to a cycle class?
Water, two towels, a heart rate monitor, stiff soled athletic shoes or cycling shoes, and a gel seat ( if need for comfort).

How do I know if I am working hard enough?
Figure out your target heart rate (see previous post Burn Fat: Interval Training). Work at 60% of your heart rate max when warming up and recovering in between intervals. Work at 70%-85% when you are doing a "climb" or interval.  *Be sure to listen to your body, if at any time you feel nauseous, dizzy, etc. discontinue the exercise.

Who is a cycle class for?
Cycle classes are great for every one who wants a great workout.  If running or other forms of exercises aggravate you joints, cycle is a great non-impact alternative.

Cycle is one of our favorite classes. You get great results and it is a lot of fun!

*PLF Daily Tip*
If you have never tried a cycle class, start with attending 30 minutes of the class and work your way up to 60 minutes.


  1. Hey i google blog searched for some fitness tips and you guys popped right up! i have a question, how does cycling compare to using an elliptical machine, assuming that you work out at the same level of intensity at both? i took 2 semesters of cycling at my university, so i know how to do it without injuring myself, but i haven't done it in a while and i'm worried my bum will hurt again (as it did at first) so i'm lazy and just stick with the elliptical machine. am i missing out on a better workout, or are they pretty much the same thing?

  2. Hi Coco,

    Elliptical and cycle have some differences in that a cycle class is similar to riding a real bicycle and the muscles used will translate over to riding outside on an actual bicycle. The elliptical does not mimic a real movement pattern outside of the gym. Riding a spin bike also works your upper body because you are in an isometric incline push-up position for the duration of your workout. With that said, as long as you are getting your heart rate up and are getting a good workout, you should choose whichever mode of cardio you enjoy the most. If the spin bike hurts you booty, maybe the elliptical is a better choice for you.

    Figure out your target heart rate (See previous posts on interval training) and work with-in your zone. Make sure to have a day or two that you do intervals and you can make any mode of cardio a great workout.

    Remember to switch it up so that you don't plateau.

    Hope that helps!


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