HIIT – or high intensity interval training – is a great way to work out if you want a faster route to improved fitness and weight loss. It is the tough love approach to working out where you have to force yourself through a series of intervals of high intensity and low intensity throughout the workout. The former is a chance to burn energy and push your muscles for a short time to try and enhance the impact of the machine. The latter is a chance to cool down and get your breath back before going again.
This can all be daunting at first but the benefits for health and fitness are worth it. Those that have just got into spinning and using a spin bike at home may wonder if they can start one of these HIIT sessions themselves. The answer is yes. HIIT with a spin bike is not only possible, but it is also really easy to set up. However, you do have to be careful to create the best workout for your current fitness and ability level. Let’s look at how you can create your own HIIT workout at home with your spin bike.
Creating your own safe, effective HIIT spin bike regime
A successful HIIT session comes from building a workout that meets your current abilities. It isn’t about pushing yourself as hard as you can. Instead, it is about pushing yourself as hard as is comfortable. If you push too hard you will risk injury and other medical issues because your breathing and heart rate could become compromised. If you push yourself at a comfortable level you can increase your potential for muscle toning and weight loss while maintaining your pulse rate and breathing. It has to be a smooth steady cycle between the low intensity and high intensity session to be of any use. So how can you do this?
If you have been working out on your spin bike for a little while now, you should be aware of how the different resistance levels feel. There is probably a setting that you know is your current limit where you feel you can cycle for a long time without feeling the strain. The setting beyond that may be daunting yet manageable for short periods. Use this tougher setting for your high intensity setting and then something lower that you can switch too for the cool-down moments. Don’t go any higher until you feel you can do so safely. Then you are ready to start.
You need to spend a few minutes warming up the body and getting into your rhythm. This warm-up reduces the risk of any injury or strain on the muscles and joints. When you are warmed up, set the resistance to your chosen higher setting and pedal hard for about a minute. When that minute is up, switch down to your chosen lower setting to cool down for a minute. Then, switch back to the higher setting. Repeat this process around 20 times so you can get a good 20-minute workout out of it. Don’t be afraid to stop partway if you feel that you can’t continue. Be proud of any effort that you make with this HIIT approach because it does take a lot of willpower.
Once you get the hang of the rhythm and the process of switching intensities, you can also consider standing up on the bike to increase the intensity further. Only do so if you are comfortable and there is no risk in any way. As you improve, you can choose new intensity settings on your bike and adapt the workout to suit your needs.
Why are spin bikes so helpful for HIIT?
One of the reasons that spin bikes are such a great choice for this type of workout is that they come with all the right features needed for this approach. It is easier to keep pedaling with spin bikes because of that continual motion of the pedals from the drive belt. The bikes are also much more heavy-duty and sturdy to allow for those intense moments. Many also have a manual resistance knob with plenty of settings that you can adjust with ease as you pedal.
Choosing the best spin bike for HIIT
The best spin bikes for HIIT training will help users perform to their best with a range of features. The console should be clear and informative with information about the settings in use, the time that has elapsed and the pulse reading. This lets you keep track of your progress and any heart-rate issues. The pulse reading will come from sensors in the handlebars. Check user reviews when buying a new spin bike to see how functional and reliable these features are.
Some new models are smarter with specialized HIIT programs on board. This can have its pros and cons. Some people will like the automated system as you don’t have to worry about keeping track of time and the machine may even be able to log user preferences. But, others may be more comfortable with the manual approach in case they want to adapt the session mid-way.
Finally, don’t forget to consider the frame of the bike and any smaller details like a water bottle and bottle holder. Hydration is important with these intense sessions. A strong, sturdy frame with good stabilizers and a high weight capacity is better able to take the strain when you stand up.
Is HIIT training with a spin bike the right approach for you?
HIIT isn’t going to be the best option for those that are completely new to spinning or exercise in general. That is because you need an idea of your limitations, the best form and how to warm up properly. It is easy to push too hard too soon with these sessions and set yourself backwards. However, more experienced users with realistic goals can create a HIIT program at home that can really help with muscle tone and weight loss. Just make sure to choose the right settings and duration for your needs. Also, invest in a spin bike that will make the process even easier for you.