Indoor Cycling 101

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Indoor cycling is a choreographed group workout that first started out to help cyclists train for outdoor events. Over the years, indoor cycling developed to become a challenging, global workout where an instructor leads the class through a series of drills simulating an outdoor ride.

Recently in Egypt, gyms and sports centers have started integrating it within their programs. The beauty of indoor cycling is that it is designed to mimic the outside terrain on a normal bike.

What are the benefits of indoor cycling?

1. Better Health

Indoor cycling allows you to improve leg strength, muscular endurance, speed and fitness. The average indoor cycling class burns around 300-450 calories per hour, which makes it a great cardio (and fat-loss) workout.

2. Mental Strength

A huge part of indoor cycling revolves around your mental strength and your ability to go further and exert more power. It’s about achieving your own personal best while keeping a positive, can-do attitude.

Pushing through difficult times, like going uphill, strengthens your mental self-discipline, which can be applied outside the classroom. Also, the amazing feeling you get after the workout makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something comparable to that of an athlete’s.

3. Training

Indoor cycling classes are designed to mimic the outdoor terrain, which makes it a good training for cyclists if weather conditions are not suitable, or for triathletes who train for competitions.

What are some common misconceptions about indoor cycling?

1. Indoor cycling is bad for your knees

I have heard this comment several times from people of different ages. However, indoor cycling is actually a low-impact work out; meaning that it does not put pressure on your knees, unlike other cardio exercises like running.

2. I’m not fit enough

This is the biggest misconception! Anyone, young or old, fit or out of shape, can walk into any indoor cycling class and have a positive experience. Rides are highly personalized and mainly depend on one’s individual training goals. In other words, everyone goes on his/her own pace and will progressively become stronger with consistency. Bottom-line: don’t be intimidated to try, and I guarantee that you’ll fall in love with it.

What are some must-know tricks about indoor cycling?

1. Adjust your bike

The first safety rule in indoor cycling focuses on your bike set-up. Make sure that your saddle height is correct (your legs are not flexed/locked or too bent when pedaling downwards).

2. Use resistance

In order for the workout to be worthwhile, it is important to increase the resistance according to the instructor’s directions. Adequate resistance will allow you to develop the power in your legs and make the most of your training. With no resistance, you rely on the flywheel for momentum, which means that your body is not exerting any power.

3. Hydrate

Hydrating during your indoor cycling class is a simple must. Since you sweat a lot during the ride, it is vital to stay well hydrated in order to give your body the power it needs to finish the workout.

4. Remember pre-workout nutrition

It is crucial to fuel your muscles before the workout. You need your carbs in order to keep your muscles working. It is best to eat 1-3 hours prior to your workout. Good pre-workout meals should always include both carbohydrates and proteins, like Greek yogurt with berries, or oatmeal with low-fat milk and a fruit.

Keep these tips and steps in mind as you go to your next indoor cycling class. And remember, when in doubt, pedal it out!

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