How To Lose Weight On A Stationary Bike (Two Best Ways)

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Last updated on September 5, 2022


In this article, we will give you some tips on how to lose weight with stationary bike workouts. Hint: it is straightforward, and you probably already know how to do it. Nevertheless, here’s a reminder!

Why Should You Use Stationary Bike For Weight Loss?

Stationary bike workouts are one of the best and safest ways to lose fat, in other words calorie burn, while in the gym or at home.

The central benefit to on a stationary exercise bike is that it is a low-impact activity, because your weight is mostly on the seat and your feet are in contact with the pedals at all time. Recumbent exercise bike puts even less stress on your joints (knees), so consider using it if your gym has one.

Indoor cycling is also very effective to lose weight. You can have fun in a group spin class or in the comfort of your own home while you watch your favorite TV show, or watch a game. Time will fly, and you won’t even notice that 30 minutes passed. While it is possible to watch TV while on a treadmill too, it’s much harder; you are more still on a stationary bike, and it won’t ruin your experience.

Two Ways To Trigger Calorie Burning

#1 Steady State Cardio

Steady state cardio is the traditional form of cardio training. Here, you should calculate your fat burning heart rate first, to stay in the burning zone every time you get on the bike.

To determine your maximum heart rate is very easy, first start by subtracting your age from 220. So for a 30-year-old, max heart rate is 180. Now, take 70% of that number, by multiplying it by 0.7. In our example, the result is 126. So a 30-year-old should stay around 120-130 beats per minute if the goal is to burn some fat.

Once you calculate your target fat loss zone (fat burning heart rate), the next step is to workout in it, for 40+ minutes. The reason why is that our bodies use fat as fuel directly when we are exercising for a more extended period, at a sub-maximal pace. If you go too hard, the body will start using other energy sources. And if you go too short, the fat loss won’t start.

So, cycle steady state, medium intensity, for extended periods. Yes, it takes a lot of time, but this method is time tested, and people have been doing cardio this way for decades, losing fat successfully.

#2 High-Intensity Interval Training

HIIT is an option for ultra-busy people who don’t have 45 minutes to dedicate to their cardio sessions. So skip cardio completely? Bad idea! Instead, opt for a HIIT workout.

To do a HIIT exercise bike workout, you need to go all out for 30 seconds, followed by a 60-second medium-intensity. Then continue to 30 seconds of all-out, followed by 60 seconds of medium-intensity. The idea is never completely to stop—your lower intensity sessions are your rest. Continue doing that to 12-15 minutes, and that’s it, your HIIT routine is over. Make sure you cool down for 5 minutes at low intensity before you get of the bike.

So for our 30-year-old from the example above, 160 BPM would be all-in, while 110-120 would be the lower intensity zone. But you can do it even without a heart rate monitor, just make sure you don’t push yourself to a point where your body can’t go any further or you are out of breath, as you are risking musculoskeletal injury. For those with health issues such as the heart keep your heart rate in check and never go above 85% of your max heart rate.

As for the easier part, make sure not to make it too difficult. Count it as active rest, so don’t go overboard. It is actually better to cycle a little slower but to complete the full workout than to burn yourself out in the first two cycles and then quit. Other than that enjoy the fast-intense cardio routine to help burn calories as part of your daily routine.

More Intense HIIT Training

Here is an example of what a more intense upright bike HIIT program should look like:

2-minute warm up – steady pace.

20 seconds high intensity pedaling.

10 seconds rest.

20 seconds high intensity pedaling.

10 seconds rest.

20 seconds high intensity pedaling.

10 seconds rest.

20 seconds high intensity pedaling.

10 seconds rest.

2-minute warm down- Steady pace.

This HIIT exercise bike workout is modelled after the Tabata method of training and you will notice that it only amounts to a 4-minute workout in the end. However, this is the same method that the Japanese Olympic Speed Skating Team used in their training. It is not for the faint of heart. This workout will absolutely destroy you. A good recommendation is to start by increasing the rest times in between to several minutes to give a body that doesn’t belong to a pro athlete some time to regenerate its energy for the next sprint. You can slowly decrease the rest time for an added challenge. But the important part is that the 20 seconds be as intense as you can muster.

With this program you can slot in your selection of activities and select the intensity for yourself. You can work through the entire program on just a treadmill or cycle, or you can make the workout entirely out of compound weight training exercises. All you have to make sure of is that it consists of short bursts of intense activity followed by rest.


Note: Before starting this program it’s a good idea to make sure you have plenty of water on hand as your body performs best when well hydrated. Drink continually throughout your workout during rest periods and also before and after you start. Lack of hydration can be dangerous but also the water will help you to gain muscle and lose fat and will also make you stronger during your workout. Finally make sure use proper form when you are using the exercise bike at fill intensity.

This workout timeframe can be adapted to suit any level of fitness. What is considered intense may be different for different people if weight and speed are the factors being compared. But when comparing how much effort goes in you want to say that at a workout’s high point you are pushing yourself up to a good 90 percent of what you consider the hardest you can possibly go.

You can find out what this is by starting small and constantly setting goals to increase with each workout how high your intensity goes. You can also measure your heart rate to find out whether you are reaching your high zone with HIIT.

Working out on an exercise bike allows you to choose between upright, regular and spinning bikes. Spinning bikes will be the most intense exercise bike workout while a recumbent bike is ideal for people with back problems.

Combine The Two

Guys, don’t be exclusive, there is no reason why you shouldn’t use both methods of cardio training.

You don’t have time, and you came just for a quick workout? Then go for a HIIT quickie, and leave the gym in less than 30 minutes.

You don’t feel like going all-in, and would rather chill while watching Rogan on your phone. Then press play, and go for a steady-state, 45-minute cycling routine.

There’s no reason to choose camps, enjoy every way of workout available to you. That will make every session enjoyable, and you will want to come back to the gym again and again, which is the only way to train S.M.A.R.T. and stay fit forever.

You may also like: Folding Treadmill Machine Review


Indoor cycling upright bikes are terrific, a form of cardio that is easy to use and accessible to everyone. There is no reason why you shouldn’t gain from the benefits of cycling by using a stationary bike the next time you go to the gym. However, if you have health issue or injuries consult a doctor and personal trainer to make sure this its ok for you to do high intensity interval training fitness routine or if a recumbent exercise would be better.

Cycling workouts are also great to include as part of your weight loss program, as well as being a popular aerobic exercise. Indoor bike trainers and inexpensive nowadays and with the range of upright exercise bikes on offer, including the folding bike option, you should find the right one for your home gym should you wish to buy one. There are plenty of bike related stories online of people using a regular bike workout session to burn fat at the gym or as part of their home workout.

Karla Isaac is an ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) Certify Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach (ISSA CNC) with over 10 years of experience in Fitness and Nutritional one on one personal coaching. She has lived, work and study in California for 14 years. Karla’s passion for fitness began when she was 22, due to feeling unhealthy and overweight. Ever since she’s been passionate to change her life and help others transform their lives by making health and wellness accessible, so they can achieve their goals for a healthier and a more active life style.

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