Most gyms have stationary bikes, but the best ones for revving up weight loss are often found in the group exercise studio – whether you ride them as part of a class or cycle solo. “Indoor bikes for group cycling tend to fit a rider differently than a stationary bike,” says Krista Popowych, a Vancouver, B.C.-based fitness expert and Master Trainer for Keiser, a company that creates exercise equipment, including bikes and education for group cycling.
Early studies reported high success rates; in one study in 1925, 60% of patients became seizure-free, and another 35% of patients had a 50% reduction in seizure frequency. These studies generally examined a cohort of patients recently treated by the physician (a retrospective study) and selected patients who had successfully maintained the dietary restrictions. However, these studies are difficult to compare to modern trials. One reason is that these older trials suffered from selection bias, as they excluded patients who were unable to start or maintain the diet and thereby selected from patients who would generate better results. In an attempt to control for this bias, modern study design prefers a prospective cohort (the patients in the study are chosen before therapy begins) in which the results are presented for all patients regardless of whether they started or completed the treatment (known as intent-to-treat analysis).
There is much debate about which of these ways of exercising is better for fat-burning. The consensus seems to be that interval training is more effective for fat burning, gets you fit faster, and is the most effective for fighting aging. The Journal of Applied Physiology reported that two weeks of alternate-day interval training boosted cyclists’ fat-burning ability by a whopping 36%. And the Journal of Cell Metabolism reported that high intensity interval training on bikes was the most effective way for people to fight aging – with the positive results being most pronounced in older people.
When you are new to exercise, you can start your biking workout program with a simple test. Use your odometer (or a GPS watch or smartphone app) to see how far you travel when you bike for 30 minutes. Jot down the number in your workout journal and set a goal to decrease the amount of time it takes you to ride that same distance and route. As your fitness level improves you'll be able to log more miles in less time and you'll burn more calories in the process.
Because cycling is primarily a lower body sport, riders can lose muscle volume in their upper body. The solution? Year-round resistance training. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the weight room—as little as 20 minutes twice a week during the cycling season and 30 minutes two or three times a week during the winter will maintain and even increase your upper-body muscle mass.