7 ways your stationary indoor trainer can truly change your life

benefits of indoor ridingOK, so we all know by now that cycling is good for your health. And with the weather starting to turn over the fall, indoor bike training is the perfect way to reap these health benefits.

But if pressed to name exactly how cycling improves your overall health and fitness levels, even the most ardent cyclists of you might struggle. So we’ve done it for you, by wrapping up the 7 ways that indoor bike trainers can truly transform your health below.

Help you lose weight

Obesity is becoming a global epidemic, and the associated health consequences such as diabetes and heart disease kill hundreds of people every day. Indoor training is one of the best ways to shed pounds, especially during those off-season months when we often pick up a few extra pounds. To burn even more calories, try high-intensity interval training, or just read this post for killer weight-loss tips or this post for tips on how to use your trainer to shed some weight.

Recuperate from injury

Although most injuries require some bed-rest, if you stay immobile for too long you run a real risk of making things worse with some muscular deterioration. Low-impact exercise (with your doctor’s approval, of course) is the best way to speed up your recovery and maintain as much fitness as you can. Even a few minutes of indoor bike training can make a huge difference – it can get blood flowing nicely through the muscles to promote muscle healing.

Reduce the risk of cancer

Although we’ve poured billions of dollars into cancer research, there’s still little we know about this cruel and debilitating disease. One thing we know for sure, however, is that all studies indicate regular exercise helps to prevent cancer. General medical advice seems to point at getting physical at least a few times a week – many cycling experts recommend getting on your trainer at least three times a week to seriously reduce that cancer risk.

Improve your mental health

Research by Hillman (2007) found that elderly people who exercised regularly had a much lower chance of succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease. It’s not just the old folks who stand to benefit, though – cardiovascular exercise like cycling can improve situational awareness, boost creativity and even stave off depression. The health benefits of cycling clearly go beyond the merely physical!

Improve your cardiovascular health

High blood pressure and heart disease are far more likely to develop in those with sedentary lifestyles. If you cycle for as little as 10 minutes a day (e.g. by cycling to work), you can reduce your chances of developing both ailments by as much as 10% – that’s a great investment in anyone’s book.

Extend your stay on this planet!

Do you often lament that by the time you retire, you’ll have too few “golden years” left to reap the rewards of a lifetime’s hard work? Well, regular indoor bike trainer sessions might just be the solution to that. A study of Tour de France cyclists revealed that many professional cyclists tended to live around 5 years longer than the general population. OK, so you don’t need to register for the Tour each year, but get that trainer out for some serious training sessions while you still can!

Look better – and sexier!

Alright, so this isn’t strictly a health benefit – but having muscular legs and a toned bum definitely never hurt anyone’s health. Cycling can do wonders for your physique, and in turn for your confidence. If you’re looking to do better with members of the opposite sex, starting a rigorous cycling regime by investing in a good bike trainer may be the best way to go! And read this if you want to know the BEST time for your training sessions for optimal sexiness and good looks!

Any other benefits we might have missed? Drop us a line if you can think of any!

THREE great ways to stay motivated for those winter training sessions

Indoor Bike Trainers

We know what it’s like sometimes, when those legs are feeling tired and you’re just not in the mood for an indoor training session…”tomorrow” we say, and we know that tomorrow may very well end up with exactly the same feelings and frustrations…

But we’re here to help, as always, and have come up with a quick and easy 3 step method for staying motivated over the winter. Oh yes, no more frustrated sighs when you look over at your great, ready-to-please trainer, we promise!

1. First up, head straight for the trainer!

When you get in from work, or if you straight away haul yourself out of bed in the early morning (early morning bike rides are proven to work if you want optimal sexiness and good looks!), head straight for the trainer!

Your motivational level window is fairly small, and if you find yourself distracted for any reason – like catching a glimpse of something interesting on the TV – that window is likely to disappear completely, and within no time you’ll have put that session off until tomorrow.

That’s why we say head straight for the trainer when you walk in the door from work. Have your training clothes and shoes ready at hand, and plonk yourself on your trainer as fast as you can! Be honest, sitting on your trainer is so much better for you than sitting in front of the TV…and if you’ve got your own dedicated man cave, and, of course, access to more training tips on our site, even better!

2. Secondly, have your training program ready

If you’re just happy to pedal away for 30-45 minutes and burn some calories, that’s fine. But if you’re just a tiny bit serious, have that training program ready. It might be via the guys at Zwift, or through the virtual training sessions of CycleOps, or just an inspirational video you’ve caught on YouTube. But get that video/software lined up and ready BEFORE you start the training, and preferably before you head off to work or go to sleep at night.

Wasting minutes clicking away on the Internet or on your hard drive is a sure-fire way to lose that motivation – so be prepared!

3. Lastly, be honest with yourself and your goals

If those missed training sessions are piling up, and you’re really struggling to invoke any motivation at all, it may be the time to sit back and think about exactly what it is you want from your indoor cycling session. What are your goals? Your cycling ambitions? If you’re struggling to even look at your trainer, it might be the time to take a week’s holiday and just forget about it while you take stock of what it is you want from your trainer.

BUT add a note to your calendar/diary that in a week’s time you’ll be back, ready and motivated!

GOOD LUCK – AND STAY MOTIVATED!

RELATED: FIVE things you should NEVER do before a training session! and 7 ways an indoor trainer can truly change your life!

3 killer ways your indoor trainer can help you lose weight!

how to lose weight with your indor bike trainerOK, the health benefits of cycling are well-documented – higher muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness levels, better blood circulation and yes, effective weight loss.

This last benefit is a particularly important one, given that those of us a little overweight are more statistically likely to develop a whole host of ailments ranging from diabetes and high blood pressure to kidney failure and heart disease. So yes, keeping the pounds off is vital in a world that seems intent on feeding us food that is ever higher in fats and sugar.

SEE ALSO: FIVE awesome nutritional tricks for cyclists and Ride early in the morning if you want to stay lean and sexy!

One of the most effective and efficient ways to burn those nasty, evil calories is with a bicycle – and an even better way of losing those pounds during the winter months is with an indoor bike trainer. Indoor trainers are superb in assisting you squeeze in fat-burning workouts whenever you can, regardless of what the elements are throwing at us outside.

We’ve dug a little deeper into this topic ourselves, as we’ve been down the road of trying to effectively lose weight, so here are THREE killer tips that worked for us and will hopefully do the same for you if you’re looking to turn your saggy waistline into a solid six-pack.

TIP 1: Exercise at 50-60% of your maximum capacity 

Imagine a spectrum that measures physical effort from levels 1 to 10, 1 being a slow stroll and 10 being “so exhausted you can barely walk”.

It may seem intuitive to cycle at levels 8 to 10 as they would appear to be the most effective in burning calories.

However, the “effectiveness” of a given workout depends on your fitness goals. Cycling at high intensity may be good for building cardiovascular fitness, but if fat-burning is your aim, it’s best to cycle at low to moderate intensity (somewhere between levels 4 to 6).

A good gauge is whether you can maintain a conversation throughout the session. This encourages your body to burn lipids rather than muscle and as an added bonus, leaves you less sore the next day so you can work out more often for faster results.

A golden tip for ensuring your trainer helps in your quest to lose weight: tweak the resistance!

TIP 2: Try interval training

Interval training involves alternating high and low intensity training within a single workout.

That could involve a 30 second sprint on your indoor trainer, followed by a minute of brisk strolling (say at level 4 on the spectrum we discussed above). This 90-second workout forms a single interval. If you perform 10 to 15 of these intervals in one training session, your fat-burning engine is sent into overdrive.

According to studies, HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is far more efficient at fat-burning because it sends your metabolism through the roof for up to 24 hours after your workout, ensuring your body is constantly zapping away at your excess fat.

TIP 3: Mix it up!

Invest in a decent indoor bike trainer that comes with adjustable resistance (even better, go with one of these and never worry about resistance again!), as this will give you a myriad of options with which to vary your training.

After a few weeks of interval training, your body might adjust and your weight loss might start to plateau. Switch it up with long endurance sessions at very high resistance but low speeds. Keep your body guessing, and you’ll consistently get results with your fat loss goals.

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With these 3 killer tips and a trusty bike trainer, that extra tire will be gone in no time at all!

Good Luck and Happy Riding!

See Also: The 5 BEST bike trainers of 2017

My review of the Tacx Vortex Smart ErgoTrainer: an awesome smart trainer!

Tacx Vortex Smart ReviewThe Tacx Vortex Smart ErgoTrainer delivers an intuitive and effective indoor training experience, one you’re seriously going to enjoy!

I’d actually gone through a couple of cheaper smart trainers before this and was beginning to question what all the “smart” hype was about. But before I was ready to give up and dismiss the entire smart trainer craze as a passing fad, I decided to test out the Tacx Vortex and give the world of smart trainers a serious chance – and I was blown away!

>>> READ: Why you need to buy a smart indoor trainer…

This beast from Tacx has finally managed to help me get the most out of Zwift, and has seen my fitness considerably improve in the past month thanks to an awesome range of convenient customization options for your training program. It’s safe to say that this is one smart trainer I won’t be giving up on any time soon!

Click here for reviews and the latest discounts

Smart technology that doesn’t disappoint

My major gripe with previous smart trainers was the major connectivity issues.

My cycling buddies have been raving about Zwift for months, and my primary goal in purchasing a smart trainer was to jump on the Zwift bandwagon. However, with earlier products, the ANT+ connection either kept cutting out (frequently at the most exciting bits of a race) or was unbearably slow.

There were NO SUCH ISSUES with the Tacx Vortex ErgoTrainer. The connection was lightning-fast and the trainer was so responsive to the app, I was able to really immerse myself in the illusion of being on tour-like roads and racing along at breakneck speed alongside my best friends – even when a blizzard was raining down outside my window!

Which brings me to my next point – Tacx has clearly built this trainer with Zwift and other similar software in mind.

This isn’t your bog-standard indoor trainer with a computer tacked on, but a product which was clearly built to take full advantage of “smart” training technology. With a total of 16 magnets (8 of which are electro-magnets – unusually high for an indoor trainer in this price range), resistance changes in response to the built-in software are extremely smooth, making downhill cycling a particular pleasure.

Moreover, with a maximum resistance of 950 watts, you needn’t worry about your Zwift training partners leaving you behind. You’ll be able to have a workout just as punishing as the best of them, so you’ll have no difficulties keeping up fitness-wise. Furthermore, speed and resistance calculations are extremely accurate, contributing to the tremendous realism of the Vortex indoor training experience.

Finally, Tacx’s market-leading electro-brake technology really comes into its own when paired with a smart cycling app, registering changes in speed with impressive precision. It’s the kind of attention to detail Tacx has become renowned for in the cycling world, applied to the challenging platform of smart cycling technology.

Even outside of Zwift, the Tacx Vortex Smart Ergotrainer has plenty to offer. The inbuilt Tacx software is brilliant for training on your own as it contains some very comprehensive workout programs, backed up by reliable studies, designed to cater to just about every fitness goal imaginable. I actually shaved a full 20 seconds off my 500-yard sprint timing after slogging away at the Sprint workout for three weeks!

Physical qualities that complement the tech side

Of course, the most advanced software in the world would not compensate for a shoddily built trainer.

Realistic resistance shifts aren’t much use if you’re constantly worrying about toppling over! Fortunately, despite the affordable price tag (we’re talking around $500), Tacx has brought their trademark blend of style and sturdiness to this Tacx Ergotrainer.

Tacx Vortex Smart ReviewA 2 kg flywheel, solid steel support legs and anti-slip rubber grips ensure that your ride is stable and comfortable no matter how fast you’re cycling. Even during sustained sprints, the Vortex remained firmly rooted to the ground.

In terms of style, the Vortex delivers in spades. I’m not a big fan of the stark, minimalist look – indoor training is supposed to be fun, and the Tacx Vortex Ergotrainer manages to deliver a youthful, modern look without veering into amateur territory. It helps that the entire product is made out of premium materials, ensuring the little dashes of color liven up rather than clash with the professional look of the trainer. Scratch professional – I would say this is one smart, sleek beast!

So, how much bang for your buck do you really get with this Tacx smart trainer?

Smart trainers can cost well over a thousand dollars, and I know that that kind of price scares off many a rider. Personally, I’d rather invest it in my bike for when the cycling season starts.

For that reason, at around $500, the Tacx Vortex Smart Ergotrainer was well within my comfort zone in terms of price, and coupled with its category-leading performance represents fantastic value for money. There’s little wonder it makes our list of the 5 BEST trainers for 2017!

Sure, I would have loved for Tacx to include a USB ANT+ stick, and perhaps it would have been convenient if the Tax workout apps came pre-loaded with more films so I didn’t need to download them from the Tacx website. But given the great all-round package Tacx has delivered here, all this really is nit-picking. To anyone who’s yet to be converted to the smart trainer trend from the standard indoor trainers, or for a cyclist searching for an affordable first smart trainer, I would unequivocally recommend the Tacx Vortex.

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Use your bike stand to burn that winter belly fat off!

iMagic Fortius TacxSo you’ve bought your brand new bike trainer, it’s all setup and ready to go, but perhaps you’re still wondering to yourself just how the heck you’re going to burn all that winter excess off…because let’s face it, most of us pig out during the winter and don’t really commit to exercising properly over the colder months!

>>>THREE great ways to stay motivated over winter
>>>FIVE awesome nutritional tips for cyclists
>
>>THREE killer tips for losing weight

And despite those good intentions – you did buy that stationary bike trainer after all (and if you still haven’t purchased one, check out this guide) – it doesn’t really seem possible to stay trim and even lose some of that belly fat. I mean, not just by pedaling for a few minutes, surely?

Well, yes, you really can burn off some off that winter belly fat on your stationary bike trainer, and here are just a few pointers to help you on your way…

Tip 1: Stretch and stretch again

Prior to getting on your bike, stretch your body to get your body’s muscles warmed up and ready to work. Touching your toes, and trunk rotations are perfect to start with; if you feel the need for more, try some knee highs or leg swings, focusing more on the legs as that’s where most of your energy will be targeting in your training session.

Tip 2: Warm up pedal

Start pedaling, but primarily to warm up your muscles. Get comfortable on your seat,and slowly but surely increase your rate over a period of 4-5 minutes. This should get your muscles nice and ready for a workout.

Tip 3: Increase your pedaling

Start working harder and sweat! You’ll want to feel like your body is really working, and that breathing becomes harder. And don’t let the pace drop, keep at this rate for the whole of your session.

* The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that in order to lose weight, you’ll need to do some 60 to 90 minutes of cardio exercise.

Tip 4: Break in those intervals

To really maximize your training, start using interval training. That means pedal at a very intense rate for something like 30 seconds, and then ease off for the next 30-60 seconds. Keep doing this for up to ten minutes at first, as long as you include it in a much longer session (let’s say 45 minutes). These intervals are perfect for cardio and burning off that winter belly!

Tip 5: Use your trainer’s resistance levels

Most of the bike trainers we’ve reviewed on this site have some kind of resistance level. Use your trainer’s resistance to build up an even more intense session, which will help both your cardio efforts and your leg muscles.

Tip 6: Warm down

Just as you did when you started out, see Tip 2, ease out of your session with a slower intensity for 4-5 minutes. Most fitness experts will suggest this is a must, and it really does help your muscles unwind and loosen up from a particularly intense session.

Tip 7: Workout regularly!

Get on your trainer at least 3 times a week, for something like 45 minutes each time, and you’ll quickly see those pounds dropping off!

GOOD LUCK!

Don’t miss our culinary guide to keeping that cycling body of yours in shape over the festive season!

FIVE things NOT to do before starting your training session!

Crazy bike trainer deals for Cyber Monday that will save you some serious $$$!

OK, we’re done and dusted with Black Friday and all the chaos that comes with it (have you seen some of those videos of crazy, bargain-hunting shoppers??). But there’s no letting up in the shopping bonanza – now it’s time for Cyber Monday and even more crazy discounts!

We’re not big fans of those scary bargain-hunters out there, so Cyber Monday is a superb alternative where we still get to save some serious dollars while shopping in the safety of our home. And yes, we’ve managed to find some seriously budget-friendly deals to take advantage of – especially if you’re shopping online for a stationary bike stand or accessories on Cyber Monday!

The deals below are beyond our control in regards to price, but we have done our best to find you the BIGGEST reductions out there…and if you can’t wait to get your eyes on some of the best online Cyber Monday deals out there, click on the image below to start shopping!

cyber monday deals

$80 OFF!!! The classic Kurt Kinetic Road Machine

Kurt Kinetic Road Trainer ReviewThis bike trainer from Kurt Kinetic has been one of our long-serving bestsellers for some years, with upgrades every couple of years or so making this a must-buy trainer to have on your shopping list! We’ve spotted it’s still on sale with an $80 discount (it was also on sale on Black Friday), so now it’s well under the $300 barrier, we can’t recommend this one highly enough! Check out our review to learn more – or just take the word of hundreds of happy buyers on sites like Amazon who rate this an average of 4.8 stars…!

Current rating on Amazon: 4.8

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Save $20!!! One of the best in the business – the CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer

cycleops fluid 2 trainerIt’s not a huuuuge discount from the boys at CycleOps, but when we see ANY kind of a discount for a CycleOps Fluid 2, we highly recommend you snap it up! This is a great trainer, and one we’ve had in our arsenal of trainers for a long time, a trainer we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of without barely a squeak. Simply put, this is one of the best in the business, and a bike trainer suited to almost any level of riding experience and skills. To find out just why we love this trainer read more here.

Current rating on Amazon: 4.4

Your savings: 7%

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Save $80!!! The excellent value Ascent Fluid trainer

Ascent Fluid TrainerThis is another top quality trainer which we reviewed some time ago but which has been one of those trainers that people have been snapping up consistently. It also made our Black Friday list, largely because of its superb ranking on sites like Amazon (now at an average of 4.4!) and because its fast become known as one of those trainers that provides excellent value for money – especially now it’s priced at under $150! If you’re after a very decent fluid trainer at a very decent price, you won’t go far wrong with this beast of a bike trainer!

Current rating on Amazon: 4.4

Your savings: 40%

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Save over $90!!! The Schwinn Fluid Resistance trainer

schwinn fluid trainer reviewThis little beast from bike legends Schwinn could well be worth taking a punt, considering you’re saving over $90! We reviewed this trainer some months ago and were quietly impressed. With these extra savings for Cyber Monday, we’re even more impressed!

Current rating on Amazon: 4.0

Your savings: 37%

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Save $100!!! The Nashbar Parabolic Rollers

nashbar parabolic rollersIf you’re looking for a roller trainer that will wipe the floor of other roller trainers (and hopefully not leave you sprawled on the floor like the guys in this video), then this huge saving of $100 may just be enough to convince you that these awesome Nashbar rollers are for you. We’ve listed another Nashbar roller in our list of Top 5 roller trainers, but this newer model from Nashbar is getting some rave reviews and is already rated at 4.9 on Amazon…

Current rating on Amazon: 4.9

Your savings: 37%

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The Kinetic Kurt Road Machine Bike Trainer: technologically supreme and top of the range

Kurt Kinetic Road Trainer ReviewDon’t get me wrong, I love outdoor cycling, but I’m not going to risk my health during those cold, winter months. I see so many of my fellow cyclists persisting with outdoor training even in hailstorms and thunderstorms and subsequently falling ill, despite the simple solution of investing in a decent stationary bike trainer staring them in the face!

I’ve used several indoor bike trainers over the past few years (and created this site as a result!) and out of all of them, the Kinetic Kurt Machine Bicycle Trainer remains my favorite. It is one of the most technologically advanced indoor trainers out there and justifies its high price with high quality performance. The pros of you out there will enjoy this one!

Click HERE to save yourself almost 30% on the Kinetic Kurt Trainer!

Although I don’t take out my indoor bicycle trainers very often in spring and summer, they see a lot of use in the colder autumn and winter months. I’m usually on my bike trainer at least three to four days out of a week and that causes a lot of wear and tear. I’ve destroyed bicycle trainers that cost several hundred dollars in just a few months, chiefly due to leakage problems.

Too many stationary bike trainers (including those from the higher end of the price spectrum) rely on O-rings and seals to prevent leakage in the fluid chamber. These rings and seals don’t stand up well to extended use and will eventually wear out. The Kinetic Kurt Machine Bicycle Trainer uses a patented magnetic drive system instead of a physical drive shaft mechanism, thereby eliminating the need for O-rings and seals. In the two years since I’ve bought it, this Kurt bike trainer has never once leaked. Its durability is truly beyond question.

This indoor bike trainer is also one of the few I’ve encountered that can truly simulate the outdoor riding experience. When we cycle outdoors, the road isn’t always flat and even. We cycle across undulating landscapes where slopes and curves combine to deliver a more well-rounded and exciting cycling experience. Well, with this Kinetic Kurt bicycle trainer, you can enjoy that cycling experience indoors as well. Those geniuses at Kurt have managed to fit incredibly heavy flywheels weighing up to 18 pounds into this indoor trainer which allows the user to experience an unbelievably realistic indoor cycling experience. If I close my eyes, I can almost believe that I’m cycling outdoors. As an added bonus, these heavy flywheels provide this stationary trainer with exceptional stability and sturdiness for a smoother ride.

Main Product Features

Kinetic Kurt Road Trainer Pros and Cons

Kurt Kinetic Road Trainer ReviewAre there any disadvantages to this bike trainer? Well, I know I’m nitpicking, but I do wish it was a little cheaper. Like most Kinetic Kurt products, this stationary bicycle trainer is one of the pricier bicycle stands out there. Nevertheless, I know that the quality of this trainer more than justifies its hefty price. If I’ve to pay a little more for a smoother, more satisfying indoor bicycle ride on one of the hardiest bike trainers around, so be it. Us true-blue bicycle fanatics will never cheap-out on our bike accessories!

By the way, we’ve also reviewed the Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll Trainer, quite possibly the ultimate indoor ride! It also now comes in a smart-tech version with an InRide sensor and app that can measure speed, cadence and distance.

I’m really impressed with so many things about this bike trainer that if it ever wears out (don’t forget it has a lifetime warranty!), I’ll head straight to Amazon.com (one of the best places to find a very decent price online) and buy another one.

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