The benefits of mixed-intensity indoor cycling workouts
When we work out, we want the most benefit for the time we spend exercising. We all have fitness goals we want to achieve, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to achieve them sooner rather than later and being smart about how you approach your indoor cycling training.
Many indoor cycling enthusiasts seem to do mixed intensity workouts, which is a great way to mix up the training and help approach those fitness goals. I believe it’s productive if you’re short of time to get a little bit of everything in. In this article, I will tell you some of the benefits of mixed intensity and HIIT sessions for indoor cycling.
What is a Mixed Intensity Workout and What does it look like?
Mixed intensity workouts are where you are doing a few different kinds of training in one single activity. It could be high intensity interval training, moderate intensity continuous training, and even active recovery all in the same session. It’s a great indoor cycling exercise routine with many health benefits.
When we talk about mixed intensity spinning workouts, we could be looking at a profile like this, for example;
- 5m Warm up
- 10m Moderate Endurance Pace
- 5m Max Effort
- 5m Light Endurance pace
- 10m Moderate endurance pace
- 5m Max Effort
- 5m Light Endurance pace
- 1m Max Effort / 1m rest x 10
- 5m Cool Down
You get some endurance in the workout, and you also get plenty of high power efforts. It’s a great way of working a lot of your body’s different systems.
What are the Benefits of Mixed Intensity interval training?
Mixed intensity workouts do have a lot of benefits, and they are definitely something to include in your training when you can. Here’s what we think are the best things about them.
A HIIT workout is fantastic for burning a lot of calories fast because the intensity is so high at times it makes your heart rate shoot up, and this sends your body into overdrive. You can burn typically an extra 200 more calories per hour by doing HIIT workouts. The more calories we burn, providing our diet is good, the less body fat we will hold. The key to weight loss is in a calorie deficit.
Your body has different energy systems which make it work, and depending on your heart rate, your body can power itself differently. You have systems that work for moderate intensity exercise and also a system for high intensity intervals. It’s pretty complex to explain, but these can be split into two sections, Anaerobic exercise, and Aerobic exercise.
The basic way of explaining the anaerobic system is that it is made for high intensity exercise. The anaerobic system doesn’t require oxygen and mainly works on glucose to power itself. It is best when working at high intensities. Typically high efforts for less than a minute. We can’t sustain work in this system for a long time because it produces lactic acid, which stops us when the build up is too much.
Aerobic exercising is when we are doing light to moderate exercise. The aerobic system runs on oxygen and the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates. This is your endurance training system, and you can use this system for hours and hours without needing to stop providing you keep enough calories in your system and the body is well hydrated.
Getting used to working at different intensities
When people start getting into training, they have a habit of doing the session that they enjoy the most. You can find people that like light endurance doing longer sessions and rarely touching intense workouts. They burn calories well, and generally, their training volume is higher. They will get fitter, and the training will work, but when it comes to HIIT sessions, they struggle because they are just not used to it.
You also have people that only do HIIT Training, and they struggle with longer moderate intensity continuous training, which is fine. Still, they struggle to keep the heart rate low and sit on the spin bike for a long time exercising. Doing mixed workouts does help people adapt to other types of sessions and makes them much more versatile when it comes to training.
Improved muscle mass
Training at different intensities in a spin bike workout session can force the body to gain more muscle mass. Like weight training, short sharp efforts on the body will cause the muscles to grow and you to develop more muscle strength and volume. Obviously, strength and weight training would be most effective at this, but a mix of intense exercise and traditional endurance training does help create muscle mass.
Lower Blood Pressure
HIIT training and exercise has been known to help with lower blood pressure, reduce blood sugar, insulin resistance, and even reduce insulin sensitivity. Exercise in general, anything from a HIIT session, strength training, and even endurance training, goes a really long way to supporting your body’s vital systems and improving your overall general health.
Improves Metabolic Rate
An indoor cycling HIIT workout program doesn’t just benefit us while doing it but also after. It has been shown to improve your metabolic rate and increase the burning of calories not just while in the session but after too.
As you can see, mixed intensity indoor cycling workout has substantial health benefits on you and your body’s systems. It has many health benefits, such as reducing body fat and even lowering your blood pressure. And it’s great if you are getting ready to an indoor cycling race. Before you start thinking about this indoor cycling training, the most important thing is to make sure you’re in good health and not putting yourself at risk as high intensity intervals can be very demanding on the body. Aside from knowing what to wear for a comfortable indoor cycling session, you should avoid the common mistakes made when cycling indoors for a safer and more comfortable ride.