A bike trainer is a device that essentially allows you to hook your bike up and ride without moving indoors, completely stationary, essentially it turns your bike into a cycling machine for those days when you can’t go outside.
Many of us use bikes for cardio, but there are days when a bike ride just isn’t practical, some days it could be raining, or even snowing, and you really just don’t want to miss that cardio session, you’re committed and you don’t want to lose motivation.
Here we are going to discuss how exactly to use your bike trainer effectively.
When to use them?
The best time to use a bike trainer is when a normal training session just isn’t possible or practical, there are many parts of the world that this simple device is highly useful. When the roads are slippy from rain, ice or even snow, it is often safer and more practical (in terms of maintaining fitness) to use a bike trainer.
Why use them?
It is much more efficient then simply missing a ride and it is definitely better for those who wish to do a sprint session that just isn’t possible in certain weather conditions.
Another point worth making is that many top cycling athletes use a bike trainer year-round. This is because you can focus your session much more effectively when you don’t have to worry about things like traffic, junctions and terrain that doesn’t allow you to keep a consistent and stable level of effort.
Another strong way to use a bike trainer effectively and a strong reason why you should use them in the first place is that it requires much less of a time commitment on your part, the benefits added by being able to ride whenever you want provide a strong cardiovascular improvement.
How do I use it effectively?
First off, don’t watch TV while you do it. I know it is tempting and easy to do this but it will certainly have an impact on your fitness, the lack of focus is something that I would never recommend to anyone when working out in any form. Plenty of people spend so much time watching the TV’s at the gym while cycling and they don’t realize that they are going against the very reason that they started going to the gym in the first place. Please do not be like them.
If you compete, another way to use a bike trainer effectively is to use the trainer just before the start of the race, this is a perfect way to warm yourself up in a much more realistic way than you would on a cycling machine as you are using the very same bike you are going to use in the race, plus trainers are often highly portable and easy to use.
Many pro athletes have started using them and I myself have seem them in heavy use by Team GB at the Velodrome in Manchester, England.
Another way to ensure that you are using the trainer effectively is to check that you have the resistance levels set correctly. It is essential that the rear wheel is resting on the trainer so that is squashed in much the same way as it would be on the road, as not to make your workout too easy.
Plan your sessions.
Don’t just get onto the bike when it is attached to the trainer and start cycling, while there is something to be said for just pushing to failure, I doubt that you want to do this every day. Instead, have a set time or distance (much better as you can have something to beat here – your previous time) and set out to complete that.
This way you make sure that you are not being lazy as you are used to active locations to ride to and you ensure that you can stay motivated knowing that you have a target to hit.
Break the sessions down
On the same not, break the session down into different sections of sprints and normal speed, this way you can mentally have something to head towards each step of the way, instead of simply having a daunting 60 minutes ahead of you. It is much easier to have 6 x 10 minute intervals, this will also allow you to stay focused and stave off boredom.
Do not slack!
The final and best point is simply: Do not slack. Being in the comfort of your own home can lead to a sense of relaxation that is the very same thing that makes those who work from home need self motivation.
When you start your session, ensure that you are fully focused on the task at hand and in the same mental state as you would be outside or at the gym, because as those of us who have been in the fitness world for years know, it’s always 80% mindset.