10 Common Indoor Bike Trainer Mistakes to Avoid

Jan Poshenko
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Not Setting A Goal

Do you want to start indoor bike training to get stronger or improve your aerobic capacity? Maybe both? Once you’ve decided your plan, the second step is to set a goal. Whether it’s improving your cycling performance or riding with more endurance, your goal will be the guiding light during the training process.

Your goal also doesn’t need to be such wide-ranging notion. It can be as simple as losing 5 pounds or increasing your time on the trail. So now that you know what you’re aiming for, put it into writing and have it close by so you can easily access it while training.

Not Doing A Structured Workout

Cardio exercise like spinning or running helps you burn fat, build up muscles, and in fact, helps you live longer. If you want to reap these benefits, you need to be more structured in your training program.

Your workouts may seem like fun on the first day or two, and even a month down the line, you may still follow them dutifully. However, if a year has passed and you are still doing the same easy and quick workout, it’s time to seriously reevaluate your situation.

It may be easier to take the easy route and the straight path, but it will never take you to your goal. Also, a lack of a goal is not a goal in itself. If you do not specifically assert a goal, you will never know if you are reaching it.

Remember, there is life after Quick Loss workouts. The sooner you do, the bigger are the gains.

Going Hard All the Time

Not only does this wear the bike out but it makes the rider tired. To keep your body sharp, try varying the intensity throughout the season. By spending a month or two slowly and gradually building up, you can sharpen your body. Then go hard for a while, followed by some moderately intense workouts to rest the body before you go hard again. Then ease back into a moderate winter training schedule. This will help you to avoid injury and burnout. During the season, you should never go three days in a row with hard riding. Harder work, yes, but never more than three straight days of intense effort.

Not Warming Up and Cooling Down

A proper warm-up leads to injuries being decreased by up to 70%. This is especially crucial for cyclists, runners and other athletes. Before you start your workout, this should consist of a warm-up of at least 15 minutes of easy cardio to get your muscles loose and your heart pumping. You should also include a brief stretching element so that you can get the most out of the exercise to come.

Cooling down should include a cooldown of at least 15 minutes. This helps your muscles recover well from the hard work that they’ve just done, and reduces the likelihood of cramping and muscle tightness. Pair your cooldown with gentle stretches so that you can increase and elongate your muscles and ensure that you recover well.

Not Fuelling Correctly

Your body needs food to keep working effectively. If you don’t have enough energy, your body will have to slow down to compensate. The most important things you need to fuel your ride correctly is protein and carbohydrates. And you need to take in enough to fuel your ride if you want to get the most out of it.

You can get these from:

Protein and Carbohydrates

All meals should contain a protein and a carbohydrate. Use the Periodisation of Eating Plan we explained above to help you out. It will guide you to eat the right amount of protein and carbohydrates during training, recovery and rest days.

Hydration

Getting enough fluids is important. You need to regularly drink water, especially during your training. You do not need to drink gulp down large amounts at once. Instead, you should make sure to drink little and often.

Neglecting Noise Levels

Sprinting Out of the saddle

Is often recommended as being the most effective way to train and many cycling coaches recommend that you do the majority of your riding in the saddle.

To answer this question I have asked a few professional bike trainers to give their opinions. The answer? There is no right or wrong approach. In fact, often the best workouts focus on both aspects. Look at it as the difference between a Yoga and Strength Coach. Both are hugely important in your development and often coordinating the two can magically work the entire body.

Not Using A Fan

When cycling indoors, you may have noticed that it’s not quite as comfortable as it is outside. This is because you’re indoors and, without a fan, the air doesn’t circulate as freely as it does outdoors. This can lead to discomfort and a lower cardio effect during your workout. A good cycling fan should help you not only keep your cool but will help keep your body temperature lower which will allow you to cut calories and shed weight much faster.

Do You Know How Many Calories Are You Burning?

If you want to get the most out of your workouts, you should start keeping a food log or journal. You can find various cycling food log books online that are easy to follow with calories, carbs, fat, protein, and much more.

Do You Know How Fast You Are Biking?

Another mistake that many people make is they simply do not know how fast they are going. This can not only be dangerous but can also lead to a lack of motivation. When you’re on the road and you’re biking up a steep incline, you look down at your speedometer or bike computer and see you’re going 10 MPH. That little bit of information can give you the motivation to push a little harder and make it up the hill.

Not Listening to Music or Watching Something

Many people ride their indoor bikes in complete silence. They have their preferred cadence, their preferred resistance level and even their preferred heart rate, and they stick with it.

The problem with that is not only can riding in silence be boring, but it can also cause you to lose focus. When that happens, all you can think about is how bored you are.

Instead of riding in complete silence, you should listen to music, listen to a podcast, or watch something on your phone so you stay focused, stay aware of what’s around you, stay aware of what’s happening inside your body, and get the full experience.

The only time videos are not a good idea is if you’re working on any maintenance that requires your hands.

You don’t want to be on the stationary bike, trying to install a new brake cable, and then crash because you weren’t paying attention.

It’s important to keep your phone away from the handlebars, because not only is it distracting, but if your phone drops into the pedals, it can cause you to crash.

Wearing Your Best Kit

Wearing your best kit is always a good idea when you want to look your best. Wearing your most comfortable kit is also a good idea when you want to keep your mind off how hard you’re working and catch your breath while you rest. But wearing your best kit is not a good idea when you want to avoid sweating while you work out on your indoor bike trainer.

Sweating is a great way to regulate body temperature, but it can also be a bad thing if you like to keep your home free of a workout stink. Bike trainers are great because they assist you while you get in shape, but you need to pay attention to the size of the house you are buying if you plan on putting it in your living room and you love the smell of fresh air.

Summing Things Up

Motivate yourself. This may sound like a no-brainer, but having the right mindset to start a fitness program is the most important aspect of success.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but having the right mindset to start a fitness program is the most important aspect of success. Stay positive. You must embrace the recovery period. Training with cycling indoors is no different. Set realistic expectations to avoid discouragement.

You must embrace the recovery period. Training with cycling indoors is no different. Set realistic expectations to avoid discouragement. Know your limits. Don't overtrain. When you do, you will find yourself plagued with overuse injuries.

Don't overtrain. When you do, you will find yourself plagued with overuse injuries. Understand your training period. If you are trying to peak for a race or spending the majority of your time with a coach, you need to plan accordingly.

If you are trying to peak for a race or spending the majority of your time with a coach, you need to plan accordingly. Each workout counts. Plan each workout accordingly to work the necessary muscle groups to avoid confusion and prevent taking too big of a step up in difficulty each workout.