As the weather remains unpredictable – but mainly cold – you may still be struggling to lose winter weight. But with gyms an increasingly unappealing option, what can you do about to shed winter weight?
Worry not: we have a great idea…
- Indoor cycling guide: how to get started training indoors
- The best Zwift setup for every budget
- Here’s why winter training is key to summer success
Cycle to workout scheme
Of course, the first step to weight loss is to look at your diet, and reduce the calories coming in. Alongside that, it's also very useful to burn off additional calories. Arguably the most efficient way for most people to do that is with a fitness regime based on cycling. Running requires less kit, and rowing may be more effective overall. However rowing machines require very correct technique, if you're to use them effectively and not injure yourself. Running on the streets is high-impact, while doing it at home requires a space-gobbling treadmill.
Cycling offers the best mix of convenience, whilst letting you melt fat-building calories at speed. The best exercise bikes and smart trainers also have very manageable footprints and great reliability. Smart trainers, if you are not familiar with them, are a device that turns your actual bike into an exercise bike, applying resistance to the rear wheel to simulate roads and hills.
That's why a bike is the weapon of choice not just of Lycra-clad road warriors, but anyone seeking to lose winter weight and gain a beach-ready that we all hope we'll be able to take on holiday some time soon.
Winter training vs winter weight
The best winter exercise training regime, which will assist you in achieving your fitness goals in the face of whatever 2020 throws at you, is also one which has deep digital convergence, and happens at home.
We respond to digital prompting and incentives because our lives have become so digitised. But clever code and pixels can’t move your muscles and earn you those winter fitness gains.
In a world where time is at the absolute premium, you require a fitness system which is in your home and won’t bore you to tears. The disadvantage of commuting to a fitness centre is never justified when measured in time, whilst the obligation to train becomes unavoidable if your equipment greets you each time you pace around your home.
This is where static indoor cycling is such a weapon against the tide of fitness negligence and challenge of time management, and it’s a great form of winter weight loss exercise because you can ride indoors whatever the weather.
Cycling requires no validation as a fitness activity. It enables power and endurance workouts, without the risk of injury – unlike running. If you have any legacy injuries, running on a home treadmill is fraught. With a stationary bike, you simply adjust the ergonomics and can immediately start powering away at reaching those fitness goals.
Take everything you knew about stationary bikes and delete those unhappy experiences from memory. The new generation of indoor trainers, spearheaded by the Wattbike Atom, are engineered to be bikes that you’d want to ride.
For an indoor trainer to be desirable it must combine a robust structure with real bike feel. Design your static bike too light, and it risks lateral tipping under bursts of peak power. Make it too over-engineered and the pedalling interface can feel frustratingly artificial.
Traditional static bikes usually have a horribly unnatural pedal stroke and resistance system. The Wattbike Atom has changed most of that. Industrial designers and engineers solved this the issue by producing more complex and sensitive magnetic resistance systems, which recreate the most authentic pedal stroke feel, close to what you would experience on a road bike.
Exhaustive research and impeccable mechatronic calibration has given the contemporary indoor trainer a pedal stroke which so natural, that if you climbed on most of these new smart bikes blindfolded, you couldn’t tell it wasn’t a real push bike.
Another benefit of these superior Wattbike Atom magnetic drive system is its silent operation. Any piece of home exercise equipment must function to a much stricter noise standard than would be the case at a public gym.
If your training regime generates an acoustic annoyance to family members or the neighbours, it serves no purpose. The best indoor smart trainers cycle in near silence. This gives them a tremendous advantage over treadmills, which generate a great deal more noise, as you are pounding along.
Even the most rudimentary weight loss training effort requires structure. You can’t merely hop on a smart indoor trainer and hope for the best. To assist there are a diversity of apps which can serve as the best digital coach and personal trainer you’ve ever had.
The Wattbike Atom can produce a surge of incredibly detailed data each time you pedal. Whether your data is harvested from the trainer or a wearable device on your wrist, it remains a vital part of your winter training plan.
If you are not an exercise physiologist or sports scientist, don’t worry – hours won’t be wasted pouring over your exercise data. With the many of the best cycle training apps, all your data is analysed and interpreted in a simple manner. These apps can then produce more training packages than you could ever imagine. All you must do, is choose which one takes your fancy.
The Wattbike Atom also features ANT+, FE-C and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to link to cycling apps such as Zwift, Strava, Sufferfest and many others. These will all help monitor, structure and motivate your training. Mount a tablet on the handlebar extension frame and you can immerse yourself in a virtual cycling world, with Zwift, whilst tallying those real calorie burning miles.
There is nothing worse than being motivated to a training regime and then suffering injury. With a smart indoor bike trainer, that is not going to happen. These modern exercise bikes are ergonomically designed to ensure a perfect fit for riders of all shapes and sizes.
Everyone starts a home exercise regime with great ambition. But many training options are peppered with risk. Calisthenics. Kettlebells. Shadow boxing. Skipping. Running. These are all activities which require perfect technique and can be bothersome to neighbours and family.
Cycling on a smart trainer has no barrier to intensity. Even if you are a novice or restarting after along hiatus, you can immediately start dialling-up the intensity without fear of technique induces injury.
Familiarly defeats even the best training intentions. So does the scheduling barrier of travelling to a training venue. All you need to worry about is remembering to drape that sweat towel over your shoulders or the training bike’s top tube.
Any smart indoor training bike is never more than a few paces away. Its proximity in your home, enables training whenever you have time – which is a big win.
With the surge in digital convergence and device supported training apps, there is negligible risk of falling into boredom with an indoor cycling programme, as there will always a new workout ready to test you.
T3 created this content as part of a paid partnership with Wattbike. The contents of this article are entirely independent and solely reflect the editorial opinion of T3. Read more about Wattbike here.