After my Monday Indoor Cycling class, a client approached me and asked me what would be the best way to increase her calorie burn. I’ll tell you my answer BUT…. It’s not ALWAYS about the calorie burn. It can be about a mental break, strength building, endurance building, friendship building or just plain old F U N.
Maybe for you it IS about the burn. Let’s talk. In indoor cycling, the BEST way to increase calorie burn is to turn up the intensity. There are two ways to do that; speed and tension (aka adding gear, turning it the right, turning it up). So should you just show up in your lycra and ride really, really fast with a ton of gear? NO. I tell my clients that if they are feeling strong and healthy, they should be riding to the beat of the music with as much gear as they can load on and still KEEP THE BEAT. This means that you are following my lead, or that of the instructor teaching the class vs. doing your own thing. I often see clients riding super fast, refusing to sit down, refusing to slow down & add tension & climb or adding some extra moves thinking that they have outsmarted me and that are burning more calories. What is it about adding gear that burns more calories? The main thing is that you are using larger muscle groups to push that gear. Think quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings! The strong ones. This also gets the heart pumping. Heart pumping faster = higher calorie burn.
Ladies, I know what you are going to ask me…”Cassie, if I add too much gear, my thighs are going to get big!” WRONG!!!!! Do you massive amounts of protein? Do you have abnormally high testosterone? Maybe. But for the other 99.8% of you, it’s not going to happen. I mean, you’ve seen my thighs, right? I not only ride with high gear, I also take Pilates and lift heavy weights in the big boy gym every week. No big thighs here.
The challenge: TURN IT UP! You never know how much you can add until you do it. The thing is, if you add too much and you can’t keep the beat, you can always peel it off. You aren’t stuck there. AND..it’s okay to be a little uncomfortable. It’s not forever. It’s just for that moment.
Let me know how it goes!