Which Is Better: Indoor or Outdoor Cycling?
The feet are wildly spinning. Favorite music is being played in the background. Fans to keep you cool. Spinning can be a lot of fun, but is it as good for you as riding in the open air with the wind in your hair?
Cycling is great for cardio in any case, and it’s even recommended for people who have had a chronic stroke to help them recover their heart rate. If you enjoy indoor cycling, you know that spinning can be a great way to start your week. We’re willing to bet it’s one of the things you’ve missed out on the most during lockdown. You might even be inspired to leave that dark room and get out on the road with your pedaling power.
If you can complete 20 miles in 45 minutes, you should be able to complete a road ride or your first sprint triathlon, right?
In a way, yes. There are a few things you should know before you get on the road. We compare the health benefits of spinning and cycling in this article.
The advantages of riding a stationary bike are numerous.
There are some significant advantages to indoor cycling that you won’t find when riding outside: For one thing, an ultra-quick, intense, and stress-free workout.
Indoor cycling is a great option if you’re short on time or equipment, and you won’t have to worry about changing a flat tire or obeying traffic laws. It’s also liberating to close your eyes (which is a no-no on roads), zone out, and let your legs do the work. (Really, don’t cycle outside with your eyes closed — here’s our bike safety guide.)
Emily Southworth, lead instructor at Recycle Studio in Boston, describes indoor cycling as “the closest I can get to meditating.”
While most stationary bikes have a weighted flywheel on the front (usually weighing around 40 pounds) to simulate the sensation of riding outside, this weight builds momentum as you cycle. On a flat road or up a hill, the extra weight makes it a little easier than pushing your own body weight.
You can, however, control the difficulty of your spin in a more controlled manner than simply cycling up a different hill when outside.
Is it true that riding a spin bike can help you lose weight?
So it’s possibly more practical and a tad safer — but what exactly does spinning do for you? Riding a stationary bike has numerous advantages.
According to a 2018 study, combining it with strength training reduced cholesterol levels, improved endurance, and increased strength in young women without requiring significant dietary changes. However, more research is required.
A 2010 study found that after 12 weeks of cycling, cholesterol levels did indeed drop, indicating that indoor cycling has the potential to aid weight loss.
Cycling vs. spinning
It should come as no surprise that any type of intense cardio is beneficial to your health. Is it, however, better to stay indoors than to take to your nearest cycle path with gusto?
Some brave researchers in Seoul, South Korea, studied 24 female middle-school students who participated in a 16-week cycling program. This meant that 12 people cycled inside and 12 people cycled outside.
While the researchers acknowledged that there was no difference in weight loss between spinning and cycling, they discovered that spinning had a greater impact on physical fitness, body fat percentage, and BMI (BMI).
Outdoor cycling will also keep you far better insulated from the risk of transmission than entering a sweaty indoors space with others during COVID times. Even if spinning is your thing, it might be time to branch out and try some new outdoor activities with smaller groups of friends.
Another review of 28 trials on “green” (read: outdoor) exercise found that those who exercised felt less exerted and enjoyed the experience more, despite the study authors’ assertion that the evidence was of poor quality. Cycling indoors, on the other hand, is a great way to avoid bad weather or poor air quality outside. Naturally, there are various types of stationary bikes.
Calories burned by indoor and outdoor cycling
Some people may judge the effectiveness of a workout by the number of calories they can burn off. Biking burns how many calories? Is it important to be inside a building or outside in the open air?
Stationary biking is one of the best calorie-burners out there, according to Harvard Medical School, but the main factors that determine calories burned are a person’s body weight and the intensity of the cycle:
- Stationary biking burns 210 to 315 calories in 30 minutes for a 125-pound person, depending on the intensity of the exercise, and outdoor cycling burns 240 to 495 calories in 30 minutes depending on speed.
- Stationary biking burns 260 to 391 calories in 30 minutes for a 155-pound person, depending on the intensity of the exercise, and outdoor cycling burns 298 to 614 calories in 30 minutes depending on speed.
- Stationary biking burns 311 to 466 calories in 30 minutes for a 185-pound person, depending on the intensity of the exercise, and outdoor cycling burns 355 to 733 calories in 30 minutes depending on speed.
The town’s torque: Why spinning and cycling are so popular
Whether you’re tearing it up in a spin class or sprinting down a country lane in an outdoor sprint, you’ll burn plenty of calories.
Both are fantastic workouts.
There are few workouts that can match the caloric burn rate of a sweaty cycling class if you’re looking for a quick and dirty workout.
This is why classes have become so popular: it’s nearly impossible to complete one without being drenched in sweat. Not ideal for a poop, for example. It’s exactly what you’re looking for in terms of exercise. Southworth describes the workout as “extremely intense.”
Unlike in a class, where an instructor encourages you and tells you when to push yourself and how much resistance to add, riding outside allows you to set your own pace, with the road dictating your resistance. When you’re grinding up a hill in your lowest gear, you can’t just turn the knob back.
Furthermore, your entire body will be engaged, from your core to maintain balance, your glutes to climb, and your upper body to get out of the saddle.
Both are extremely efficient.
An indoor cycling class is typically a 45- to 60-minute “sufferfest” that burns calories while also checking the “workout” box off your daily to-do list.
Afterward, there’s usually somewhere to shower, and it’s weather-independent, so even a blizzard won’t keep you off the bike. Outdoor cycling, on the other hand, can be just as efficient in a different way: you can cycle to work or the store instead of driving, burning calories while commuting or running errands.
If you have a crazy schedule (and who doesn’t? ), it might be more realistic and convenient to get your daily exercise via human-powered transportation rather than trying to fit in gym time.
Plus, studies have shown that riding a bike to work increases happiness and productivity (so you’ll be more productive all day, not just during training). And, with bike-share programs springing up all over the country, it’s easier than ever.
Both your brain and your body will benefit from it.
You’re having trouble meditating? Instead, try a moving meditation. “You can really clear your head in a class,” Southworth says. “You’re working your tail off, but you can take a break and relax.”
Many studios now use inspirational music and mood-setting candlelight to help riders get in the zone (inspired by the original SoulCycle).
By reacting to the instructor’s cues for different positions, rotations per minute (RPM or speed), and resistance, you’ll put your brain to the test.
Although indoor cycling is a great way to unwind, you won’t be getting any fresh air or stimulating your brain in any way.
“The motivation, the music, and the community are all fantastic. Glassford explains, “However, your brain and vision aren’t stimulated in the same way they are outside, where you must engage in a changing environment.” “Having that variety is good for your brain and body.”
Both communities are incredibly powerful.
An indoor cycling class is a great activity for your group because you can have people of all abilities pedaling together and no one will be left behind.
Even if you don’t know the person on the bike next to you, the tribe’s effort brings you closer together. If you go to the same class on a regular basis, you might end up making friends at the smoothie bar after the sweating stops.
It’s no different outside. Cycling is a team sport as well as an individual sport, which is why you’ll frequently see bike gangs riding in a pack (or a Peloton in a pro race). When riding long distances, more people can ride farther and longer by drafting (or breaking the wind resistance) off one another to save energy.
There are few better ways to bond with new friends than by going on a long ride, a difficult climb, or an epic adventure together — and then toasting with a few beers afterwards.
Don’t know where to begin? There are numerous cycling clubs that are always looking for new members to join in the fun. If you’re new to riding outside and are concerned about riding alone, simply inquire at your local bike shop about beginner groups. You’ll almost certainly find one in your neighborhood and make some new friends in the process.
Is cycling preferable to spinning?
While the researchers admitted that there was no difference in weight reduction between spinning and cycling, they discovered that spinning had a greater impact on physical fitness, body fat percentage, and BMI (BMI).
Is spinning and indoor cycling the same thing?
Despite what riders name them, most indoor cycling lessons are not actually spinning classes. Consumers have begun to refer to indoor cycling as “spinning.” But that isn’t the case. Mad Dogg Athletics, a California-based firm, owns the trademark for the word.
Is spinning considered cycling?
Spinning® is a type of indoor cycling created by Johnny “Johnny G” Goldberg in the early 1990s. Spinning® classes can only be referred to by licensed facilities with Mad Dogg certified teachers and official Spinner® bikes.
Is it true that cycling or spinning burns more calories?
On a Spin bike at a steady rate, an adult of the same size will burn roughly 260 calories in 30 minutes. A Spinning class, on the other hand, is far more intensive, and you should expect to burn between 400 and 600 calories if you push yourself.
Is cycling more challenging than spinning?
Spinning works the same muscles as road cycling. The fl ywheel’s weight (14-18kg) increases the amount of pedal strokes per minute, putting more strain on the hamstrings.
Is a 20-mile bike ride sufficient?
20 miles is not a long journey for most riders and will not be too difficult. Biking 20 miles, on the other hand, will be more challenging for beginners and people who are out of condition. Depending on your endurance level, the bike you ride, the terrain and weather, and the cyclist’s expertise, riding 20 kilometers will be more difficult.
Is spinning good for your abs?
You’ll strengthen your core.
Spinning is excellent for your legs, but it can also benefit your core. Remember that your abs, obliques (muscles on the sides of your torso), and lumbar and erector muscles, which support your back and spine, are all part of your core (via Medical News Today).
Is it possible to add a computer to a spin bike?
An indoor cycle can be equipped with bike computers or Bluetooth sensors that can be used with Apps to provide workout feedback and incentive. (Alternatively, you can install other model spin bike consoles on your bike, although this may result in more skewed results because some are constructed differently.)
Is spinning the same as SoulCycle?
SoulCycle is not to be confused with spinning! We frequently mimic the open road, but we urge our riders to feel the ride’s rhythm inside the music. The rider will have a one-of-a-kind experience becoming one with their bike thanks to our flawlessly cued body movements and carefully picked music.
Is peloton and spinning the same thing?
The Peloton bike is similar to a Spin bike, however since “Spin” is a trademarked term, we’ll refer to it as an indoor cycling bike. It’s a carbon steel and aluminum bike with a front-mounted weighted flywheel that controls the level of resistance when riding.
Is spinning equivalent to running?
After studying the subtleties of both workouts, it can be concluded that running and spinning are both excellent cardiovascular exercises. However, combining the two exercises in a cross-training plan to improve overall aerobic fitness is the ideal option.
Is spinning beneficial to weight loss?
Spinning has long been proven to help people lose weight and fat. In fact, research has shown that substituting two 30-minute sessions of high-intensity exercise for one bout of moderate-intensity exercise can enhance everything from cardiovascular health to body composition.
Is spinning an HIIT workout?
When it comes to high-intensity workouts, spinning is near the top of the list. One hour of spinning, according to a Swedish study, was enough to cause the release of blood molecules linked to heart stress or alterations.
What happens to your body as you spin?
“During a spin session, dopamine and serotonin are released, making you feel happier, less worried, and more inspired for your day,” Alana explains. “Spinning is a fantastic method to improve your mood, overall vitality, and sleep quality, allowing you to show up more powerfully in all areas of your life.”
Does spinning increase thigh size?
“Spin may burn calories in the short term, but if that’s all you do, your thighs will bulk up,” said Anderson, Gwyneth Paltrow’s trainer and business partner.
At the end of the day, both indoor and outdoor cycling are fantastic and provide many of the same advantages. But, in terms of circumstance, workout, and payoff, are they the same? In a nutshell, the answer is no.
To put it another way, riding a stationary bike for 20 miles is not the same as riding 20 miles on the road. Figure out which one is the best fit for you and your lifestyle. It’s possible that the answer is both. Indoor cycling is frequently used as a gateway drug to outdoor cycling, so keep an open mind about moving your legs outside, even if it seems intimidating at first.
Whatever you choose, crushing a cycling workout of any kind will make you feel like a total badass on a bike and provide you with a slew of advantages.