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Stationary Recumbent Bike Ride


BodybuildingPro.com Training Database Cardio Articles Stationary Recumbent Bike Ride



Stationary Recumbent Bike Ride: Nothing Like it

January 31 2005

Cardio machines are a dime a dozen these days, but stationary recumbent bikes are ones that are worth paying attention.

After a lot of trials and errors, I found out that most fitness/cardio apparatus just don't cut it for me since they put to much strain on my lower body articulations and back.



I was also sick and tired of pedaling on my old upright bike and having my butt and private parts going numb after only a few minutes of workout. It was so uncomfortable riding that old piece of junk that wasn't able to do cardio on a regular basis. That, combine with my ever present laziness, relinquish the cardio machine to a dark corner in the basement.

So I decided to buy a recumbent bike. What a difference it makes!!

The Comfort:

Recumbent bikes are very easy to ride for a lengthy period because they offer an unbeatable level of comfort. The best feature of the bike is without a doubt the bucket seat.

The wide saddle seat gives an ergonomic seating position that doesn't compress the male genitals and is way more comfortable than the traditional bike seat.

Because of the bucket seat design, the bike offers complete lumbar back support during exercise. With this feature, the neck, shoulders and pelvis are always kept in alignment. Also to note that most recumbent bikes seatbacks assure that the natural inward curvature of the lower spine is maintained while seated.

My bike has a seatback that can be lowered or raised to better fit the user. The seatback should be positioned so that the curve of the lower spine is supported by the curve in the back of the seat. If more than one person will use the recumbent bike, then this level of adjustment is a good option to consider.

But since the curve of the seat is pre-made and not adjustable, it is wise to try the bike before buying it. Each person his different and what's comfortable for someone might not be for everyone else.

The Stability:

My old upright exercise bike was a real pain to ride because of his manual resistance. It was inconstant and loose, and was damageable for my knee joints. The resistance was tricky, dropping suddenly without even touching the button. So the friction free magnetic resistance of the recumbent bike his a blessing and gives a smooth and quiet workout.

The stretched-out riding position of the bike also provides a grounding effect. I feel more at ease on the recumbent bike because my body is more stable on the seat and tumbles less from right to left. The positions of the handlebars on the side of the body and at chest level prevent you from arching your back and neck; than offering a more relax riding position.

The Efficiency:

The recumbent bike is a very efficient piece of equipment. Beyond everybody's preferences, it has characteristics that I personally find very important to the success of my fitness quest:

  • Helps blood circulation in the legs
  • Applies less pressure on the knees than upright bikes and treadmills.
  • Stresses the gluteal muscles more than traditional bikes
  • Way more easy to ride for obese people than regular bikes
  • Offers a more ergonomic seated position


My Experience With the Bike:

When I started my training regimen on January first 2005, as a New Year Resolution, I decided to take it slowly but surely. I had never do cardio workouts regularly before, so I didn't want to burnout after a couple of days.

My recumbent bike has height level of resistance – which go from very easy to almost impossible to pedal. I decided to start with the number 2 resistance because the first doesn't demand much effort, even for a beginner.

I decided to do 2 sessions of cardio each day; one in the morning on an empty stomach and another one during the evening.

I started slowly with one minute of bike for each workout. Every day, I increased each cardio workout by one minute. The first day, I rode for only 0.3 mile. But after more than a month and a half, my sessions were up to 50 minutes each and I was riding more than 24 miles/day with my stationary bike.

Slow cardio has been way more effective for me than hi-intensity training. Within days, I could already felt a different in my endurance capability. I'm not a guy who likes to rush things and I decided to apply the same philosophy to my weight and cardio training.

In an article published on Bodybuilding.com in February 2004, IFBB Pro Bob Cicherillo gave his takes on slow cardio: One reason that many guys (and girls) are afraid to try this method is that they're afraid it won't work, or because it doesn't "feel" like they're doing anything.

People are so used to sweating, and getting the "target" heart rate, that if those two things aren't happening... they can't accept that in their mind, and often revert to the old "calorie burning" techniques which will leave them smaller, softer, thinner and wondering where all the muscle they put on in the off season went to!

During my cardio workout, I always try to keep my heart rate between 115 and 135 beats/minute, which is a zone where I'm feeling that I work hard enough to feel the fatigue but not exhausted.

With weeks passing, I will gradually increase the resistance to toughen the workouts and increase my cardiovascular capacities.

For me, the recumbent bike is THE solution to a better cardio-vascular capacity. It's a charm to ride, difficult enough to give great results, comfortable and easy on the joints. Combine with a top-notch weight-training program, it truly puts you on the way to a better life!

Train Hard,

Stephane Lajoie
stephane_lajoie@bodybuilders.com

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