Is Cycling A Good Exercise To Lose Weight For Beginners?


Prodify Cycling does not endorse any particular treatment.  Each individual should carefully evaluate his/her situation and use good judgment from a medical provider before making a personal decision.

You could search google today using the term “reasons to cycle” and find over 5.9 million results (and growing) versus 271,000 results with “reasons not to cycle”.  

But of all the reasons that someone can come up with regarding the activity, cycling is one of the best exercises to help you lose weight.

In the health & fitness market, Americans spend between 40 – 50 billion dollars annually on weight loss yet most of the money and time spent is wasted.

Not only is cycling a good way to lose weight but you’ll find it easy and fun.  To find out more, keep reading!



Can You Lose Weight By Cycling

Cycling is an aerobic exercise which is an essential form of exercise you’ll need in order to lose fat on any part of your body.

Aerobic exercise is interchangeable with the common term, “cardio”.

This type of exercise stimulates the heart, involves the delivery of free oxygen to flow to working muscles, which increases breathing rate and helps you to sustain in an activity.

In effect, once the oxygen is working in the muscles, it is used to burn fat and carbohydrates for fuel to keep us moving.

A combination of cycling, rest, and creating a caloric deficit will help you on your weight loss journey.

Does Cycling Burn Stomach Fat

It’s more likely that cycling will help you burn fat all over in areas where fat is stored.

But, there is not an exact way to target certain body parts for fat loss.

When cycling properly and engaging your stomach muscle, your stomach will appear to be slimmer over time.

Including core exercises into your exercise routine along with sensible eating, will be more effective toward burning stomach fat.

How Many Calories Can You Burn Cycling

The calories you burn cycling really depends on a number of factors:

  • Your Age
  • Weight
  • Time  Riding
  • Average Heart Rate


I could tell you that an average cyclist burns roughly 400 calories per hour, but it really doesn’t take into account net calories burned versus gross calories burned.

I’m not a math person but a good start is by calculating your BMR or basal metabolic rate (amount of energy we use).

We actually burn calories doing absolutely nothing,  resting and certain types of exercises increase our metabolic rate.

Measuring your total energy expenditure will give you an estimation of how many calories you burn.  

Will You Build Muscle Cycling

Cycling in itself will not build muscle but muscle endurance.

In order to build muscle, lifting weights will still be a requirement to activate the muscles.

You will notice that most cyclists aim for a lean physique due to the fact that muscles weigh cyclist down, and can actually hinder their performance.

So due to the nature of cycling, unfortunately, muscles will not benefit but instead, your muscles will be toned.

Here are the specific leg muscles that are toned:

  • Quadriceps muscles (front of thighs)
  • Hamstrings (rear of thigh)
  • Calf muscles
  • Hip flexors
  • Gluteus Maximus (your buttocks)
  • Plantar Flexors of the foot
  • Dorsiflexors of the foot

Is Cycling A Good Exercise For Back Pain

For most people who suffer from back pain, cycling may an option to consider for weight loss and conditioning.

Prodify Cycling does not endorse any particular treatment.  Each individual should carefully evaluate his/her situation and use good judgment from a medical provider before making a personal decision.


Benefits of Cycling With Back Pain:

  • Biking overall is less impact on the spine and joints
  • Some people feel more comfortable leaning forward on a bike
  • Riding a recumbent bike might be more favorable for low-back pain conditions


Provided there is also a risk for low back pain:

  • Cycling does not in itself build back muscles
  • Poor posture on the bike can strain low-back
  • Position on the bicycle can strain the upper back, depending on how the handlebars are equipped
  • Rough road conditions can increase shock and compression to the spine, creating back pain

Increase Your Chances Of Losing Weight

The more cycling you do overtime, the more cycling will help you lose weight.

In the word’s of Steven Lewis, “ Too much of anything could destroy you.  Too much darkness could kill, but too much light could blind.”

This quote goes without saying, be reasonable when cycling or anything for weight loss.

If you’re a beginner in this,  you don’t have to “go hard or go home” to start as it will take time, consistency, a proper diet while cycling to see weight loss results.

You want cycling to be fun and enjoyable and not feel like “work”.

If you have a good routine and have faith you will lose weight cycling, in time you will reap the benefits.

Start Bike Commuting

Can you think of the many possible ways to bike where you need to go?

Make an effort to ride your bike to take care of the small task.  Think of the small trips around your area where biking there could be reasonable.

These small trips could be a short distance to the grocery store, a friend’s house, and possibly to work.

Biking to work is a great way to burn extra calories.  This could work out to be an efficient way to lose weight because you’ll burn calories riding to work, while you’re at work, and riding back home.

In addition to bike commuting to work, you are taking in the more fresh air and can avoid the traffic commute.

How Indoor Cycling Helps

If you have time for a 45-minute cycling class, it can be another form of cycling to help aid in weight loss.

It will not only be incredibly great at burning 400-600 calories but will increase your metabolism and offers toning exercises to strengthen your muscles.

5 Benefits Of Indoor Cycling






















Burn Calories

You can burn a substantial amount of calories.  For example, a 200lb individual will burn around 800 calories give or take, in 60 minutes of high-intensity training.

That same person will burn around 1200 calories in about 60 minutes of indoor cycling.

Depending on how much energy you put into indoor cycling you will burn more or less.


Develops Mental Happiness

I highly associate feeling happier with cycling and I think if you tried it you will too.

The “can do attitude” often expressed by spin class instructors will help you build confidence on and off the bike and carry on throughout your day.

You will notice among your fellow spin class members a unified enjoyment and excitement because spinning makes you feel good!


Builds Endurance

The indoor spin class makes a great choice for a regular cardio workout.

When conditioning for the Tour de Cure Silicon Valley ride, I added in some spin classes into my routine which helped me endure this long ride.

Even if you don’t ride in tours or races, a spin class with help build your cardiovascular endurance. Get that heart pumping!


Low-impact Workout

Running is a great exercise for some people but the impact it places on your body can be crucial.

I had a friend who was a runner, did triathlons and cycled.  Overtime time her running impacted her back so much that she developed a stress fracture her lower back to the point she had to retire from running.

Spinning puts way less pressure on your joints, knees, and feet and you will fewer repercussions versus running and other high-impact exercises.


Develops Proper Posture

If your posture is poor and maybe you’re a little slouchy, a good spin class instructor will always help remind riders about keeping the abs tight and back straight.

Correct posture is beneficial in order to work core muscle groups such as abs, hips, and shoulders.

Your body can work as a whole or against you if not implementing proper cycling posture techniques.


Consider the  benefits of incorporating cycling into your exercise routine:

  • Want to burn calories? —  It takes care of that
  • A desire to feel less stressed? — Cycling will spin it out of you
  • Good for all ages, genders, and sizes


You want to become a better version of you and in doing so, cycling can be one stepping stone to getting there.


Recent Posts