Cycling for Fitness and Fat Loss

cycling for fitness and fatloss

Cycling is one of the most effective exercises to get fit and burn body fat once done consistently.

I go to the gym 4-5 days per week and always take the bike with me, instead of driving. This is a great way to keep fit and lean.

It usually takes me 10-12 minutes to arrive at the gym, that’s only a 5 kilometer bike ride away.

So by the time I arrive at the gym, I don’t have to worry about parking. I just park the bike outside the gym, then quickly tog out, then get stuck into my workout (all warmed as well!).

bent over barbell rows

I usually cycle at a moderate intensity. The last thing I want is to be out of breath in the gym without enough energy to complete a 90-minute workout.

The only day I don’t cycle to the gym is on leg day. I do a killer leg workout, so the last thing I want to do is step on a bicycle to punish myself even more. 🙂

Does cardio prevent muscle growth?

Many guys believe that cardio will prevent muscle growth. Not true at all. I have been doing cardio for many years now, both high and low intensity, and never had any trouble packing on lean muscle mass. Big guns don’t lie!

cycling on my bike

On my way to the gym on a hot summers day in Ireland (2015)

The great thing about cycling is that it can help make your muscles look more defined, rather than bulky, and that’s what you should be aiming for, right?

If you eat enough calories throughout the day and lift heavy weight at the gym, you will not lose muscle as long as you don’t go and do crazy amounts of cardio.

If you do, that will definitely deplete your muscle.

Cycling for fitness and fat loss

Any kind of over training is not good for you, but cycling is great for fat loss and will help you stay fit.

For me,  I don’t need to worry about losing muscle, because the distance between my house and the gym is just a 12-15 minute journey both ways.

I know big muscular guys who struggle to run or cycle a few miles. It’s because all they do is lift weights and eat. But, everyone has different goals, I just love my cardio as much as I love lifting weights. But I obviously spend more time pumping iron!

Just do whatever works for you and stick to it.

Indoor Cardio V Outdoor Cardio

Most people prefer to do cardio on a treadmill or elliptical or stationary bike and that’s fine, but since I spend the majority of my gym time lifting weights, I have no patience to ride a stationary bike for an entire hour while staring into a TV monitor.

There’s no fun in that! The same goes for running on a treadmill. I’m not knocking people who do it, I do it myself at least once in a while, but not as often as most people do.

I’d rather hop on my bike and breath the fresh air into my lungs and enjoying the scenery.

Personally, I enjoy the challenge of cycling up steep hills and speeding on an open road.




I know a guy who only uses his car to get to the gym every day.  He lives 3 kilometres away from the gym and yet he spends €30 a week on petrol and sometimes has a hard time finding a parking spot.

So when you add that up, he spends €80 euro a week and in a year that’s €960 and that doesn’t include the costs of tax and insurance.

I guess people get more comfort out of doing things the easier way, rather than doing things that require more effort (cycling).

People sometimes offer me a lift to the gym and that’s great, but unless it’s a wet and windy day, I much prefer to cycle.

In Ireland, the weather can get pretty miserable, so it makes sense to go by car instead of the bike, as the roads can be quite treacherous.

Bike Maintenance

Since I use my bike most days of the week, It needs to be repaired at least once or twice a month. It’s quite common to run into issues such as getting a flat tire or brake problems.

If I can’t fix the problem myself, I usually leave it with a bicycle mechanic.

There’s one right next to the gym I go to and he only charges €10 to repair a flat tire, which is okay.

But it’s always a good idea to keep a spare tube/tire if you know how to change a flat tire yourself.

Cycling Benefits

thumbs-up

  • Cycling is a great exercise for building stamina and is great for building up your leg muscles.
  • It will help you burn a lot of calories, keep your body fat low and increase your metabolism even after you’re done. Definitely helps in getting ripped abs.
  • Cycling will also improve your immune system due to the increased in oxygen and blood circulation in your body.
  • Improved your mental health, due to both endorphin’s and dopamine levels released during and after cycling.
  • Cycling targets a variety of muscles with each pedal stroke, including lower back, obliques, glutes and hamstrings.

So what kind of bike do I use?

Flat-Bar Road Bicycle

Flat Bar Road Bicycles

This bike is very lightweight with narrow tires. I prefer this kind of road bike as I find it very easy to cycle compared to mountain bikes that have wider tires.  I’m also not a big fan of those drop-handlebars that most road bikes have though.

Depending on where you live, your gym might take you 20-30 minutes to get there, in that case you will definitely need to drive or use public transport.

But if you are only living a short distance from the gym, it’s much better to cycle for transportation instead of driving. Sitting in traffic can also cost you time and money.

Whatever you do, don’t waste money on cardio equipment. It’s much more beneficial to do your cardio outdoors.

If you liked this article, I’d really appreciate if you share it on social media.

Also I have a question….

What your favorite cardio exercise for burning body fat and why?

Leave your answers in the comments below!

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