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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Does recumbent bike help at all?

    Hi guys,

    Does recumbent bike really help with burning calories?

    1) I goto the gym and use the elliptical for 30 mins and really feel like a good workout - bit tired, sweating etc. Burning around 350 calories.

    2) I work on the recumbent bike (a very decent model) for 90 mins and supposly burned close to 1200 calories. The problem is I dont feel ANYTHING, no sweating, not tired, it doesnt feel like a workout at all. And yes I set the resistance level pretty high etc..

    I mean if i am burning the same amount of calories, so by all means I would prefer the recumbent as it seems a much easier workout.


    Hi newguy05,

    take a look here:
    recumbent bike before and after results

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    United Kingdom
    First up, gym machines are not reliable in terms of what they say you burn calorie wise. If you want to know what you burn, get a Heart Rate Monitor. When wearing a HRM (which themselves are not even 100% reliable- but more reliable them gym machines) I get variations on machines from the machines being 50% above to 200% above what I actually burn.

    Next, don't rely on calorie burn numbers for your workout: as you do the same thing, your body becomes more efficient and learns how to burn fewer calories to do the same things: your HRM and definetly not the gym machines will not always tell you this. You think your burning 100kcals, actually you've done cycling for so long that your body is used to it, it knows how to use very little energy to do the same thing, you burn 60kcals.
    Added to this, your HRM or even the gym machines will tell you your total calorie burn, not just what you burnt doing that exercise. If you were just walking around normally say shopping, you may burn 100kcals in 30 mins, you exercise you burn 300kcals in that same 30 mins- but what you need to do is subtract the 100kcals you would have burnt anyway in your normal life, result? you actually burnt 200kcals extra.
    I also don't believe that the body burns anywhere near this much, I think personally (from my experience) that the body burns calories slower then we think, that a HRM reads 200kcals when infact they body has an inbuilt calorie conserver thing in and actually burns far less. Moral? don't rely on machines for calorie burn specifics: try to focus on how hard an exercise feels, how high or what degree your Heart Rate jumps about when doing interval training. (The fitter you become the higher you can get it but also the faster it falls when you do the slower intervals).

    The recumbent bike?: good if you have a back injury, but I can;t get a high heart rate on that thing, I find it good to warm up on but not something thats going to be of any real use to me in terms of fitness: may be useful if your new to exercise or coming back after an injury but from what you've written about the eliptical machine, your not a beginner or injured.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    thanks that's what i figured, after the bike exercise i might as well have been sitting on the couch watching tv, because i dont feel a thing! The elliptical does feel much more like a workout, but usually after an exhausting day of work it's much easier just to sit on the bike while watching tv for 1.5hrs then goto the gym, then do the elliptical while watching paint dry.

    fyi i was simplifying a little, i do use one of them polar wireless heart rate monitor. Both my bike and the gym elliptical has the compatible receiver, so their readings should be a bit more accurate than the regular hand sensors.


  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I emphatically report that they do work. A 10 year old Tunturi recumbent helped me lose 130 pounds. I went from 290 to 160 in a little over a year. When I was losing the weight, I rode it 90 minutes 7 days a week. 30 minutes in the morning and 60 at night. That old bike finally died from being overused. The frame broke and I replaced it with a Spirit X25 that I love. The old Tunturi's timer was all that was working at the end.

    The sad thing about it is that I had owned the bike for close to 10 years before I started using it about 2 years ago regularly. It might not work for everyone but it did for me. I use a heart rate monitor to keep my heart rate in the target range. I now only ride it 6 days a week for 30 minutes a day. I do my strength and ab training 3 days a week.

    I also changed my eating habits as well. I have kept my weight off for over a year now. I have lost weight before but had always gained it back. The other times I gained weight, it had been when my dad died and when one of my grandparents died. I was afraid when my son was deployed to Iraq, that I would balloon up even more from 290 but thankfully I used it for motivation. There were a lot of days when I would not feel like riding and I would tell myself "Quit your whining and get on the bike, my boy is going through a lot worse."

    The Good Lord blessed us by getting our boy home safely.

    While the bike might not be for everyone, it certainly worked for an extremely thankful and ProudMarineDad.


    Hi newguy05,

    take a look here:
    recumbent bike before and after results

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