Virgin Active blog

Your regular dose of wellness inspiration, fitness and nutrition tips.

Make the most of your cycle workout

29 Nov 2018 17:15PM by Virgin Active

Racing against the clock in teams, our expert instructors push you to your limits, boosting motivation to an high, as the fully integrated studio, booming sound system and spectacular lighting create a fully immersive experience.

But, if your schedule won’t allow you to catch a class, or you just want to brush up on your technique, our  Wattbikes are the perfect piece of equipment to help you work on improving your performance.

Complete with the latest technology and providing all the data you need to make structured training easy, the information collected offers unparalleled accuracy - helping you to reach your fitness goals.

So, if you really want to lead the pack, jump on a  Wattbike and follow these tips to make sure you’re getting the best out of your solo spin session.

Muscle Activation

Before you even think about hopping onto a bike, you can help to improve your performance by activating your glutes.

Instead of relying on their quads, professional cyclists activate their gluteal muscles more during pedaling, so try to increase the capacity of your glutes by carrying out resistance exercises that target them.

Perform squats, lunges deadlifts to help increase the amount of power you exert to the pedal, and next time you tackle a climb you’ll be sure to notice the difference.


Making sure your posture and positioning are correct will provide you with a much more effective workout for both your legs and core.

To begin with, check your seat is at waist height when you are standing, and then once you’re on the bike ensure you're close enough to hold the handlebars comfortably.

During your workout make sure your weight is back and your upper body is lent forward as you hover your bottom directly over the seat. Keep your abs tight to strengthen your core, and squeeze your glutes to avoid any bouncing.

If you’re still unsure, just check with a member of staff. We’re always on hand to offer advice.

Interval Training

Burn fat and build endurance with  interval training.

Start by making sure you’ve set the bike to have enough resistance, then after a few minutes of warming up at a steady pace increase the intensity by pedaling faster for 30 to 40 seconds (we recommend going at around 75 to 90 percent of your maximum intensity). Next, slow down to a steady pace for another interval and repeat four times.

Once you’ve nailed this ratio, try doing shorter intervals at a higher pace, as well as increasing the of rounds.

On-Bike Strength Training

Incorporating free weights into your solo spin session is a great way to increase your cardiovascular output, burn more calories and target other areas of the body.

The use of dumbbells can help to improve both balance and while targeting the upper body, ankle weights are an easy way to make your hamstrings, quads glutes work harder without diluting your concentration.

To give yourself an extra push, strap on a pair of 3-5kg ankle weights and watch your stamina skyrocket.

Focus On Resistance

To improve your performance while working with the strength you currently have, you’ll need to focus on resistance.

Instead of worrying about upping your distance, increase the resistance on your exercise bike and try to complete your usual distance within the same amount of time. Forcing you to pedal harder, the increased resistance will help to build your leg muscles and boost the intensity of your workout.

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