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Echo Bike: Love/Hate

November 14, 20233 min read

How many of y’all have a love/hate relationship with the echo bike?  It’ll humble you and bring you to the point of vomiting, but at the same time, it’ll make you feel like a bada$$!  

Ok, maybe it’s a little more hate than love, and I totally understand, the bike can suck!  I would challenge you to change your mindset and embrace the suck because if you're trying to become fit (which I hope you are), this machine will get you in shape, but you have got to put in the work.  

Let’s discuss what type of improvements you can gain on the bike and how your training should reflect that.  

If you want to improve your muscular endurance, short and intense intervals are going to help tremendously.  Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle group(s) to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time.  I will phrase this into a question, how long can you sustain an intense effort, until you hit the dreaded “wall”?  Everyone knows what the “wall” feels like and if you don’t, well, start working harder.  At BFP, we program a lot of sprint intervals because it is without a doubt one of the best ways to improve your muscular endurance and power in a short amount of time as your body is constantly battling against the resistance of the bike.    

On the flip-side of muscle and power building, if your problem is that you run out of gas in a training session too quickly then you can solve that problem with a different approach.  You need to focus on your aerobic capacity, which is the measure of the ability of the heart and lungs to get oxygen to the working muscles.  Rather than high intensity sprint intervals you would benefit more from doing a 20-30 minute steady-state ride, where you would aim to hold a consistent pace throughout the entire ride. At BFP, we don’t do this as much, mainly due to the logistics of our training sessions, but this is something you can definitely do on your own.  To see improvement in your aerobic capacity, you need to focus on your pace because as your pace gets faster while your effort remains consistent, you will have increased your aerobic capacity.  

As I stated earlier, to see improvements with either adaptation, you gotta put in the work and do it consistently.  Next I want to discuss a few ways to improve your efficiency on the bike because this will help you get the most out of your training.  

Improving your body position on the bike is going to be the quickest way to becoming more efficient.  Adjusting the seat to a correct height would be the first step, followed by setting your body position on the bike.  When riding, don’t slouch over and bobble your head everywhere when you start to get tired. It will not help those calories go by any quicker.  Make sure you stay tall with your head up and keep those arms tight.  This will allow you to breathe properly and not fatigue as quickly.     

Check out this video discussing how to adjust the seat correctly and the body position you should be striving for while on the bike.  

Echo Bike Tip #1

The next thing that can help improve your efficiency is understanding how to set a pace using the wattage and cadence metrics on the screen.  Seeing those metrics constantly go up and down can lead to burning out quicker when doing intervals or taking too long to achieve a certain amount of calories.  Understanding what your top number can be will help you gauge your pace for different intervals and/or calorie count.      

Check out this video for learning what the entire screen entails and how to use the wattage and cadence metrics to your advantage.

Echo Bike Tip #2

I hope you learned something, now go get on that echo bike and ride like the wind!

Coach Silas

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Breakaway Fitness & Performance

Breakaway Fitness & Performance focuses on strength training, weight loss, and a healthy lifestyle in their blogs.

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