Are Indoor Cycling Classes Better Than Elliptical Training?

image002You need practical fitness that helps you live your life, yet every time you walk into a popular gym you’re confronted with almost endless choices. For example, what’s the best kind of cardio for you? Should you go with free-weight circuits? How about elliptical trainers and cycling classes?


Typically cardio areas present a plethora of options as well, everything from rowers and stair climbers to an assortment of upright and recumbent bikes or treadmills. In this article we’re going to take a look at two popular options for trimming and slimming: elliptical trainers and cycling classes.


Elliptical Training: What is it?


Elliptical trainers are great for people after low-impact movements with tons of guided variability. It feels like you’re running, climbing, stepping and walking all in the same workout. From hardcore athletes to complete beginners, they are among the safest training options when going solo.


Cycling Classes: What Are They?


Imagine yourself in a room with 10-30 other people, everyone on an ergonomic stationary bike, pedaling away with a specially trained and experienced instructor. Rather than having to conform to programing or pre-set workouts, instructors ensure an effective workout every time.


Ellipticals vs. Classes


Right, so those are the basics that set the two apart. One you do alone and the other you do with a class and an instructor. Let’s look at 5 important fitness variables and see which one is more ideal for the brunt of cardio-lovers out there.


Motivation Levels


Most people do not push themselves hard enough. Not because they’re weak but because it’s perfectly natural and hard to gauge all alone with nothing to compare and contrast to. Elliptical trainers have plenty of programming options to choose from, but alone they typically do not provide the type of motivational support people need to get real results.

Instructors not only provide ample motivation, but so do all the other cyclists in class! Instructors take advantage of all bike settings and take people through challenging workouts without fail.


Physical Prowess


Elliptical trainers are perfect for all fitness levels. If you’ve never really pushed your cardiovascular system, jumping right into a cycling class could be overwhelming. Instructors have to create class workouts not 10-20 different levels of workouts to suit all fitness levels.

Elliptical trainers are a fabulous gateway cardio machine that lead to bigger and harder cardiovascular challenges once fitness levels improve.


Endurance Training Skills


Specialized indoor cycling bikes take getting used to just as elliptical trainers do. Both options challenge the body’s internal balance and stabilization mechanisms, just in different ways. Elliptical trainers have a unique type of motion, while indoor cycling is intended to mimic the real thing as much as possible.




Cycling classes aren’t going on 24/7. Most gyms offer them 3-6 times a week, but the cardio floor is open and elliptical trainers are always available. However, because of their popularity sometimes people have to wait their turn to hop on a trainer and in some cases sign up for cycling classes beforehand.


Final Results

Obviously results are going to vary depending on the energy and effort you pump into them. Changing body composition is all about adaptation. You get the physique that your lifestyle demands from your body. The most important thing is consistency. What can you plausibly seeing yourself doing at least 3-4 times a week month after month?

If it’s just a few pounds you need to lose, either will do for a month or so. Otherwise, when it comes to living a longer healthier life, training is all about what works best over the long run.


image001Which One Sounds Better To You?


Perhaps a mix of both is best. Many people like to warm up their bodies on elliptical trainers before cycling classes, or use them on days where they just plan on hitting the weights and need to loosen up beforehand and afterwards to cool down.


At the end of the day the most ideal option between ellipticals and classes is the one you are most ready to commit to. Again, take into account your current fitness levels and the amount of extra motivation you think you’ll likely need. Enjoy!

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