Ask the Trainer: Exercise bike

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

If you’ve been logging hours at the gym and aren’t seeing any results, you could be doing it wrong, especially if you chose the exercise bike. But, that doesn’t need to be the case said Doug Quinlivan, the owner of Ascent Fitness.


Casually pedaling away on the recumbent bike is not effective. “It’s all about the effort that you put into it,” said Quinlivan.


First, start with the proper position. “So you want a slight bend in the knee at the end of the pedal travel.” Then, pedal comfortably to warm up your muscles for a few minutes.


“After your warm-up here, we’re going to raise the resistance,” Quinlivan said. “I want you to think of it as more of a single-leg leg press so each time you’re doing that pedal stroke, you’re going to be doing it hard.” He said to think of it not only as a cardio workout, but a leg workout as well. So, crank up the resistance to where it’s difficult to push.


“We’re going to run this all the way up to a level 12. You notice how you’re slowing down there, speed it up a little bit,” he said. Then, bring it back down.


Keep adjusting the resistance, but make sure to keep your speed up and stick with it for at least 20 minutes. “For the average person it takes about 20 minutes to get to the point where their body is burning fat for energy,” said Quinlivan. “So the more past 20 minutes you can go in one setting, the better off you are.”


If you have a question for the trainer, email




Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.