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Topic: Working out on a recumbent bike in the gym< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 14 2013, 4:18 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I broke my ankle 4.5 months ago and am still not allowed to "run".  No real hiking either.  My orthopedic surgeon (who specializes in sports medicine) keeps telling me to cycle... which just isn't my cup of tea.  But I'm trying to be good and have been working out on the recumbent bikes at the gym.  I've found that at least I can read on those.

What I don't know is how much and how fast I should be going to actually get a good workout.  My P/T has me doing these 7-10 minute rides which I find it hard to believe actually does anything.  I need some recommendations.

FWIW, I'm trying to go everyday, or at least 5 days out of 7.  But I don't have much time during the week.  Last couple of days, I rode about 30 minutes, did about 7 miles.  Is that a completely weenie session?

How well do you think bike riding translates to training for a hike?


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 14 2013, 4:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TigerFan @ Aug. 14 2013, 4:18 pm)
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What I don't know is how much and how fast I should be going to actually get a good workout.  My P/T has me doing these 7-10 minute rides which I find it hard to believe actually does anything.  I need some recommendations.

FWIW, I'm trying to go everyday, or at least 5 days out of 7.  But I don't have much time during the week.  Last couple of days, I rode about 30 minutes, did about 7 miles.  Is that a completely weenie session?

How well do you think bike riding translates to training for a hike?

1) Is your PT having you do these at beginning of session as a warmup? 7-10min rides prevent deconditioning and promote range of motion more than they have any impact on your aerobic conditioning. ASK if you're supposed to do more than that on a daily basis. (At 4.5 months out and your orthopod telling you to ride, I'm betting it's ok, but I'd ask to be sure.)

2) Do your gym bikes have a heart rate monitor? They're not super accurate, but you can use that + your perceived rate of exertion to assess how much you're getting out of it. You should be able to talk...briefly. Not sing opera. Different bikes have different settings, so a single mileage/time isn't going to give you a good estimate.

3) Recumbent bike training has a lousy translation to hiking for lower body strength and coordination, but if you can keep your heart/lungs in shape (which it's good at), you'll...pardon the pun...have a leg up when it gets back to hiking time.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 14 2013, 8:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I agree with Fifeplayer.  I have to say that, as a rule of thumb, I've found that if I can read while working out, I'm probably not working out hard enough (even on the bikes).  I use recorded books when I am forced to work out indoors.  

I also agree that biking won't really get you ready to hike.  In fact, I did an experiment in exactly that when I was 27.  I was working as a bike messenger, so I was fit as all get out, but had no time for running or hiking as I approached the summer.  In mid-July I quit work and went off to hike 200 miles, with 13-17 miles days.  My feet have literally never recovered from that, though my legs did okay (and the heart/lungs could get me into almost as much trouble as the head does).


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 14 2013, 8:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks to both of you for the advice.  I think you've confirmed what I've been feeling.  I think I'm going to rebel a bit and start walking.  Nothing crazy.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 14 2013, 9:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What I have found, being the cynic, is that PT people tend to have you do something for 7-10 minutes because they bill in 15 minute increments and can get multiple billings in a shorter time.  Do 3 10 minute drills in 30 minutes, and they bill for 45 minutes of routine.  Call me crazy, but it is what I have discovered over the years, and had confirmed by a relative who is a PT.

As for the bike riding, I like the recumbents, but they do nothing for my abilities to hike.  Leg presses, leg curls, and farmer walks will help, but you are not supposed to be putting effort on that ankle, so leg curls are all that you can do.

Alternate swimming and bike riding for stamina.  Keeping your lungs and blood flow going full tilt is what will help you next time you are in the Canyon.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 14 2013, 9:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oh, and I want to say that I did pretty well with Zeke's approach.  After my foot surgery I couldn't run or hike much for 3-4 months.  But I kept generally fit with the bike and pool.  In July (6 months from the surgery) I hiked about 170 miles, 1/3 with a pack, and was mostlly fine (okay, there was that one nasty strain which is finally healing).

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 14 2013, 9:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Anything to keep your blood flowing full tilt, Sweetie.  :)  You just make this old man happier every day.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 15 2013, 11:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Aug. 14 2013, 6:45 pm)
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Anything to keep your blood flowing full tilt, Sweetie.  :)  You just make this old man happier every day.  

What old man?  I don't see any OLD guys around here.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 02 2013, 4:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

FWIW, I read that exercise bicycles (may have been recumbent ones) are harder on your heart than treadmills. I looked it up after I saw my father getting a stress test on a treadmill with a guy standing behind him in case he fell, making me wonder why they don't use recumbent bicycles. I'm not sure if that means recumbent bikes give you a better/faster cardio workout. I think recumbent bikes are safer for the elderly in any case.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 02 2013, 5:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use a recumbent bike I have in my home for times I can't get to the gym ans use the stair stepper or elliptical (neither of those could be used in my house because I'm 6' 3" and my ceilings are too low.)

I find it difficult to get a consistent workout heart rate on the incumbent unless I do intervals on it, which give me a more intense workout than either the elliptical or stair stepper.

However, my hips and legs get cramped after about 30 minutes on the recumbent bike, so that is the max I can use it, which is fine for the interval workout.
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