The truth about the January online fitness craze

14.01.2022

As an ex professional athlete and fitness professional for nearly all of my life, I get increasingly annoyed at the January media activity in my industry. Yes, of course it is a time to set a new course and to make your new year’s resolutions, but as anybody connected with this industry knows - the January fitness boom is driven entirely by the corporate machine trying to part you from your hard-earned money with fads and diets and exercise training plans, which simply due to the fact that they are designed for a 4 or 6-week period, means they are going to be no success at all. 

I don't understand how a digital training platform suddenly offers a 6-week training plan designed to lose weight and get you fit. Surely the whole point of creating a digital online training system is to make sure that the system offers these results at any point during the year and continuously throughout the year. Does this mean that aside from this 4 to 6 week plan that none of the other content on this digital training platform will contribute to your fitness gains or weight loss? Or, is it simply that there is no guidance to which session or class you should be training with next? ...simply closing your eyes and sticking a pin into the video library?

In the world of indoor cycling we are very fortunate to have a form of exercise which can be undertaken in a very small area in your house or your gym, making it very accessible, which is low weight bearing and high-intensity and also works on your energy systems in a way that is beneficial for your everyday life. Surely if I am expecting an individual to take 30 or 45 minutes out of their day the least that I can do is to make sure that is the most efficient and productive 30 or 45 minutes they could possibly have. I know there are thousands of people out there that will claim that that they exercise for mental health and that it is their form of social interactivity which is all very good, but surely the whole point of exercise is to keep fit first and foremost?

Millions of people ride daily in studios and digitally online on sessions that give no guidance on exactly how intensively individuals should be pedalling at any point during the class. I mean the days of 'add a little bit' & 'take a little bit off' surely are gone now? If you were in the gym with a personal trainer who gave you the same advice on dumbbell choice you wouldn't go back for another session. In the gym your exercises are based on two main things- the weight you are lifting and the number of repetitions in your set - so why in indoor cycling can instructors get away with setting intervals where neither resistance, length of interval nor speed of interval is given to the participant and how can classes be taught by instructors who have no idea of the inertia effects of riding a flywheel based indoor cycle bike at cadence speeds in excess of 120 RPM with no bloody resistance. I mean, for Christ sake what are we actually gaining by flopping your hands from one side of the bar to the other in time with the beat of the music and then lowering your chest to the bar numerous times while flicking your hair above your head. If the 45-year old lady in the front row thinks she will end up looking like the nubile 20-year old instructor by doing these exercises, then I'm afraid she is sorely mistaken. 

If you actually look at the real time calorie burn in one of these classes it is about a quarter or a third of the calories burnt in a professionally profiled beat led indoor cycle class based on resistance and RPM combinations. All of those calories that you aren't burning will soon add up to absolutely no physical gain whatsoever. Above all else, hopefully we are resolved to the fact that no matter what exercise you undertake, calories entering the body has to be less than calories leaving the body to achieve any kind of physical weight loss at all. So, the more calories you can burn in the small amount of time in the week you can give to your training regime, then surely the results will be better.

This brings me back to my original point- nobody is going to burn enough calories in a 4 to 6 week training plan directly after Christmas which is going to give them the results that they want. The only form of cycle training plan is going to give results to an individual wanting to loose some body fat and to increase their fitness levels is a sustainable professional training program maximising calorie burn in a short space of time. I would suggest that the only thing that will be maximised by a company offering a 4 to 6 week training plan directly after Christmas would be the money in that platforms bank account.

Maybe it's just me going off on one, but when I have seen over my 30-year career the achievements of individuals who have taken up cycling and understood the process, then it is very hard for me to accept that at a platform like Peloton is worth billions of dollars worldwide and is given so much credibility by so many people who have no idea what they are doing. The real crime here is the fact that indoor cycling really does offer a lifeline and an opportunity to so many people when done correctly, however none of the big players in this industry, from Les Mills to Peloton have a clue what they are doing, apart from maximising their profits with huge marketing budgets and celebrity endorsements… they are really missing a trick. 

If you want to lose weight, if you want to get fit and educate yourself about fitness in the process then don't fall into the trap of choosing your exercise plan based on a 4 to 6 week promise of miracles. Don’t throw your money at the biggest, loudest advert on social media or TV. The truth is the people who can really help you are the people who don't have millions to throw at TV adverts because these people put your fitness first and not their bank balances.Don’t give your hard earned cash to an online, muscle bound, six packed personal trainer who claims you can 'look like him in no time at all' because he literally lives in the gym every day as your subscriptions pay for his lifestyle to do that. Don’t subscribe to an online nutritionist who doesn't actually have a nutritionist qualification but who is 20 years old, has a genetically fast metabolism, which means she looks good in her Gymshark leggings and cropped top and promises that in 4 to 6 weeks you can look the same.
There is no magic potion, and no new exercise or machine that can give you what you want in 4 to 6 weeks. Train with people who know what they are doing on a platform or system that does it correctly and that offers a sustainable, effective exercise plan. If you want to do that on a bike then CicloZone was created for exactly this purpose. We do this for you... we care about your results and your progress, all year round. Educate and Motivate... I mean, it’s common sense isn't it??  

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