7 Indoor Cycling Victories to Celebrate

Honor your personal bests and you'll stay motivated to keep riding.

We live in a culture that tends to be very forward thinking, as in perpetually focused on the next goal, an upcoming event or a future milestone. There are numerous benefits to staying present in the here and now by practicing mindfulness, including being able to more thoroughly enjoy and experience what you’re doing at any given moment. But it’s also smart to hit your mental pause button occasionally to appreciate your accomplishments to date.

This is especially true with challenging physical pursuits like indoor cycling. Taking a moment to appreciate your successes, especially in situations where you’re not competing against others or measurable benchmarks, can motivate you to continue the good work you’ve been doing and aim for new personal bests.

With this in mind, here are seven possible victories to look for and celebrate with indoor cycling:

You can sustain a new level of resistance. When you notice that you can maintain a higher resistance for longer—whether your bike has a computer that registers your gear or torque or you can simply feel the difference—that’s a sign that you’re getting stronger and building cardiovascular fitness and endurance. Just make sure your pace stays in a safe zone, ideally above 50 RPMs.

You can sprint faster and/or for longer. Whether you’re doing a race day ride or sprints during an interval workout, being able to sustain a pace of 110 RPMs against more resistance or for a longer period is a significant milestone.

It means you’re developing strength and stamina, as well as speed. So pay attention to this sort of progress and take pride in it!

You have more energy during and after your indoor cycling classes. It sounds counterintuitive but expending physical energy in high-intensity activities like indoor cycling can help you gain more energy.

It’s a matter of conditioning, pure and simple: As you develop cardiovascular fitness and strength, it will take longer for you to get tired when you’re exercising and when you aren’t. Feel the difference, and you’ll be inspired to keep riding!

You’ve lost weight or gained muscle definition. If you’ve kept your eating habits more or less the same and you’ve been doing indoor cycling regularly, you may see positive changes on the scale (if you wanted to lose weight) or you may notice greater muscle tone and definition in your legs. Both are excellent changes. Bask in them!

You feel stronger while climbing hills. When you get to the point where you can crank up your resistance to simulate a tough hill-climb and you can tackle it with verve and a pace of 50 or 60 RPMs or higher, you’ll feel like a bad-ass. And for good reason—that’s a sure sign that you’ve built up major strength in your leg muscles.

You’ve noticed your less dominant leg has become stronger. It’s not unusual for people to have muscle imbalances, whether it’s between their right and left legs or their quads and their hamstrings.

If you’ve been varying your rides and making an effort to push off on the pedals with your less dominant leg (or let it do more of the work occasionally when you’re riding), you’ll strengthen your weaker leg. That’s a noteworthy accomplishment.

You feel better in your body. As you become stronger and develop greater physical fitness, you may feel more comfortable in your body. That’s a very good thing! After all, your body is your home and your vehicle for moving through the world. You ought to feel at ease in it.

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