Indoor Cycling (Spin/Exercise Bike) vs. Treadmill – The Great Debate for Fitness at Home
When it comes to maintaining your health during the pandemic, many people had to make the transition from being an average gym member into a full-fledge home workout expert. If you wanted to stay fit during these trying times, you’ve likely looked into a lot of different options - most of us will wonder “is a stationary bike better than a treadmill?”, but physical fitness at home isn’t a black and white process.
Some people will have lingering injuries that force them onto the stationary bike, and some will prefer the feel of a treadmill regardless of how amazing spin bikes have become. The technological advancements for both products are amazing to look at, and today we’re going to try and decipher which of the two is best to have in your home!
Treadmill vs. Spin Bike
Treadmills are ideal for people who have been running for a while or aren’t capable of sitting on bikes for long periods. Everybody has a personal preference at the end of the day, and while I own both products personally, I can see why the average person would focus on one. Fitness goals will vary from person to person as well, which is another reason why identifying the “perfect fit” for you is so important.
Spending hundreds of dollars on a spin bike or treadmill and realizing you’ve made a mistake can be easily avoided, all you’ve got to do is research a bit. With guides like this, you won’t be making the wrong purchase when it comes to putting your home gym together (and that’s a promise we stand by!).
Cycling or Treadmill for Belly Fat
Most people are interested in putting together a home gym to lose their belly fat or some other form of excess weight. Belly fat is something that plagues many of us, and if there was a pill that could give you abs in a day, it’d probably already be sold out. Unfortunately, you have to work for everything you want in the physical fitness world; this means that you’ll likely need to do a lot more than just purchase a spin bike/treadmill! When you’re wondering “does indoor cycling reduce belly fat?”, just remember that it’s only a piece of the puzzle.
With that being said, sweating as much as possible and eating at a caloric deficit will always help you shed belly fat. It doesn’t matter if you’re an endomorph or ectomorph, or even whether you choose to go with a stationary bike instead of a treadmill. In my personal opinion, when I was losing my belly fat the first time around I preferred using the spin bike - treadmills made my jiggly parts bounce a little too much for my liking.
Cycling or Treadmill for Building Lower Body Muscles
Building up your lower body muscles is an entirely different story, as I would say that stationary bikes are superior for that in every way possible. Jogging on treadmills is fantastic for increasing your stamina and slightly building up your leg muscles, but spin bikes allow you to do so much more than that. You can blast through a spin class and feel the burn throughout the entirety of your lower body! That can happen after a treadmill session, but only if you’re willing to go the extra mile (no pun intended!). Cycling is ideal for when you’re looking to build up your:
And essentially everything else in your lower body!
There’s a reason why Olympian Track Cyclists have some of the biggest legs you’ve ever seen! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, quickly Google “Olympian Track cyclist legs” and watch your jaw drop to the floor. You may not achieve these kinds of results at first, but if you’re willing to stay on that stationary bike whenever possible, you’ve got a glorious butt and thighs (even calves) in your near future.
Is a Stationary Bike Better Than a Treadmill
This is tough, as we already know that people prefer different things. That’s just the way life is! Some of you are going to stand by using a treadmill, while others are going to focus mainly on spin bikes - it doesn’t mean that one is necessarily better than the other.
There are pros and cons to each product in the minds of both treadmills and spin bike users all over the world, so why bother? If you prefer using a treadmill, so be it!
Just remember that all of those Olympian cyclists built their beautiful butts on a bike, not running on a track.
And there are a lot areas where bikes and treadmills share similarities, believe it or not; now most exercise bikes come with a screen, treadmills also come with a high-tech screen, some bikes have virtual courses, treadmills as well come with virtual courses and training.
There are even apps like Zwift that allow you to run and cycle in a virtual world with other people, so they both can be similar in a lot of ways.
Call me a bit biased, but the fact that you can build more muscle using a stationary bike forces me to lean that way.
Some will argue that treadmills allow you to build stamina at a quicker rate, but it’s also a matter of whether you plan on competing as a runner or cyclist as well.
If you’re a marathon runner and want to increase your stamina, why would you ever consider transitioning to a stationary bike?
Will I Lose Weight by Spinning 3 Times a Week?
If losing weight is your top priority, introducing a workout like spinning into your routine is a must. You can diet all you want and lost a lot of weight, but you aren’t going to get the body composition you’d like without a little hard work!
Spinning is the perfect mix of both cardio and muscle building, and you can even have a little fun while doing it.
There are plenty of bikes that offer up a “futuristic experience”, giving you a chance to bike across some of the most popular destinations for cyclists all over the globe.
Seeing as routine is important, we can confidently say that you’ll lose more weight by spinning 3 times a week. How much weight you lose is up to you and your metabolism, but introducing healthier practices into your lifestyle is never going to be a negative thing.
Whether you’ve spun in the past or are looking for something brand new, it’s worth checking out some of the top stationary bike options available right now.
Should You Spin Everyday?
Have you ever pondered and asked the question “is 30 minutes on a stationary bike enough”?
You aren’t alone, and some people wonder if they should be using the spinning cycle daily. It’s up to the user when all is said and done, as some will be more advanced cyclists and recover quickly.
For example, a professional cyclist will have no problem with using their stationary bike every single day; if you’re a beginner and it’s your first time, you may want to take things slowly.
Treadmills don’t have different levels of resistance, but they do have speeds - stationary bikes are better in the sense that they offer a more “workout-worthy” experience.
You don’t see people gathered up in a room full of treadmills, but you’ll almost always see a spin class going on when you pass through the gym.
Best Bang for Buck Indoor Cycling Exercise Bikes
Here are the best indoor cycling bikes on the market.
Personal Favourite (Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike)
Sleek, durable, and perfectly priced - this is the most optimal indoor cycling bike on the market in my opinion. It’s hard to miss with Schwinn!
We put the Schwinn IC4 against the Peloton and it faired pretty well, if you want a solid exercise bike that won't break the bank and is a viable alternative to pricey bikes like the Peloton then the Schwinn IC4 is the perfect option for you.
Highly Reviewed (Bowflex C6 Bike)
Bowflex is also a well-known brand that has been producing high-quality workout equipment for quite some time. The price is a bit much for most, but if you can afford it, you’ll be very happy!
We have previously compared the Bowflex C6 to the Schwinn IC4 (our first entry in this list) and it did pretty well, even surpassing the IC4 in some categories. We have also put it side by side to the Peloton and it also did well you, you can find that article here.
Most Effective (Echelon EX-15 Smart Connect Fitness Bike)
Echelon is also a wonderful company that is known for being an industry leader within the indoor cycling community. The price is comparable to the Bowflex C6 Bike, although cyclist purists tend to prefer this model.
Best Bang for Buck Treadmills
Here are the best treadmills money can buy
Personal Favourite (NordicTrack T Series 6.5 Si Treadmill)
If your knees can take it, you’ll love the NordicTrack T Series 6.5 Si Treadmill. It has all of the features you could want (stat tracking, music port, adjustable speeds, etc.) and offers all of it with quality in mind. This treadmill comes with incline as well, so if you want more challenge with your treadmill running sessions.
Highest Reviewed (Bowflex Treadmill 22)
Bowflex is still coming in strong on this list, although this is the highest-priced product we’ll be looking at today. It’s got all of the bells and whistles (adjustable angles/speeds, modern look, high definition screen, etc.) and with that price point, it had better! It also has a great cushioning system which makes it a great treadmill for people with bad knees.
Most Effective (T101 Treadmill)
This best-selling treadmill from Horizon Fitness offers up a high-definition screen, easy 30-minute setup, intricate/intuitive controls, and even Bluetooth speakers. Connect with your class online and make use of the 55” running deck with 3-zone cushioning support!
The Verdict - Which One Wins?
Call me biased, but I’m going to take a stationary bike over a treadmill any day. This doesn’t mean that I’m against using a treadmill entirely, especially if you’re training for some sort of marathon or running event. Of course, stationary bikes are perfect for both cyclists and the average person, which is why I believe they are superior. My ultimate winner is:
Echelon EX-15 Smart Connect Fitness Bike
Don’t believe me? Try one out for yourself and see how much fun you end up having, all while getting fit in the meantime.
- Are Treadmills Bad for Your Knees, Side Effects of Treadmill on Knees, Is Walking on Treadmill Bad for Knees?
- Zwift Stationary Spin Bikes – Best Exercise Bikes w/ Full Compatibility & Capability
- Best Treadmills for Zwift With Full Integration – Best Bang For Buck Options Tested & Rated By Me Personally
- Best Fold Flat Treadmills That Fold Nicely Under a Bed
- Sole F63 Vs Bowflex BXT6, Which is the Better Treadmill? Which Gives the Most Value for Your Money?
Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 16 years now.
My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future.
I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics.
My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics.
Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward.
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