Mountain Biking for Weight Loss: 10 Tips

how to lose weight on a mountain bike

Sometimes, a few pounds less weight would be good for many of us. If you enjoy mountain biking and pay attention to your diet, your mountain bike is the ideal solution for your weight loss challenge. It is a sport for passionate people who don’t like sports and can come up with excuses.

Mountain biking is also suitable for completely untrained people.

Weight loss follows very clear rules: If you want to get rid of the rolls, you need to have a negative energy balance. In other words: eat less than you consume.

You should know the two principles for losing weight:

  1. The body needs less energy than it consumes
  2. Sport (such as mountain biking) increases the basal metabolic rate

Without further delay, let’s see our 10 tips on mountain biking for weight loss.

How to Lose Weight on a Mountain Bike

Riding a mountain bike is a training method that can be used to complete aerobic, intensive, and interval training perfectly. With mountain biking, the heart beats faster, breathing becomes more effective, the resting heart rate drops, and the body’s maximum oxygen uptake increases.

Here are 10 effective tips on how to lose weight on a mountain bike:

1. Riding Duration and Speed

How well or poorly your fat will be burned largely depends on your body’s supply of oxygen. Your organism needs large amounts of oxygen for fat oxidation. When your body increases oxygen absorption capacity through endurance sports, you train your fat metabolism.

So the exercise intensity should not exceed 70 percent of the maximum performance. It is also important to find a reasonable compromise between duration and driving speed for fat burning.

Hobby cyclists who want to boost their fat metabolism should prefer long distances with lower intensities. Experienced bikers are interested to improve their performance besides losing weight.

2. Correct Heart Rate is Important for Fat Burning

Training in the correct heart rate range is important to lose weight effectively. However, there are several methods and smart devices for determining the optimal training heart rate.

The widely used method is 220 minus age for men and 226 minus age for women, this number gives the maximum heart rate. The fat burning zone is 60-70% of this maximum heart rate.

Modern devices with smart connectivity can also determine the optimal training pulse for you. These devices recognize how fit you are at the moment based on the variability of your heart rate and which is the currently best training area for you.

Remember: if you have health problems, you should definitely consult a doctor before training. Cardiologists or sports medicine specialists also carry out performance tests to determine the right training heart rate for you.

3. Healthy Eating Promotes Weight Loss

Of course, losing weight with mountain biking only works in combination with the right diet. At first, it does not matter whether you eat low carb or slow-carb or follow the ketogenic diet. The main thing is that you keep a calorie deficit, consume sufficient macro and micronutrients, and eat mostly natural foods instead of processed ones.

When your body takes the right amount of nutrients, you can boost your metabolism and then the burning of fat. Professional athletes need carbohydrates during competition in order to achieve maximum performance. People who want to lose weight should eat less pasta, rice, bread, etc.

4. This is How Beginners Bikers Should Train

Beginners should go for two to three hours trips two to three times a week. The heart rate (HR) should be in the basic endurance 1 range (G1). Advanced users have to get down to business more intensively in order to achieve the same weight loss effects.

Three to four times a week for two to three hours each on the bike and train in the G1 and G2 areas. And step on the gas, because if you train in the low HR range, you burn more fat percentage, but fewer calories overall. Those who train more intensely on the other hand burn less fat percentage, but overall more calories from the fat depot.

For example, in an hour of training at 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, you burn around 300 calories. Of those 300 calories burned, around 50 percent are fat.

If you train for an hour at 80 percent of the maximum heart rate, the body burns around 600 calories. The fat percentage at this intensity is only 40 percent, but in total there are around 240 fat calories. So, going faster means more fat loss.

5. Rehabilitation

Rest days are just as important as the training itself – so take sufficient regeneration into account in your training plan! After training, a high-protein and low-fat meal should include in the plan. Carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and rice are only popular in small amounts, even after exercise.

Also make sure you have enough vitamins and minerals as well as healthy vegetable fats.

6. Drink Enough To Stay Hydrated

Always Dehydrate while mountain biking

Enough drinking is important for any sport. But when mountain biking, you spend a comparatively long time doing it. So don’t forget your water bottle!

Staying hydrated is also important because as soon as your body suffers from a lack of fluids, it slows down all metabolic processes, including burning fat. Experts, as well as I, recommend you drink 2.0 to 2.5 liters per day of mineral water and unsweetened green, herbal or fruit teas.

7. Gloves and Correct Clothing

Especially in the beginning, can easily blisters on the hands. Such cycling gloves prevent this. When cycling outside, it is particularly important to wear breathable clothing, otherwise, you can catch cold very quickly. You can visit Online Store, there you can get one or the other bargain!

8. Use Fitness Apps

For more incentives, you can use fitness apps for biking. Mega motivated to break personal bests or set new distance records! There is also a wide range of cycling apps free and available for both Android and IOS.

9. Distraction

If you get on your bike at home, I recommend fitness podcasts, audiobooks, or your favorite series to stream to pass the time faster. But: Remember that you still concentrate primarily on your training – you are there to do sports, not to the series marathon!

10. Correct Set Up Your Bike

So that you are really easy on the joints, you should definitely adjust your bike to suit you. Handlebar height, saddle height, the distance between saddle and handlebars, and other subtleties should be adapted to you. Otherwise, it can pinch your neck or knees quickly and can even lead to permanent injuries or overload.

If you have a doubt, ask your trainer or specialist so that they can advise you.

Benefits: Mountain Biking for Weight Loss

Mountain biking is well for weight loss because metabolism and fat burning are stimulated. Overweight or injured people can practice this activity because it is very easy on the joints.

Easy on the joints

Since the saddle carries around 60-75% of your body weight, biking is a particularly joint-friendly sport. In contrast to running, where a multiple of your weight presses on the joints with every step, you can jump onto the bike without hesitation, even if you are overweight.

Relief of the knee and ankle

Especially athletes from the fields of soccer, tennis, handball, volleyball or basketball have to struggle with occasional pinching or even serious injuries in the knee or ankle because of the rapid change from intense sprints and abrupt braking.

Mountain biking is not only a good balance to these sports, but can even be pulled through in the event of acute injuries. However, you should get the doctor’s approval beforehand!

Cardiovascular training

Like all endurance sports, mountain biking offers you a lot of health benefits: Your cardiovascular system is trained while cycling, and your lung volume are accumulating. Your heart muscle also enlarges and works more effectively. You can also improve your muscle coordination.


Why does mountain biking work so well to lose weight?

Because you get your metabolism and your circulation going. When biking, almost all the muscles in your lower body are strengthened and trained. The largest muscle groups are located in your legs – and the larger the muscles used, the higher the calorie consumption!

How high is the calorie consumption when mountain biking?

I cannot give you a general answer on how many calories you burn when you ride a mountain bike because it depends on too many factors: How intensely do you ride? In which corridor? How trained you are? How much is your weight? How fast are you going? And so many other things.

You can roughly burn a value between 200 and 800 calories per hour – but most of you will level off at values between 450 and 600 calories. If in doubt, I recommend that you record your bike session with a heart rate monitor or a fitness tracker so that you have an overview of your calorie consumption.

Which muscles are used when mountain biking?

When you ride on a mountain bike, your legs are mainly trained, but it is a really complete workout. Because it works calves to the front and back of the thighs to the buttocks. Depending on the resistance against which you are starting like uphill, high gear, headwind or resistance on the exercise bike, you can even really build muscles in your legs.

In addition, your legs, your back muscles, and your hip muscles also do a lot of work. This not only ensures even higher energy consumption but also prevents back pain and disc problems and makes you mobile.

With mountain biking, you can also improve your inner functions, especially your lung.

How fast can you lose weight by mountain biking?

Even if the pounds are sure to drop, you have to be patient when biking to lose weight. At least if you’re not shooting through an unhealthy crash diet at the same time (which you hopefully aren’t planning to do!).

But patience pays off: slow, steady weight loss is not only significantly healthier for your body, but it is also good for the long term. Because you can avoid a blatant yo-yo effect and you can be sure that you will maintain your lifestyle while losing weight.

Regular cycling brings an average of 2.5 kilos on the scales each month. However, experts advise that don’t lose over 0.5 to 1 kilo per week. If you are very overweight, you can lose weight 1-1.5 kilos per week by mountain biking.

Lose weight by mountain biking: which heart rate zone is the right one?

Beginners often lack a feeling for which pulse range they are training at. But expert riders can benefit from controlling their pulse while biking because it depends on their skill level. If you want to ride a bike two to four times a week for 20-60 minutes, a pulse range of 75 to 85% of your maximum heart rate is perfect.

Just apply this formula:

  • 210 – (0.5 x age in years) – (0.11 x weight in kg). Example: For a 25-year-old man weighing 80 kilos, that would mean 210 – (0.5 x 25) – (0.11 x 80) = 210 – 12.5 – 8.8 = 188.7.

Exercise Bike vs. Mountain Bike: Which is Better for Losing Weight?

I am a fan of outdoor sports and would recommend it to each of you. You exercise in the fresh air, fill up on a lot of vitamin D and strengthen your immune system.

However, the training is much more varied: Depending on the weather and wind conditions, the ground and the route, you always present your body with new challenges. At home on the exercise bike, you will be really wet very quickly. More than 40 minutes on the exercise bike are really boring at home!

Nonetheless, indoor training offers benefits: when it is storming, raining or snowing outside, indoor training can definitely be the healthier or better choice. With an exercise bike, you can also check your performance, because you can measure the exact distance and time covered with the same resistance.

Final Thoughts

As I said before, you can only lose weight if you consume fewer total calories than your body consumes over a longer period of time. If you eat twice the calories you have burned after training, you immediately destroy the effect of burning fat.

It has to be at least three units a week. First, increase the frequency and duration of the training before you crank up the intensity and incorporate HIIT units. You can also easily incorporate the bike into your everyday life and burn additional calories.

This is how effective weight loss works through mountain biking. Remember that mountain biking not only allows you to lose weight but also to strengthen your figure, in the middle of nature, in a fun and enjoyable way!

Have you already experienced losing weight by riding a mountain bike? Tell me.

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Liam Dean is a Professional Blogger and Outdoor Enthusiast. He completed Masters in Sports Sciences and spend all of his free time doing sports and other outdoor activities. During vacations, he goes hunting, fishing and mountaineering.

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