Does Using E-Bike Help Train Strength and Endurance?


Easy E-Biking - Yamaha Wabash gravel electric bicycle, helping to make electric biking

If you are looking to strengthen your body and improve your endurance, e-Biking is a great option to turn to! 

Does using an e-Bike help with strength and endurance training? E-cycling can be used both for training strength and endurance. E-cycling combines aerobic and anaerobic exercise, which are essential for training endurance and strength with one, but differently built exercise routine.

Strength training and endurance training are two different types of exercise and conditioning, but both are beneficial to the body, especially if you do both. While endurance training is typically associated with aerobic exercise (which means with oxygen), strength training is typically associated with anaerobic exercise (which means without oxygen). 

For example, cycling, swimming or running gets the oxygen and circulation flowing and are therefore aerobic, whereas lifting weights or sprinting gets you out of breath quickly, and are therefore anaerobic. 

Endurance training is beneficial to your cardiovascular health, whereas strength training is beneficial for strengthening your muscles and improving your metabolism. 

While cycling is typically considered a more aerobic focused sport and is thus a more widely effective resource for endurance training, you can definitely use your e-Bike for strength training as well. 

This article will outline the ways to ride your e-Bike for endurance and strength training workouts! 

E-Biking for endurance training

Endurance training is great for keeping your heart and lungs healthy as well as maintaining overall fitness. 

Does it make sense to use e-bike to get fit or for weight loss? Find out in this post.

This type of training contributes to burning more calories and in turn the promotion of weight loss. Other benefits of endurance training are decreased resting heart rate (which makes your heart stronger and able to pump out more blood per heartbeat), better circulation, increased fat storing capabilities, and improved blood pressure. 

Using your e-Bike to build endurance can be done in a few different ways. One option is to go for low-intensity e-Bike rides, allowing for your heart rate to maintain at a steady pace while building endurance. This option is particularly great for doing on recovery days.

Recovery days are typically meant to let your body heal and are often in between more intense workout days. Therefore, being able to ride your e-Bike on recovery days ensures that you are both healing and giving your muscles a rest while simultaneously strengthening your heart and lungs on a consistent basis. 

The next option is to do high-intensity cycling on your e-Bike. This option will more effectively increase your heart and lung’s capacities and will increase your body’s fat-burning process. However, experts recommend that riders should do no more than two high-intensity sessions per week – doing more than that can potentially overtire your body and can lead to injury or fatigue. 

Another recommendation is to do interval training on your e-Bike rides. Interval training is when you alternate your pace – in this case pedaling – between intense effort and a recovery period.

Your intense period can be any time you want, ranging from 30 seconds to 5 or even 10 minutes (it’s really up to what your body is comfortable with), and recovery periods can be anywhere in the range of less or more time than your intense period. Interval training is typically done in 2 or 3 rounds, but it can be more if you choose. 

Easy E-Biking - Moustache road electric bike dimanche 28.7, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

Interval training is an effective method because it promotes increased stamina as well as your maximum oxygen uptake (which makes your heart better able to deliver blood to your muscles). One or two days of intense interval training on your e-Bike can be coupled with longer and slower rides on your other days and/or recovery days. 

Interval training is also a great option for those who don’t have the time to spend on longer rides. A 30 to 40-minute ride while doing interval training can be sufficient time spent on your high-intensity days.  

Here are some tips of how you can start interval training on your e-Bike: 

  • Start your e-Bike ride by warming up at an easier pace, 
  • Adjust your gears to higher resistance and pedal for 10-15 minutes,
  • Then, do a 5-7 minute recovery break at a lower resistance or slower pace,
  • Do this intense/recovery method for at least two rounds,
  • Cool down for 10-15 minutes of easier pace pedaling.

As your endurance builds, you will also be able to lengthen your periods of intense/recovery times. Ultimately, you can choose to do a regime that includes both high-intensity interval training rides and low-intensity rides, or you can customize according to what you feel most comfortable with. 

For more information on whether it makes sense to use an e-bike for cardio exercise, take a look at this post.

E-Biking for strength training

Strength training is exactly what it sounds like: exercises that work to strengthen your muscles by using resistance, one that the muscles need to use force against. As mentioned earlier, strength training is anaerobic and uses resistance in order to “induce muscular contraction” (Wikipedia link) to build the strength and size of your skeletal muscles and bone density. 

While cycling is not necessarily considered the most go-to sport for strength training on its own, particularly if you are looking to bulk up significantly, it is still one that – if done correctly– can be a reliable strength training resource.

This is because e-Biking targets your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, shoulders, biceps, triceps, feet muscles and calve muscles and can also strengthen your core

Putting stress on your muscles while strength training is imperative to your muscles recovering more strongly: stronger muscles will result in less fatigue as you continue your e-Biking regimen, creating a stronger and more powerful support system in your body, and will benefit your overall muscular endurance.  

The major benefits of strength training are increased bone, muscle, tendon and ligament strength, improved joint function, increased metabolism, improved cardiac function and overall well-being. 

Some of the more obvious results of regular strength training are improved muscle tone and appearance.  

Since resistant force is key to strength training, this means that going up hills on your e-Bike as well as using a higher resistance gear and less pedal-assistance will help you to build muscle. 

Here are some tips on how to strength train on your e-Bike: 

  • Ride uphill a few times on each ride,
  • Stand while riding (only if you are comfortable with the standing position and exercise necessary caution),
  • Lower your pedal-assist feature and increase gear resistance, 
  • Tighten and engage your core – ie. your midsection, which includes your abdomen, mid and lower back, and obliques – while you cycle.

Since e-Bikes are heavier than traditional bicycles, with the existence of a battery and motor, your whole body works hard to ride, balance and maneuver your e-Bike, which will, in turn, strengthen your core, joints, and bones. 

If you are looking to bulk up significantly, consider doing weights and other strength training exercises in conjunction with riding your e-Bike. This can be as simple as buying free weights and doing them at your home or office!

Easy E-Biking - mountain e-biking summer Alpes Aventures, helping to make electric biking practical and fun
Photo credit Alpes Aventures / Jeudi15.

The options are endless

Remember, while it’s important to push yourself to a certain extent while building up your endurance and strength, you never want to overdo it. In fact, overdoing it can lead to stalled progress and can lead to risks such as injury or fatigue. 

While you can certainly choose to do either strength or endurance training on your e-Bike, when these two are paired together (eg. on some days you focus on endurance and others on strength), this will help you improve your health overall and target all the important factors to keep your body strong and healthy. 

You will still get plenty of exercise on your e-Bike, even with the pedal-assist factor. If anything, the pedal-assist feature makes it that much easier to control and customize your workout. It has also been proven that you can get effective exercise on the e-Bike even when using the highest level of pedal-assist. 

All in all, your e-Bike offers a higher range of customizability than many other exercise options and even a traditional bicycle. When you adjust your workout accordingly, your e-Bike can help you significantly improve both your endurance and your strength! 

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