Trainer Solution


A few months back, I asked for your advice on making my indoor workouts more interesting. I have a trainer that allows me to ride my bike inside during the winter months, but it can get so boring. I’m dreaming of the day it is warm enough to bike outside again!


You guys had some great ideas!

Quite a few people suggested putting in a movie or watching TV. Some took it a step further and gave me some ideas for interval workouts, like pedaling faster during commercials, or HIIT workouts.

Beth suggested I get a indoor cycling DVD, and a lot of people recommended spinning classes.

Lots of people suggested skipping the trainer altogether and taking the opportunity to strength train or do some fitness DVDs.


Thank you all so much for your advice! I tried a few different things these pastfew months, before finally hitting on what really works for me:

I tried putting in DVDs of shows that I’d been wanting to watch. Some days, I pushed myself harder during certain scenes as a way to work in intervals. This occasionally worked for me, but more often than not the ride seems to drag on and I don’t enjoy what I’m watching as a result.

I tried pedaling until I got bored and then switching to strength training for a few minutes. And while it got me doing some cross-training, it was also difficult to convince myself to get back on the bike.

Spinning sounds great, but since I don’t have a gym membership, I want to do something that I can do at home.


Then, I finally found my solution: reading while cycling. I put a towel over my handlebars (and therefore covering the bike computer that tells me my time and mileage), and put my book on top of the towel. Reading captures my attention a lot more than TV does, and it helps me towards my “read 101 books in 1001 days” goal!

Lately, I’ve been getting in three or four 30+ minute trainer rides a week. And I look forward to it!

Granted, I need to work on getting more strength training in, but that’s a work-in-progress.

What indoor/seasonal workout solutions have you found lately?


  1. says

    That’s great! It’s so important to find what really works for you — we’re all different. Spinning never worked for me. Honestly… it feels torturous. But I know SO many people who love it!

    I love me some workout dvds! I go into the bedroom, shut the door, and go to it. I think I appreciate the time alone, and the fact that I’m not competing against anyone but myself. I can also look really weird… and it’s not a problem!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      I actually find it easier than reading on the treadmill… my head is moving less on the trainer = easier to read 🙂

  2. says

    I need to try this. I usually watch TV while I am on the trainer, but I think I would enjoy reading a lot more. Plus I don’t get to read much anymore so this would be a great way to get some time in!

  3. says

    a) i wish I could figure out how to make a trainer for my non-road bike out of cardboard – i have a lot of cardboard.

    b) i have been known to try and read and hold planks.

    c) corpse pose works better.

  4. says

    I love to read on the bike and stairmaster. Reading on the elliptical and treadmill make me dizzy and I end up reading the same line OVER AND OVER AND OVER…but the bike, love it! That was a fabulous suggestion! And if that gets old, TV never fails me 🙂

  5. says

    I’m so impressed that you can maintain focus enough to read on the trainer! When I work out my mind totally spaces out and jumps all over the place. Way to multi-task!

    I’m also really bad at making myself do strength training, but I was recently introduced to kettlebells and it’s a great way to get in a quick (and effective) burst of strength training.

  6. says

    Good for you!! I usually have my watch attached to the handlebars and a written out plan of what I’m going to accomplish during a training session. I haven’t tried reading yet!! I’m most afraid of sweating all over the book!