Jennifer Does Push-Ups on a Bike??!!

Last year (2016) there was a challenge going around social media called the 22 Push-up Challenge to raise awareness of the 22 military vets per day who commit suicide due to PTSD. The aim was to do 22 push-ups a day for 22 days, and film yourself doing them. In each video, you explained the awareness mission and challenged one of your Facebook friends to take on the challenge.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing the challenge, and believed it fulfilled its goal of raising awareness. But I also enjoyed the physical workout it motivated me to do every day! I tried to do my push-ups in many different locations inside and outside of my house or gym. For my final day, I decided to do something a wee bit different…

I was going to do them on my bike! 

You know how Facebook sends you reminders of your past posts? Over the weekend I got a reminder about this one from last year so I decided to repost it on my ICA Facebook page. Someone left a comment on that Facebook post asking me to put the video up on our YouTube channel so she could share it with her boss who was not on Facebook. So I did. If you want to share it as well, feel free to either share this post, or go directly to YouTube and share it from there.

Now, before you go and yell at me for doing something so stupid, please watch it all the way through…there’s an important teaching moment at the end!

I then reposted the YouTube link on the ICA FB page so others could share it. Whoa, Nelly, you’d think people thought I’d gone crazy or something! 

If the video is too long and you don’t want to watch (but I reeeeeally wish you would watch it!!), OK, I’ll tell you the ending…


No, I don’t think push-ups are a good idea on a bike. I think they are incredibly foolish, ineffective, and even potentially dangerous. I’ve written about it again and again. I feel like doing it in the video is an effective way to prove that they are absolutely useless and ineffective. If they fatigued my muscles at all…there would be no way on earth I could follow them up with 22 real push-ups from the floor. I am strong…but not THAT strong! 😉 

Side note: Doing 22 *real* push-ups a day for 22 days really did improve my strength. I loved the results! Try them, they work!! 

As many of you know, and for those who don’t, I’ve been one of the loudest (if not THE loudest) voice in the industry about contradictions in indoor cycling for many years. I’ve written a book on how to teach safe and effective indoor cycling called Keep it Real, I wrote the workshop Contraindications in Spinning for Mad Dogg Athletics and Spinning, and I’ve written countless articles on the topic over the past two decades. 

If you would like to read (or share) some of these articles, this one, Why You Shouldn’t Do an Upper Body Workout in Your Indoor Cycling Class, is a great place to start.  

This article by ICA contributor Cori Parks is an Open Letter to Indoor Cycling Studios on Safety. At the end of the article, you will find a few dozen links to other supporting articles on the topic. 

I hope you enjoyed my “push-ups” and would love to hear your comments. Please share this page or the YouTube link far and wide.

And always remember to #KeepItReal!




  1. You made me panic. I thought you caved for a quick second. I get on my soap box EVERY week.

  2. I had a participant approach me after a class about a week ago and state I should incorporate push ups into my cycle routine. He felt he would get a better workout and stretch hi back out some. I asked him does he ride a bike outdoors and he replied he did. I also asked him if he does push ups when biking outdoors. He said no off course not. His intention was to get a better workout. I asked if he ever witnessed cyclist doing them outdoors or indoors. He stated no but was in a class where they once attempted pushups. Now we do have triathletes in some of our classes and I explained the benefits of building endurance and be safe at the same time. And many of the triathletes will do multiple classes two in a row … IE cycle, then Cross Fit, and Heat, or body pump to achieve their training goals. All are designed around specific muscular and cardiovascular objectives. I invited him to one of my classes. I haven’t had him in class yet but I believe I have his curiosity and look forward to having him attend one in the future. This video reinforces doing push ups on a bike does not really challenge or work the appropriate muscle groups. Thank You.

    1. Author

      I have found the best way to counter this is to ask them to get down on the floor and do 15 pushups. Real ones. They kind of get it right away! 😉

  3. YAY! Good for you! Way to show us how push ups are to be done! I feel instructors who do this are just bored and no longer creative with their routines. They’ve lost it! And what’s really tragic is that so many people taking this type of class are uneducated. Thanks for showing people what should be common sense on and off a bike.


  5. For a minute, I started to react because I’m ANTI push-up on a bike/spinner. Thank goodness I watched the whole thing.

    You are dead on right. 100% totally agree and the word should be spread to the instructors who still feel this is a good thing to do.

  6. Awesome sauce!! Will be sharing. I am always the only one not participating in this nonsense at my gym. Maybe people will understand why.

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