5 Best Netflix Shows to Binge-Watch on Your Bike Trainer or Treadmill

By Allie Burdick | Feb. 13, 2018, 10:56 a.m. (ET)


The winter brings freezing cold temperatures and dangerous weather to much of the country, which inhibits the ability to cycle and sometimes even run outdoors. To avoid massive boredom on the trainer or treadmill, try some of our favorite Netflix shows.


What it is: Non-stop action and craziness of six kids who, ages 20-something to 2, are forced to live by not much more than their wits in a Chicago suburb, while their alcoholic father is always just out of reach and their mom makes guest appearances in their lives. If you can put aside the reality of the situation, you end up wanting to hang out with the Gallagher kids, just to see if you could survive the day.

What it’s not: Demur. There is plenty of adult content and they are quite, um, shameless about putting it on the full screen.

Reason to watch: The time flies by as you wait to see what happens next and to whom.

Caution: If your kids are home, and have any chance of seeing your screen while this is on, you need to pick something else!


What it is: A history of sorts of two FBI agents pioneering the development of modern serial-killer profiling. What we now take for granted was once never thought of by the FBI in the ways in which they interact and question the damaged psyches of killers.

What it’s not: It’s definitely not good for threshold paces or speed/hill intervals since you need to pay attention both to dialogue and body language.

Reason to watch: I dare you not to after the first 10 minutes of the first episode.

Caution: It’s pretty heavy subject matter and they pull no punches with graphic scenes and language. It is, after all, about serial killers.


What it is: The story of an ordinary family, the head of which gets into some serious trouble when ultimately trying do right by his wife and kids. From the reason the foursome moves to the Missouri Ozarks to the plot twists and ever-changing allegiances, you will want to ride longer just to find out what happens next!

What it’s not: Boring. This is Jason Bateman as you have never seen him and you cannot look away.

Reason to watch: The stunning scenery of the Ozarks (who knew?) and to find out what happens next.

Caution: Just when you think you have it figured out, you’re wrong again.


What it is: A smart and creative comedy loosely based on the real-life experiences of comedian Aziz Ansari.

What it’s not: Heavy, thought-provoking television. In other words, it’s perfect for shorter, more intense sessions on the trainer or treadmill.

Reason to watch: It makes you rethink the role of Indian-Americans and the roles available to them in movies and TV ... but not too much since you will be busy laughing at the situations Ansari and his friends find themselves in.

Caution: It starts a little slow but, before you know it, you’ll be binge-watching season two and wishing there was more.


What it is: A front row seat into how the Unabomber was essentially caught by one man in the FBI, who almost single-handedly developed something called “forensic linguistics” to pinpoint a highly intelligent madman.

What it’s not: Lies. A lot of what we think happened concerning the Unabomber case is a misconception or outright lie. From the acronym “UNABOM” to number of victims he claimed (three) and even the infamous sketch on the cover of “TIME,” there are many stunning revelations.

Reason to watch: The movement of the storyline and dramatic acting. Paul Bettany who plays Ted Kaczynski gives an outstanding performance and Sam Worthington’s character is deeply flawed but amazingly compelling.

Caution: You will end up Googling more information as soon as you hop off the bike trainer!

Shorter ride? Try David Letterman's new interview series, "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction," which is a change of pace from his late-night show with serious dialogue, location changes and guests like Barack Obama and George Clooney. Another great option is catching up with some comedy in Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." Both provide entertainment in shorter bites and the latter requires less attention but garners more laughs.

Be safe and know there are cures to boredom when you run and ride indoors!

Allie Burdick is an ACE certified personal trainer and fitness instructor. She has been running and competing her entire life and was recently part of Team USA in duathlon and will be competing at the 2016 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships. Her writing has appeared in Runner's World, Women's Running and ESPNW. She blogs about triathlon and marathon training at VitaTrain4Life.com.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.