You have undoubtedly seen those TV commercials advertising indoor bikes with all the latest smart technology. Without exception, they show cyclists peddling their hearts out while burning tons of calories and dripping gallons of sweat. Hot and heavy cycling sessions are great. But they do not all have to be that way.
Putting in enough effort to get your heart rate up is necessary if you want the maximum benefits from indoor cycling. But riding hot and heavy five days a week may not be your best bet. Your body needs some off days. You need some slower rides, if for no other reason than to let your body recover from your fast rides.
Classes and Home Workouts
A good way to combine both fast and slow rides is to take spinning classes three days a week and then work out at home for two or three. Your at-home days would involve slower rides that keep your body active without being too taxing.
Salt Lake City’s Mcycle studio says it is not unusual for customers to take up to three classes per week. Some take fewer, others take more. Three weekly classes give students the opportunity to work with pros who know how to make the most of indoor cycling.
Indeed, an advanced spinning class at Mcycle is a real workout. The same is true at studios around the country. Pro trainers know their stuff. They know how to get students pumping those legs and working the upper body. At home, a gentler approach is okay.
Slower Rides at Home
Perhaps you are intrigued about how you can combine cycling classes with slower rides at home. First, take whatever classes are recommended by your trainer or studio. If you are a beginner, there is no point signing up for an advanced class. At home, focus less on a full cardio workout and more on just moving. Below are a few helpful tips.
1. Limit Your Heart Rate
Any amount of peddling will increase your heart rate. However, one of the goals of slower riding is to limit your heart rate. You don’t want your heart racing as fast as it does during classes or you are defeating the purpose. A general rule is to shoot for 50-65% of your maximum heart rate during your hardest workouts.
If you are able to measure your heart rate at home, use scale from 1 to 10. The level of exertion you feel during your cycling classes would be a 10. The amount of exertion you feel at rest is zero. Try to keep yourself somewhere between five and six on your slower rides.
2. Keep It Consistent
Next, keep your peddling rate consistent. Find a number of RPMs that keeps your heart rate where you want but your pedals moving constantly with light effort. You are not trying to push yourself here. You are just keeping your legs moving with slight resistance.
3. Chat with Yourself
A good way to measure whether or not you are pushing yourself too hard is to have a conversation. You should be able to carry on a normal conversation with an exercise partner without struggling to get words out. If you are exercising alone, have a chat with yourself. Just be sure to actually speak. If you’re just thinking, the test is of no value.
Not all of your cycling sessions have to be hot and heavy. In fact, they should not be. Combining hard rides with alternating slower rides maximizes the benefits of indoor cycling while giving your body ample opportunity to recover.