Indoor cycling is an intense yet exciting workout that can help you achieve your fitness goals. It’s also quite accessible–what with exercise bikes becoming popular and spin classes popping up all over.
Maybe you recently bought yourself a spin bike or joined an indoor cycling class and got some nice gym outfits. How exciting! You can finally start working towards your health and fitness goals. No more procrastination and making excuses.
But there’s one detail you’re yet to work out. “How many times a week should I spin?” You don’t want to overdo it because you might get hurt. You also don’t want to do too little because you won’t get the desired results.
Well, the number of times you should spin in a week depends on several things. These include your goals, how much you have, your level of fitness, and more.
Let’s talk about it in depth.
- Spinning is an intense and exciting workout that can help you achieve your fitness goals, such as weight loss, muscle toning, and cardiovascular health.
- But it can be harmful if you do too much too soon, as it can cause injuries, muscle trauma, or non-functional overreaching.
- The number of times you should spin in a week depends on several factors, such as your goals, fitness level, time availability, etc.
- Pay attention to your form, diet, sleep, and hydration when spinning, as they can affect your performance and results.
- You can choose to join a spin class or cycle at home, depending on what suits you best.
Can I Spin Every Day?
Yes, you can spin every day but it’s not advisable. Daily indoor cycling sessions may seem like a good idea. You won’t have to wait long to see results, right? Maybe, but it could also result in a few problems.
Spinning can be intense, especially if you try to push yourself too hard. If you hop onto your spin bike every day you can easily get injured. Cycling is a low-impact activity and, unlike running, you are less likely to hurt yourself.
But if you go overboard you can end up with neck pain, serious knee injury, or worse.
This American Journal of Medicine study also showed that spinning could result in muscle trauma which, in turn, could lead to exertional rhabdomyolysis. In simple terms, it refers to when muscle contents like protein enter your blood circulation.
It’s likely to happen if you do too much too soon–like spinning every day.
So while you can spin daily, it’s important to talk to your doctor first and work with a professional trainer. They will guide you and help you gradually and safely increase the time you spend on your stationary bike.
How Much Spinning Is Too Much?
There isn’t a one-answer-fits-all for this question. Different factors come into play, like medical history, fitness level, and age, among others.
But one thing is sure, the overall intensity of spinning can be too high. You lose a large amount of water, use a lot of energy, and really engage some of the largest muscles in your body.
The chances of overexertion are high. Besides, if a workout is strenuous, overdoing it could lead to non-functional overreaching. This means that past a certain point, you’ll be fatigued and your performance decreases. This could lead to a whole lot of problems.
So always listen to your body and you’ll know if you’re doing too much. I recommend easing into spinning instead of starting hard.
The Dangers of Excessive Spinning
I have already mentioned exertional rhabdomyolysis which can be caused by a high-intensity workout, especially if you’re not a trained athlete.
Some people may experience knee issues. It’s a common complaint among people who spin too much. It could be because of poor form and relying too much on your quads instead of the larger muscles.
Other issues associated with too much spinning include back pain, sore neck, muscle cramping and soreness, as well as wrist and elbow pain.
Then there’s the other danger that I have briefly mentioned–non functional overreaching. Spinning too much and not giving your body time to rest could negatively affect you eventually.
You may begin to experience persistent fatigue, sleep disturbances, restlessness, loss of appetite, irritability, and heavy and sore muscles.
How Often Should I Spin for Weight Loss?
As I said, how often or how much you should spin depends on your goals. Whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve will determine your exercise routine and intensity level.
Indoor cycling is a physical activity and, like any other activity, it can help you lose weight by burning calories.
The process of losing weight comes down to the simple math of calories. If your body needs a certain number of calories a day to function, eat fewer calories than you need or burn more than you consume. You’ll create a calorie deficit which translates to weight loss.
A 200-pound person can burn about 400 calories in just 30 minutes of a cycling class. If you’re heavier you’ll burn more calories. You can also try a more intense routine to increase the number.
You need a calorie deficit of 3500 to lose one pound.
So you can have three to four 30-minute to one-hour sessions per week, depending on your goals. Combine spinning with other exercises and a healthier diet instead of spinning daily or excessively (which we have established is a bad idea).
How Much Weight Can I Lose with Spinning?
Indoor cycling is a good workout that can help you burn body fat and lose weight. As mentioned, weight loss is all about calories and a 3500-calorie deficit translates to one pound lost.
Following this formula, you can lose one pound in two weeks by spending 30 minutes on your stationary bike four times a week, and ensuring your diet is on point and you don’t eat the calories you burn
This doesn’t seem like a lot but if you include another activity like walking or running on the days you won’t be cycling, you can easily get to one pound a week. With discipline and consistency, your fitness goals won’t be so far out of reach.
How Often Should I Spin for Toned Muscles?
Indoor cycling sessions can help you tone your muscles. It’s a high-intensity workout that greatly engages different muscle groups, making them stronger.
I’d say that four 40-minute or three 50-minute classes a week would be enough to strengthen your muscles. You can also choose to increase the number of sessions and reduce the duration of each spin class. So like five 30-minute sessions a week or 20-minute sessions daily.
This will highly depend on how much you have and your current fitness level. Your trainer can help you come up with an exercise routine that’s perfect just for you.
Please note that cycling on your spin bike isn’t a ‘quick fix’. As with every other activity, you need consistency and discipline if you want to reap the physical benefits.
What Muscles Are Used in Indoor Cycling?
Your lower body muscles do most of the work when you’re spinning. These include the calves, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
To rotate the pedal you need your calf muscles. You’ll be using them from the moment you hop onto the exercise bike until you hop off again.
The quads are the muscles at the front of your thighs and they are actively involved in pushing the bike pedals down. The hamstrings, at the back of your thighs, help push the pedal up. Since cycling is all about pedaling, there won’t be a time when you’ll not be using these muscles.
You also use your glutes in the pedaling motion and the harder you pedal, the more you engage them.
Your upper body muscles aren’t left behind too. You need your core to maintain posture and you can engage it more by increasing the resistance.
How Long Should I Spin Each Session?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need to engage in a moderately intense physical activity for 150 minutes a week. This is in addition to two days of muscle-strengthening exercises.
If your goal is to just stay fit, you can divide the 150 minutes into several indoor cycling sessions. You can do five sessions a week, each 30 minutes long in moderate intensity, four 40-minute sessions, or whatever suits you best.
You could also have longer sessions to help you achieve the goals you have set for yourself.
But in all this, remember that spinning can be an intense exercise. Listen to your body so you don’t overdo it and hurt yourself in the process.
Benefits of Indoor Cycling
One of the benefits that you’ll enjoy if you’re consistent with your cycling classes is increased muscle strength. It engages a number of muscles in your body, especially those in your lower body.
According to this National Library of Medicine journal, spinning is more effective than regular cycling if you want to see positive changes in physical fitness and body composition.
Indoor cycling is a good cardio workout that will improve your cardiovascular health. Attending your spinning class consistently could lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Lastly, exercising on your spin bike will help you burn a significant number of calories. It can prove to be quite beneficial in your weight-loss journey.
Besides, it’s a low-impact workout so the chances of hurting yourself are low.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Spin Classes
Here are a few things you can do to make sure you reap all the health benefits of indoor cycling.
When you first take up a new activity you’re usually excited. But after a while, you can start to get bored. Initially, you miss a spin class here and another one there, then eventually you stop.
If you keep missing classes you’ll also miss the benefits and you won’t meet your goals. So keep spinning faithfully even when you don’t feel like it.
Switch Things Up
Excessive spinning could end up doing more harm than good. And while indoor cycling is a great workout, it mainly targets lower body muscles.
So include other forms of exercise in your routine like weight training. This will help you engage all the muscles in your body and it will also prevent boredom.
Perfect Your Form
Poor form can cause a lot of pain in your knees, back, neck, hips, shoulders, wrists, and elbows. You also won’t be using the larger muscles fully. Instead, you’ll be relying too much on the smaller ones.
Before you start spinning, first make sure your posture is right and keep it that way until the end of the session. If you’re in a spin class, ask the instructor to help you.
Watch What You Eat
It doesn’t matter how many times a week you spend on your exercise bike. If you eat poorly all your work will be in vain.
Your body needs enough energy for the new workout routine. Eating healthier will also improve your overall health.
Make Sure You Sleep Well
Never underestimate the importance of sleep.
Sleep allows your body and mind to recharge so you wake up feeling re-energized and ready for the new day.
Should You Join a Spin Class or Cycle at Home?
There’s a high chance that the gym in your area offers spin classes. Whether or not you should join a spin class or buy your own spin bike is up to you.
With your own exercise bike, you have more flexibility and you can work out as much or as little as you want.
In a spin class, you have access to a professional trainer (in-person) and you’ll make friends.
So go for whatever option is best for you. Just remember to maintain consistency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I Lose Weight Spinning 3 Times a Week?
Yes, you can lose weight by spinning three times a week. The amount of weight you lose depends on how long and how hard you train.
Does Spinning Reduce Tummy Fat?
Yes, spinning can reduce tummy fat because it helps with general weight loss. But you can’t lose weight in one specific area with spinning or any other exercise.
Is It Okay to Do a Spin Class Every Day?
Yes, but it is not recommended. Try combining it with other physical activities to balance your routine and avoid excessive spinning.
The number of times you should spin depends on your goals, your fitness level, and how much time you have. Generally, three to five sessions are enough.
Spinning is an intense exercise. And although it’s a low-impact workout, you can still overdo it and hurt yourself. I advise you to listen to your body and never push yourself too much. It’s also important to talk to your doctor first.
Combine spinning with other exercises and a healthy diet for better results, especially if you want to lose weight. Ensure you perfect your form as well to prevent injuries.