What does your spin class look like?

Ok, I admit the AC died halfway through the class, but in a room of 25 bikes, and only half full of spinners, that’s a lot of sweat!

18 June, 2013 07:14

Here we go. The New York Times getting lazy again. This article isn’t wrong in what it says, it’s just so vague and incomplete that someone who hasn’t ever engaged in regular exercise before but is getting ready to try is likely to make some terrible mistakes. Lets add just a bit of important detail.

First, everything the article says is correct…when talking about aerobic/cardiovascular exercise. You can train multiple days in a row, and such frequency can enhance the quality of your workouts as your practice develops better skills at that particular activity (running, cycling, even power walking have skills that can be improved).

The reason you can perform these activities multiple days in a row is determined by their nature, which is described in the category name AEROBICS. Aerobics refers to both a human energy system and a certain range of physical intensity.

Aerobic type exercise typically falls into a category of intensity between 60% and 85% of a persons theoretical max effort. At these ranges of effort, a person can continuously exercise for 15 or more consecutive minutes before becoming too fatigued to continue. Within this range the entire cardiovascular system becomes healthier and stronger, and that’s great. But it’s only half (some might argue 1/3) your fitness journey.

Anaerobic exercise is the other half of this very important fitness story. Like aerobics, the term anaerobic refers to both a human energy system and a range of physical intensity for the activity. In Anaerobic exercises, the intensity MUST exceed 85% of a persons theoretical maximum effort, causing rapid exhaustion (under 60 seconds, typically, but always under 2minutes). Training in this range improves the tone, and physical strength, of a persons skeletal muscular system, improving the bodies posture, appearance, resistance to physical injuries, and later in life, infirmity and osteoporosis. Can you walk up a flight of stairs when your 80? Can you tie your own shoelaces? Can you carry a bag of groceries or get up out of a cushy sofa? These are matters of physical strength in the geriatric community, and major challenges to millions of Americans.

Training at this intensity level can not be performed on consecutive days, because training at this level actually causes a temporary weakening of the skeletal muscles involved, and the following 24-48 hours are needed for the muscles to recuperate and adapt in order to become stronger.

The Times article correctly states that 72 hours between exercise bouts is too long to wait for any exercise, but fails to caution that certain kinds of exercise require a certain amount of days off before repeating.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

http://nyti.ms/19ztI5l
NYTimes: How Often to Exercise

Indoor Cycling

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There is no such thing as the best kind of exercise…but when it comes to cardiovascular training indoor cycling comes close.

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With a good instructor you’ll get an awesome cardio/aerobic workout helping you burn enormous amounts of calories, and that helps you control your weight and body fat. You will strengthen unarguably the most important muscle in your body; your heart. That’ll keep you alive. It will improve your lung capacity so you don’t get winded going up a couple of flights of stairs when an elevator is out.

There’s more benefits, too. Unlike a 1 mile (or longer run), cycling can incorporate anaerobic training. Anaerobic training uses different sources of energy and challenges the skeletal muscles of the legs and hips to a far greater degree than aerobic training is designed to. This builds true muscle tone and strength creating shape. And that shape also enhances your ability to generate more power to go longer distances at lower levels of intensity and to overcome obstacles like hills and rough terrain along the way, or going up those two flights of stairs with a couple of heavy grocery bags, too.

Spinning and other indoor cycling programs give you all these benefits. Running and other forms of aerobics can, as well, but because of the pounding impact of jogging, running, and other aerobic type classes you also dramatically increase your risks of injury.

You can find me at the new cycling boutique studio in Forest Hills: SUN CYCLE Studio Tuesdays at 6am and 6pm, and Saturday at noon and as always at New York Sports clubs in Forest Hills, Rego Park, and Manhattan locations at 38th & Broadway and 23rd & 8th. My schedule there has not changed.

Join me and all the other great instructors for a great indoor cycling ride.

Come get the ride of your life, and get in the shape you’ve dreamed about.

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