How to Integrate Cycling Into Your Workout RoutineNov 2, 2021
With the addition of cycling classes to the Openfit app, you might be wondering how to incorporate a bike ride into your already established fitness routine. You know the many benefits of cycling, but might not be sure how you can sneak a ride in without disrupting your schedule or risking overtraining.
But the problem may be that you’re thinking about indoor cycling in a limited way. Yes, indoor cycling offers a workout that can get your heart hammering, but it offers so much more.
Whether your goal is to get stronger, increase your endurance, or lose weight, here’s how indoor cycling might fit into your overall plan.
Can You Pair Indoor Cycling With Other Workouts?
Absolutely. “Indoor cycling is a great way to develop and improve your overall strength, endurance, and cardiovascular fitness,” explains Justin Flexen, CPT and Openfit trainer. Supplementing your fitness routine with some cycling sessions could benefit the other workouts you’re doing:
- It can “build your endurance by allowing you to work harder for a longer period of time,” Flexen explains. That means those weightlifting circuits may not feel as challenging as they once did.
- It can also “improve your resting heart rate and rate of recovery,” he adds, which can help you “recover faster during a workout.”
- You can also use indoor cycling as a way to extend your warm-up or cooldown, he suggests. Hopping on the bike after a brutal workout can “help to flush out the legs and return the body to a resting state.” Plus, it can help deliver oxygen to your muscles.
Even if you’re not looking for any of the physical benefits of indoor cycling, these rides “can be a great way to mix things up from your normal routine,” Flexen says. You don’t even have to think of them as their own workouts; indoor cycling can be a tool to further your current program.
And, while you can pair MYX’s indoor cycling rides with any Openfit program “because it is such a great form of cross-training,” Flexen is partial to combining it with a strength training program, like Get Strong with Kelsey Heenan or Strong + Solid with Lita Lewis.
How to Combine Your Program and Indoor Cycling
First and foremost, Flexen advises that you check in with your health-care provider before launching into any new fitness routine, “especially if you have any prior injuries.”
Next, you’ll want to make sure you have a primary focus and know which program is your cross-training. Trying to tackle two complete programs is very different from supplementing your current routine with indoor cycling. You should also know that “it is definitely possible to do too much cycling,” warns Flexen.
Taking days off is important for your health and progress. Plan your routine in a way that ensures you “incorporate some sort of cross-training and recovery days into your normal routine,” suggests Flexen.
Know that it’s OK to add indoor cycling slowly. Add too much too quickly, and “you run the risk of fatigue and/or injury from overusing the muscles,” he explains. “Start with shorter rides and work your way up to longer, more challenging ones.”
Along the way, gauge how you’re performing during your non-cycling workouts. Are you feeling stronger or weaker? Adjust your cycling schedule according to how you answer that question.
Take Precautions to Avoid Injury
Cycling can be very safe for joints, Flexen explains, but you need to make sure you’re setting up properly. Doing so before you start pedaling ensures “you are comfortable and can get the most out of your ride.”
It also prevents injuries that could derail all your training. Not sure how to set up your bike? Here’s how to ensure you use proper indoor cycling form.