You Asked: How Long Should My Openfit Cycling Workout Be?Jan 6, 2022
Numerous factors go into finding the best Openfit rides for you, including which trainers motivate you most, whether you favor intensity or endurance, and even which music you want to hear. Along with all that comes another crucial variable: time.
Ride duration is only partially about fitting a workout into your schedule, although that’s important. Openfit Senior Content Manager Melanie Melillo says each timeframe has its own perks and knowing them up-front can be helpful for picking your next ride. Here’s what she suggests you should consider.
Choose a 30-Minute Ride If…
“What matters most is that you are setting realistic goals, and that you are allowing yourself to use whatever time it is that you have to work out,” she says.
This length of time is also handy if you’re crunched for time or you want to pair a ride with a strength training, yoga, or recovery session. It’s also a great tactic for trying a new type of ride — since all Openfit rides offer 30-minute versions — or if you’re just getting started with Openfit cycling and you’re trying to build up your endurance gradually.
Another major benefit: Rides of this length often have variations in intensity, similar to doing sprints while you’re running or adding a HIIT session into your strength training. Research suggests that, even for people who are new to cycling, those variations can yield significant benefits in muscle mass and cardiovascular capability.
Choose a 45-Minute Ride If…
A blend of cardio and endurance, the 45-minute ride can be a new level if you’ve been doing 30-minute rides up until now, or if you simply want to challenge yourself a bit more.
That’s crucial for seeing progress in terms of your endurance, says Melillo, because you’re asking your body to adapt to a higher load.
“One of the great things about Openfit cycling is that it offers so much variety, so your body is constantly being challenged and makes changes accordingly,” she adds.
Choose a 60-Minute Ride If…
While a 30-minute or 45-minute ride will often have variations in intensity, an hour-long ride will be more about building endurance, Melillo says.
“If you’re trying to build endurance for a specific event, or you just want to see your endurance improve, then increasing the length of your ride makes sense for that goal,” she notes.
That doesn’t mean you have to choose one or the other — intensity or stamina — because creating a schedule that includes both is ideal, Melillo advises. Of course, recovery needs to play a role, too.
“Our workouts should be about balance,” she says. “It’s not just about pushing hard every time you get on the bike, because you still want your rides to be approachable and enjoyable.”
Choose a 10- or 20-Minute Ride If…
If you’re short on time, does that mean you should skip doing a ride? Not at all. Even if you only have 10 to 20 minutes, you should hop in the saddle, as it will help you feel more energized, healthier, and stronger, says Melillo.
In fact, one study found that just three 20-second cycle sprints — totaling only one minute of exercise — had major fitness benefits when done consistently over 12 weeks. (Sorry, Openfit doesn’t offer one-minute rides!)
“Far too often, we fall into the trap of thinking that if we don’t have a full hour to work out, it won’t be worth it,” Melillo notes. “We want to debunk that myth, because there is power in giving yourself 10 or 15 minutes for your body and mind — it will be valuable in the moment, and in reaching your goals.”