Answered by Suzanna Markstein on Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Sure, a daily spinning class isn't the equivalent of the Tour de France but chances are you're not Lance Armstrong either. Deborah Saint-Phard, M.D., a sports medicine specialist at the Women's Sports Medicine Center at New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery, cautions that rest is very important when you're doing high-intensity aerobic workouts like Spinning. "Rest days are just as important as training days, especially after heavy workouts," she says, "because muscles break down and have to rebuild themselves—which takes time, nutrients, and water." In addition to a rest day once a week, Dr. Saint-Phard recommends that you vary the intensity of your Spinning workouts. "If you're working out four days a week in total, and you really want to be intense, vary it with two very hard workouts, one moderate workout, and one light-moderate workout. If you're doing six days a week, you could have three hard, two moderate, and one light-moderate workout." Unless you're training for the Tour de France and need to spend serious time in the saddle, Dr. Saint-Phard suggests you balance Spinning workouts with weight training and other cardiovascular exercise (such as the elliptical trainer or in-line skating). "If you do the same activity all the time, your body gets very efficient [at doing that exercise] and you don't get as good a workout."