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Spinning really is a fantastic cardio exercise that has so many benefits both internal and external that it’s hard to get them all into just one list! But is spinning twice a week a good frequency?
Spinning twice a week is enough to experience the major benefits of indoor cycling to some degree. It provides excellent cardio, muscle endurance, lower body toning, and weight loss potential, and helps with boosting energy and sleeping.
I’ve been spinning on and off for well over a decade, and in this post, I’ll look at the 15 most important benefits of spinning twice per week.
1. 27% Higher Chance Of Sleeping Well
If you spin twice a week, then how much more likely are you to sleep well? According to scientists, the answer is 27%.
Let me explain!
Sleepfoundation.org cite a poll on their website where they measured the quality of sleep of both individuals that engaged in light to moderate exercise, as well as those that engaged in sporadic or no exercise.
They found that 83% of those from the exercising group experienced good uninterrupted sleep most of the time, whereas only 56% of those that didn’t exercise experienced this. (Source)
Sleep is of course an important thing, that has a big overspill into all areas of our life.
2. Boost Crucial Hormone Levels
This is another really key benefit of spinning twice a week. This level of exercise boosts key hormones in your body and brain.
These affect our mood and impact many of our body and brain functions.
Some of the most important hormones that are released are:
Here is a table that examines the impact of each of these separate hormones and what they impact:
|Serotonin||Serotonin promotes a good night’s sleep|
|Testosterone||This is the male hormone. It is related to:|
-production of red blood cells
|Estrogen||This is a female hormone. It is involved with:|
-helping weaken the effect of menopause
-helping brain function
-healthy skin and hair
|Dopamine||This is a hormone found in the brain.|
It is involved with:
-preventing the symptoms of depression
3. Tone Lower Body
Spinning twice a week will really get your lower body toned if you keep going for long enough.
In particular, spinning really targets 5 muscle groups in the body:
These are the most important muscle in cycling. They are the big muscle group found at the front of the thigh.
The quads are the most crucial muscle for powering down on the pedals. You often feel the biggest burn in the quads!
If you spin twice per week, you might see positive changes in the toning of your quads pretty quickly, even within a few weeks.
Spinning will also result in some toning of the hamstrings. These are the large muscles at the back of the thigh.
The hamstrings are responsible for bending the leg repeatedly during cycling.
Calves work alongside the quads and the glutes to drive down on the pedals.
Your core keeps you in a good posture and controls balance while spinning.
The glutes are a key muscle in cycling. They are the large muscle group in your buttocks.
They control several things, including:
- Stabilizing your hips
- Stabilizing your knees
- Providing power to your quads and legs
You can really tone and even add muscle mass to your glutes through spinning.
Here’s a brilliant video from Katie Holmes’ personal trainer showing some techniques to optimize your spinning workout on your glutes:
4. Non-Weight Bearing And Weight Bearing
Spinning is both non-weight-bearing and weight-bearing, and there are advantages to both.
What does this mean?
Well, a weight-bearing exercise is one where the body’s weight is supported by the legs.
Cycling while seated is actually a non-weight-bearing exercise, as your body weight is supported by the saddle. Non-weight-bearing activities are good for any that is coming back from leg injuries, such as issues with their knee or ankle joint.
Many people choose to remain in the saddle during spinning, and that’s fine if you’re looking for a non-weight-bearing activity.
However, when you leave the saddle, it becomes weight-bearing. This has advantages, such as being good for bone density and bone health.
The weight-bearing periods of cycling are also times when you are cycling against a high intensity, and you will be experiencing the greatest level of muscle development and conditioning.
Here are some popular activities, and whether they are weight-bearing or non-weight-bearing:
|Spinning (In Saddle)||X|
|Spinning (Out of Saddle)||X|
5. Reduce Fatty Deposits In Key Areas
Spinning is good for burning body fat, and one thing to bear in mind is that when losing weight, we all tend to do so disproportionately.
Gender plays a big role here. Many men, for example, when losing weight will lose fat first in the core and trunk areas.
Women, on the other hand, tend to lose weight in the face, back, and calves.
So if you’re particularly looking to lose weight in any of these areas, spinning is a good vehicle to get you to your goal.
6. Burns Up To 700 Calories Per Session
Spinning twice a week is a real calorie burner!
A standard 40-minute session will burn between 400 and 700 calories (Source)
This is a significant amount, especially if you can pair it up with a healthy diet.
Most people need to be in a daily calorie deficit of about 500 calories to be able to lose 1 pound per week.
For men, the daily estimated calorie intake is 2500, and for women, it is 2000. So to lose weight you need to be 500 calories below this.
If you’re burning up to 700 calories in a spin class on two of the days per week, that really helps towards the goal!
Video about how many calories are burned during a spin class:
A big draw of cycling for many people is that it is low-impact.
This means there is no jolting or jarring of the joints.
Low-impact forms of exercise are kinder to joints. This means they are more accessible to many of the following groups of people:
- People returned from injuries
- Those with arthritis
Spinning is generally an exercise with a very low risk of injury.
A Key thing is making sure to set up your bike the right way before you start, but then you should be fine!
Spinning twice per week is fantastic cardio!
Cardio has multiple well-known benefits, which include reducing the risk of:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Some types of cancer
- Heart Disease
- High blood pressure (Source)
9. Involves Interval Training
Spinning classes are a brilliant form of interval training.
What is interval training?
Interval training is where an activity is split up into different ‘intervals’ throughout a session. You mix up periods of low intensity with high intensity.
So, during a typical spin session, you will have periods of:
- Low-intensity riding at low resistance
- Sprinting at low resistance
- Sprinting at higher resistance
- Climbing at high resistance
By mixing these periods up, you optimize the cardio and muscle endurance levels of the session.
If you go to a class, your instructor will do this anyway.
If spinning at home, then think about splitting your session up this way, or follow a Youtube video spin session.
10. Can You Up It To Three Times A Week?
This is just something to consider – can you increase your frequency to three times a week?
This seems to be a benchmark set out by many health experts. Three sessions of cardio a week is the optimum level to stimulate heart health, lung capacity, and other key bodily systems.
A Study from the University of Pittsburgh even found that exercising three times per week even strengthens our memory. (Source)
11. Joining A Community And All The Benefits Of That
Spinning is very much a communal thing often, and one of the benefits of doing it twice a week is that you get to know everyone there.
There are many classes you can join, which can be found:
- At your local gym
- In some outdoor parks
The pack mentality is what makes spinning work for many people. They feel inspired to keep going when surrounded by many others.
Also, it is a good opportunity to create friendships with others.
12. Boost Energy Levels Through Spinning
It seems almost crazy that you have to expend all that energy to feel more energized, but that’s the way it works!
Harvard University state that ‘Exercising…boosts oxygen circulation inside your body. This increase in oxygen…allows your body to function better and to use its energy more efficiently. Plus, your body gets a boost from an exercise-induced increase in hormone levels that makes you feel more energized.’
Regular exercise helps your body work better and feel better simultaneously.
13. Improve Discipline And Mental Strength
This is a big one for me, I have to say. I find the more you go spinning, the easier it gets. Mental resistance is broken down.
A routine of two spinning sessions per week is arguably easier to stick to than one. One is more of a shock to the system! Two keeps you in the groove.
Mental strength and determination are qualities that will impact your whole life.
14. Spinning Speeds Up The Metabolism
Regular exercise such as spinning really speeds up our metabolism.
This has the added benefit that you will be burning more fat even when you are at rest.
One of the beauties of spinning regularly is that your body will be functioning more healthily all the time, not just when you are cycling.
15. Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease By 45%
Spinning is a brilliant way of getting your heart pumping!
Stationary bike riding strengthens your heart, muscles, and lungs, and improves oxygen flow.
On the other hand, it also reduces your blood pressure, lowers your chances of developing diabetes, and reduces your cholesterol levels.
Studies have found that regular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 45% (which is a lot!) (Source)