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High-Cadence Cycling and Recreational Cyclists

Raising cycling rpm too high does not boost exercise benefits.

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A recent study supports indoor cycling instructors who urge students not to pedal at a cadence above 90 revolutions per minute. Researchers found that at 90 rpm and beyond, pedal forces exerted by recreational cyclists decreased, heart rate increased by 15%, and exercise efficiency and skeletal muscle oxygenation declined.

The study appeared in the International Journal of Sports Medicine (2019; 40 [5], 305–11).

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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