High-Cadence Cycling and Recreational Cyclists

Raising cycling rpm too high does not boost exercise benefits.

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA
Oct 15, 2019

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).

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Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at www.shirleyarcher.com.

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