Spinning / Indoor Cycling Strategies – Why Speed Drills?

Like most people, I teach quite a few spin classes a week.  I have one class that always asks the question ‘why’ because they know I will always explain to them the method behind the madness .. from bike setup to why we cool down to why we have to have these miserable speed drills…

Speed drills can be done in a variety of different ways. Let’s see … here are a few that I’ll do …

  • Seated flats with surges are speed drills where you stay seated during the song
  • You can start seated and add in standing speed drills
  • You can start standing and add in seated speed drills

A few things to keep in mind..

Cadence needs to be within the optimal range. I was trained through Spinning.com and that would be 80-100 RPMs.

Along those lines there needs to be enough gear for both safety and efficiency. I always have them adjust the resistance to find the working range of 80-110 RPMs. We should be moving forward and not spinning freely 🙂

The surges need to keep form and control. It’s not necessarily about how fast one can go on the bike it’s about changing the intensity and working on power, strength, control, etc while keeping safety, efficiency, and form.

Easy enough?

Now .. the question .. why do we do these anyway? Here are a couple of reasons ..

Spinning / Indoor Cycling InstructorBurning more calories – These burst will shoot the heart rate up, having any impact on the number of calories that we are burning. While they are short bursts, if the riders maintain their pace within tempo during ‘recovery’ they’ll be able to take advantage of the increased heart rate and calorie burn.

Your body will have to adjust to the ‘worst case scenario’ – I was trying to think of a good way to explain this. When we workout we are, in essence tearing or injuring the muscles. Then, during recovery the body repairs the muscles and repairs them stronger, in an effort to not be injured that way again. When you incorporate these speed drills you are subjecting your body to more effort and more ‘injury’ than it would get through the regular workout so, guess what? It works to adjust to that burst .. that worst case scenario.

Additionally, I’ve read that there is a temporary effect on the body’s metabolism but I’ve not found any in depth documentation so I’ll just say it’s possible.

There are many there reasons but for now this is a good start 🙂

Thanks for reading!

I have tons of playlists on Spotify, by BPMs, by moves (i.e. seated flats, standing climbs, etc). Feel free to follow me as I am constantly adding to my playlists 🙂


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