Spinning / Indoor Cycling – Progressive Class Profiles: Strength to Fast Pace and Back

When we switch over to a new year, like many other spinning / indoor cycling instructors I tend to tweak my class profiles a bit to account for new people adjusting while still keeping the challenge ‘alive’ for the regular members.

We finished last year with a series of periods .. i.e. an almost 2 month long strength period, then about the same amount of time spent of fast profiles and speedwork, and finally wrapping up with an interval based period to finish the year. While I’m planning to get back to that soon I started a progressive fast / flat to strength type pyramid progression.

Let me see if I can explain….

Spinning / Indoor Cycling New Year's Profile progression - from fast / flats to strength, back down, and then repeat
Spinning / Indoor Cycling New Year’s Profile progression – from fast / flats to strength, back down, and then repeat

So … We ended 2014 with intervals, and more specifically a fast / flat modified endurance profile .. as in 0% strength / climbing with fast tempos and speedwork drills.

The way it works is that the profiles are made up of:

  • a percentage of strength work
  • a percentage of fast / flat endurance or speed work

… totalling 100% of the class, except for the first 2 and last 2 songs.*  With each class, one percentage increases by 25% and the other decreases.

So, on the last class of last year it was 100% fast / flats and 0% strength. The first class of 2015 was 75% fast / flats and 25% strength. Each class changes the percentage until we are at 100% strength and 0% fast / flats (which was actually the class I did tonight). Then, we start tapering it back down to fast / flats … then back up again.

The way it looks is like this:

  • 0% strength and 100% fast / flats (last day of 2014)
  • 25% strength and 75%  fast / flats
  • 50% strength and 50% fast / flats
  • 75% strength and 25% fast / flats
  • 100% strength and 0% fast / flats
  • 75% strength and 25% fast / flats
  • 50% strength and 50% fast / flats
  • 25% strength and 75% fast / flats
  • … and now you’re back at the beginning

My goal is to cycle through this twice, then switch back into a focused period of work. This gives the new people adequate time to adjust to class / the workout and it’s also keeping the class progressive and challenging to the veterans.

I am on Spotify (feel free to add me and I’ll follow right back!) and I’ve even marked my classes with weird percentages (you’ll see 25str/75end which means 25% strength and 75% flats / endurance).. which tell me where the profile is on the progression easily, without digging my profile notes out.

Anyway, I’ve been enjoying this as I like to have a plan in place 🙂 … Also, it has been great on the legs as each class is changing / progressing and it’s been a bit more challenging to keep up with the changing styles. I thought that in case someone could benefit from this I would post it for the masses to read!

Please let me know what you think (if I have any glaring typos!), and if you have any questions. One of my goals is to blog a bit more about spinning / indoor cycling as it’s something I am very passionate about, along with everyone else … so if there are topics you are interested in discussing, let me know and I’ll get them going!

Also, keep a look out and add my blog if you’d like … I will be posting profiles here as well!

*NOTE: In my progression I don’t count the warm up and cool down — they don’t count! 🙂  Also, I like to start strength rides with a seated flat to get the heart rate up … and my ‘thing’ is that I always end class with a seated flat no matter what I’m teaching. So, in my percentages I may not count the first 2 song types, and the last 2 for those reasons 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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