Sample Class: Cycle Diversion

by Rebecca Langton, MA on Oct 24, 2008

Class Take-Out

Keep participants fully engaged with this stimulating, segmented ride.

If your cycling participants spend more time gazing at the clock than they do “shifting gears,” you’ll love this class. The Cycle Diversion format doesn’t give them time to be bored. This class is broken down into three segments to stimulate participants’ imagination, challenge them physically and keep them on their toes.

Cycle Diversion Details

Format: cross-training (mix of timed intervals, competitive racing, climbing and tempo riding)

Total Time: approximately 60 minutes

Equipment needed: indoor bicycles

Music: suggestions offered (see chart)

Intensity Monitoring:

Zone 1: warm-up/cool-down RPE 0–5 HRR 55%–65%

Zone 2: aerobic

RPE 5–6 HRR 65%–75%

Zone 3: aerobic/anaerobic

RPE 6–8 HRR 75%–85%

Zone 4: breathless/not max

RPE 9 HRR 85%–90%

Source: The Nautilus Institute. RPE = rating of perceived exertion; HRR = heart rate reserve.

Ask the following three questions continually throughout class. These questions ensure that participants know what your expectations are and that everyone gets a better workout:

  • What’s the goal?

  • How long will it (the drill) last?

  • How should it feel?

Set 1: Timed Intervals (17 minutes)

Start with a warm-up that lasts about 6 minutes, and introduce 30-second timed intervals. Increase intensity slightly by adding more gear. Follow each 30-second segment with a 60-second recovery (back to the previous zone). After 6 minutes, progress the intervals to a longer work period at a higher intensity with a 1:1 ratio. Finish the intervals with a 2:1 ratio (see chart).

Set 2: Sprinting Flat Intervals/Climbing (21 minutes)

Pitch the following visualization scenario and coaching cue to class (see chart for more details): “You’re riding to an off-road mountain biking trail to try and track down a friend you were supposed to meet and ride with after work. You find an open section in the woods where people ride a loop to work on strength and speed. Mostly it is single track, but there are a few areas of double track. It is on these stretches that you encounter each of the three people you are going to pass. On the third try, you find your friend.

“These intervals are very intense, compact and over within 3 minutes. This breathless work is challenging and very uncomfortable; therefore, you will have more than 2 minutes to actively recover before the next segment of tougher work. As you leave the woods, you ride with your friend across an open field toward a low mountain range. Your friend pulls first, sprinting to get around the base of the mountain so you can start the climb. You alternate pulling until you get to the mountain trail. The trail goes straight up and challenges your strength. You will gear up periodically throughout the climb.”

Note: Gearing up will help participants slow down. Cadence control is crucial here.

Set 3: Tempo Ride (19 minutes)

Loosely defined, a tempo ride uses a pace and a gear that help riders build strength in long-distance endurance rides. The intensity is tough enough to keep participants just over where they would consider themselves comfortable, without using so much gear that they become anaerobic (breathless). Finding the right gear is a process of trial and error. As a coach, you will dictate the cadence (70–80 revolutions per minute, or rpm) and then cue riders to take the entire 11-minute set to find the right gear for them (see chart for more details). Your descriptive cuing is key to their success. This is a great associative set, one where participants will become very much in touch with their heart rate, muscular fatigue, breathing rate and body mechanics on the bike. Don’t forget the cool-down, which is 3 minutes on the bike with a 5-minute stretch off the bike. Be sure to include the following stretches: hamstrings, hip/glute figure-4 stretch, quadriceps, chest and calves.

IDEA Fitness Journal , Volume 5, Issue 11

© 2008 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Rebecca Langton, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Rebecca Langton, MA, has a master’s degree in exercise physiology. She owns Intrinsic Motion, a domestic and international fitness consulting and continuing education business.

0 Comments

Trending Articles

Eight Fascinating Facts About Fascia

Fascia has been enjoying the limelight in the fitness industry as one of the hottest topics in recent conference programming, workshops and ...

Sample Class: Farmhand Fitness

Several years ago, I attended an IDEA World Fitness Convention™ session led by Michol Dalcourt, director of the Institute of Motion. D...

Obesity's Impact on Lifespan

Here’s more reason to encourage individuals who are obese to move more and improve their diets: Obesity can chop up to 9 years off a l...

Nutrition Strategies for Stress and Pain Management

Stress and pain diminish quality of life for millionsofAmericansandcostbillionsin healthcare expenses and lost wages.

Cardio and Creative Core

Group fitness participants can’t seem to get enough of creative core and cardiovascular exercises. If you need innovative ideas to cha...

Concurrent Training Can Jeopardize Strength Gains

A lot of people do concurrent training— cardio and strength training within the same session—because it seems to achieve multiple goals at the same time. It’s also a proven fat-burne...

Stress-Fighting Foods

Stress and pain diminish quality of life for millions of Americans and cost billions in healthcare expenses and lost wages.

Breathe to Lose Weight?

When a person loses weight, have you ever wondered where it goes? Scientists at the University of New South Wales in Australia have put toge...

Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet

Crous-Bou, M., et al. 2014. Mediterranean diet and telomere length in Nurses’ Health Study: Population based cohort study. British Med...

Do Fitness Trackers Make You Healthy?

My client Mary walks into the gym and I ask her how she is feeling and whether she has stayed active. With a sigh, she tells me she’s ...

Next