Sample Class: Cycle Diversion
Keep participants fully engaged and coach them to discover their thresholds with this empowering, segmented ride.
You spend so much time making playlists and designing your indoor cycling classes, but there are days when the creativity doesn’t flow or you’re asked to sub last minute. The following class not only demonstrates the power of cuing and careful drill selection; it also helps you multitask. For example, mix and match this ride by taking one stage and adding it to a preexisting class. Other options: Use two of the stages for 30-minute classes, or use all three for a complete ride.
Cycle Diversion Details
TOTAL TIME: ~1 hour
FORMAT: indoor cycling cross-training (climbing, tempo riding, competitive racing, timed intervals)
EQUIPMENT: indoor bicycles
MUSIC: suggestions offered (see chart)
Easy: warm-up/cool down; rating of perceived exertion (RPE): 0–5; heart rate reserve (HRR): 50%–65%
Moderate: aerobic activity; RPE 6–7; HRR 65%–80%
Hard: aerobic/anaerobic activity; RPE 7–8; HRR 80%-90%
Breathless: maximum effort; RPE 8–9; HRR 85%–95%
Source: Schwinn® Cycling Certification Manual.
Note: Ask the following three questions continually throughout class to ensure participants know the expectations for each stage, enabling them to give their best effort.
- What’s the goal?
- How long is the drill?
- How should it feel?
Stage 1: Warm-Up/Climb (~18 minutes)
Add gear and slowly increase intensity. Allow participants to feel the difference between easy and moderate-intensity zones. When participants begin to climb the first hill, it’s a perfect time to use a dissociative coaching cue that incorporates mental imagery, engages attendees and allows them to push harder for longer (see chart for more details).
Here is a sample cue: “You’re riding on a long stretch of flat road looking for your VIP riding partner, who is at the top of the hill. Along the way you encounter three riders you must pass before reaching your VIP partner. As you engage each rider, the terrain gets steeper and challenges your strength. You’ve passed the first two riders, but the third one is farther ahead so you have to sprint in order to pass him. Once you get to the top, your VIP riding partner is waiting to be picked up.”
Stage 2: Tempo Riding/Climb (~12 minutes)
This stage tests endurance, and riders use pace and gear to build strength. The intensity is tough enough that participants are on the edge of breathless during the entire work period. Finding the right gear is a process of trial and error. As a coach, you’ll indicate the cadence (65–75 revolutions per minute, or rpm) and cue riders to find the perfect gear that allows them to get into their rhythm and connect to the ride with power and intensity. Use associative coaching cues during this tempo ride to keep participants present and aware of their breathing, heart rates and muscular endurance.
|TOTAL TIME||RIDING TECHNIQUE/RPM||SET DESCRIPTION||TIMING RATIO||SONG/NOTES/CUES|
|3:24||warm-up/seated flat 80–100||easy moderate||1:00 1:24||“This Is How We Do,” Katy Perry|
|“Blame” (featuring John Newman), Calvin Harris|
|“Rainy Dayz,”Thunderpuss Club Mix, Mary J Blige|
|“SexyBack,” Justin Timberlake|
|“Black Widow” (featuring Rita Ora), Iggy Azalea|
edge of breathless
|“We Come We Rave We Love,” Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso|
|easy/moderate||N/A||“Ghost,” Ella Henderson|
|“Mash Together,” DJ Crazy J Rodriguez|
“Centuries,” Fall Out Boy
“Raise Your Glass,” Pink
|easy/moderate||n/a||“Another One Bites The Dust,” Queen|
|“Wild Thing,” Tone-Loc|
“Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
stretching off the bike
|easy||n/a||“Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran|
Stage 3: Timed Stacked Intervals/Cool-Down
The stacked intervals portion includes an extensive set of breathless work that decreases in time from set to set, with variations in recovery length (see chart). Encourage participants to visualize that they are riding around a track and they have to give their maximum effort in order to earn a recovery.
Sample cue: “We made it to the top of the hill, and we have intense intervals
ahead during this last stage. Each interval will have half the recovery time. Your goal is to be present and drain the tank. Keep in mind you will receive approximately a 3-minute active recovery when you finish each set.”
Note: Increasing gear allows participants to feel the intensity protocol needed for each set. Cadence control is crucial here.
Finally, as you transition from work to recovery, take a few minutes on the bike to slow heart rates down, and spend at least 3-5 minutes off the bike leading static stretches for the hamstrings, quadriceps, hips/glutes, shoulders, chest and calves.