Indoor Cycling Drills You Need: 20 Min Tempo Block with 3 “3-2-1” Pyramids

Indoor Cycling Routines for Instructors

I define a Tempo drill as a Ride where we focus our cadence above 90+ rpm in the Tempo zone under enough resistance to be working and uncomfortable but able to ride through with mental focus. In general this increases aerobic fitness, muscular endurance and training stress.  If you are metric driven this look like 84-94% of your Threshold heart rate or 76% to 90% of Threshold power.   

The primary focus of the drill is to get Riders up to 90RPM plus with some decent resistance and HOLD that pace for 20 min.  


For all you 5 min interval junkies this will be a departure!  

I won't rant to much but it is so unfortunate that so many instructors align a drill to a song... basically making every drill align to the average 5 min pop song!  By doing that we miss out on all the benefits of distance/load over time. I love 10 min, 20 even 30 min drills.  

We are going to tap into different muscle and neurological requirements by holding the pace in this drill for over 20 min with resistance.  There will be three opportunities to explore the "edge."  That is, what is that resistance range you can hold at a fast pace without blowing up!  

​How to Run this Drill

To keep things fun there will be three optional "pyramids."  ​The format is "3-2-1"... all seated...meaning 3 min of a base tempo run at 90 Rpm plus..2 min holding 90+RPM but with small add on of resistance... and one min with a bigger add on in resistance... after the 3-2-1... unload resistance to a little less than original... roll 1 min as active recovery... that is round 1 of 3 pyramids 2.  Repeat. 

On round 2 and 3 can you add even more resistance and now blow up?  :-)​  Try this 20 min playlist ... simple, focused and intense... enjoy!


Spin Class 20 Min Tempo Drill