Spinning Profile – Intervals with Active Recovery

update:  The playlist has been added to Napster!   Songs will have to be burned and edited to match these times, otherwise, just jump from song to song when necessary. 

Typically, and intervals ride goes something like this:  Elevate your heartrate up as high as you can stand it; suck it up and fight through until the instructor says stop; Collapse into the saddle and gasp frantically as you try to chug water and hope that there aren’t any more.  Or, at least that’s what they look like quite frequently in classes I’ve taken and taught before.  While there is some merit to the usual formula, the emphasis is frequently placed on the “Hard, Harder, Hardest” parts of the ride, with little to no attention given to the recovery portion.  That’s not surprising — most folks don’t have to be encouraged to slow down and take it easy for a few minutes.  However, for this intervals ride, borrowing from the Active Intervals Profile posted on Pedal-On as originally presented by Master Instructor Luciana Marcial-Vincion at the DCAC conference, we place the emphasis not on the hard work, but on the smooth transition into recovery.  Our goal is to improve our fitness in a way that provides us with the shortest recovery time possible, leaving us ready and eager for the next interval to begin. 

The profile is simple.  For this class we did 5 intervals of 6 minutes each with a 1:30 recovery period.  You can modify the time structure in any suitable manner.  For our version, we spent each 6 minute period in a seated climb.  Each minute, more resistance was loaded.  Eventually, riders stood up, usually around the 4:00 minute mark.  Heartrates ascended from 70% in the first minute to 85% (or more — we attempted to pass the AT in the final stages) by the last minute.  The key was to roll into the recovery.  Most folks hit it like a brick wall, but our goal was to gently lower the resistance, and ease back down to a flat road.  Focus on breath was key to bringing the heart rate back to 70% before climbing again.  Riders were challenged to observe the feeling of their hearts beating, then to bring their heart rates down in a shorter amount of time with each interval. 

If my explanation is not clear, you should check the thread at pedal-on.  Great information and a great inspiration.  Here is the playlist we used.  The songs were mixed together used Acid Music 6.0 so that times were exact and the work songs flowed into the recovery song.  Best wishes!

1.  Delerium – Temptation (Warm Up, approximately 8 minutes)
2.  Delerium – Innocente (6 min)
3.  Parijat – Transcience II (90 seconds)
4.  The Fixx – One Thing Leads to Another (Rhythm Scholar Full Deception Mix) (6 min)
5.  Parijat – Transcience II (90 seconds)
6.  Younan Music Presents Tribal House – Babalua (6 min)
7.  Parijat – Transcience II (90 seconds)
8.  The Ride – Ride Like the Wind (Degg & Blakker Remix) (6 min)
9.   Parijat – Transcience II (90 seconds)
10. Afro Celt Soundsystem –  Whirly 3 (6 min)
11.  Afro Celt Soundsystem – Eireann (Remix) (Cool Down, approximately 6 min)

Hope you enjoy the freebie song linked above — it’s a fun one. 


2 thoughts on “Spinning Profile – Intervals with Active Recovery

  1. Can you help me? I am cycling coordinator at a gym in NC. We are having as sort of dispute about whether classes that “stand only” for the entire time and do not sit are good/bad for the bikes and dangerous to riders. I am trying to make decisions about what classes to keep and what to drop.

    Any documentation on these issues.

  2. I do not have any documentation that I can share with you, but I do encourage you to look for more information at Spinning.com and in the Safety forums at pedal-on.com. I am not aware of any stated guidelines for limits on time spent standing, but I also do not see the value in an entire class with no saddle time. Overuse injuries and not allowing under-conditioned riders to recover properly are two warning flags that go off for me immediately. However, with an advanced group of riders, I could see simulating some of the tougher terrain of the Tour de France with very little saddle time. I highly recommend you pose your question to the folks at pedal-on. They’ll provide you with some excellent advice and probably the research you seek — they are a highly qualified group of spinning MIs among others. Best wishes!

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