Creating Indoor Cycling Class Profile in 5 Steps

So it’s that time again.

You’re a new (or not so new) indoor cycling or Spinning® instructor, your next class is coming up and you need to put together a profile for it. Use these 5 steps to guide you through creating Indoor Cycling Class Profile of any format you can possibly need.

creatin gindoor cycling class profile

When I first started teaching indoor cycling that was the part I dreaded the most. Not so much anymore and I even started enjoying it, believe it or not.

We won’t touch things like what elements should and shouldn’t be together in one profile, the population you have to take into account as well as your class time/duration – instead we’ll focus on general practical stages of building ANY profile you might possibly need.

Here are the 5 general steps I follow to create my indoor cycling class profiles.

Creating Indoor Cycling Class Profile in 5 Steps

{ONE} Visualize It

Think “purpose” and “terrain”. Where is the road trip you’re taking your riders on to? Is it through the mountains, long plains with occasional hills or a series of rolling hills?

Drawing it on a piece of paper helps staying true to the real life terrain – start off with a schematic of the terrain, we’ll be adding on to it later.

Usually this part is done sitting outside with a glass of something, a blank piece of paper and a pencil. 🙂

“Map it out” while you wait in line at the dentist’s office or sitting down in the park after your lunchtime walk.

{TWO} Routine

So you got the terrain down on that piece of paper. Now it’s time to “translate” it into the indoor cycling language – write your “tabatas”, “cadence drills” and “standing climbs” over that schematic you just built. What is that hill going to be translated into? Standing “attacks” or seated endurance climb?

Now we’re getting somewhere, right?

Sometimes if I think of a song for a certain drill, I’ll write its name over that part of my drawing before going to the next step.

30 day active challenge

{THREE} Music

I see a lot of instructors starting with this step. Nothing wrong with that, occasionally I do that, too. Quick and easy fix if you’re short on time – throw a playlist together, add in some drills your music is calling for and you’re set to go.

I don’t do that unless absolutely necessary (where this kind of profile is better that no profile at all), and an emergency had prevented me from building a profile my usual way. However, this doesn’t mean you can just erratically throw drills in. Even if you decide to take the easy route and start with music – remember your training and the purpose of your ride.

So, getting back to our 5 stages in the usual sequence:

When I’m ready to choose and add music to the terrain translated into the indoor cycling language, I open the Class Builder app, create a new class and add music segments to it – randomly, whatever I like that day. By this time I know what drills I have planned (hills, flats, jumps, etc.) so I throw in 2-3 songs for each of the segments I have planned so I have something to choose from.

When I have all of the music I might need added to my Class Builder profile, I start working through each of the class segments trying to find a perfect song for it based on duration, time between beat/emotion pick ups, BPM/RPM, etc…

The most important thing to remember here is this: be with your music, not against it. If you teach against it, you’re going to lose. Work with it. In other words, your music should convey the same message you’re trying to convey with your class profile and cues.

Would Johnny B. Good motivate you more on a heavy climb or on a flat road time trial?

Make sure you’re on the same page with your music.

{FOUR} Cues

So you’re done with the music, your class/playlist is created in whatever app/no app you use.

Believe it or not, the hardest part starts after that is done.

What are you going to say? How are you going to describe what you’ve just worked on so hard to your class come time to teach it?

How are you going to motivate your riders to push harder, to go that extra mile, to recover when it’s time?

Jennifer Sage and Indoor Cycling Association has an app called “Cuez”, which can help you get started with this or take your cueing to the next level:

If you’re using Class Builder app, adding those cues to your class profile is super easy and they will display like this when you teach your ride:

class builder app

I have my own Glossary for the cues I use in Class Builder. Check it out if you need some ideas.

Cueing is something I believe we learn every time we teach a class. It is an art that we will keep mastering throughout our careers as instructors. So start where you’re comfortable. Take other instructors’ classes to see what they do. Get Jennifer’s app and start mastering the art 🙂

{FIVE} Practice. Practice. Practice.

If you’re new – practice is key, and there is nothing wrong with that.

When I first started teaching, I’d build a profile, then go to our cycling room on a Sunday afternoon and practice my ride.

Vega Sport Hydrator

A LOT of selfies have been taken during those practice rides 🙂

The first benefit of practicing is that having little experience in building class profiles and teaching, it’s really hard to do it all in your head and sometimes you end up with something that is completely not doable at some points in class. The only way to find out is to ride it yourself.

The second benefit is that when you actually pronounce those cues you had thought of for the ride out loud, they might sound a little different than in your head. 🙂

Another benefit of practicing is that you can gauge your own effort and plan how to pace yourself so when the time comes for teaching, you know when to ease off on that resistance knob to be able to talk, when to hop off the bike and walk around to check on your riders, etc..

And there you have it. 5 Steps for creating indoor cycling class profile. There is a lot more to it and you will find your own way and set of steps, but these should get you started.

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Ride on!


Need ideas for your Spinning® Class / Indoor Cycling Class? Check out my cycling class profiles and playlists.

New to teaching? I have a whole page with resources just for new instructors!

Ready to go to the next level?



  1. any chance you could do a post about bpm and music…fairly new, and sometimes a song seems great …in my head…and doesn’t work out so well:(

  2. I really love your site. You teach, prepare profiles and stress about the exact same things I do. So great to see other people go through similar things. I am always fascinated by instructors that get in the bike and teach with what seems like not a care in the world. However, I am sure they stress too but just don’t show it. Be confident, right!

  3. Thanx for all of your help. I start teaching Monday……..

  4. Hi Lena,

    1st I love your blog!!! It’s so informative and you’ve inspired me to finally get certified this coming August.

    I want to soak up as much information as possible. This is totally new for me! I wasn’t much of a gym or work out person. I didn’t need to be, until I hit 40 and noticed I was getting fat!!! Took a cycle class and I haven’t stopped. I even bought a spinning bike for home ( for those days when I’d rather watch TV)

    I seem to have trouble with the app builder. I know you haven’t had any issues, but saw that was an old post. Is there another app/blog you can recommend?

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