Pyramid Cycling Class Profile: 2+1=8

This is a fast paced pyramid cycling class profile that will require a lot of concentration both from your riders and you as an instructor. There is a lot of cueing and a lot to take in. It’s the Race Day!

pyramid cycling class profile

Hey guys! Happy Hump Day!

Today I’m sharing one of my latest creations with you – pyramid cycling class profile and playlist that’s called “2+1=8”.

The reason behind the class name is easy to explain: after the warm-up, the first stage of the pyramid consists of two drills. The next stage is repeating those two and adding another one. Stage 3 is repeating stage 2 + adding one more drill. This goes on until we reach the top of the pyramid consisting of 8 drills. Easy-peasy 🙂 Except it’s not. Each drill is only 30 seconds long so it’s pretty high pace.

Here are the 8 movements in order of appearance and the cadence ranges assigned to them for the purpose of this class.

  1. Seated Flat – 80-90 RPM
  2. Standing Flat – 80 RPM
  3. Seated Climb – 70-80 RPM
  4. Standing Climb – 70 RPM
  5. Running with Resistance – 70-75 RPM
  6. Sprints on Hill – 75-80 RPM (referred to as just “Sprints” in the profile description below to differentiate from #7 – Sprints on Hill with heavier resistance)
  7. Sprints on a Hill – 70-75 RPM
  8. Jumps on a Hill – 60-70 RPM

The class description below is going to be pretty basic, so here are a few more details to help you understand this pyramid cycling class design:

  • It should not be performed by riders who are new to the program or coming back from a long break. It is done in the Race Day Energy Zone and requires at least 6-8 weeks of aerobic base building.
  • Between Seated Flat and Standing Flat – add a little gear so it is safe to get out of the saddle.
  • While in Standing Flat, start adding gear for your Seated Climb in the last 10 seconds, then return to the saddle.
  • Add more resistance half way through the Seated Climb – it will slow down your cadence. Return to faster cadence when you stand up for the Standing Climb.
  • Running with Resistance – transition from Standing Climb (HP3) to the Running position (HP2), keep the resistance and slightly increase cadence.
  • Sprints – return to the saddle and accelerate for 10 seconds. Come back up for a 10 second break, slow down the cadence a little, catch your breath, then return to seated sprint.
  • Sprints on Hill – add a little more resistance and sprint in the saddle for 10 seconds. Come up for a 10 second break, then return to the saddle for another 10 second Sprint on a Hill.
  • Jumps – encourage your riders to go at their own pace with the minimum of 4 pedal strokes in each position.


Pyramid Cycling Class Profile and Playlist: 2+1=8

Class Duration: 45:34


Here’s the Spotify Playlist (follow me on Spotify):

Class .PDF from Class Builder App: Ride 49 – 2+1=8

Class Notes:

1: “Guitar Hero”, The Deadlies – Warm up. Explain the ride. My class is usually warmed up by this point as they come in early and get on their bikes. Feel free to add another section to the class if that is not your case as this is a demanding routine that requires more warm up time that the length of this song.

2: “Beautiful Life”, Ace of Base: This song covers Stages 1-3 of the Pyramid.

You will see below what movements are included in each stage, what time in the song each of them starts, and the name of the song.

pyramid cycling class profile

So for Stage 1 you’ll start with Seated Flat at the beginning of the song (0:00) and switch to Standing Flat at 0:30.

3: “Every Word (Wendel Kos Club Mix)”, Ercola – This song covers part of Stage 3 and continues on through Stages 4, 5 and part of Stage 6.

pyramid indoor cycling class

4: “Gotta Be Somebody”, Nickelback – This song covers part of Stage 6 and part of Stage 7.

pyramid indoor cycling class profile

5: “I Put a Spell On You”, Annie Lennox – This song covers the remainder of Stage 7.

pyramid indoor cycling class profile

6: “Heaven Is a Place on Earth (80’s Dance Version)”, Ultra Flirt – well deserved recovery!

7: “Easy Ride”, Madonna – Time to come down on the other side of the pyramid. We’ll start with repeating Stage 7 that we just finished, and continueing on to stage6 all the way back down to stage 1. This song covers Stage 7 and the first drill in Stage 6:

pyramid cycling class

8: “The Kids Aren’t Alright”, Fall Out Boy – this song covers the remainder of Stage 6 and some of Stage 5:

pyramid class

9: “Long Black Road”, Electric Light Orchestra – this section covers the second half of Stage 5 and the beginning of Stage 4.

pyramid cycling class

10: “Thunderstruck”, AC/DC – this is the last working song! It covers part of Stage 4 and Stages 3-1:

pyramid indoor cycling class

11: “Happy (From “Despicable Me 2″)”, Pharrell Williams – will use a few seconds of this song to finish the ride (the last 30 seconds of it) and then go into a cool down and stretch off the bike.

Here’s another .PDF for you, guys – this one is the ride “map” for you to print and take to class with you as a backup or if you prefer that over the app: Ride 49_Schematic.

TIP: fold it in half after you print it – you’ll have the ascending part of the pyramid on one side and the descending part on the other.

Wanna know how to time all that and not go insane? Use this app:

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Done with that?

Pick up a few essentials I use for teaching my classes:

Whew! I think that was the longest indoor cycling class profile post I ever had to write on this blog 🙂

Please, share with your friends:

Have a wonderful week, guys, and ride on!


Need more ideas for your Spinning® Class / Indoor Cycling Class? Check out my other cycling class profiles and playlists.
New to teaching? I have a whole page with resources just for new instructors!




Please note that while I make every effort to capture and present these indoor cycling class / Spinning class profiles accurately, the class profiles and class descriptions posted on this blog do not constitute complete instruction for teaching the indoor cycling class  / Spinning class. No statement is made to the suitability or otherwise of the indoor cycling profiles presented on this blog. Care must always be taken when riding an indoor cycle. Please, consult your physician before starting an exercise program. The indoor cycling class / Spinning class profiles presented are not meant to be exercise and/or personal recommendations, but only examples of workouts that the author completed in the past. The owner and authors of these cycling class profiles will not be responsible or liable for any injury, illness or death resulting from the use of the information contained in this article.


  1. I love pyramid classes! I’ve been riding my bike outside all summer so far and kind of miss my spin classes but I would rather be outside until I can’t.
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Welcome Runs & TomTom Multisport Watch ReviewMy Profile

  2. I finally got around to teaching this profile this morning. YAY! I was so nervous. It was fun. And hard. Class loved it. They love when I bring props, which I did bring a visual…not the one you provided, but simpler, and similar. Because I am a control freak like this, I changed up a few of the songs, so my timing did not work out perfectly, but all in all a great class. I am off to teach class #2 today and will teach it again. Hoping to work the kinks out. THANK YOU for such a nifty idea. You saved me TONS of time this week. YAY!!!

    P.S. Class #2 was not without a couple mistakes, but I got tons of positive feedback…even one rider who hit a PR on mileage and calories burned. She as beaming when we were done. THANK YOU, Lean Lena!

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