Spin Class Strength Training “The Mountain”

Hello everyone,

First off, I would like to acknowledge that this ride was solely inspired by The Sufferfest video “Thin Air“.  I absolutely used the music tracks and the workout inspiration to build this spin class.  One day, maybe I can convince my Gym to become a Sufferlandrian Embassy, and really crank up the work and motivation in the spin room.  This is a pretty good video that sums up the value of an Sufferlandrian Embassy.

So, what is strength training in a spin class?  It is low cadence high resistance with a good amount of standing.  That is the sole focus of this class.  I call this class “The Mountain!”  It is going to be too hard for your beginners and a challenge for your advanced students.  My beginner students couldn’t hold all of the stands.  That is okay!  You just need to prompt the class in the beginning that it is okay to miss some of the stands, but you expect your advanced students to be there the whole time.  This will cause some leg soreness.


This class is broken down into 2 stages.  Stage one is completely dedicated to warm up.  You use the first song to talk about low cadence work on the spin bike.  With Spin bikes you need to increase resistance levels higher than normal.  They will need to follow the beat of the songs both standing and sitting.  My graph above outlines when we are up and when we are down annotated by arrows.  Of course, we sit down during some of the breaks, so don’t expect arrows everywhere.  However, it should be fairly intuitive when you do the class.  This workout is also progressive in difficulty.  We finish stage 1 with the run up to the mountain by doing some quick leg drills.  Really start getting that heart rate up and ready for the work ahead.

Stage 2 is all about low cadence work on the spin bike with 36 minutes of low cadence work.  Even if you don’t have a bike computer, you are going to hit your cadence marks because of the beat.  Use the first song on the mountain for people to set there climbing resistance.  It is important that they see and feel that the resistance needs to higher than normal with low cadence work.

We are not cycling up this, but it is going to feel like it. Get your legs ready.

We are working resistance levels 7, 8, and 9 out of 10.  Very hard work.  Here are your resistance levels:


7 out of 10 is a medium hill.  You could manage this the whole workout.

8 out of 10 feels difficult sitting, but you can manage it better standing.

9 out of 10 is a steep hill.  You have to work really hard to maintain the cadence to match the beat of the music. This level is much worse sitting than standing, but both are difficult.  You really feel like you need to use your body weight and possibly pull on the handlebars to keep the pedals up to the beat.

Here we go, THE MOUNTAIN, playlist below then the individual songs with queues.


The Angel Islington, (2:26): Warm up and prep time.

Get Better (2:46): Time to practice good form with our stands.  Nothing too hard here. Focus on form.

The Next Storm (3:34): Time to find that 7, 8, and 9 out of 10 resistance levels.

Point of View (3:15): We do some quick leg drills (increase leg speed by 10 rpm).  Tell your students they are making a quick run into the mountain.  Time to get the heart rate up a bit.

Sun In My Hands (6:59): (64rpm) Start off on the 7, transition to 8 and we get in and out of the saddle.  Nothing to extreme here, just solid work.

Bombs Away (5:17): (65rpm) We start to ratchet things up.  You can make this more advanced by keeping the resistance at 9 when standing and sitting.  I moved down to the 8 in the sitting position.  There is more pain coming.  Don’t blow them up early.

In n’ Out (6:48): (64rpm) We start hitting longer stands here of 60 seconds and 75 seconds.  Your beginners will begin to struggle here.  We also do something new here, we increase tempo before we come up on our stands.  This adds an extra level of difficulty.  It is like sprinting on a climb, then attacking at the steepest point.  Make sure you take 5 seconds to slow them back down so they can add on the 9 and GET UP!

Bit Bot (6:10): (64rpm) This is the second half of our mountain.  This is were we separate the beginners from the advanced athletes. Sprint into the hills again, then get up under those heavy legs.  The last stand is in and out of the saddle for 2 minutes!

iOS (5:52): (64rpm) Use this beat, that thumping energy to make people push their limits.  Again, we sprint into our hill.  At the end, we stand for the entire 2 minutes!  I told you this was progressive.

Calypso (5:32): (64rpm) Last song, and we are going to take it all out of them now.  You start at that 7 out of 10, move to fast legs, then we are in and out of the saddle on the 8 or 9.  You can pick your levels by looking at your students.  If they are smoked, then stick to 7 or 8. If they are pushing hard, keep a lot of 9’s in there to squeeze a little more out of them.  Basically, you are just calling out resistance levels and up, down, fast legs.

That’s it folks.  Cool them down and congratulate them on completing on of the most challenging strength workouts they may have ever done.  Big thanks to the Sufferfest for the inspiration!

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