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PERFORMANCE CYCLING MANUAL Written by: Tom Seabourne, Ph.D. Revisions by: Krista Popowych, B.HK.


PERFORMANCE CYCLING MANUAL Written by: Tom Seabourne, Ph.D. Revisions by: Krista Popowych, B.HK.

Written by: Tom Seabourne, Ph.D. Revisions by: Krista Popowych, B.HK.










Seat Post Height Positioning


Handlebar Height Adjustment


Fore and Aft Positioning




Basic Posture


Seated Upright Posture


Seated Climb Posture


Standing Climb Posture


Posture for Lifts


Overhand, Middle and Extended Grip




Proper Form Review


Clothing and Footwear




Finding RPM






Warm Up


Cardiovascular Conditioning


Post Cardio Cool Down




Improving Your Instructing Skills




Borg’s RPE Scales










Interval Drills


Cycling Speedwork


Control Drills


Muscle Recruitment Drills


Climbing Drills


Recovery Drill


APPENDIX – Hydration and Nutrition













Keiser Performance Cycling continues to be one of the hottest workouts in the fitness today. Enlivened by racing drills, interval training, visualization and more, Keiser Performance Cycling is the future of fitness. Your Performance Cycling Manual will provide you with the information and education necessary to instruct group cycling classes. As an overview:

The workouts in this manual include cutting edge concepts from both the indoor and outdoor cycling world.

Creating a fitness program tailored to your student’s needs is simple with Keiser Performance Cycling’s step- by-step explanation on how to modify intensity and vary your student’s workouts. The variety of routines can easily be transferred to outdoor cycling as well. This adaptability is what makes Keiser Performance Cycling fun, and sets it apart from other fitness trends, which often fail to keep the body and mind inspired.

Keiser Performance Cycling is simply riding a bike. Po sture and drills are presented in an easy-to-follow format. Training tips are also highlighted to keep you on top of any questions your students might have.

Custom fitting your student’s bike is important in order to create a great workout for your students. Your manual will also provide you with information on selecting the right clothing and footwear, as well as general guidelines for injury prevention and heart rate monitoring. This information leaves you well equipped to both learn and teach the various drills taught in the next few sections.

One of the unique features of Keis er Performance Cycling is the mind/body experience. The section entitled “Mentally Tough” discusses relaxation, breathing, visualization, and goal setting. With this information, you will learn to fulfill your student’s potential, helping them to reach levels of power and energy unimagined.

Throughout the manual there are also a variety of sidebars in italics which offer real-life experiences, such as how indoor cycling prepares outdoor cyclists for their races. Sidebars also highlight topics ranging from “Psychological Strategies” to “Training Tips.”

Because Keiser Performance Cycling is both aerobic and anaerobic, many experts believe it is the ultimate workout. The section on interval training teaches your students to burn fat while building endurance, speed, and recovery. You’ll learn actual racing drills you can combine into a program called Cycling Speedwork. By including the various drills and training techniques in your classes, you will quickly see improvements in your student’s cardiovascular and cycling skill levels.


There are many benefits to the Keiser Performance Cycling program, including:

An effective and user-friendly program.

A safe and individualized teaching approach to group indoor cycling.

Instructing tips to assist in teaching a great class from warm up to cool down.

Cycling workouts created by cyclists to add variety to your program.

Correct biomechanical postures and drills that help riders avoid injury.

Improved strength, endurance, flexibility and mind/body unity.

Inclusion of mentally refreshing strategies that use sports psychology tips and techniques.

Effective use of intensity training to maximize your indoor cycling workout time.


When it comes to putting together a grea t indoor cycling class, there are a number of important factors involved. If you have participated in and experienced a dynamic indoor cycling class, there were probably one or two key elements that stood out in the workout - - such as a motivating instructor or a challenging workout. Before proceeding, it is important to ask yourself and answer the key question:

  • 1. What makes a really great indoor cycling class and why?

Studies demonstrate that a key to exercise adherence is variety. Your Keiser Performance Cycling program is constantly evolving from beginner to expert. This diversity in your students’ training develops ultimate fitness without overtraining. For example, an overweight, compulsive jogger may save his or her knees by switching to Keiser Performance Cycling. Keiser Performance Cycling makes indoor riding interesting and effective, without going to extremes. Encouraging your students to participate in classes is possible with workouts that are fun and individualized to meet their needs.

  • 2. How can we add variety, challenge and interest to a cycling workout?

Keiser Performance Cycling is different from other exercise programs because:

Form, breathing, and posture are emphasized. Warm up, drills, post cardio cool down and stretching segments

are all incorporated into a single Keiser Performance Cycling workout. A focused mind is as important as a fit body. Keiser Performance Cycling can be combined with present-

minded focus. It’s like meditation on the bike. This type of workout will also allow your students to concentrate more on their pedal strokes and less on their worries. Student can monitor their workouts through their breathing. If they are huffing and puffing too much, remind

them to pace themselves. This is their workout. If they cannot keep up with the fast beat of the music, suggest they train to the slow beat. This is not a race. There is no finish line. It takes as long as it takes. Keiser Performance Cycling can get your students into the best shape of their lives. It’s a terrific

cardiovascular workout and great for muscular endurance. Depending on their body weight, students can burn anywhere between 400 – 500 calories in a single workout. Visualization is important in any workout. Remind your students to visualize a strong, healthy body. Ask

them to “see” themselves as having achieved their cycling goals and having a fit body and mind. Safety is your first concern. Before you turn on your music and begin hammering, take a few minutes to learn what you need for Keiser Performance Cycling success. The road to peak fitness includes many steps and this manual is yours to help educate and teach you.


Before starting a cycling class, it is the responsibility of the instructor to make sure that each participant is set up properly on their bike, in the correct position and pedaling efficiently. When bike positioning is incorrect, performance will be compromised. Taking time to make sure your students are comfortable on their bike is the first step to a successful workout.

To help with bike set up, it is important to review the working mechanics of the Keiser Indoor Cycle. These include:

Intensity and brake control


Water bottle holder


Handlebar height-adjustment lever

Bike frame

Pedals (SPD system or platform systems with straps)

Bike stand


Bottom bracket

Wheel disc


Saddle height adjustment knob

Saddle horizontal-adjustment lever

Braking system including braking belt wear-control device

Getting Started:

As your participants are coming into the studio or locating their bikes, ask if they are new to indoor cycling. If so,

introduce yourself and assist them on how to set up their bikes properly. Set up can be done individually, or if there are more than one or two new students, as a group. Whenever adjustments are made to bike positioning, the student should come off the bike. Adjustments made while sitting on the bike could potentially cause an inexperienced or weaker rider to fall or hurt themselves.

Check every student and each bike to be sure that all bikes are set up properly before you begin your class.


Have each student stand beside their bikes near the saddle.

Ask them to position the seat so that it is at the same level of their iliac crest (hip).

Have each student sit on the saddle with the balls of each foot over the center of the pedals.

Ask your students to turn the pedals at a slow pace.

There should be a 5-15 degree bend in the knee as it extends down into the six-o’clock position. Note:

If a student’s hips are rocking back and forth in the saddle with each pedal stroke, the seat position may be

too high. The hips will rock unevenly from side to side and may result in hip or back injuries. If a student’s knees are bowed outward, the seat may be too low. The knees will be too flexed and

unwanted stress is placed on the knee caps. The knee should never be in a locked-out position.



The handlebars should be adjusted after performing the seat height adjustment.

Handlebars should be more or less level with the top of the saddle - - further adjustments will depend on

personal preference and experience level of the rider. The elbows should be slightly bent. New riders should be encouraged to keep their handlebars in a high, comfortable position to take any strain off

of their back. Your outdoor cyclists will want to adjust the handlebars to mimic their outdoor training. Allow them to drop their handlebars to a position no lower than the tip of their saddle. Placing the handlebars too low may overstress the arms, mid back and neck. In addition, because there are no external forces (such as wind) to fight against, an aerodynamic riding position is not necessary in an indoor setting.



With the seat in the correct position, each student’s arms should be a comfortable distance to the handlebars

with the elbows slightly bent. Keep the hands on the handle bars to check fore and aft positioning. Have your students sit on the saddle with their feet on the pedals in the three-o’clock and nine-o’clock position

(crank arms parallel to the floor). Ask them to look down from the front of their knee to see if they dropped a plumb-line (string) down from their knee it should hit the middle of the pedal. If when looking down they can’t see their toes, the seat should be shifted back. Similarly, if they can see the

entire foot, the seat should be shifted forward. Adjust and re-check the plumb line. Watch when they are pedaling that their knees do not extend beyond their elbows.



Proper posture, regardless of activity, is extremely important. There is some debate as to whether you should round your back or keep it neutral when you assume an aerodynamic riding position. Really there is no debate—keep your back in a neutral position. Since there is no wind indoors, there is no need for your students to compromise their backs to gain an “aerodynamic” advantage.

In fitness classes, the term ‘pull your belly button to your spine’ is often used. However, because the goal is to protect your low back, this cue is actually ineffective. Proper posture means engaging your core abdominal muscles and your diaphragm. A preferred position for Keiser Performance Cycling is to maintain neutral spine. In neutral spine, there is a slight arch in the low back. When you are seat ed on the bike, hinge at the hips and maintain your neutral position.

Standing sideways to the mirror or lying on the floor, try the following positions. Notice how the body looks and feels when it is in each of the positions. The goal is to find and maintain neutral spine.

  • 1. Anterior Pelvic Tilt

2. Posterior Pelvic Tilt

3. Neutral Spine

A fit core is important for strong movements both on and off the bike. Your core is made up key muscle groups. It’s important to note that the rectus abdominus is not a core stabilizer. When the rectus abdominus is engaged, a bulging or puffed mid section may result if activated for prolonged periods. Thus, the burn that is often associated with traditional abdominal training is indicative of an overactive rectus abdominus. This is not the goal of improving core strength. The core muscles are divided into the inner unit (the true core) and the outer unit. The true core muscles consist of the transversus abdominus, the diaphragm, multifidus and the pelvic floor muscles. The outer unit muscles include the internal and external obliques, gluteus medius, minimus and maximus and the erector spinae. Training the core is important both in indoor cycling classes and other workouts.


In Keiser Performance Cycling you are not required to memorize hundreds of body positions and grips. Instead, it is more important to have good positioning and control of both the upper and lower body. When seated on the bike, body weight should be evenly distributed across the saddle, handlebars and the pedals. This basic posture serves as a point of reference for all other positions.

Basic Posture:

Shoulders, neck and arms relaxed

Proper alignment through the wrists

Pelvis in neutral position

Feet in contact with the pedals

Knees parallel – knee in line with the second toe


Revolutions per minute can effect posture and positioning on the bike (see section on RPM for more

information) It is recommended that your students maintain a cadence between 60-110 revolutions per minute (RPM’s) in any Keiser Performance Cycling drill.


Sitting in an upright position and pedaling with low to moderate resistance is the most basic technique in the Keiser Performance Cycling program. This is the basic posture from which all others arise. It is not recommended to pedal at high cadences while in the upright position

Sitting with a neutral spine in perfect posture trains students to develop stamina and balance.

In the upright posture, students can easily drink from their water bottle.

A “no hands” position is optional.

This posture is used during warm-ups and cool-downs.

Always remind your student to adjust their seat before riding. Never allow them to adjust the seat while standing on the pedals.


Seated climbing is your student’s first taste of climbing a simulated hill. Adding moderate to heavy resistance to the resistance dial automatically forces your students to shift slightly towards the back of their saddle. Students should be reminded to pedal in circles without “mashing” the pedals. Upper body should remain relaxed with hands lightly gripping the handlebars – the grip is similar to holding onto a bird, you don’t want the bird to fly away but you don’t want to squash it either. An overhand grip (the heels of your hands rest gently over the crossbar of the handlebars with your wrist straight and thumbs over the bar) is ideal in this position. A cadence of 60-90 RPM’s is effective for the seated climb.

Cue your students to secure their cleats properly or tighten the strap on the basket. Make sure their shoelaces are short.



Have your students pedal with moderate resistance on the dial and then stand using a natural body sway to create momentum to power each pedal stroke. Keep each stroke smooth and fluid. Keep the center of gravity low so that very little body weight is placed on the handlebars. The student’s movement should be controlled as their weight is over the pedals to add torque and power. Students should feel the nose of their saddle grazing their buttocks on each stroke. The hips remain level and facing forward. A hook grip (the fleshy part of your hand located between your thumb and first finger is placed in the hook of the handlebars where the parallel bars begin to curve up) is ideal in this position. A cadence of 60-75 RPM’s is recommended for a heavy, standing climb.

Remind your students to keep their feet parallel to the floor on each pedal stroke.


Lifts are advanced postures because your students will be alternating from a seated and standing position at their

own pace.

The goal is to take full advantage of body weight and strength.

Resistance is moderate to heavy.

Cue your students to maintain perfect posture while lifting their buttocks back off the saddle rather than

straight up, keeping their center of gravity back. There should be virtually no weight on the handlebars.

Hands should be on positioned on the handlebars where they curve up (extended grip) or a simple

overhand grip. Shoulders stay behind elbows. The nose of the saddle should graze their inner thighs on each pedal stroke.

A cadence of 70-80 RPM’s is recommended for lifts.


Hand Position 1 – Overhand or Front Grip

Hands rest on the handlebars in a natural position with a slight bend at the elbows

Wrists should be straight and thumbs over the bar

The rider should be seated when using this grip

Hand Position 2 – Hook or Middle Grip

The fleshy part of your hand located between your thumb and first finger is placed in the hook of the

handlebars Elbows are slightly flexed, avoiding external rotation

This should be a comfortable and secure grip

Ideal for resistance and well-suited for the isolation of the upper and lower body

Good for power transfer while minimizing upper body movement

Hand Position 3 – Extended Grip

The hands are extended to the furthest part of the handlebars

Arms are parallel and elbows relaxed and slightly flexed

Hand grip should be light



The pedaling motion in cycling involves a series of muscle contractions and relaxations that must be coordinated and well timed. There are two well defined phases in pedaling, the upward stroke and the downward stroke. The upward and downward stroke must be evenly executed throughout the entire process of pedaling and always in plumb with the crank. Correct pedaling must be learned and practiced repetitively. The legs must always be moving in two parallel planes. This ideal motion can only be attained if the feet are correctly placed on the pedals. To practice good pedaling technique, ask participants to close their eyes and visualize that they are drawing a perfect circle with their feet.

During pedaling, the muscles in the legs are the main contributors to the movement. The muscles in the rest of the body work in an isometric manner (except during specific actions like standing on the pedals) and stabilize the body’s position on the bike while maintaining balance.

The main leg muscles that contribute to the pedaling stroke are the rectus femoris, vastus medialis, semimembranousus, , gastrocnemius, vastus lateralis, biceps femoris and gluteus maximus.

The muscles contribute differently in each pedaling phase:

  • 1. With the pedal position at its highest point (top dead center) the vastii group, rectus femoris, and gluteus

maximus are activated

  • 2. From pedal initiation downward to 45 degrees, the same muscles are activated plus the addition of the

hamstrings, soleus and gastrocnemius

  • 3. Reaching the 90 degree point, the rectus femoris turns off; by the 135 degree point, the vastii and gluteal groups

also turn off

  • 4. As the pedal arrives at the lower dead spot, the hamstrings turn off just past bottom dead center

  • 5. At the beginning of the back pedal or upstroke, only the gastrocnemius continues to be activated

  • 6. The rectus femoris and gluteus maximus once again re-activate prior to reaching the top of the pedal stroke


• • • • • • • • • • Proper form is important for efficient
Proper form is important for efficient riding technique, injury prevention and effective workouts.
The body should be positioned on the bike to most effectively use the key muscle groups.
Remind your students to never sacrifice form for speed; faster doesn’t necessarily equate to harder training.
Periodically have your students check their form in a mirror. Be sure their knees are over their toes. Remind
them about proper posture - keeping their low backs slightly arched, with their shoulders and arms relaxed.
Cue your students to work on the bike in a square and balanced way maintaining a parallel knee position. Keep
the knees angled over the feet and refrain from moving the hips side to side as this movement can effect the
knee joint alignment.
If you observe a student’s knees open to the side, the seat is probably too low.
The grip on the handlebars should not be too tight and there should always be hand contact with the
handlebars unless your students are drinking water, recovering, warming up or cooling down.
When standing on the pedals, the body should not lean too far forward, especially if using little resistance.
Remind your students to ride their ride. They should not worry about “keeping up” with the instructor or other
students in the class. If they are tired, it’s okay to sit while everyone else is doing a standing climb.
Your students can prevent hand and wrist numbness by switching grips often and keeping their center of gravity
in the lower body.
The saddle should never be removed from the bike.

Cue your students to stretch their neck often, relax their hands, and keep their knees and elbows soft and never

locked. Avoid rotating the arms so that they are perpendicular to the floor; this will result in excessive exertion of the

upper body. Show your students how to adjust the seat and handlebars of their Keiser cycle to fit the dimensions of their outdoor bike. They can work identical muscles from similar angles to enhance their racing performance.


Having the proper gear can help make a more comfortable ride. Suggest that your students wear cycling shorts that don’t have a seam down the middle of the padding - - this will increase the comfort on the saddle. If cycling shorts are not available, participants may choose to purchase and experiment with a gel seat cover. A gel seat cover fits over a bike seat and provides additional padding.

Although cycling shoes are not mandatory, they do make a difference. Stiff-soled shoes are best for Keiser Performance Cycling. A hiking shoe and even a cross trainer are preferred over a jogging/running shoe. A soft- soled shoe, like a runner, may bend over the pedal when in a standing position and cause injury. Shoes should be snugly strapped (but not too tight) into the foot cages. Shoelaces should be tucked in to prevent tangling. Remind your students who wear cleats to check the cleat tension on the pedals and make sure that their cleats are aligned properly on their shoes. Improper cleat alignment could lead to injury. Do not allow your students to change the pedals.



One of the factors that is involved in efficient pedaling is cadenc e. Cadence consists of the number of times that the pedal stroke is completed in each minute (the cycle). This is called RPM (Revolutions Per Minute).

A fast cadence implies an increased demand on the cardiovascular system. A high cadence is conducive

to a higher mechanical efficiency and to a more fluid movement of the legs. Avoid rocking the hips on the saddle and avoid bouncing. A slow cadence implies an increase in the output of muscle power. A class should include a combination of both slow cadences with resistance, medium cadences and fast

cadences with less resistance. If we reduce the RPM, we will have to increase the pedaling force to achieve the same output.

If we are trying to reduce the force applied, we must increase the cadence to achieve the same output.

To develop muscle fibers that are resistant to fatigue, we have to combine the use of power with that of a

sustained cadence. When pedaling, there should always be some resistance on the fly wheel.

Finding RPM:

It is recommended that you and your students keep their cadence at 60 – 110 RPM. To determine RPM, place one hand slightly above the thigh and start pedaling. Start the clock at 0 and count for 15 seconds. The number of times that the hand touches the thigh in 15 seconds x 4, determines cadence.

For example:

15 revolutions x 4 = 60 RPM 25 revolutions x 4 = 100 RPM

20 revolutions x 4 = 80 RPM 30 revolutions x 4 = 120 RPM (too fast)



In a Keiser Performance Cycling class, there are 6 main instructing segments. These consist of:




  • 1. Prior to Class

Bike Set Up


To ensure each and every student is set up properly and comfortably on their indoor cycles.

  • 2. Introduction



To introduce yourself, the class format and welcome new and returning students.

  • 3. Warm Up


– 8 minutes

To prepare the body, both physically and mentally, for the upcoming workout.

  • 4. Cardiovascular Conditioning


– 44 minutes

To improve the cardiovascular system, using a variety of cycling drills and games.

  • 5. Post Cardio Cool Down



To safely slow down the heart and breathing rate and decrease body temperature.

  • 6. Stretching


– 7 minutes

To improve range of motion and to stretch the key

Wrap Up & Bike Wipe Down

2+ minutes

muscles that were used during the workout. To thank everyone, wipe and clean the bikes, put them away if required and be available after class.

Total Time




Music is an extremely important element in a fabulous cycling class. The music you choose should motivate and inspire both your students and yourself. Music has the abi lity to influence the mind and the emotions of the listener, which in turn can produce a physical response. Music also becomes the key element in creating the class format or ride. Each song should include cycling drills or games that cover a variety of imaginary terrains and routes. The better you know your music, the better your class will be. Spend time choosing and listening to the music that you plan to use in your workouts. And, don’t get in a rut by using the same type of music all the time. Mix it up. Your participants like a variety of sounds so cater to a wider audience base by choosing music from all different genres.


Beats per Minute (BPM) is the musical term used during indoor cycling classes and group fitness classes. Most songs have a steady beat throughout the piece. We can pedal to the slow beat, medium speed beat or fast beat of the music (or no beat at all). Keep music speeds around 125 – 130 beats per minute to start with, adding variety from there. To determine the beats per minute in a song, count the downbeats in a song for thirty seconds and multiply by two. The slow beat is when you count two beats as you complete each pedal stroke. At the medium beat, match each pedal stroke to the beat of your music. The fast beat is pedaling double-time; that is, twice as fast as your medium beat. It is not a requirement that your students pedal to the beat of the music; let it be their option.


Maintaining your professionalism also means respecting copyright regulations. There are a number of music

companies that make music specifically for indoor cycling. Some websites to check out include:


During a cycling class, there are only a certain number of positions for riding including pedaling on flats, seated climbs, standing climbs, sprints, and recovery. Thus, variety in a cycling workout comes from the class design. Before instructing your classes, put together a master template that details music choices, imaginary terrains, drills and important instructing or visualization cues. The more prepared you are, the better the class will be. In preparation for your first workout, set aside time to listen to a variety of your favorite songs and design the class around the music. Or, choose a specific style of musi c and create a theme class around the chosen genre. Your template becomes your security blanket. Once you are comfortable with your music and what you are going to

teach, the script becomes unnecessary.

Your Keiser Master Trainer will now play a variety of music. Listen to the following songs and decide what each track makes you think of in terms of an imaginary terrain or possible drill. Where would you put each song within a workout?


When putting together a class, think about building intensity using a bell curve design. For example, you wouldn’t want to go into a challenging and intense climb immediately after the warm up. Instead gradually increase the intensity from the warm up, building as the class progresses and then slowly decreasing the intensity towards the end of the workout. Use quick breaks between songs to check in with your students, provide recovery time and encourage water breaks. Assuming that each song is 3 – 6 minutes in duration, use the following format below as an example workout. Once the workout is defined, drills would be included for each song.







Song 1 & 2

Warm Up


Song 7

Flat - Race


Song 3



Song 8

Seated Climb


Song 4

Rolling Hills

Light - Medium Variable

Song 9

Slight Decline

Light - Medium

Song 5

Standing Climb


Song 10

Cool Down


Song 6

Steep Decline

Heavy Light - Medium

Song 11


Light 0 – Off the Bike


An instructing template is extremely helpful when you are designing a workout. Once you have reviewed your music and decided on the class format, decide on which drill you want to teach for each song, based on your imaginary terrain. Adding notes like drill specifics and cues will help create a smoother workout. Feel free to refer to your template throughout your class.

Song #




Important Cues

  • 1 Flat


min 32 sec


Warm up

Discuss proper cycling technique, review hand grips, resistance dial and RPE measures.

  • 2 Flat


min 15 sec


Warm up

Include upper body stretches, neck and shoulders.

  • 3 Rolling Hills


min 10 sec



In seated position, focus on good technique. Increase the resistance but keep speed steady. 15:15; 30:15, 45:15; 30:15; 15:15

  • 4 Steep Incline


min 27 sec


Seated and

Alternate between a 30 second standing climb

Standing Climb

and 30 second seated climb for 5 sets

  • 5 Decline Hill


min 48 sec


Steady the Course

Keep the resistance at light to moderate. Increase RPM’s at 60 second intervals for 4 sets.

  • 6 And so on…


*use this example template to create your own class formats




Before the class even starts, a number of factors should be reviewed. As discussed, bike set up is very important and the bikes may be arranged in a number of formats depend ing on your facility and the goals of the workout. Before starting the class, the instructor should:

Make sure all the bikes are ready.

Store bikes that are not working proper and inform maintenance.

Position the bikes so that the student’s can see the instructor at all times.


Group – This formation is one of the most recommended in Keiser Performance Cycling. The instructor has a good visual view of all the students. Circle – The circle or half-formation is another option, however, visibility may be limited. Also, if the class is too spread apart, it can reduce the feeling of a team environment. Divided – The group can be divided in rows but be sure that the instructor has an optimal field of vision.

VI. CLASS INSTRUCTION SET UP Before the class even starts, a number of factors should be
VI. CLASS INSTRUCTION SET UP Before the class even starts, a number of factors should be

VI. CLASS INSTRUCTION SET UP Before the class even starts, a number of factors should be

VI. CLASS INSTRUCTION SET UP Before the class even starts, a number of factors should be


Open Box

Half Circle


Straight Line

or Partners

or Small Pods

or Divided

The preferred position of the instructor is always facing the students and visible. This allows for better eye contact and connection with the group.

INTRODUCTION The purpose of the introduction is to introduce yourself, explain the class components, check in with new participants and get everyone pumped up for the workout ahead. Use the following INTRO acronyms:

Introduce yourself & greet the class Name the class type Talk about the class components Reassure newcomers Organize final equipment, music and microphone


A proper cycling warm-up is very important and there are many benefits to warming up including:

Gradual stimulation and wake up for the cardio respiratory system, neuromuscular system and the

metabolic energy pathways Smooth transition from inactivity to vigorous activity: the focus of the warm up should prepare the body for

the increasing demands of the up-coming workout Gradual increase body temperature, heart rate, stroke volume, blood flow, cardiac output & breathing rate

Decreased risk of acute injuries to soft tissues

Mental wake up and preparation for the ride ahead

To get started, have your students pedal at a comfortable pace to increase their core temperature. This is a great time to focus on your students’ form and to review all the elements that go into perfect posture. Remind each student to have their water bottle and towel ready to go and discuss how to properly use the resistance dial/braking system. Although it is not required, upper body movements are nice way to transition into the ride. Here are a few to try:

EXAMPLE - Upper Body Movements during the Warm Up

  • 1. Sit on your saddle pedaling comfortably with your hands at your sides. Take a deep breath and bring your arms

up over your head. Exhale, and lower your arms back to your sides. Circle the arms in front and behind the body.

  • 2. Place your hands on your hips and turn your head slowly from side to side, bringing your chin parallel with each

of your shoulders. Continue to cycle.

  • 3. Next, gently stretch your neck by looking over your shoulder and then dropping the nose down. Hold then repeat

on the other side.

  • 4. Shrug your shoulders up toward your ears. Then let your shoulders drop back to where they were. Repeat.

  • 5. Windmill your shoulders and arms in a circular motion by bringing them forward, up, back and down. Windmill

forward, then reverse directions and repeat.

  • 6. Stretch both of your arms in front of you, palms facing your chest. Interlock your fingers and round your upper

back. You should feel a stretch in your upper back.

  • 7. Interlock your fingers behind your back. Lift your hands back and up. You should feel a stretch in your upper

chest and the front of your shoulders. Lift your arms as high as you comfortably can without leaning forward.


The bulk of the workout follows the warm up. Depending on how long your class is will determine the number of

drills that are used in the workout. We will review a number and variety of DRILLS during today’s training session.


Often the post cardio cool down is overlooked, even though it is extremely important. The post cardio cool down:

Allows heart rate to slow down gradually, promotes good circulation while preventing blood pooling in the lower

extremities Decreases risk of dizziness and ensures gradual return to normal body temperature

Provides a smooth transition into the stretching segment at the end of the class


Flexibility training (stretching) is a key component in attaining a fit, healthy, balanced body. Flexibility is defined as the range of motion (R.O.M.) available around the joint. Movement around a healthy joint should be confined only

to the joint’s functional R.O.M.

There are a number of ways to improve flexibility including:

Static Stretching: Controlled and sustained stretching.

Ballistic Stretching: Rapid or dynamic short duration stretches which use momentum.

Active Stretching: Voluntary or unassisted stretching – uses the strength and muscular contraction of the

agonist muscle. Passive Stretching: Using and outside force or gravity to increase the stretch.

PNF Stretching: Works by putting the targeted muscle on stretch then generating a maximal force in the muscle being stretched.

In the Keiser Performance Cycling program, it is recommended that you perform either static or dynamic stretching. All stretches should be taught off the bike. Demonstrate that your bike is a prop for stretching only. Never place your legs up on the handlebars because less flexible student s may try to copy you and could potentially injure themselves.

Some of the key muscle groups that should be stretched after a cycling workout include:



Hip Flexors

Gluteal Muscles

Gastrocnemius and Soleus Abductors Pectorals

Low Back

It is perfectly safe to include static stretches post workout, but research has also demonstrated that static stretching does not necessarily translate to improved dynamic flexibility. Dynamic stretching utilizes your opposing muscle group (antagonist) to functionally stretch its agonist. For example, some of the dynamic stretches integrated into the Keiser Performance Cycling program include slow, controlled hamstring, quadriceps, and calf movements. These dynamic movements have been shown to improve flexibility.

EXAMPLE - Dynamic Stretching Post Cool Down

Hamstrings: Stand and bend slightly at your waist. Place your hands on the handlebars of your Keiser cycle and bend your left thigh while you extend your right leg placing your right foot on the chainstay of your bike. Drop your hips back and lean your chest toward your right knee until you feel a light stretch in your hamstrings. Contract your hamstrings for three seconds by pressing your right heel into the floor. Relax and stretch a little bit further by drawing your hips back. Contract your thigh muscles (quadriceps) for three seconds. Relax and stretch your hamstrings a little bit further. Hold for three seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

HIP FLEXORS: Take a step forward as if you are about to perform a lunge. Hold that position as you tilt your pelvis forward (anteriorly) so you feel a stretch in your hip flexor (iliopsoas). Contract your hip flexor for three seconds. Relax and stretch your hip flexor. Contract your gluteal muscles by pressing your heel into the floor for three seconds. Relax and stretch your hip flexor a bit further. Stop when you feel tension. Hold for three seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

GASTROCNEMIUS: To stretch your calf muscles (gastrocnemius) assume your lunge position. Keep your back heel on the floor as you lean into your lunge with your back leg almost completely straight. You will feel the stretch in the back of your lower leg. Contract your calf muscle for three seconds by pressing the ball of your foot into the floor. Relax and stretch your calf muscles a bit further. Contract your shin muscles (tibialis anterior) by lifting your toes toward the ceiling. Hold for three seconds. Relax and stretch your calf muscles a bit further. Stop when you feel tension. Hold for three seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

SOLEUS: To stretch the muscle underneath your calf called your soleus assume your lunge position.

This time,

instead of holding your back leg straight, bend it until you feel a stretch in your lower leg.

Stop when you feel

tension. Now contract your soleus by keeping your knee bent and pressing the ball of your foot into the floor for

three seconds. Relax and stretch your soleus a bit further. Contract your shin muscles (tibialis anterior) by lifting

your toes toward the ceiling. Hold for three seconds. Relax and stretch your soleus until you feel tension. Hold for three seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

QUADRICEPS: Hold onto your Keiser cycle handlebars for balance with your left hand and bend your right knee so that you almost kick yourself in the butt. Grab the top of your right foot with your right hand. Gently pull your heel toward your butt with your right hand. Stop when you feel tension. Contract your quadriceps muscle for three seconds. Relax. Stretch your quads a little further. Contract your hamstrings for three seconds. Relax and stretch you quads until you feel tension. Hold for three seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

ABDUCTORS: Stand sideways next to your bike. Place your left hand on the bike. Slowly lean your left hip toward the bike until you feel tension in your left hip (abductors). Contract your abductors for three seconds. Relax and stretch your abductors. Contract your adductors for three seconds. Relax. Stretch your abductors by leaning a little closer to the bike. Hold for three seconds. This is a stretch for your abductors and iliotibial band. Switch sides and repeat.

PIRIFORMIS: Stand next to your cycle, and hold onto the handlebars for balance. Place your right ankle across your left knee in a “figure 4” position. Contract your hips and butt (gluteals) for three seconds. Relax. Exhale and stretch your gluteals a bit further by bringing your right foot toward your chest. Now contract your muscles on your inner thigh (adductors). Relax and see if you can bring your foot closer to your chest. Stop when you feel tension. Hold for three seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

Some Stretching Tips:

  • 1. Maintain a neutral spine and keep your abdominals contracted.

  • 2. Lead with your chest, not with your head, when you stretch.

  • 3. If you lose your form on your stretch, don’t try to push any further.

  • 4. Stretch when the body is warm. Hold static stretches for a minimum of 15 seconds.

  • 5. Never hold your breath on your stretches.

  • 6. Breathe from your diaphragm throughout your entire stretching routine.

  • 7. Relax and breathe into your muscles during each stretch.


Becoming a great instructor is more than putting together a good workout. A good instructor is able to connect with

his or her students, both visually and verbally, and is able to motivate and inspire them through effective communication. Communication skills are necessary in any human interaction. A good instructor must be able to:

Explain the execution of a new or more advanced technical skill

Anticipate the next move and communicate it to his or her students

Provide visualization for different cycling scenarios

Encourage the group to maintain their concentration and work intensity

To set and teach different riding rhythms and cycling drills


  • 1. Communication is a dynamic two-way process. Not only do we transmit messages, we receive and interpret

them. We know our students have processed information correctly by watching their actions.

  • 2. Communication is received through verbal and non-verbal messages. Facial expressions convey a majority of

our messages and over 70% of communication is visual. It’s not what you say, but how you look.

  • 3. Communication is composed of content, motivation and emotion. Content refers to messages, motivation refers

to a stimulus & emotion refers to sensations that are felt when transmitting or receiving the content of the message.

A Keiser Performance Cycling Instructor…

A good Keiser Performance Cycling instructor can make a big difference to student’s progress. The popularity of indoor cycling means students have a choice in instructors. Take advantage of that and be your best! Try to be:

Motivating: The Albert Einstein of exercise physiology won’t help a student reach their fitness goals unless he

is also the Richard Simmons of motivation. Human: You might think your students will benefit from the Sergeant Carter drill approach at first, but a

commandant style wears thin after about a week. Be empathetic, genuine and warm. A Good Communicator and Teacher: If you have a dictator or my-way-or-the-highway persona, you won’t be successful. Listen to your students’ goals and effectively teach and inspire them to reach them.

Important Qualities of a Good Keiser Performance Cycling Instructor:

Is able to see and make regular eye contact with every participant in class.

Spends time prior to the class helping students get set up properly on their indoor cycles.

Checks student’s bikes to make sure the handlebars, seat post pop-pins and fore/aft quick release levers are

securely engaged. Encourages beginner students to progress gradually to minimize soreness and help prevent injury.

Monitor’s student's heart rates and/or perceived exertion periodically throughout the workout.

Encourages students to drink water throughout the workout and bring a workout towel to class.

Is a good role model and a good motivator.

Can demonstrate exemplary form for each drill.

Provides students with on-going explanations and positive feedback throughout the workout.

Is not afraid to get off the bike throughout the class to correct form or answer questions during a class.

Is concerned with the students’ workout, not his or her own workout.

Adjusts the workout intensity according to the needs and response of the class.

Shows students how to pedal to the slow, medium, or fast depending on the student’s level.

Reminds students to never stop suddenly, or stand up to stop without using the resistance dial/brake. If their

foot should happen to slip out of the pedal, tell the student to immediately move their foot to the side away from the pedals and apply full tension to the brake. Ensures that all students have completed a health risk appraisal questionnaire prior to working out.

Never let your students pedal backward - - it is hard for them to get their legs out of the way if their foot comes out of the pedal and it loosens the pedal cranks.


Practice Teaching

Before you meet your first class, spend time mentally and physically preparing to be the best teacher you can be. Keep your classes fun. Select music that is going to motivate you and your students and keep them coming back. It is not a great idea to perform multitudes of complicated, choreographed drills within each Keiser Performance Cycling workout. Instead, master a few basic drills during each session. That wa y, it will be easier for your students to focus on their training rather than trying to perform intricate combinations. Create a template for your workout and bring it to your class. Once you become more confident in your workouts, you will no longer need to rely so heavily on the template. You may even want to get together with other instructors and teach to each other. It is also a good idea to attend other instructors cycling classes. Watch what they do and pick up ideas from their workouts. The more experience you have both as a participant and as an instructor, the better your classes will be.



Knowing how hard to pedal and work is important. Sometimes your students pedal too vigorously and discover they are overtraining. But if they don’t pedal fast or hard enough, they may not achieve their fitness and performance goals. This section discusses training zones, rating of perceived exertion, maximum heart rates, and program individualization in order to achieve maximum results.

If your students are cycling in their target heart rate zone, their exercise is aerobic. Your blood delivers a continuous supply of oxygen to your working muscles. Pedaling at a constant pace for ten minutes as in a long hill climb is an example of aerobic exercise. To find your steady state, pedal at a constant speed. You might be huffing and puffing a little, but you should not feel a lactic acid burn and you should be able to carry on a conversation. Oxygen is your energy source and you can pedal for longer periods of time in your steady state.

There are a number of positive training effects of Keiser Performance Cycling including:

A decrease in resting heart rate with improved fitness

A fitter heart with an improved stroke volume (the heart’s ability to eject more blood through the body with each

beat) An increase in energy level

The ability to work longer and harder without fatigue


When starting to organize your workouts, it is important that you understand how your students’ bodies adapt and relate to the training drills that you are teaching. Before we get into specifics let’s discuss heart rate training.

You’ve Got the Beat

Where should the heart rate be when you are exercising? Most serious athlete owns a heart rate monitor—to monitor performance goals and workouts. Heart rate monitoring is an important part of training. A heart rate monitor serves as a guide to make sure your students train according to the demands of their indoor cycling workout in conjunction with their target heart rate. Generally, a heart rate monitor is more accurate than taking your pulse from the neck or wrist. Although it is beneficial to use a heart rate monitor, it is not a requirement in the Keiser Performance Cycling program. Finding your pulse and counting it manually will still give you a solid measure.

Heart Rates (HR)

Once your students determine their resting heart rate and training heart rate, it will be easy to discover if they are working out too hard or too easy. After a few months of training, they will be amazed that they will probably be able to estimate their heart rate within a couple of beats. For example during your warm up, your heart rate may be around 100 beats per minute. But when you accelerate into a Speed Play Drill, you will perceive that you are exerting more energy, and you are. Your training heart rate will correlate quite closely with how you feel.

Resting Heart Rate (RHR)

The measure of resting heart rate is when your body’s heart rate at rest or when your pulse rate is taken

approximately one hour before your normal waking time. RHR is a good measure of fitness and health levels. Three ways to determine resting heart rate are:


Have someone gently wake your student and then take their pulse one-hour before their normal waking hour.

Count the pulse for one whole minute.

  • 2. In the evening, tell your student to lie down in a supine position with some calming music and just allow his or her

body to relax without any distractions. Breathe comfortably for about 20-30 minutes. Count the pulse for one minute.

  • 3. Wear a heart rate monitor to sleep and glance at it just as the student is starting to wake. Record this number for

seven days in a row. Add them together, and divide by seven. This will give your student a true average of their resting heart rate.

If your students regularly record their RHR and notice that their numbers are increasing by 10%, it means they are overtraining or overstressed. If you notice this happening, tell your student to take the day off and train very light and easy for a couple of days until their RHR gets back to their normal average.

On the flip side, if they notice their RHR dropping slightly, that is one indication that their cardiovascular fitness level is improving. When this happens, the heart has to beat fewer times within each minute to sustain normal body functions.

Determining Estimated Maximum Heart Rate

Whatever your students’ fitness goal, it is important for them to establish their estimated maximal heart rate (MHR) first. Most of us are familiar with the formula 220-age to establish estimated maximum heart rate. In fact, there are hundreds of different formulas that can be used to determine estimated maximum heart rate. One of the formulas you and your students may wish to try is the following:


210 minus 1/2 your age minus 5% of your body weight

= Estimated MHR


210 minus 1/2 your age minus 5% of your body weight + 4

= Estimated MHR

Once your students have figured out their estimated maximum heart rate, they can use percentages of that number to determine where they would like their HR to be while they work out. Remember that their fitness level determines what percentage level of heart rate they will be working at. For example, if they want to work at an endurance or aerobic training level (steady state exercise), they would take 65-75 percent of their maximal heart rate to determine

what intensity level they would like to achieve. The per centage of heart rate determines their level of intensity, which then becomes an excellent fitness guide. How exercise feels and actual heart rate correlates very closely.

Your genes account for about 50 percent of your maximum heart rate. Smaller hearts beat faster than larger ones. In general, the more fit you are, the stronger your heartbeat and the more blood you pump with each beat. The better shape you are in, the stronger your heart beats.

The beauty of your heart is that it’s self-regulating. You don’t have to do a thing, yet it keeps beating to its own drummer. However, “psychological, environmental and physiological factors affect your heart rate”, says Sally Edwards, who is a member of the Triathlon Hall of Fame and the author of 12 books. For example if you are tired, on medication, under stress, at high altitude, or in high humidity, your heart rate may change. When you tie your tennis shoes, your heart rate increases. Just by anticipating a workout, your heart rate can increase as much as 100 percent.

Maximum Heart Rate (Max HR)

Determining maximum heart rate is a measure of the number of times your heart can contract at any given minute.

There are two ways to determine Max HR without using an estimated MaxHR formula:


After warming up, perform a long hill sprint or series of hill sprints. Give all-out, extreme effort until your heart

rate reading no longer rises and you approach exhaustion. The final number is your maximum heart rate.

Obviously a heart rate monitor must be used and supervision by a medical professional should be observed.

This method is definitely “not recommended for beginners or sedentary individuals”, suggests Sally Edwards,

author of The Heart Rate Monitor Book.

  • 2. The other method to determine MaxHR is through a maximum Stress Test performed by a physician in a clinical setting. A maximum stress test requires you to walk on a treadmill while a doctor measures all of your vital signs. The walk turns into a jog and then into a run as the treadmill speeds up and the grade increases. As the test continues, you can barely breathe and you are running as quickly as you can. The doctor continues to ask if you “are you okay” and you nod yes as you push yourself to your limit. At the moment you have reached your limit and can no longer continue, you have achieved your maximum heart rate. Clinical assistants help you safely off the treadmill.

Recovery Heart Rate

Recovery heart rate is typically determined by taking it two minutes after the cardio portion of the workout is

finished. Students can find their recovery heart rate by taking their pulse for 60 seconds. The main difference

between recovery heart rate and resting heart rate is that the recovery measure is taken after exercise. Regularly

recording recovery heart rates is another method of determining cardiovascular fitness. The quicker the number

drops the better. It terms of a continuous workout, the faster that heart rate drops, the sooner your students can

perform another drill or interval set on the bike.

Training Zones

In Keiser Performance Cycling there are two training zones that we work in:

Start up or recovery training zone at 50-70% of estimated maximum heart rate

Improved fitness or higher caloric expenditure zone at 70-90% of estimated maximum heart rate

When your students understand their training zones, they can increase or decrease their workload accordingly. For

example, if their recovery-training zone is calculated at 80 to 100 beats per minute and their actual heart rate is 120,

they need to decrease their intensity. If their improved fitness zone is 140 to 170 beats per minute and their heart

rate is at 130 beats per minute, they should increase their workload by pedaling faster and/or with more resistance.

  • a. The start-up or recovery training zone formula at 50-70% of estimated maximum heart rate

Determine the start-up or recovery training zone by using this formula:





x .50 = _____


end figure

x .70 = _____


end figure

  • b. The working zone or higher caloric expenditure zone formula at 70-90% of estimated maximum heart rate

Determine the working or high caloric zone by using this formula:





x .70 = _____


end figure

x .90 = _____


end figure

The Inactive Individual: When an inactive or sedentar y individual starts exercising, recommend that they stay in

the lower training zone for the first two weeks of training, taking part in two to three workouts per week for a

maximum of 20 minutes. This allows for an easy break-in period that will help ward off excessive seat soreness.

They may progress on to the next level as they feel comfortable or as prescribed by their doctor or certified fitness


The Active Individual: If your students have been exercising regularly for a minimum of two times a week, and

lead active lifestyles it is recommended that they start out Keiser Performance Cycling two to three times a week for

a maximum of 30-40 minutes. They can feel free to spend 60-80 percent of their workout in the higher training zone.

A good rule of thumb is if they perform a couple of drills in their higher zone, they should intersperse it with a drill in

the lower zone to help recover; especially if the two higher zone drills were performed at or above anaerobic


The advantages of a Heart Rate Monitoring include:

Motivation - like a coach, it brings objectivity to a training program.

Biofeedback – teaches beginners to read their bodies.

Analysis – to design a personalized training program.

Spots Overtraining – heart rate that is ten percent higher than normal upon awakening may be the result of


The disadvantages of a Heart Rate Monitoring:

Inconsistency - at the same heart rate, you may not always be putting out the same effort.

Lag time – there is a 15 to 30 second lag time between exertion changes.

Because Keiser Performance Cycling is such a high intensity workout, remember to remind your students to take a

day off in-between cycling workouts to do some other type of cross-training activity such as weight training. This

provides your body and mind with a rest.


Although heart rate monitoring is an effective way to measur e the physiological response to exercise, there are also

other ways to gauge your student’s intensity. One of the more common methods to evaluate effort performance is

Rate of Perceived Exertion or RPE. Although this method doesn’t actually tell us the rate of fatigue, it does provide

us with the rate of tiredness perceived by an individual when he/she is involved in determined effort. RPE is a

subjective measure; however, studies have shown that it does correlate very highly with an individual’s

physiological response.

Borg’s RPE Scale

The Borg Scale is a very well known method for determining RPE. The scale is related to indicators of exercise

intensity such as heart rate, breathing rate, concentration of lactic acid and workload. Some authors have also

found a certain relationship between psychological factors and perceived exertion. For example, if an individual is

feeling anxious or upset, they may perceive their fatigue level to be higher and over estimate their RPE; while the

opposite may be true for happy and relaxed individuals who underestimate their level. Ideally, RPE should be

between moderate to somewhat hard/hard during the intense training phases of the workout. The best person to

monitor RPE is your students. Ask them on a regular basis how they are feeling and where they would rate

themselves on the RPE scale. As a student becomes fitter, they will evaluate their RPE at a lower lever, at the

same intensity of exercise. This is a positive sign that there has been a training effect.

When using the RPE Scale in Ke iser Performance Cycling classes, it is important to review both the scale and the

coordinating descriptors. A better understanding of the scale will ensure more accurate responses by your

student’s. During your workouts, it’s important to check in with your students on a regular basis. Ask them how

hard (or easy) they perceive they are working and challenge them to increase their intensity if necessary or to slow

down if they are working too hard.

Borg’s Scale for the Evaluation of Rating of Perceived Exertion - RPE


No exertion at all


Extremely light



Very light






Somewhat hard



Hard (heavy)



Very hard



Extremely hard


Maximal exertion

Borg’s Modified Scale of Rating of Perceived Exertion - RPE

Because it can sometimes be challengin g to determine, for example, what level 9 is on a 20 point scale, a modified

scale of 0-10 was created and can be used.

The verbal descriptors of the modified scale were changed slightly to

reflect American English, i.e. easy versus light.


No exertion at all


Very, very easy






Somewhat hard





Very hard




Maximal exertion

Tip on Manageable Segments

When things get tough in your indoor cycling workouts, tell your students to break their effort down into manageable segments suggests Adam Bean, editor of Runners World magazine. During the Race Across America (RAAM) everything hurt – my hands, feet, butt; any body part that made contact with the bike. I chose a point in the distance and said to myself, “I’m goin g to cycle hard until I reach that spot.” Then I picked another point and cycled hard to that one. Sometimes it required pedaling vigorously through an entire state. I made better time this way, and it was a lot more fun then trying to swallow the entire

country in a single bite. Tom Seabourne, Ph.D.



One important and unique characteristic of Keiser Performance Cycling is being able to modify intensity. Each

individual has their own unique goal for being in your class and they should cycle at a pace that feels the most

manageable for them. It is not how hard they cycle, but how much they benefit from the workout and the enjoyment

they gain from the experience. Do not let your students compare their intensity to one another. If someone else can

do a standing climb with heavy resistance and they can only manage a sitting climb with moderate resistance, it’s

okay. Individualize the workout to meet the needs of your students. There are a variety of ways to modify intensity.


Change Posture

The first way to heighten or reduce intensity is to change your students’ posture.

Moving the body from an upright position to a more aerodynamic body position forces the hamstrings into a

lengthened state. Thus, transitioning from a shorter more relaxed state (i.e. basic position) to a more

aggressive position where the hamstring muscles are contracted intens ifies the workout. An aerodynamic

position is also more difficult because the participant must have flexibility and torso strength in order to hold the

position properly.

When standing, the entire body weight is put into the pedals which require more muscle fibers to activate,

thereby making the intensity increase. Have your students experiment with different body positions and they will

quickly discover which ones really challenge their muscles!

Research demonstrates that posture breaks do not significantly diminish intensity.


Slow Down or Speed Up

The second way to alter intensity is to speed up or slow down your pedal speed.

Adding more speed to the pedal stroke will increase the intensity of cycling drills.

Always make sure students are in control if they speed up; avoid pedaling faster than 110 RPM’s.


Adding or Decreasing Resistance

Changing resistance is another way to change intensity, but it is not a constant variable. Decreasing resistance

doesn’t always mean you will decrease intensity.

In a standing climb, the use of medium resistance is going to provide a consistent comfort zone while

performing at a comfortable cadence. If you decrease resistance when standing, you will have to speed up your

pedal stroke, which increases intensity.

Adding resistance beyond a medium level when sitting or standing will also increase the workload and increase



Mindful Focus and Breathing Drills

The fourth way to modify intensity is through mindful focus or breathing drills.

When the mind is focused on an exciting thought (i.e. winning a race) the body is stimulated into an arousal

state which will help to increase intensity slightly.

Proper breathing used for recovery can help decrease intensity.

The goal is to focus on a long exhalation

through the mouth and a quicker inhalation through the nose. This type of relaxing breathing helps to calm

down the body by delivering more oxygen to the working muscles.



Keeping a participant injury-free begins with proper bike set up and class instruction. Be vigilant about proper bike

set up and safe cycling practices.


As a fitness professional, it is beyond your scope of practice to diagnose or treat injuries. Soft tissue injuries may

be treated using the R.I.C.E. method. The R.I.C.E. method helps control pain and swelling and lessens the side

effects of an injury. R.I.C.E. means rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Severe or persistent pain and continued

swelling means it's time to seek medical attention.

Avoiding Saddle Discomfort

The number one complaint cycling students have is a sore butt. To avoid sore gluts, suggest that students:

Wear padded cycling shorts or use a gel seat cover.

Check the position of the gluts on the saddle. The S.I.T.S. bones should make contact with the rear portion of

the seat. Riding too far forward will cause the center part of the saddle to press against the soft tissues.

Gradually ease into cycling workouts i.e. begin with a maximum of 10 minutes in the saddle and increase the

duration weekly.

Avoiding Knee Pain

In a cycling workout, the joints that are most affected by cycling mechanics are the hip, knee and ankle joint. The

most frequent joint discomfort in cycling emanates from the knee. Knee pain must be addressed immediately to

prevent further injury. All knee related injuries and treatments should be under the care of a physician.

Pain on the outside of your student’s knee during their pedal stroke may be aggravated by friction on their

iliotibial (IT) band. The IT band is a long, fibrous tendi nous sheath located on the outside of the leg. It extends

from the hip past the knee. Lowering your student’s seat, stretching, anti-inflammatories (as directed by a

physician) and ice may help alleviate IT band syndrome.

Pain behind your student’s kneecap could be chondromalacia, a progressive softening of your patellar cartilage.

Cartilage is the cushion between the bones. Pedaling lighter gears and raising the seat a little may help.

Strengthening the quadriceps muscle on the inside of the knee (vastus medialis) may also be beneficial.

If your students pedal with heavy resistance or neglect to warm up properly, they may find themselves suffering

from a severe case of patellar tendinitis. The patellar tendon is soft tissue just below the kneecap. Instead of

hammering heavy resistance, tell your students to pedal faster with less resistance. They may also want to ice

their patellar tendon for five minutes, massage it for five minutes, and then repeat the sequence.

Pain on the back of the medial (inside) of the knees may be caused by friction of three muscles rubbing

together - sartorius, gracilis, and semitendinosus. Friction causes inflammation. Rest, ice and lowering your

students seat a notch may help.

Quick Fix for Knee Pain: If the pain is in the front of the knee, raise the seat a notch. If the pain is in the back of the

knee, try lowering the seat.

Avoiding Pain from the Neck Down…

Neck pain worsens when your students round their back and slump their shoulders. Cue to retract the shoulder

blades and stretch the neck often during the ride.

Lower back pain can get severe when your students tuck their hips under their pelvis and have poor posture.

Maintain neutral spine throughout the ride.

Wrist or forearm pain may be caused by not maintaining a proper line between the forearm, wrist, and hand.

Avoid breaking at the wrist and holding onto the handlebars too tight.

Chronic knee pain may be caused by incorrect seat height, heavy resistance on the dial, poor foot positioning,

or inappropriate riding style. Adjust as necessary.

Foot pain may be caused by tight shoes, tight cage straps, or excessive and/or unrelenting pressure from the

ball of their foot on the pedal.

Foot cramping can also occur when student’s pedal with their feet too far inside the cages or grip with their toes

when they ride. Keep the ball of the foot over the pedal and relax the toes.

Stiff soled shoes will help protect against plantar fascia and Achilles tendon injury.

Cue your students to pedal in a continuous circle. If they stop and start, or press to one side or the other they

are placing unnecessary stress on their joints.

Changes in the frequency, intensity, duration of training, or seat height may cause muscle and tendon strains.

To prevent numbness and impotence in men, the nose of the saddle should be parallel to the floor.

Prevent saddle sores by reminding your students to wash their cycling shorts after each workout.

Wearing breathable clothing is important for maximum cooling efficiency.

If a student begins to feel faint or dizzy, they should gradually stop pedaling, carefully dismount from the bike

and ask for help.

Remember, pain is a signal that something is wrong. A physician referral is mandatory.

Unsafe Cycling Techniques

There are certain movements that should never be taught or performed in a Keiser Performance Indoor Cycling

class. Incorrect positions are potentially dangerous and injury causing.


Cycling backwards

Cycling with no hands (other than in the warm up, cool down and while drinking water)

Cycling with the saddle removed

Cycling with one foot out of the cage

Cycling off the back of the bike (behind the seat)

Cycling with extremely heavy resistance causing minimal rotation

Cycling down low in the space between the handlebar and seat

Cycling from a low to high position with quick transitions

Stretching on the cycle

Cycling with all the weight over the handlebars

Resting the entire body on the front handlebars

Placing the hands in a reverse position on the handlebars



Pedaling is more than just turning little circles with your feet. It is important to be relaxed and focused on your bike.

This section will explain how to personalize your student’s program to pedal according to their needs, and the goals

that you design for each Keiser Performance Cycling workout.

You will teach your students to breathe correctly, and focus on the proper cues for exemplary riding. You will

demonstrate techniques and strategies to help your students talk to themselves effectively, visualize their pedal

stroke, and associate with their muscles. When their endorphins kick in, there will be no stopping them.

The following section includes explanations and cues to use in your classes:


Mindfulness is simply concentrating on exactly what you are doing, when you are doing it. Can you pedal and think

of nothing else other than your pedal stroke? Most of us find it difficult to do so due to external and internal factors

such as personal stress or external noise. Keiser Performance Cycling is an excellent way to simulate the stressors

your students face every day and the relaxation they need. For example, a sprint stresses your student’s body,

while pedaling easy produces profound relaxation. Special mind-body Keiser Performance Cycling drills allow your

students to experience a continuum of extremes in a controlled setting.

Pedaling for twenty minutes reduces stress, but Keiser Performance Cycling goes a step further. Mind-body

strategies such as imagery and association provide your students with mindfulness both on and off the bike.

Mindfulness is meaningful to relaxing; when your student claims there is no time to relax, that is when they need

relaxation the most. Start by teaching the relaxation techniques in the following section. Do these strategies on the

bike, then take the deep breathing and tension-releasing exercises and use them to help alleviate the stressors

your students face off the bike.

What is Mind-Body Fitness?

Relaxing On Your Bike

Relax before, during, and after your ride. Warming up and cooling down require a relaxed demeanor, but it is also

important to enjoy muscle relaxation throughout the workout. Not so relaxed that the diaphragm is collapsed, but

the kind of relaxation that allows you to be alert and focused with each pedal stroke.

Psychological Strategies

Keiser Performance Cycling requires a narrow-internal focus of attention, as opposed to the broad-external focus a

football quarterback must possess. Ask your students to associate with their body by "feeling" every aspect of the

pedal stroke. Tell them to visualize fibers splitting and blood pumping to their quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals,

gastrocnemius, and soleus.

Mindfulness and Breathing Cues

“To combine mindfulness with deep breathing and pedaling, take deep breaths from your diaphragm with long

exhalations. Pedal to the beat of the music. Focus on your breath. When you breathe from your navel area, your

diaphragm is activated. This allows you to take deeper and longer breaths, using more of your lung capacity.

Double-time your pedal stroke. Sprint. Your breathing and heart rate increase. Breathe deeply from your diaphragm

so your stomach pouches out. Take in as much oxygen as possible. Imagine oxygen filled blood cells nourishing

your legs. Exhale automatically.”

Cueing Your Students to Relax

“Relax in the Seated Upright Position. Hold your abdominal muscles in, shoulders back and down, as your lower

back maintains a natural arch keeping you in a neutral spine position. Relax your entire body. Become especially

aware of upper body tension and let those muscles relax. Allow tension in any part of your body to be released. You

cannot force yourself to relax. Relaxation will happen if you clear your mind and glide through your pedal stroke.

When your legs relax, you will automatically pedal automatically more easily and efficiently. Now it's time to focus

on your breath. Pedal slowly and take deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through pursed lips.

Breathe from your diaphragm instead of your chest. To accomplish this, sit upright and perform a breathing drill.

Inhale from your nose taking five pedal strokes to expand your lungs. Focus on raising your diaphragm. Fill your

lower, central, and upper chest, in that order. Then take 10 pedal strokes to exhale through your mouth by lowering

your diaphragm.”

Personalizing Your Student’s Cadence

“Pedal and relax simultaneously. Your pedal stroke is your mantra. Each rhythmic revolution relaxes your mind and

body. Mindfulness is not hard or time consuming, but simply a matter of focusing on each pedal stroke. Let

distractions enter one ear and proceed out the other. Continue pedaling and breathing at your individual cadence.

Personalize it. The timing is yours, not the instructor's. Once you decide the level at which to perform, let nothing

distract or disturb you; just pedal and breathe. If thoughts or sounds interfere, notice them but let them go.”


Association and dissociation are ment al techniques which help your students to perform better on the bike.

Association is when you "feel" your muscles working. When you associate, for example, you focus on muscles firing

and blood rushing into your muscles. Dissociation is the opposite of association. Instead of concentrating on the

muscles that are working, you distract yourself. You can use music, drills, or simply daydream to pull yourself away

from discomfort. Pedal slowly. Gradually pick up your speed. You are not lethargic or agitated. Do not try. Trying

slows you down. Instead, provide a relaxed effort. Gauge your RPM’s.

“Breathing is your only interest. Sway from side to side with each pedal stroke. Stay on the beat. When your

attention disengages from your breathing, simply go back to focusing on your breath. Let your pedals follow the


Association Cues

“Monitor the mechanics of your sprint; keep your knees over your toes, piston--like. There is no mashing. Mashing

is when you press too hard on the pedals, sometimes leading to knee and hip problems. Add resistance. Stand. Pull

from your hamstrings on the upstroke. Your hamstrings are thick, strong cables. The lactic acid burn is intense”

While your student’s associate with their muscles, they will find random thoughts entering their minds in the form of

self-talk. Tell your students to talk to themselves nicely. Self-talk takes the form of positive affirmations such as

"pedaling fast is easy" - these self-verbalizations raise arousal levels. Although their activation level may increase,

tell them to keep their muscles relaxed. With relaxation comes speed and efficiency. Let your students notice if

upper body muscles are wasting precious energy.

Mental Imagery

A simple way to increase relaxation and pedal speed is to use mental imagery. Several studies suggest that when a

subject visualizes himself training, nervous impulses are sent down the proper neuromuscular pathways to

stimulate muscle fibers enhancing speed and performance.


"Close your eyes. Pedal smoothly and gently with light resistance on the dial. Place your right hand on your chest

and your left hand on your stomach. Breathe from your diaphragm. Breathe so that only your left hand moves. Like

an infant. No cares or worries. Just listen to your bike, the music, and my voice. Nothing to bother or disturb you.

Focus on the circular pattern of your pedal stroke. If any unwelcome thoughts enter your mind, let them flow in one

ear and out the other. Deeper and deeper relaxed.

Now, slowly open your eyes. Rest your hands in the overhand grip. Press your chest toward your handlebars in

slow motion, 1, 2, and 3, hold. Slowly bring your body back to an upright vertical position. Feel your triceps working.

Relax. Notice the difference between the tension and relaxation. Pedal to the beat of the music. Shrug your

shoulders toward your ears. Hold it, 1, 2, and 3, relax. Notice the difference between the tension and the relaxation.

Let your feet find the beat. Bring the palms of your hands together at chest level. Press tightly, 1, 2, and 3, relax.

Notice the difference between the tension and relaxation. Your knees are pistons, let them go.

Extend your right arm up as if raising your hand. Make a fist with your right hand. Imagine your right hand has been

encased in lead. It is growing heavier, and heavier, and heavier. It is getting so heavy that it is beginning to fall back

down toward your side. As it falls down toward your side, the muscles in your upper body are becoming more

relaxed. As they become more relaxed, your mind relaxes, and you find yourself more amenable to suggestions.

Allow the suggestions to provide you the best workout of your life. Thirty seconds. Sprint!

Now increase to heavy tension on the flywheel. Press the balls of your feet through the floor and focus on your

quadriceps. Feel the blood surging into your quads. Your muscles are burning and your fibers splitting. Take the

tension off and pedal easy. Notice the difference between the tension and the relaxation.

Now turn your dial to heavy tension and focus on the back of your legs as you imagine wiping gum off the bottom of

your shoes, pulling up on the pedals. You rarely get to work these muscles. Focus on your hamstrings. Feel them

lengthen through the full range of motion of your pedal stroke. Remove the tension and pedal easy. Notice the

difference between the tension and relaxation.

Let your hips settle back on your saddle. Click up to heavy tension and press forward from your heels as if

performing a leg press. Concentrate on your gluteals. Your glutes become rock-hard with each extension. Remove

the tension and pedal easy. Notice the difference between the tension and relaxation.

Resume the seated upright position and continue pedaling easy. Take a drink. Place your hands in the hook grip

and lengthen your spine by assuming the reverse basic riding position. Hold for 3 seconds, 1, 2, and 3, relax.”



The following section provides you with a number of cycling drills to use in your classes. Modify or change the drills

based on the needs of your students and your own creativity. For many of the specific riding drills, you will notice

that the recovery periods are fairly long due to the intensit y of the drill. However, this may not work for your group

so you may choose to cater the drill to better meet the needs of the workout. To use drills properly in a workout,

complete the following steps:

  • 1. Name the drill

  • 2. Explain the purpose of the drill

  • 3. Explain the perimeters of the drill

  • 4. Define the goal of the drill

  • 5. Implement the drill

  • 6. Allow for recovery time between drills


Interval training is changing your intensity throughout your workout—alternating between high-intensity speed

training and low-intensity recovery. Keiser Performance Cycling programs do just that. Interval training improves

both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Continuous, slow, distance training increases aerobic capacity only.

Steady the Course

It didn’t matter whether Tom Seabourne cycled in 12 or 24-hour races, his average speed always hovered around

20 miles per hour. In fact the February 1993 issue of Sports Illustrated reported that Seabourne set the 12-hour

record covering a distance of 229 miles and then he set the 24-hour record with exactly double the mileage – 458

miles. This is not surprising according to research published in the March 16 th , 2000 issue of Nature. Lead

researcher Sandra Savaglio from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD discovered that runners

who ran further than 1000 meters showed very little decline in their average speed no matter the distance.



The pyramid climb drill is designed to teach your students how to sustain longer, more challenging work intervals

along with fixed periods of rest. This drill has two unique qualities:

  • 1. The first work interval sets the timing for all of the recovery periods. If you choose 30 seconds as your first work

interval, all of the subsequent recovery periods will be 30 seconds.

  • 2. The first work interval also sets the amount of time you add on or subtract for the other work intervals. Therefore,

using the above example, your next work interval will be 60 seconds, then 90 seconds, etc. When you’re ready to

come down the pyramid, you’ll subtract 30 seconds from the last work interval.


The long hill sprint is performed by standing and climbing for the whole song either using a considerable amount of

tension and climbing slow, or by reducing the tension slightly and pedaling a little faster. Changing posture is

another way to vary the intensity of this drill. The training intensity is your students’ individual climbing lactate

threshold. It is critical that your student maintains this intensity for the length of the drill. Your students’ climbing

lactate threshold heart rate is slightly higher than his/her individual lactate threshold heart rate, while sitting because

climbing involves more muscles than riding on flat terrain. Since more muscles are being used, more blood is

required and heart rate must increase. Cadence for Long Hill Sprints should be 70-85 RPMs, but maintaining the

resistance is more important than cadence.


Now that you have an understanding of drills and how to modify the intensity of each of them, it is time try some

cycling specific rides. Cycling Speedwork is a workout program consisting mostly of racing drills. Following are

three examples of Speedwork Drills. Select music that is going to help motivate your students to finish each drill.

Have Fun!

Cycling Speedwork drills simulate actually racing on your outdoor bike. You can also use Cycling Speedwork drills

to enhance your outdoor performance. You might pretend you are in a lead pack being chased. Or, you can use

speed bursts to increase your aerobic power. Competitive outdoor cyclists find Cycling Speedwork drills very

valuable cross-training tools to enhance their racing performance.

Cycling Speedwork drills can help you build your speed and power whether you are a Level 1, 2, or 3 cyclist.

Always begin with a warm up and finish with a cool down. Progress gradually, week to week, until you can slowly

begin to lengthen your work intervals, and shorten your rest periods. If you are a road racer, use imagery to

visualize breaks, sprints, and hill climbs. Although Cycling Speedwork does not require music, a hard, driving beat

may increase arousal and performance.


Pedal cadence should be low. Try a 70-75 RPM range with enough resistance on your students’ dial to remain just

below anaerobic threshold. Ask your students to remain in the saddle as they add resistance during your tempo

workouts to help strengthen their muscles. When they are pedaling at just below anaerobic threshold ask them to

hold this intensity for the duration of the drill. Have them ride the entire length of the tempo workout without

interruption. You can do Tempo Training to a three-minute song and then recover between songs and begin again.

The duration of Tempo Training depends on your students perceived exertion.


The goal of this workout is to add power to your student’s pedal stroke. To begin, have them pedal at a slow

cadence with light resistance on the dial. Cue them to “jump” onto the pedals, out of the saddle, driving the pedals

down as hard as possible. Ask them to move their bodies over each pedal as they drive them downward. The Quick

Start should not last longer than ten pedal strokes or ten seconds. Pedal for a three-minute song at an easy pace

between each Power Start interval.


Short sub maximal speed accelerations to get the beginner acquainted with the use of faster speeds.


Random work and recovery intervals or interval training without a system. You decide how hard to work your

students, and you control their intensity based on how they feel. Speedplay is more creative than timed intervals

and it’s a great change of pace from a prescribed program. Just watch your students and train them according to

how they look and feel.


Work interval and recovery intervals progressively increase in length – progressing up through the energy systems.

Example: 30 seconds on/30 off – 45 seconds on/ 45

off. . .

3 minutes on/ 3 off.


To increase your student’s aerobic power you want them to pedal at a steady state just below their anaerobic

threshold. This drill requires a heart rate monitor or perceived exertion scale. Cue your students to pedal hills,

sprints, or against a simulated wind by increasing their resistance and cadence so they are training on the edge of

their anaerobic threshold. Ask them to try and maintain their intensity for the entire drill. The duration of the drill

depends on your student’s perceived exertion.


Sprints develop your students’ cycling s peed. Sprinting improves the effectiveness of their fast-twitch muscle fibers

and improves their ability to use the high-energy ATP stored in their muscle tissues. Always have your students

perform sprints at close to100 percent maximum effort. Sprints should be 10-12 seconds in duration. Full recovery

between sprints is very important to allow for rebuilding of ATP in the muscles. Normally, three minutes allows for

enough recovery before adding another sprint to your workout. Use moderate tension on your dial during Sprints.


This workout simulates the acceleration demands through the various power output levels that occur in races. By

increasing your resistance for each sprint, you are also gaining greater power output. Your students will do three

sprints in one set followed by three minutes of recovery between each sprint and three minutes of easy pedaling

between each set. Each sprint in the set should be fifteen seconds in length. Plan on doing three sets.

FIRST SPRINT – Cue your students to start off with light resistance on the dial. Then tell them to add five-

percent resistance and jump out of the saddle. Have them return to the saddle and pedal at this new, harder

resistance. Tell them to keep their upper body smooth--their hips shouldn't rock, and cue them to keep their

heads up as they drive to the end of their sprint.

SECOND SPRINT – This is the same as on your first sprint except you tell your students to add five-percent

more resistance.

THIRD SPRINT – This is the same as the second sprint except you continue to add another five-percent to the

resistance that is already on the dial.


Create a race, moment by moment for your students. The race begins and ends in the mind. Be as descriptive as

possible. Let an imaginary gun go off and – “Sprint to the front of the pack. Rest for a few moments, and then attack

your first hill by adding heavy resistance to the dial. Sprint down the other side of the hill with light resistance and

then push steadily into a headwind with moderate resistance on your dial. Assume your sitting aerodynamic riding

position and make a break. Shift into a heavy gear allowing you to stand in an aerodynamic riding position. Hold

that position as you power away from the pack. You are way ahead so you sit upright and take a drink. Cruise

comfortably in your sitting position holding your lead. Push them, and then back off.” When your students cross the

imaginary finish line have them raise their arms in victory. Then cool down and stretch.


An all out effort for a given period of time. Example: trying to cover 5 miles in the shortest time possible. The work

effort remains the same throughout the entire period. Goal: Increase anaerobic threshold.



From seated riding, while maintaining a low-moderate resistance, the participant increases their cadence a small

percentage at a time. Example: Set a tempo and gradually increase leg speed 10% and hold the new cadence,

again increase 10% and hold the new cadence

. . .

Another Cue would be to increase 5-10 RPM’s at regular

intervals (every minute). Emphasis is on technique and skill acquisition. Good for beginners, work up to 5 minutes.

You may also ride decreases as a cool down or recovery.


The purpose of Dialing In is to increase your student’s cadence with perfect balance and control. Cue your students

to begin with light-moderate resistance on the dial. Ask your students to try not to touch the dial for the duration of

the drill. Next, they slowly work up their pedal speed to a cadence of about 80 RPM’s. While staying in the saddle,

have them increase their pedal speed and tell them to keep their hips smooth, with no rocking. Suggest they

concentrate on pulling through the bottom of the pedal stroke and over the top. After two minutes of Dialing In, they

should be maintaining about 90-100 RPM’s. Allow them to recover with a three-minute tune at an easy pace

between Dialing In intervals.


Gradual, controlled increases in cadence while riding at a moderately high constant resistance. After the increase

is maintained for a brief period of time, (less than 30 seconds), rather than recover, the rider returns to his/her pre-

surge pace. This is intended to push the rider from a high steady state, just over their threshold, and then bring

them back again to a high steady state. Surges may be done seated or standing.


A work interval, using progressive increases in resistance while maintaining a consistent fast cadence. Example:

hold a cadence and every minute increase the resistance. Continue for 4 minutes. Use full recovery before

beginning another set. Position on the saddle can be gradually moved backward as the resistance increases to

allow ease of pedaling, better leverage, and to provide power to the pedal stroke. Relax hips to promote full circular

and fluid movement with the foot on the pedal. Try not to drop RPM’s - think sprint to the finish!



Focus on only one movement at a time. First have the students concentrate on pushing forward (like riding a

recumbent bike), then pushing down, followed by scrapping the mud off of their shoes and pulling back, finally they

will pull up, bringing their knees ‘to the ceiling’. Gradually segment these four actions together until they are riding a

rounded off square and working toward circling.


While the students are seated, they focus on pushing down from 1-5 on the pedals (beginners will probably only

achieve 1-4). When they rise they change the focus to the upstroke.


The goal of Hammering is to increase muscular power in the saddle. Cue your students to begin pedaling at a

moderate resistance while seated. Then have them stay seated and begin HAMMERING on the pedals as hard as

possible! Tell them to concentrate on pulling through t he bottom of the pedal stroke and smoothly stomping down

during the down stroke. Tell your students to keep their upper body as still as possible and let their legs drive the

pedals. The “stomping on the pedals” should last 15-20 seconds, with at least 3 minutes recovery between efforts.

This is a muscular workout.


Better pedaling mechanics are developed with this drill. Yo ur students can expect increased power over top dead

center and through bottom dead center of the pedal stroke. This workout is best performed with the non-working leg

is just resting and unweighted on the pedal. The length of each interval is the amount of time spent pedaling per

leg. This workout should be performed with moderate resistance. Tell your students not to try to pedal too hard so

as not to risk injury. While pedaling, cue your students to visualize scraping mud off of their shoes at the bottom of

the pedal stroke. Over the top of the pedal stroke, tell them to push their pedal forward just before they reach top

dead center. Do 30-60 seconds of Power Leg pedaling per interval, and you can expect to perform three intervals

per leg before having a rest period of 3 minutes between sets.


Similar to power leg training however, the rider now works on using the down stroke of one leg, while

simultaneously focusing on pulling the opposite leg up. After a period of repetitions, change legs.



The use of regular increased resistance overload, beginning in the saddle with seated spinning, changing to seated

climbing, and moving to standing climbing. This progression can be reversed if desired. This is another variation

on slow cadence work, allowing the participants to try higher resistances for a short time, and to challenge

themselves to the level they select. An excellent drill for leg conditioning. Empower students to determine for

themselves when they need to rise out of the saddle.


Repeated intervals that have a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery. Example: Riding uphill for 1 minute followed by

downhill riding of 30 seconds. Remember that the majority of climbing work is done in the seated position. This

drill can be performed either seated the entire interval or interspersed with some standing work. The rider should

shift back in the saddle to promote a longer lever force in the pedal stroke, and the foot should be heel down to

provide more strength from the leg muscles. Hand position is wide. Place the resistance in a position to allow fluid

motion of the foot and leg. Change the hill intensity: easy up/easy down; hard up/easy down; easy up/hard down/

hard up/hard down.


These sprints develop strength and power for uphill accelerations. Since this sprint is performed uphill, pedal speed

remains lower than normal. Cue your students to begin rolling along with light resistance on the dial. As they hit the

bottom of the hill, tell them to increase their resistance, jump out of the saddle, and stomp on the pedals as hard as

possible. Cue them to increase the resistance again and stay out of their saddle for the entire sprint. Focus on

holding this top speed for the entire length of the hill. These sprints should be 8-12 seconds in length, and full

recovery between sprints is very important to allow for rebuilding of ATP in the muscles and to ensure a quality

sprint workout.


This workout simulates the acceleration demands that occur in hilly races. Hill intervals build power and climbing

speed while riding at your student’s individual lactate threshold. Cue your students to begin by adding moderate

resistance as if beginning a long climb. Every ten seconds have them increase the resistance and effort until they

are nearly at their maximum heart rate during the last few seconds of the hill. Tell them to slowly increase the

resistance until they reach their lactate threshold. Ask them to maintain this effort until they approach the top of the

climb. Then they attack out of the saddle with a hard but controlled effort, increasing their RPM’s the closer they get

to the top of the hill. Normally, this acceleration is performed during the last ten seconds of the climb. Recover for

three minutes between hill intervals.


The recovery drill focuses on calming and cooling the body after vigorous, more challenging work has been

performed. You may use relaxation techniques, breathing drill s, or simply decrease the intensity of your students’

workout. The object is to relax the body by decreasing the speed and resistance of each drill, while closing the mind

to all thoughts and distractions. Direct your students’ focus inward to calm down the body and heart rate. Let your

student associate with his/her body and let it relax.



Your student’s bodies are composed of about sixty-five percent water. It is imperative that you remind your students

to remain hydrated while working out. Th ey should drink one to two cups of fluid twenty minutes before they begin

their training so they are well hydrated. Depending on the room temperature, they should easily finish sixteen

ounces of water after a Keiser Performance Cycling workout. If the room is hot, tell them to drink more since they will

be perspiring at a much more rapid rate than normal. If a student is pregnant, hypoglycemic, diabetic or plan on

pedaling longer than forty minutes, ask them to seek advice from their physician. A physician may require your

student to sip a carbohydrate drink when pedaling to help keep blood sugar levels up.

Profuse sweating decreases your student’s blood volume causing heart rate drift- an increase in heart rate by about

ten beats per minute.

For some, it is difficult to drink during exertion. Drinking on the bike is an art. Keiser Performance Cycling teaches

your students to prime the pump by forcing them to sip fluids. A rule in Keiser Performance Cycling is to drink

before you are thirsty. Your students thirst mechanism may malfunction during Keiser Performance Cycling. Body

weight may drop a few pounds before you feel parched. When you lose signific ant water, your blood cannot carry

glucose and oxygen to your muscles as effectively.


Ever wonder why one Keiser Performance Cycling workout was better than another? You thought you did

everything right. You got enough sleep. You were psyched. And you ate the right foods. But did you eat right

AFTER your previous workout? Did you eat your carbohydrates and protein in a 4-1 ratio?

If you want to improve your overall cycling performance you must not only pay attention to what you eat but WHEN

you eat. Eat ½ gram of carbohydrate per pound of body weight within the first three hours after your workout. So if

you weigh 150 pounds, plan to suck down a quick 75 grams of carbohydrate (a banana) and 19 grams of protein

(two, cups of non-fat milk).

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Experts recommend

that you take in about twice that much, especially if you train several days a week like you do. Four grams of protein

per 10 pounds of body weight spread into several small meals a day fuels your muscle. So if you weigh 150

pounds, you should be eating 60 grams of protein a day. That’s about five egg whites, two cups of non-fat milk, a

chicken breast and a tuna sandwich. If you eat the right foods at the right time you will be paying attention to the

four R’s:

Replenish your muscle glycogen stores immediately after your Keiser cycling workout. Slurping a sports drink or a

glass of juice infuses glycogen (sugar) back into your worn-out muscles. This takes planning. By the time you take

a shower, throw you clothes in the wash and answer the phone you missed your window of opportunity.

Rebuild muscle by including some protein with your carbohydrates. Indoor cycling tears down muscle tissue.

Carbohydrates and protein rebuild your muscle. So include some yogurt, low fat cheese or a protein bar with that

glass of juice.

Restore your electrolytes by guzzling a sports drink that includes sodium, potassium and magnesium.


on fruit or enjoying a meal works too. Maintaining proper electrolyte balance improves your muscle function and

athletic performance.

Reduce cellular damage by eating a carbohydrate/protein post cycling workout mini-meal. Foods with antioxidants

prevent the formation of free radicals and minimize post-exercise muscle damage according to Ed Burke, Ph.D.,

who has written fourteen books and writes columns for Winning Magazine, Mountain Biker, Muscular Development,

Nutritional Science News and NORBA News. Not only will you rebuild muscle, but also your immunity improves.

Eat to fuel your muscles. Not only will you feel better, you’ll have more energy and your cycling performance will



A fascinating study reported in the March, 2000 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise demonstrated

that if you are an ardent cyclist you must eat to lose fat. Georgia State University researchers analyzed world-class

female endurance athletes’ energy expenditure hour-by-hour during a typical training day. Athletes who did not eat

enough to fuel their workouts had lower metabolic rates and more body fat. Those who ate enough to cover the cost

of their caloric expenditure had less body fat. The lesson here is that your body responds to food deprivation by

storing fat. So keep cycling and keep eating!


Abductors- A.K.A. outer thigh muscles. These muscles include your tensor fascia latae and gluteus medius.

Abs –A.K.A. abdominal muscles. A slang term.

Acid-Base Balance –You DON’T want to feel the burn of acidosis. Your acid-base balance refers to the condition

in which the pH of your blood is kept at a constant level of 7.35 to 7.45. Your breathing, buffers, and work done by

your kidneys help you to remain in balance.

Active Isolated (AI) Stretching- This is a fancy name for a new form of stretching where you contract your

antagonist muscle for 2 seconds prior to stretching your agonist for 2 seconds. You can do as many as 10

repetitions of each stretch. The purpose of AI stretching is to inhibit the stretch reflex.

Active Recovery- If you really want to hurt, run a sprint and then sit instead of performing an active recovery.

Toxins accumulate in your muscles after exercise. These waste products are drastically reduced if you perform

some type of activity after your workout. Walking, pedaling, or light jogging for 10-15 minutes will greatly improve

the breakdown of metabolites to reduce unwanted stiffness and soreness.

Adaptation – A.K.A. improve. The adjustment of your body or mind to achieve a greater degree of fitness.

Adaptation is usually accompanied by training.

Adherence – AKA sticking to your program. Most people quit exercising within the first three months of beginning

an exercise program.

Aerobic – A.K.A. using oxygen.

Aerobic activities – Made Dr. Kenneth Cooper a millionaire. Activities such as walking, running, jogging, cycling

or swimming that use large muscle groups at moderate intensities to allow your body to use oxygen to supply

energy and to maintain a steady state of exercise for more than a few minutes.

Aerobic endurance – Don’t quit. The ability to continue aerobic activity for a period of time.

Aerobic Exercise- Same as aerobic activities, I’m getting paid by the hour to write these. Aerobic means "with

oxygen." Move your large muscle groups in a rhythmic fashion and you are doing aerobics. Walking, jogging, stair

climbing, swimming, and jumping rope are examples.

Aerobic power – If you can outrun a cheetah you have excellent aerobic power. It is the ability of your body to

maximize the use of oxygen by its tissues.

Anaerobic threshold – AKA lactate threshold. You know you have hit your anaerobic threshold when your

muscles burn and you start breathing heavily during exercise. This is the point where the increasing energy

demands of your exercise cannot be met by the use of oxygen, and an oxygen debt becomes evident.

Association- AKA focusing on the activity you are performing.

Asthma- To wheeze or not to wheeze. The wheeze of asthma is caused by contraction of the muscular walls of the

small breathing tubes in your lungs. The narrowed air tube creates a turbulent air flow. This causes the wheezing

or whistling when you breathe. Because the tubes into the lung are narrowed, less air can get in and this decreases

the oxygen supply to your body. The pathological muscular contraction of your breathing tubes can be stimulated by

a wide range of substances such as inhaled dust or pollen, and various foods.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)- AKA amount of calories your body burns at rest. Your BMR includes 60 percent of

your caloric burn from your functioning organs. Twenty five percent from your muscles. Ten percent from your

bones. And 5 percent from fat. BMR is usually expressed in calories per hour per square meter of body surface.

Cadence- AKA revolutions per minute when pedaling a bicycle.

Cardio vs. Strength Training- Which Should You Do First? – At least you’re doing both; who cares which one

goes first. But if you do care, do your strength training first. This way, you can re-cycle that lactic acid from your

weight-work to be used for energy during your cardio workout.

Cool down – AKA the gradual reduction in the intensity of your exercise. The purpose of your cool down is to

prevent soreness, and to allow your heart rate, hormones, blood pressure and all of your physiological processes to

return to your pre-exercise condition. Your cool down also helps you to avoid blood poolin g in your legs and may

reduce muscular soreness.

Dehydration – AKA excessive body water loss. Prevent dehydration by taking in water and electrolytes. Be sure

you are getting enough potassium, which is inside your muscle fibers, and calcium which, is outside.

Diaphragm- AKA the flat layers of muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen. Your diaphragm helps

you to breathe. Breathing from your diaphragm helps you to relax.

Dissociation- AKA daydreaming. Keeping your mind on something else, rather than thinking about the activity you

are doing.

Draft- AKA sucking a wheel. If you are pedaling behind another cyclist, he/she breaks the wind for you allowing

you to do about 30% less work.

Dynamic Stretching- Helps you kick as high as Chuck Norris. Dynamic stretching uses your own muscle power to

stretch your limbs through a range of motion.

Ejection fraction – Kind of like when you step on a water balloon. The amount of blood inside your heart's left

ventricle that is pushed into your body after your heart contracts. Your workouts can increase your ejection fraction.

Electrolytes –AKA minerals including sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium. These provide

conductivity for fluid that passes through your cellular membranes.

Endorphins- A.K.A. the “runners high”. Endorphins are a natural morphine-like substances produced in your body

in response to pain, exercise, or the pain of exercise.

Faceplant- AKA crash, biff, endo.

Fartlek-AKA speed play. A type of interval training where you can move fast or slow depending on how you feel.

Fast Twitch Muscle- A.K.A. Type II b muscle fibers are white and powerful. They contract more quickly and

forcefully than slow twitch, Type I, red fibers.

Fast Twitch/Slow Twitch Fibers- What matters most is the load, not the speed of movement. Try this- Lift up a

200-pound weight. You wouldn’t be able to lift it very fast (unless you are Hulk Hogan), but you would still be using

fast twitch muscle fibers.

Fatigue –You’ve been there. But extreme fatigue is referred to as the slang term “bonk” discussed above. Fatigue

is the point where your body's glucose stores are depleted and your energy must come from fat metabolism.

Feed Zone- Not your dinner time. A place on a bike racecourse where you are handed food and drink.

Field- AKA a group of cyclists in a race.

Female Athletic Triad- Difficult to diagnose. Female athletic triad is a newly recognized link between eating

disorders, amenorrhea (lack of menstruation), and osteoporosis. The combination of disordered eating and

amenorrhea cause weakness in bones leading to osteoporosis.

Frequency- AKA how many times a week you work out.

Gluconeogenesis – Eat your carbs! When you don’t eat enough carbohydrates your body must take energy from

your muscle and fat stores to survive. The energy is converted from protein or fat to carbohydrate to energize your

muscles. Although this is inefficient, it is a survival mechanism. So the old cliché, “fat burns in a carbohydrate

flame” is a truism.

Gluteals / Glutes /Gluteal Muscles --AKA gluteus maximus, medius and minimus or buttocks. These are your hip

extensors and the largest muscle group in your body.

Glycemic index – Way too much fuss over. The different speed with which carbohydrates are processed into

glucose by your body. Complex carbohydrates are broken down slower while simple, refined sugars are absorbed


Glycogen - AKA sugar in your muscle. Your muscles preferred energy source. A storage form of carbohydrate in

your liver and muscle. Don’t run out of this or you’ll feel let