Audio Master Class: Cause and Effect, the relationship between cadence and resistance

Cause and Effect is an educational profile, designed to help students discover the important relationship between cadence and resistance, and the impact it has on their heart rate, perceived exertion, muscular strain, and breathing. This class may prove to be a breakthrough of understanding for some of your students, especially those who tend to ride with too little or even too much resistance. It will help them learn to connect better with their own pedaling, and realize how important good pedaling technique is on their output.

There is a lot of dialogue in this profile. You may or may not need to use all of it. Tailor how much you say to the knowledge and skills your students already have. After teaching this to them once or twice, any subsequent times you will not need to say much at all. You will see in the document that I suggest following this up in the weeks afterward with two other cadence-oriented profiles, one focusing more on the slower cadences (climbing) and one on faster cadences, allowing them longer periods at each cadence.

Please tell us how you enjoyed this profile and what your experience was teaching it to your students.


  1. This is an oldie but a goodie! I’ve been teaching this wonderful profile for the last week, really enjoying the “aha” moments of my riders when I ask them, “Do you like it? Do you not? Why?”

  2. I’ve never uses rwr hand position although I am spinning certified. Since I am an outdoor cyclist and would never ride that way outside I never did it inside. I also never used the spinning heart rate method since my background was using lactate threshold.

  3. I have tried but with a full time job and teaching 5-6 classes a week I just don’t have the time to match music to my profiles like that. I do use/count cadence a lot in my classes, and I do class CDs once a month with songs from my participants and since I never know what I will get I have to be flexible with my profiles. My students don’t seem to mind. Last year, my new years resolution was to try to use bpm more … I tried for a while but the class members told me that they didn’t like it any better than my usual, and since it took so much more time I stopped.

  4. This was a great class this morning! I modified it to be 45 minutes and still found that I was able to convey the message. Which I must say is so much more clear once you do the ride. My participants liked it a lot, as did I.

  5. I taught a modified version of this profile today (for a 40 minute class) and it was very successful. The students really enjoyed themselves and could feel and understand the relationship between cadence and resistance–thanks so much for this information! Didn’t have bouncing at 110RPM-YAY!

  6. Finally taught this class today and wow! It was great. Riders did an excellent job managing their intensity, pushing themselves, and releasing a small amount of resistance when needed. The best part? Participants riding at cadences over 100 rpm with NO BOUNCING!!! Miraculous! 🙂

  7. Jennifer, love hearing your voice again after soooo long!!! I have downloaded the audio profile to my phone and listen to it over and over again. I can’t wait to teach this class. I am throwing little teasers out to my students.

    I have been talking to them about riding out doors since the weather in the NE is finally cooperating. Two of my students bought bikes this past weekend and we are planning to do some riding this summer together. So amazing to see them actually getting “IT” and “Keeping it Real”…

  8. The BEST way is through Mixmeister…but not everyone has it.
    Here is the best online bpm counting tool I have found.

    I’ve used this tool a lot, so here is how I’ve found I get the most accurate average bpm:Rest the heel of your hand on your computer as you tap – it’s hard to be consistent if you have to hold your hand above the keys (at least I find that I am not as consistent – you’ll easily see that in the average bpm box on this website). I use my middle finger to tap – not sure why but I seem to have the best consistent rhythm with that finger.

    Begin tapping to the beat of the song on the side of the computer keyboard. You want to first establish a good solid rhythm, and THEN move your finger over any key to continue tapping it on a key, so it can record an average. If you move your finger too far, you might lose that tempo, for that reason I always use the key above the Return key, the “”. It doesn’t matter which one you use, but for me, it’s the closest to the side of the keyboard and I can keep that continuous solid rhythm.

    (I hope this makes sense!)

    Why do I go to such lengths? Becuase if you use this bpm counting tool, you’ll notice a huge range of bpms if you are not perfectly in time with the music. Continue tapping until you see a very small range for the average bpm (less than one beat on either side). I usually do it for 10-15 seconds.

    This online tool is much much faster than trying to count it yourself (which is what I did prior to this). But it might take a little practice to become consistent.

    If the song says 144bpm, then it would imply a cadence of 72rpm, or if it’s 188bpm it would be 94rpm. For me and my own purposes, I always indicate the bpm that corresponds to the rpm at which I’ll ride it. So for that 150bpm song, I’ll edit my song in iTunes and write “75bpm” in the song title. That way I see exactly what the bpm=rpm is that I will use as I’m riding. If it doesn’t divide evenly by two, I’ll use the lower number. For example, for a bpm of 135, I’ll write 67.

    Hope that helps! I’ll make this into a real post about BPM/RPM so more people will see it.

    1. UPDATE 2018 For assessing bpm, get the app liveBPM in the app store.

  9. …from you Jennifer! You are giving us 110% of your knowledge. THANK YOU.
    I have been going back and forth between this profile and the last two posts regarding POWER to absorb your guidance and info before I can feel confident to teach this profile.
    Is there any way/program that I can check any song’s beats right away instead of counting the beats as I am listening to it, please? I would like to use the songs I own instead of buying all the songs on you playlist (I only have about 2 songs and the rest are mostly on iTunes 🙁
    So glad I am a member now because this is the first time I can experience your training with an audio profile.
    Looking forward to many more profiles to come with gratitude 🙂

  10. Hi Jennifer – I just joined, and now I know what I’ve been missing since you left your other group. I just was not getting the same inspiration anymore, and it was clear that the difference was you. This profile is great – seems to pick up right where your rock n roller climbs profile left off. I think I might do that one again, then do this one right after it. Follow it with your high resistance hill repeats and it’s a great trio!

  11. Love this Jennifer. do you have a quick profile for this ride? Thanks!

  12. Jennifer,

    This is an awesome example of what should be fundamental knowledge of anyone who calls themselves a real indoor cycling instructor!! I am considering how I can pay for each of the instructors in our facility to be a member of ICA as I want them all to read this!! I preach this all the time, but you explain it and give concrete examples better than anyone!!

    Thanks for all you do to for all of us who take cycling, indoors or out, seriously.

    JoyRide Cycling Studio
    Salem, OR

  13. Oh joy! Now we have our audio profiles too!! Jennifer, I can’t tell you how excited I am to sit here and “listen” to your detailed and thorough explanation and guidance 🙂
    Today’s topic is very close to my heart. Thank you for making it your first profile. It is so sad that the direct connection between “cadence and effect” remains a “secret” to so many instructors (and riders). How can we teach any other way? While training on an indoor bike, there are two elements to carry us to result: cadence and resistance. That is the specific reason why I teach a “Rhythm and Beats” class twice a month. It is to bring “cadence-awareness” to my riders at various resistance/gear. It works like a charm!
    You so beautifully connect the dots in this profile for those of us who are here to learn.
    Thank you Jennifer for all the hard work, and the heart and soul you put into training the instructors.
    Keep on leading Jennifer.

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