Audio Master Class: Crossing the Threshold

This challenging and fun interval profile is multipurpose: it is a powerful fitness booster for your fitness enthusiasts, and a very effective performance enhancer for your cyclists.This high intensity interval profile consists of 5 sets of 6 minutes each. You will criss-cross from just below lactate threshold to just above threshold in 1-minute increments. Three below, three above, with a 3-minute recovery in between each interval.

The ultimate goal with this type of training is to raise the lactate threshold. But threshold training is not just for athletes. For your non-cyclist/non-athlete student (most likely most of them), this intensity effort is a powerful fitness booster. It translates not only to a high caloric expenditure for the class, but also raises their threshold, and for them, a higher threshold means burning a greater amount of fat for longer periods any time they exercise. With those kind of benefits, you should be able to sell this class to the most discriminating students!

The great thing about this profile is that it goes by so quickly because it is broken up into 1-minute increments. Before you know it, each interval is over, and then you blink, and youv’e already done five of them!

As usual, tell us how you like this profile and what your students’ reactions were.


  1. Jennifer,

    I have several students that know their FTP but not their FTHR. How would you recommend cueing this based on threshold power and not HR? Obviously, a raw number is not going to work well with FTP’s ranging from 53 to 350. The %’s thereof would be all over the map. For example, 10 watts on either side of an FTP of 53 is HUGE, while 10 watts on either side of an FTP of 350 is not nearly as big a window. Am I making any sense at all? Any advice would be appreciated.


  2. Finally taught this profile today. I could tell they were feeling it! Afterward, they said they really liked the challenge and how it was up to them to control where they were working in the “below” and “above” minutes. I really couldn’t believe how fast it went.

    I also liked keeping the cadences about the same for all the climbs and both flats. I felt like it helped me pinpoint the effort more, and I hope the class felt that too. I do also plan to give it a try, as you suggest, at some varied cadences, starting slowing and building up to faster. It’ll be interesting to see how THAT feels!

    Thanks Jennifer!

  3. I am rather new to the instructing side of the bike; but I am not at all new to the “sport” of indoor cycling. As a newbie to instructing, I am empathetic to the cyclist who looks up to me; however, often times I forget they don’t know the lingo of the ride or even the basic movements which we take so for granted. I’m trying to start every class the right way by helping the riders understand the concept of the core movements, correct positioning etc, and because I was such a focused rider as a student, I tend to encourage a focal point leading into the mind/body connection we all so appreciate in the indoor cycling world. I think tonight I will slow down and return myself to my first time on the bike …. even if only for that first 10 minutes of the ride which can be the most intimidating for a new rider. I know someday I’ll be a highly successful instructor, and perhaps part of that success will be because of where it all started as a begineer. I, like others, want to be like the mentor I had who turned a curiousity into an insatiable passion for the indoor ride. Thanks for reminding all of us of our roots!

  4. Also taught this a couple of weeks ago…very hard to keep the hr in the right number and also to get some of my members to take the recovery. Am reading joe friel again to get more info on tbe physiology of recovery. Very good.

  5. I am a cyclist that teaches to predominantly non-cyclists and I love this type of training, personally, but I was a bit hesitant to present this ride to my classes. Great news- they loved it!! I kept the explanation of LT simple and I used RPE as the main intensity cue. Most of my class members do not wear heart rate monitors. They loved the concept and structure and felt very challenged. The key to teaching this ride to non-cyclists is in the cueing and motivation. I encourage everyone to give it a try and modify as needed.

    Thanks Jennifer!!

  6. Here is the link to the playlist on Spotify, but there are only 7 of these songs on Spotify.

    For the others, check on the sources listed in the handout. If you have it in your itunes, your Spotify account will see it there and you can put it into your playlist for this ride. On the handout for this profile, there is a secondary list of suggested songs for the intervals, you may want to resort to some of those if you can’t find them. Remember to Google them, they may be available on other resources that I can’t really “legally’ promote.

  7. I love ‘Lana’s’ instructor box! I recently added a page on my blog about the importance of being prepared, complete with pictures of the contents of my gym bag. I don’t have quite as many items as Christine, but you might be interested to see some different items. Check it out: (click on ‘Music 4’ at the top of the blog under the header to access the page. It’s titled: Music In Your Spin Class: Be Prepared! As always Jennifer, thanks for the great advice!

  8. Julie,
    I haven’t searched on Spotify for this playlist yet but thanks for reminding me to do so. I’ve been creating some other playlists though. The premium membership doesn’t give you any different access to my playlists on Spotify – it would be the same whether you ahd the free or premium membership. The difference is that it lets you do more with the music, like use it offline (as in when teaching a class) and also to avoid the commercials.

    I taught this again the other day – my students really like the challenge of this workout!

  9. That ride was the Over/Under Intervals, similar, but in a way, even harder! I plan to recreate that one here as well. Glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Jennifer, I believe this is very similar to the profile that we did when you were at Cycling Fusion for their winter training session and I absolutely LOVED the ride. It was hard and challenging, but in a GOOD way. Kudos for a great, higher intensity ride that is sure to please!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *