Class Profile: Progressive Meritage Intervals

It’s time to bring this popular profile back to the forefront! First posted in 2014, it’s one you’re going to want to return to often. It does require some long songs as the sets are 9½ minutes long, but if you refer to our series on teaching longer intervals, you can prepare your riders for these extended sets. They do, however, have a lot of variety within each set, so you can rest assured you’ll be able to keep your riders focused. 

I think you’re going to have a lot of fun with this profile! It’s a clever way to put together interval efforts while offering variety.

The name comes form the world of wine. Meritage (rhymes with “heritage”) is a blend. You are going to put together a blend of different efforts, including fast flats, seated climbs, and standing climbs, in a most unusual way! No, that doesn’t mean I’m falling off the wagon and doing some crazy stuff! 😉

There are four different sets, each one is 9½ minutes. I chose to use 9½-minute songs, but I give you some tips on weaving two songs together. If you do decide to use two songs instead of one, please let us know in the comments below.

Let us know how you enjoy this one!


  1. I can’t wait to try some of these new song suggestions. I too love the original playlist with the longer songs and great beat but I knew some in my class would not like it. I decided to try a playlist with some more recognizable tracks. You could add a couple warm up and cool down songs but for the body of the four quadrants my playlist is as follows:

    Seated Climb- Fame (David Bowie)/Black Hole Sun (Sound Garden)

    Fast Flat- Galvanize (Chem. Bros)/ Dance, Dance (Fallout Boy)

    Standing Climb- Everybody Needs a 303 (Fatboy Slim)?Let Forever Be (Chem. Bros)

    Combo- Otherside (Red Hot Chili Peps)/ Going Out of My Head (Fatboy Slim)****I changed the order of the last set of efforts due to the beat so I did seated, standing, fast flat, then a combo for the last 1:45.

    It worked GREAT!
    Thanks again for all of the fantastic ideas and little nuggets of information that really get my wheels turning! Pun fully intended! I can’t say enough about what an amazing resource ICA is!

    1. Nice. You used a lot of music from my older mixes. I never though I would be calling The Chemical Brothers “old school”

  2. Thank you! Did this one this morning and had lots of great feedback. I decided to keep ibade it on a threshold effort (except for the last set. I used U2’s New Years Day, Sandstorm Club Mix (for FF but was only 7 mins 22), Reverence and then Palladio which I had to be slightly creative with in Set 4 because of the drops etc. Using it again tonight and looking forward to it ????????????????????????

  3. I have an issue with music in my classes. I’ve tried to go with the types of music mentioned above and the class members snub them. One lady actually spoke up during a class and asked if I could change the music because (in her words) she felt like she was in a disco-tech. Anyway – so when I go with the typical classic rock and 80’s playlists, everyone loves loves those. I get repeat people (I think) just for my music, I doubt it’s my winning smile! LOL. What do I do when I am stuck in Wisconsin and no one wants any other types of music? I spend more time on my playlists than anything else and I really am beginning to resent it! Thanks for any advice!

    1. Author

      Excellent question Lynnette. Music can be a challenge everywhere. I’ll turn your question into an Ask the Expert soon with some tips on 1) giving your riders what they want while also 2) exposing them to something new!

    2. Lynette, I started looking for (longer) remixes of popular songs/groups from the decades or cover songs from the decades, alternating with (shorter) more current and/or popular songs/groups, and there is enough diversity now in my playlists to keep people happy. An example, one of my playlists had back to back songs: Roadhouse Blues – The Doors / Crystal Method Remix 4:57 and Message of Love – Pretenders 3:28. A little something old, and something old made new 🙂

  4. I used this profile a few months ago and LOVED the flexibility if offered instructors and the challenge it presented to riders. I was able to easily adapt it to a 45 min class. I ended up choosing songs just a shade shorter than 9 minutes to still keep all four sets.

    Here is how I structured them:
    -45 sec mod hard to hard effort with a 45 sec recovery.
    -1 minute, with a 45 sec recovery.
    -1 min 15 sec min effort, with a 45 sec recovery.
    Finally, a 1 minute 30 second mod hard to hard effort.
    -A 1-2 min recovery between sets.
    *For the last set only, I added 15 sec to ea.

    Here is my playlist:

  5. I picked this workout, it fits right in with my build of Threshold and Vo2 type intervals for this month, prepping my class for more ‘top end fitness’ – and I had about 5 regulars thank me emphatically for such a challenging and rewarding class. I heard “That was the hardest class ever” and “that was so awesome” more than once. I look forward to progressing this profile to include a couple surge/sprints too. I was leary of how the class would react to 10 min songs but they seemed to love it! Well done!

  6. My class loved this profile. Thank you for the great workout!

  7. Just practiced this routine this morning. Great workout! Going to lead my class through it tomorrow. Used your music suggestions. The style of music is totally different from anything I’ve ever used. I really like it! Excited to see what the class thinks tomorrow! Thank you!

  8. This gave me a great inspiration for other ideas besides wine lol Thank you for the inspiration!!!

  9. I got corrected this morning when I pronounced meritage more like ‘meritaje’ … I can’t bring myself to hear it sound like heritage.

    Anyway, this is a great profile from both a training and engagement side. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching this this morning. This profile along with La Reverie will always be in my ‘pull outs’. Thanks guys.

    1. Richard, I felt the same way about the pronunciation until i read this.

      Jennifer was right! Of course! This will teach me never to second guess her.

      Thanks for all you do, Jennifer!

  10. Jennifer….I’m mortified. I thought I’d posted an effusive *Thank-You* shortly after you put this up. I like elegant simplicity and this personifies the idea in spades. Maybe I hit the wrong button.

    The nice thing about this ride is that it’s what I call a *Physiology in Action* ride (or Listen to me now……or believe me later!) Given that most of us have classes that’re mixtures of folk with different genetic, training, need/desire statuses (and those ever present Libertarians) it’s tough to get the value recovery and its effect on interval “amplitude” (my make-up term for how hard you can work depending on how well you recover)

    Physiology…’s a Science for a reason.

    Call me a poseur of Le Premier Cru….. I’ll never pronounce Meritage to rhyme with Heritage.

    1. Author

      Thank you Vivienne!
      It’s become one of my favorite profiles for those reasons. And I really like the long songs (but I know not everyone likes them that long).

      Your last sentence almost made me spit out my coffee on my screen! You’ll appreciate this: I learned about how to pronounce it *correctly* at a restaurant. We’d asked the sommelier about the ‘mer-ee-tajh’ and he quickly gave me a lesson in how to pronounce it, and said the creators of the blend (i.e. wine snobs) purposely chose that word and emphasized its American pronunciation as a snub to the French (who knows if that’s true or not). He made me practice saying it like ‘heritage’. After the waiter left the table I turned to my friends and said something along the lines of, “well who cares. I like ‘mer-ee-tajh’ better so I’m going to continue to say it that way!” 😉 On that note, I’ll join your Premier Cru poseurs club!

  11. Hi Jen
    Its been a while! my membership lapsed so I have fixed that. Wondered why I wasn’t getting emails.

    I have some great song suggestions for long songs that I use.

    Check out Vibrasphere – Archepelago is the album and all the tracks are perfect for indoor cycling.
    Tomorrow I will be using “seven days to Sunlight” as a 9 min track – its pretty much no vocals and great trance style beat.

    Another great track is Chicane – Behind the Sun (10 min)
    all the Saafi brothers tracks but i think you know them already.

    Great profile.

    1. Author

      I LOVE Behind the Sun! thanks for reminding us! It’s one of those forgotten tracks that I need to put back in my hopper. I’m especially going to put it in the playlist for future Wednesday Timeless Classics!

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