Class Profile: 4-3-2 Intervals, Ramped Efforts with Decreasing Cadence

One of the most-used profiles in my repertoire is the 3-2-1 Intervals format. (You can find ICA profiles here and here. This format was one of the earliest profiles posted on ICA back in 2011.)

This format can also be called a ramp or ladder where you gradually increase intensity over several levels of work while the duration decreases. Welcome to my latest iteration, 4-3-2 Intervals! In this extended version, the time at each level is increased by a minute. Cadence decreases over the intervals. 

It makes a challenging profile even more challenging. Riders who prefer longer intervals will love it (like my riders do). There are two options for this profile. The three levels of option one are moderate, somewhat hard, and hard. The second option, which makes for a significantly tougher ride, is somewhat hard, hard, and very hard. My suggestion is that you try the first option before doing the much harder one—you’ll see it’s already pretty challenging. Then when you lay the harder version on your riders, they will have mad respect for not just you, but for themselves and their own abilities.

I used four 9-minute songs for the intervals in this playlist. If you want to change it up and use shorter songs, I suggest a 4-minute song (for level 1) plus a 5-minute song (for levels 2 and 3); make sure to find songs with the same tempo for each interval.

I’ve filmed this ride so you can ride along for a great workout while observing how I teach it. You’ll find the video below.

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