high intensity cueing

High-Intensity Creative Cueing Part 1: Threshold Efforts

Get ready for exciting ideas that are overflowing with fun and creative ways to express your desire for hard, harder, and hardest efforts. Use these cues to empower your students to reach inside themselves and do what they didn’t think was possible.

High-intensity efforts take place at lactate threshold and above. For many instructors (and students), high intensity is what makes indoor cycling so much fun to teach (or take). Your cueing can be very creative, drawing from references about racing of any kind. High-intensity efforts are the epitome of human performance.

In order to create your own creative cues for high-intensity efforts, begin collecting your own metaphors and analogies by watching races with a notebook and pen—write down all the colorful descriptions the announcers use. Listen to a wide variety of announcers for different sports—it doesn’t even have to be for cycling. Growing up in Southern California, I have memories of the San Diego Padres’ baseball announcer for decades who used to say, “You can hang a star on that one!” There’s no reason why you can’t use a version of that in your cycling room after a hard effort!

Some of the most colorful announcers for bicycle racing are Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. Watching a few stages of the Tour de France or other cycling races, you can easily fill up several pages with their vivid and colorful phrases and one-liners to use in your classes.

The cues and visuals for high intensity will be divided into three levels, each in their own post:

  • hard threshold efforts (aerobic)
  • very hard anaerobic efforts of 1–3 minutes
  • very, very hard surges or explosive power efforts of under 1 minute

This article covers hard threshold efforts.


  1. Excellent! Great tips! Thx so much! ????

  2. Great article btw. Very helpful indeed.

  3. One of my favorites that Phil comes out with is no pedaling in squares!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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