Leap Year Profile

Four years ago we posted ICA member Lisa Pucelik’s leap year ride with a playlist based on the theme of time. Add a few inspirational cues about taking advantage of opportunities (like a leap day provides you) and voila! You have a fun and motivational theme profile.

If you have any other song suggestions, quotes, or ideas for a leap year ride, please add them in the comments.

Leap Year Ride, by Lisa Pucelik

Profile Objective

This leap year profile acknowledges that the gift of time is precious; so many of us complain about the lack of time in our days to do everything we’d like to accomplish. Once every four years, we are gifted with 24 extra hours. An extra day in our lives to do whatever we want…don’t you think we should grab the bull by the horns and accomplish something important?

This year on leap day, encourage your riders to do something extra special with that time (there are a few suggestions in the cool-down section). For today’s ride, that “extra time” is all about exerting maximum effort, pushing ourselves to the limit.

After the warm-up, the ride is broken into two rounds of interval segments. The first round focuses on maintaining (or increasing) power on a flat road, and the second round takes the efforts to the hills. Between the two rounds, there is a 2-minute recovery. Within each round, there are three sets. Each set has four repetitions. The reps start at 60 seconds, then 45 seconds, then 30 seconds. Each of these is done at a fairly high intensity, just above threshold, but not maximal. The “leap year” is represented by one bonus rep of 29 seconds at full power, all-out effort. After a 90-second recovery, this is repeated for a total of three times.

All of the songs in the playlist are on the theme of time and days.

(Note: The italicized text is the instructor cues.)

Time Is On My Side, 2:49, 197 bpm
Beautiful Day, U2, 4:08, 136 bpm
Day Tripper, The Beatles, 2:49, 138 bpm

During the warm-up explain leap day and overall ride profile:

Since leap day comes around only once every four years with airlines, restaurants, and retailers abuzz with discounts and deals it seems like a perfect time to get in on the excitement with a special profile. In fact, leap day is a necessity because of the way the Earth spins, making it a perfect holiday to celebrate in “spinning” class!

Many of us lament the fact that we don’t have enough time in the day so the extra 24 hours we get every four years should be viewed as a gift. Every four years, the 29th of February is added to our calendars. We will celebrate that in today’s class by making every fourth effort a 29-second interval with one main purpose—exerting maximum effort—so we can make the most of that extra gift of time!

Today’s class incorporates decreasing intervals with equal parts work and recovery, and of course, we add an extra bonus of “time” at the end of each round. Each round takes roughly 5 minutes, with progressively shorter efforts. It will look like this:

60 seconds ON, 60 seconds OFF
45 seconds ON, 45 seconds OFF
30 seconds ON, 30 seconds OFF
And our LEAP EFFORT: 29 seconds FULL ON!
90 seconds recovery, repeat from the top.

Round #1: Descending Intervals, Flat Road
Nothin’ But a Good Time, Poison, 3:43, 129 bpm
Time is Running Out, Muse, 3:57, 119 bpm
Time of Our Lives, Pitbull, Ne-Yo, 3:49, 124 bpm
One Day Too Late, Skillet, 3:40, 144 bpm
The Days (Henrik B Remix), Avicii, 3:56, 127 bpm
Die Another Day, Madonna, 4:36, 124 bpm

These first three sets are focused on maintaining or increasing our power output on a flat road. Your cadence will be somewhere between 85 and 90 rpm. Slowly add resistance to get ready for the first burst of power. Aim for a high intensity during each effort, an RPE of 8/10. You should be breathing heavy by the end of each interval and ready for the recovery, which will be just as long as the work interval. During that time, dial back the resistance for an active recovery.

Interval #2: Add the resistance back for 45 seconds of hard work—try to match or beat the power generated in the first interval. (Follow that with 45 seconds of recovery.)

Interval #3: Add that resistance back and go for a powerful 30-second effort! (Follow that with 30 seconds of recovery.)

Interval #4: Our fourth bonus leap day interval is just 29 short seconds, and you’re going to go harder than you did the last time! Let’s go—put your maximum effort forward on this last interval!

Recover 90 seconds and repeat two more times.

Round #2: Descending Intervals, Climbing
Back in Time, Pitbull, 3:25, 127 bpm
Time Has Come Today, The Chambers Brothers, 4:50, 123 bpm
…Baby One More Time, Britney Spears. 3:31, 93 bpm
Too Much Time on My Hands, Styx, 4:32, 131 bpm
Feels Like the First Time, Foreigner, 4:07, 108 bpm
Have a Nice Day, Bon Jovi, 3:49, 130 bpm

Begin with 2-minute recovery. Explain climbing intervals:

The three sets in the first round today were focused on power on a flat road. The final round is about the hills. At the start of our work interval, we’ll load up the resistance; it’s the steepest we’ve been today, naturally allowing the cadence to drop to 65–70 rpm. Maintain that cadence, digging a little deeper as we climb these steep hills. We’ll continue to work at a fairly high intensity, an RPE of 8. Your final interval, your leap year bonus, will be a maximal effort to breathless. It will be the icing on the cake, your swan song, your acceptance of this great gift of an extra day to honor your life!

Repeat the intervals just as above, this time powering up the hills. Keep the cadence between 65 and
70 rpm and maintain or improve power slightly on each interval. The final 29-second leap interval should be at maximal effort. Recover 90 seconds in between each set and repeat a total of three times.

Time after Time, Cyndi Lauper, 4:01, 130 bpm
Closing Time, Semisonic, 4:34, 92 bpm

As we start to cool down, turn those thoughts inward and think about those areas in your life that are neglected because there’s never enough time. What can you do on leap day that you never make time for? Perhaps a little extra pampering, relaxing in front of a mindless TV show, reaching out to an old friend, or finally tackling that messy closet! The options are endless. Gifts of time are few and far between—make this 24-hour gift count.


  1. Just wanted to thank you for this post! 🙂 I used my own music, but I used the basic format of the class. It was great and very well received! Thank you very much! 🙂

  2. Fun ride…thanks!
    Instructors, be sure to teach off of the bike for the last round as form went south as my participants got tired. I also documented their power numbers during both rounds so we can repeat this ride later in the season and compare watts.

    1. hmmm, the link doesn’t seem to work. The song is by Ayleen and it’s the Van Reef Dreamdance Mix. 🙂

  3. One quick coaching note from this morning:
    I gave my participants the opportunity to “leap” (HA!) out of the saddle during the 29 second effort – allowing them to execute more of a sprint-type effort to overcome the added resistance.

  4. These are great! I’m going to start a TIME playlist for the ICA so we can log all this, although it might not be used for another 4 years! Haha! Keep them coming!

  5. Great idea. I made both of my rounds hils since the music was slow. I did change out a few songs.

  6. I too was going to recycle a routine for tomorrows ride, but thanks for giving me something new! I am thinking though I would alternate the flats and the hills still with a total of 3 each. Love the music choices as well!

  7. Thank you all as I was just thinking about how do I incorporate this extra day for rejuvenation and a chance to say thank you for the extra time!

  8. I was going to recycle a previous ride for tomorrow but now you’ve inspired me to step up my game and given me a great profile to use! Thank You!

  9. Here’s my slight tweak of the profile and music, thanks again to Lisa for sharing and Jennifer for posting!

    Pre-class: Time 4:54 Hootie & The Blowfish

    Warm-up: This Time [Klaas Remix] 5:15 DJ Antoine
    Find moderate SF 85-90 rpm: Timebomb (Kue Remix) 4:04 Tove Lo
    Round 1 as described in profile above (descending intervals flat road):
    The Days (Henrik B Remix) 3:57 Avicii
    End of Time (WAWA Extended) 5:35 Beyoncé
    If Time Runs Out (StoneBridge Club Mix) 5:57 Duncan Morley
    Just One Last Time (feat. Taped Rai) 3:49 David Guetta

    2 min recovery + 5 mins to find moderate SC/STC 65-70 rpm: Time After Time (2013 Bent Collective Remix) 7:16 Cyndi Lauper

    Round 2 as described in profile above (descending intervals, hills):
    Time (Clock Of The Heart) 3:44 Culture Club
    Nothin’ But a Good Time 3:44 Poison
    Time of Our Lives 3:49 Pitbull & Ne-Yo
    …Baby One More Time 3:32 Britney Spears
    Beautiful Day 4:05 U2

    Cool-down: One More Day (Chill Mix) 6:00 Sunlounger & Ingsha Feat. Simon Binkenborn

  10. great idea- consider it stolen! i have to look into my songs and see if i can find a couple more to add although i like yyours!

  11. Nice!! I was in Lisa’s class this morning and this ride was awesome! Everyone got really into it. Good job Lisa! 🙂

  12. To piggyback on Marissa’s post on the ICA FB page –Here is my take on how we can use this profile outside of Leap Day……this is a Leap Year – key word here is “year” which means you have a whole year to present this profile to your riders!!!

    You can preface your ride by saying – “As you know this is a Leap Year and we all know that Leap Year means we receive an extra day on the calendar! An extra day to celebrate life. While I realize that Leap Day was on Feb 29th and today is June 5th (or whatever the date you are presenting this) but it’s never too late to celebrate life and acknowledge the gift of time – especially EXTRA time which is so precious to all of us. So tonight our theme will be about Leap Year and making the most of this fabulous gift of extra time!”

    Thank you Lisa for sharing such an inspirational themed profile! Thank you Jennifer for putting this on the ICA website!!

  13. Author

    I don’t teach until Tuesday and am in the early stages of an 8-week winter training program, so I can’t do HIIT yet. However, I am still going to talk about the concept of the extra day as a gift, and how to use our time together in class as a gift for ourselves (thanks to Marissa for suggesting that in the ICA FB group)!

    I’ll use some of these songs as well. Thanks Lisa!

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