Nerd Alert!! Studied the Krebs Cycle? You’re Going to Love This!

At the risk of getting a dirty look from my editor Shari, I have used my yearly allotment of exclamation points in this headline and on this page. But I found something so cool I had to share it with you and wanted to pique your interest! (Doh! There goes another one…)

OK, so maybe only those who have studied and are passionate about the Krebs cycle (and what it means) will love this, but if you are an indoor cycling instructor, regardless of your background or what you do outside of teaching, I hope you have more than just a cursory interest in metabolic processes. After all, these processes are at the foundation of every single thing we do on the bike, and ultimately should be considered when deciding the intensity of your ride. (Although, there’s no need to memorize the chemicals in this process, that’s for sure!)

Oh, how I wish there was something like this back in the days when I was studying exercise physiology—it would have made studying so much more fun. And can you imagine how the creators of this song will never, ever forget the components of the Krebs cycle or glycolysis!

I asked ICA contributor Dr. Jennifer Klau, Ph.D. Exercise Physiology, for her opinion on this. She said, “If geek and cool made a movie, this would be the soundtrack.” Or, as they say in the song, this is frigging awesome!

My favorite line: CoAs gone, people be like “Aw, he got the succinate.” 

It was created by biochemistry students at the University of Ottawa. I put the lyrics below the video, but chime in and leave a comment if you studied the Krebs cycle and glycolysis and had to know each step!



I’m gonna pop some carbs
Only got a lil’ glucose in my pathway
I – I – I’m lazy, lookin’ for some CoA
This is frigging awesome

[Verse 1]

Now I got some glucose; hell yeah, I’m in that prep phase
I’m so pumped; doin’ work with hexokinase
Glucose to the glucose with a number six phosphate
PGI to that fructose 6-phosphate (dayum)
ATP, ADP, phosphofructokinase E,
1,6-bis, FBP, adolase, two GAP;
GAPDH with some PGK & PGM,
3-P to the 2-Phosphoglycerate, and then
PEP to Pyruvate! (glycolysis)

[Verse 2]

FAD, NAD bout to go and grab some hydroG
Pumpin’ out all those substrates for some work yeah that’s that energy
shuttlin’ through that mito-C like nobody’s business
what you know about oxidation? biz-NITCH
I’mma do it TCA, I’mma do it TCA
No for real – movin’ on – can I have some A-CoA? (thank-you)
Citrate synthase from that CoA to that citrate
Aconitase, step two; isocitrate
I had some NAD+ (plus), I used some NAD+ (plus)
I made some NADH (Hhhhhhhh), and alpha-ketogluterate (oh snap)
dehydrogenase complex, plus some CoA
CO2, NADH out; succinyl CoA
then I take that GDP, add a P (GTP), hold on wait
CoAs gone, people be like “Aw, he got the succinate”

[Hook x2]

[Verse 3]

What you know about intermediary metabolism? (not much)
What you knowin’ about what’s goin’ on in your skin? (uhhhhh)
I’m diggin, I’m diggin, I’m lookin’ for some FAD
Step 6, succinate dehydrogenase, that’s the key (zing)
Movin’ on, reducin’ that FAD up to FADH2
fumarate, fumarase that’s the enzyme now go shift your gaze
to malate (okay); step 8, malate dehydrogenase
finish off; NADH, oxaloacetate (ahhhhh)

[Hook x2]

[Bridge x2]

That’s how Kreb’s cycle goes
If you didn’t doze now you know
This is how TCA flows
BCH actually doesn’t blow




  1. Oh Lord, watch me put my team on this climb! LOL! I don’t even like rap, but this is “Frigging Awesome” 😉

  2. Sounds like a climbing song and an education all in one!

  3. Thanks for sharing 😉 Are you able to identify points in the song to our HR zone (or stage of IC ride)?

  4. Top 40 it’s not. Awesome it is! Where was this when I was taking my tests? Could you imagine if this was the sort of thing that was Top 40 in the US? Not much of an indoor cycling sound though. 🙂

  5. Jennifer, Sheldon Cooper would make you his BFF. 🙂
    Have to agree if science was this much fun, who knows what I may have learnt.

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