Quick Profile: You Can Do Anything For A Minute (Maybe)

The background and benefits of VO2 max intervals, along with the proper techniques, were addressed previously in this excellent article.  This profile enables riders to enhance VO2 max while also improving their confidence to tolerate the strong discomfort felt when riding above threshold. It’s based on the group fitness cliché that “You can do anything for a minute.” If something is humanly possible, even if it is very hard, it can quite often be done for a minute…maybe. The intent of this profile is to instill the belief in your riders that if something is realistically achievable, they can do it. This will encourage your participants to set challenging yet attainable goals. High-intensity intervals—working at and slightly above threshold for 30 to 90 seconds—are really hard but achievable. On the other hand, constant all-out sprinting for 30 to 90 seconds isn’t realistic or attainable for even the fittest individuals.

I introduce this profile by writing the letters “HIIT” on a mirror or whiteboard and explain the acronym for “high-intensity interval training.” I don’t do this intensity often in my classes, so I want riders to understand they will be pushing a very high intensity for short durations and that it will be extremely hard. I don’t dwell on the technical aspects. I ask if they have heard the saying “You can do anything for a minute.’” I respond, “Well, I’m not sure that you CAN do anything for a minute but you’re going to try!”  

You Can Do Anything For A Minute (Maybe) Spotify Playlist



  1. What would be the best way to shorten this workout to 45-50 minutes?

    1. Author

      Joyce – I’ve shortened it for a 45 minute class by removing the third set and using the first, second, and fourth sets.

  2. I taught this class this morning- my students loved it. I changed a lot of the music- just what speaks to me, but the students were so busy working hard I am not sure they even noticed the music. Thanks for making me look like a rock star!!

    1. Author

      Maureen – I’m glad that the profile worked for you and that it made you look like a rock star. Music is completely subjective so it’s fine for ICA members to substitute songs which suit their own style into Quick Profiles. Every instructor is different. They can’t all have my impeccable (and eccentric) taste in music ;).

  3. Author

    I did this profile with my classes this past week. They found it to be very challenging yet rewarding when they finished it. I encourage all ICA members to give it a try and let us know how it goes. As always with my eclectic playlists, I’d appreciate any suggestions of alternate songs that normal people have heard of.

      1. Author

        Have you listened to the Spotify playlist? It’s not something that ‘normal people’ listen to, particularly the Dan Deacon track. When I played it in my class last week, I asked if that song made them uncomfortable and then told them that was the point of playing it.

        1. I like the profile – you’re right though; except for The Wolf and Paint it Black (both of which I’ve used more than once) I can’t see my classes going for much of this music! I think I’ll work on a different playlist – will let you know what I come up with!

          1. Author

            Bonnie – I’m glad that you like the profile. While I encourage all ICA members to use the Quick Profile’s format as inspiration and consider modifying the playlist to suit their own style, I’d suggest listening to the playlist first. Although many of the songs may be unfamiliar, they are all good and complimentary to the profile. Most of them are rock, other than Dan Deacon (IDM) and PPK (Russian Trance), so there may be some tunes that your members don’t know but will really enjoy. My riders generally like music that is familiar to them but they’re always appreciative of the new and different stuff that I use in my classes.

  4. This is a profile I’ve thought about creating for quite some time. Thanks so much for making it so much easier for me to do!

    1. Author

      You’re welcome. Let us know how it goes and if you have any alternative music suggestions for the playlist.

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