Quick Profile: 3-2-1 Intervals…Intensified!

3-2-1 intervals are a great way to gradually step up intensity, both as a drill or as an entire profile. I first created a 3-2-1 profile in the early days of ICA, then I updated it with new music in 2017. You can find links to both of those profiles, plus our 3-2-1 drill, here. The drill is one that you can insert into any profile.

The latest iteration of the 3-2-1 intervals is a true game-changer. It intensifies the entire profile, juggling the position of the number of minutes you spend at each intensity. Hence the name: 3-2-1 Intervals…Intensified!

I am convinced that you are going to love this profile so much, you’ll want to create numerous versions of it yourself with different tracks. Mix it up with different combinations of slower and faster cadences, or do one with all climbing cadences, or all faster cadences. As you’ll see in the profile, you can also mix up the way the sequences are laid out.

To do that, you’re going to need access to as many energetic 6-minute songs as possible. I’ve got you covered there as well! I’ve created five Spotify playlists of 6-minute songs (over 250 songs!) of different tempos that can be used for 3-2-1 profiles, 6-minute over/under intervals, and, of course, many other types of drills or profiles. Just click here to access those playlists.

Also, I’ve created two versions of this profile: one with cues based on teaching with power zones and the other for those without power who use RPE cues. If you teach with power, you may want to print out both versions.

Download the 3-2-1 Intervals…Intensified Quick Profiles below.


  1. Late the the party, but I will be using this one. Loving these resources!

  2. Late to the party, but YES! Sometimes I feel so predictable, and this just puts a cool new twist on it. I only teach one class on IC7s, but I think even my non power groups will be into this. Thanks!

  3. I haven’t ridden this yet and I’m new to ICA, but how do you keep things interesting in terms of cueing when there is 3-4 minutes of a recovery song?

    1. Author

      They only think it’s long if they haven’t gone hard enough in the previous effort.

      I did a Facebook Live training session on the importance of recovery. You can access that training here. https://indoorcyclingassociation.com/facebook-live-video-the-importance-of-recovery-within-a-training-session/

      In this lecture, I discuss why sufficient recovery at the right intensity is so important in your high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes. As you know, there are many riders who don’t think they need to recover and falsely believe it means they are “cheating” or that the instructor is too “easy.” Too many of them think, “We don’t need no stinking recoveries!”

      How do you counter that mindset? How do you educate your riders so that they not only understand the importance of recovery, but they relish it? What intensity should your recovery be at? Is it always that way, or are there exceptions? How do you keep riders engaged during recoveries so they don’t get distracted or bored?

      All that and more are covered in that session! Let me know if it helps or if you have any other questions after watching it.

  4. The entire class LOVED this and I will rotate this regularly through my ride. Fantastic! xo

  5. I tried this yesterday and had an amazing class. Thank you! One other 6 minute song is Led Zeppelin Nobody’s Fault But Mine.

  6. I am doing this with my all of my classes this week. Thank you for sharing the 6 minute song lists.

  7. I would love to do this ride with my class. We do not have power meters which makes it a bit challenging (also they have never done an FTP test). Any advice?


    1. Author

      Yes! There are two versions of this profile provided. One is based on power, the other is based on RPE for those without power. Try that one and let me know how it goes!

  8. Really enjoy using 1,2,3 and this is another fantastic way to implement simple sets around time. Can’t wait to try these variations!

  9. Thank you Jennifer! Taught this profile yesterday and same as you… participants loved to hate me for it! Most people found their average wattage to be higher than most other profiles and were happy with that and left the class feeling successful.

  10. I love 3-2-1 intervals!! Been doing them for years, but I never thought to mix the order up. Mine have always been steady progression from Z3-Z4-Z5. Guess I’m in a rut! This is great stuff! Thank you, Jennifer!

  11. Yippee!! I absolutely love the 3-2-1-Intervals! Thank you, Jennifer, sooooo much!

  12. THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for this! I am going to use this Thursday night. So very excited to do this for my class!!

    1. Author

      enjoy Carina! I tried it out twice on my class and they loved it (well…loved to hate me for it but I got a lot of thumbs up).

      Let us know how it goes.

      1. Jennifer- I taught it last night and they LOVED it! And as an added bonus, I really loved teaching that format. It was great! Thanks for sharing it – my riders and I really appreciate it!

  13. I do not see where to download the profile! Looks like a link is missing!

    1. Author

      They are there Diana, make sure you are logged into your account and they will show up. Enjoy!

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