Tempo Tantrum Profile

Not that I want to encourage any of my riders to throw a tantrum, but I do want to bring them as close to the edge as possible. What is riding tempo? How does cadence affect my power output, sustainability, and efficiency? How are heart rate and power affected when that delicate and steady world of tempo is disturbed?

There is more action and variables in this ride than you can shake a stick at. Even though the target intensity is Zone 3, you may find many of your riders lying on the floor kicking and screaming when it’s over.

The Spotify playlist can be found below.  Note that drEams and Earth Orbit are not available on Spotify.

You can download the PDF of this profile here. 


  1. I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one without power meters, so yes, Tom, I’m in the group with the same questions. 🙂


    1. Becky, don’t feel bad or left out. With the exception of my own studio (using Cycleops back in 2006) and riding at the Cycling Fusion Training Center, I’ve not had a club that offered power until January of this year. Tools are awesome, but NOTHING replaces the coaching skills of each instructor. Rock on!

  2. I used this profile on Monday and the hour flew by! For people who need stuff to do, this is it. Lot’s of skill building happening here for sure. For the load part, I had them add until their legs slowed down a bit, or until they felt a difference, then back up to tempo, which of course lessens the sensation of load because of the momentum of the flywheel. I don’t have power or “gears” on our bikes, either. Just cadence meters and RPE and coaching. Only myself and one other rider even use a heart rate monitor. I asked people how they felt about it, and some said “moderately hard,” which was actually what I think we’re going for. SST: sweet spot training: fun-fast, sustainable discomfort. I think we’ll do even better when we’ve ridden it a couple more times.

    I’ll be interested to hear what Tom has to say about the load part, and if I was even doing anywhere near what I was supposed to;) We sweat buckets but didn’t feel beat up at the end of it. I like the repeated added loading because I think people can often do more than they think if they are given the opportunity to kind of sneak up on it.

    1. Andrea, it sounds like you nailed it. For the most part it is an experiment as each person will perceive the load differently. I love your description (which I will steal), “fun-fast, sustainable discomfort”. That is sweet for sure. The overall goal is to slightly disturb tempo (Zone 3) and then be able to return to it. If a rider feels they were not able to get their effort back to tempo before the next load or standing effort arrived, they should skip the effort until they can resume tempo.

  3. tom,

    Quick question, I just bought the music printed the profile read thru it would like to use it for my class this evening, one question – as far as the loading of resistance – I don’t have power meters on our bikes, are we keeping the load on when we return to tempo or backing it off? reason being – how many times could one load if they were already in zone 3 at the prescribed cadence? just wondering it appears you keep the load on as your profile never suggests taking it off but I just wanted to be sure. – HOpe to hear back soon. Thanks! Kelly sprague

    1. Hey Kelly, I apologize if that was not clear. When we ask our riders to “return to tempo”, this involves either backing off the load or returning to the saddle. In either approach, the rider should be able to recapture their heart rate or desired perceived effort in Zone 3.

  4. Looking forward to teaching this one! I changed some of the songs based on what I already owned but was happy to make some new purchases.

  5. Tom – This looks like a great profile! I’ve already downloaded the songs and plan to use it as part of my 2-hour Saturday morning ride this coming Saturday.
    Your profiles are great, especially the ones you create in Class Builder and translate for us. I’m able to take a profile like this, download the music and build my profile in a very short time in the app and I’m ready to go. You make me look like a rock star!
    I also have to give you and the ICA much of the credit for your advice on teaching with video (virtual and Class Builder). I’ve been the pioneer at the studio where I lead class by getting them to install a projector – YAY! I’ve taught about a dozen virtual and/or Class Builder classes now and I now have to turn riders away at the door because my classes are PACKED!
    Thanks again for all your advice, profiles and wisdom!
    Keep it up,

    1. Eddie, you are most welcome. That is AWESOME how you have drawn such a crowd that people are getting turned away at the door (bummer for them). I certainly commend you for putting in the time and going after education and resources. This is what makes us all shine. Where are you located by the way?

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