Unleash Your Strength with “Hillacious”—A Power-Packed Strength-Building Profile

In our world of indoor cycling training, there’s a potent training objective that taps into the muscle fibers responsible for generating force. These types of workouts are designed to maximize strength and force development through slower cadences at higher intensities.

Introducing “Hillacious,” a strength ride by our own Karen Cruz with this very objective.

This profile revolves around hill repeat intervals, strategically employing the lower half of the 60s rpm cadence range. What sets this profile apart is its progressive structure: each interval extends a bit longer as the cadence subtly increases, creating a challenging yet rewarding experience as riders are asked to dig deeper to maintain the target effort with each new hill. 

Karen uses rate of perceived exertion (RPE) as the intensity metric in this ride. For those accustomed to power-based metrics, the work efforts in “Hillacious” translate to just below functional threshold power (FTP) for the initial interval (allowing riders to ease into the work), escalating to or slightly above FTP for subsequent intervals. 

Hillacious is a ride where strength meets intensity and every pedal stroke propels you closer to your fitness goals.

It’s crucial to note that high resistance at intensities of FTP or above may pose a risk to individuals with joint issues or who are new to cycling training. Instructors are advised to offer modifications for such riders, suggesting they lower the resistance and increase cadence to achieve the desired output without risking injury. 

Additionally, Karen’s classes are designed for 45 minutes; this profile is written for that length. For those teaching longer classes, consider adding an extra hill repeat plus a recovery song. Depending on the duration of your class (50, 55, or 60 minutes), integrate either a shorter (~3-minute) song at the beginning, a mid-length (~5-minute) song in the middle, or a longer (~7-minute) interval at the end, along with an additional recovery song. You can also add another cool-down song if needed. You can find 2,000 options of climbing songs below 140 bpm (70 rpm) in this post of bucket playlists organized by tempo.


  1. Wow! Love this playlist. I was struggling with what to do for my first of the year class with my regular riders. I have used the new years profiles in the past – they are great and inspirational but I think I will jump right into this and assign a motivational word to each climb. Thank you!!

  2. Perfect timing! I am making my cycling calendar for the year and I just added this title for my Sunday class as it is a shorter session. I know my riders will really enjoy the strength workout as they climb, climb, climb!

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