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6 Indoor Cycling Routines & Playlists For Group Fitness Workouts

6 Indoor Cycling Workouts, Routines, & Playlists

If you’re looking for some killer indoor cycling workout routines to take your classes up a notch, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are six rider-approved, sweat-inducing indoor cycling routines AND a Spotify link to the exact playlist, so you can test it for yourself.

Before you jump in, keep in mind that I like to teach my indoor cycling classes in a series of exercises that we do twice or three times through. I pick a couple exercises to make up the series, and we stick to it throughout the indoor cycle class. That way, participants know what to expect, so they can go big when they’re supposed to and not hold back for fear of another interval around the corner.

Indoor Cycling Routine Theme #1: Wear a Tie (50-minute workout)

The theme? Events where you’d wear a tie. All of the songs reflect an event or place you may wear a tie. Think: weddings, funerals, school, work, etc.

A couple optional add-ons that I’m personally toying with for my indoor cycle classes:

  • Dressing up like Avril Lavigne with a tank and a tie combo. (90s/2000s punk rock is back in….right? 🙂 )
  • Weaving a motivational theme that we don’t need to “show up” only for those Hallmark moments in our life. The “Weddings & Funerals” song near the end is PERFECT for this.

The Series

The series includes the following four workouts, done three times through.

  1. Song 1: Start moderate intensity, end hard by increasing resistance throughout the song. Go faster at the chorus.
  2. Song 2: Jumps. (Keeping resistance from Song 1.)
  3. Song 3: (Keeping resistance from Song 2.) Start seated with hard intensity, end standing and breathless intensity.
  4. Song 4: Breathless sprints.

The Playlist

Series Song / WorkoutSong
Warm-up“Suit and Tie,” MC Boy (A.R. Remix)
Song 1: Mod –> hard intensity“School’s Out,” Alice Cooper
Song 2: Jumps“Let’s Get Married,” Jagged Edge, RUN, Lamarquis Jefferson
Song 3: Hard –> breathless intensity“FUNERAL,” Neoni
Song 4: Breathless sprints“9 to 5,” Dolly Parton
Song 1: Mod –> hard intensity“Die Young,” Kesha
Song 2: Jumps“Teacher,” Nick Jonas
Song 3: Hard –> breathless intensity“Graduate,” Third Eye Blind
Song 4: Breathless sprints“Sk8er Boi,” Avril Lavigne
Song 1: Mod –> hard intensity“Why Don’t You Get a Job,” The Offspring (expletive in the beginning; might want to turn down volume)
Song 2: Jumps“Bossy,” Kelis, Too $hort
Song 3: Hard –> breathless intensity“Weddings & Funerals,” Royal & the Serpent
Song 4: Breathless sprints“Work Bitch,” Britney Spears (may want to opt for the clean version)
Cool Down“Die For You,” The Weeknd, Ariana Grande

Want to hear the songs? I’ve added all these songs and more to my Spotify playlist here.

Indoor Cycling Routine Theme #2: (Un)stoppable (50-minute workout)

The theme is unstoppable, but it evolves as the indoor cycle class progresses. It starts with all songs about being impenetrable, unstoppable—someone that never rests. But, near the middle, I introduce the idea that in order to be truly unstoppable, one must…stop…sometimes. I suggest reading a poem, but you can also speak from the heart about the need to slow down and prioritize what’s most important on your journey. And, then the second half of the songs are about stopping, breaking free, etc.

My suggestion for these motivational indoor cycling routines is to start the class pretty lighthearted. Keep it up beat and relaxed. As the class progresses, they’ll start to lower their guard and be more open to the journey you’re taking them on. It’s about halfway to two-thirds of the way through class where you can really get “deep” and share this mental teaser with them. Then, pull them out of the depths so that the class ends light hearted, as well.

The Series

The series includes the following four workouts, done three times through.

  1. Song 1: Climb 1. (You can add additional details to each song of this climb. i.e. seated or standing, resistance levels, etc.)
  2. Song 2: Climb 2.
  3. Song 3: Climb 3. (I like to end the climb at a breathless intensity and start the next song with a few seconds of recovery. If needed, I’ll restart the next song for sprints. I have a few extra minutes baked in for this.)
  4. Song 4: Breathless sprints.

The Playlist

Series Song / WorkoutSong
Warm up“Till I Collapse,” Eminem, Nate Dogg
Note: you may want to start the song and let it play for a few seconds and then ask folks to start pedaling with intention when the beat drops. It starts slow.
Song 1: Climb“Unstoppable,” Sia
Song 2: Climb“Titanium,” David Guetta, Sia
Song 3: Climb“Whatever It Takes,” Imagine Dragons
Song 4: Breathless sprints“Too Legit To Quit,” MC Hammer, Saja
Song 1: Climb“Never Gonna Give You Up,” Rick Astley
Song 2: Climb“Survivor,” Destiny’s Child
Song 3: Climb“Surrender,” Natalie Taylor
Note: Here’s where I introduce the concept “to be upstoppable, you need to stop sometimes.” If it suits you, you may want to read a poem during the song, like, “Unstoppable,” by Donna Ashworth.
Song 4: Breathless sprints“Don’t Stop Me Now,” Queen
Song 1: Climb“Love Myself,” Hailee Steinfeld
Song 2: Climb“Break,” Three Days Grace
Song 3: Climb“Stop,” Spice Girls
Song 4: Breathless sprints“Break Free,” Ariana Grande, Zedd
Cool Down“Don’t Stop Believin’,” Journey

Want to hear the songs? I’ve added all these songs and more to my Spotify playlist here.

Indoor Cycling Routine Theme #3: Catching Feelings (1-hour workout)

This indoor cycling routine theme has me catching feelings, well, because that’s actually the name of it. All of the songs have “feel” or “feeling” in the title. And, let me tell you: this playlist is SO GOOD. Can’t wait for you to catch feelings for it, too.

The Series

The series includes the following four workouts, done three times through.

  1. Song 1: A march at moderate intensity. At the chorus, increase pace and resistance to find hard intensity, then come back to that moderate pace.
  2. Song 2: Climb. Maintain the same pace but increase the resistance periodically to go from moderate to hard intensity and from seated to standing by the end of the song.
  3. Song 3: Keep the resistance from the last song and continue to stand. Intensity should be between moderate and hard (feel free to adjust resistance slightly to accommodate). At chorus, keep the resistance and have a seat to find a hard intensity.
  4. Song 4: Keep a heavy resistance, but can adjust slightly. 30 second breathless interval with 30 second recovery.

Between each series, I added a surprise sprint song, where I yell out a random time duration and intensity level that participants must comply with.

The Playlist

Series Song / WorkoutSong
Warm-up“I Gotta Feeling,” Black Eyed Peas
Song 1: Moderate intensity march; hard at chorus“Emotions,” Mariah Carey
Song 2: Climb (Start seated, end standing)“Feel Invincible,” Skillet
Song 3: Stand (mod. intensity); sit at chorus“The Way You Make Me Feel,” Michael Jackson
Song 4: 30 sec. breathless / 30 sec. recover“Feel It Still,” Portugal. The Man
Surprise Sprints“Dr. Feelgood,” Motley Crue
Song 1: Moderate intensity march; hard at chorus“Feel This Moment,” Pitbull, Christina Aguilera
Song 2: Climb (Start seated, end standing) “Feel like Makin’ Love,” Bad Company
Song 3: Stand (mod. intensity); sit at chorus“Can’t Stop This Feeling,” Justin Timberlake
Song 4: 30 sec. breathless / 30 sec. recover“Feeling This,” blink-182
Surprise Sprints“Take on Me,” a-ha
Song 1: Moderate intensity march; hard at chorus“Hooked On A Feeling,” Blue Swede, Bjorn Skifs
Song 2: Climb (Start seated, end standing)“Can’t Feel My Face,” The Weeknd
Song 3: Stand (mod. intensity); sit at chorus“Feel Again,” OneRepublic
Song 4: 30 sec. breathless / 30 sec. recover“Good Feeling,” Flo Rida
Cool Down“Can’t Fight This Feeling,” REO Speedwagon

Want to hear the songs? I’ve added all these songs and more to my Spotify playlist here.

Indoor Cycling Routine Theme #4: Lil Boo Theme (45-minute workout)

This is my “Lil Boo Theme” 45-minute indoor cycling routine and playlist, centered around my current obsession: “Lil Boo Thang,” by Paul Russell. All of the songs have Boo or Boo- in them. The best part? You can make it Halloween themed…or not. 🙂

The Series

The series includes the following four workouts, done three times through.

  1. Song 1: A march at moderate intensity. At the chorus, increase pace and resistance to find hard intensity, then come back to that moderate pace.
  2. Song 2: Jumps, alternating in and out of the saddle at the same pace and resistance. I like to cue jumps at differing intervals to keep it interesting. (e.g. “Do 4 counts in/out of the saddle four times, then 8 counts in/out of the saddle two times, etc.)
  3. Song 3: A march at hard intensity (which will require heavy resistance). At the chorus, decrease the resistance but keep the pace to find moderate / easy intensity.
  4. Song 4: Breathless sprints! You choose the intervals.

The Playlist

Series Song / WorkoutSong
Warm-up“Lil Boo Thang,” Paul Russell
Song 1: Moderate intensity march; hard at chorus“BOOMBAYAH,” BLACKPINK
Song 2: Jumps“Ms. New Booty – Radio Edit,” Bubba Sparxxx
Song 3: Hard intensity march; moderate at chorus“Boom Boom Pow,” Black Eyed Peas
Song 4: Sprints “Booty,” Jennifer Lopez, Iggy Azalea
Song 1: Moderate intensity march; hard at chorus“Boots On,” Randy Houser
Song 2: Jumps“Low (feat. T-Pain),” Flo Rida, T-Pain
Song 3: Hard intensity march; moderate at chorus“Bootylicious,” Rihanna
Song 4: Sprints “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!,” Vengaboys
Song 1: Moderate intensity march; hard at chorus“Boots,” Jessie James Decker
Song 2: Jumps“Booty Wurk (One Cheek at a Time),” T-Pain, Joey Galaxy
Song 3: Hard intensity march; moderate at chorus“Super Bass,” Nicki Minaj
Song 4: Sprints “BOOM,” Tiesto, Sevenn, Gucci Mane
Cool Down“My Boo,” USHER, Alicia Keys

Want to hear the songs? I’ve added all these songs and more to my Spotify playlist here.

Indoor Cycling Routine Theme #5: Steep Hills (45-minute workout)

Here’s an indoor cycling routine that’s received good feedback from riders. It’s a climb with a twist! We’ll start with your traditional climb, adding resistance as you pedal to move from moderate to hard intensity.

Once you get to the top of the hill, you’ll ask riders to maintain their resistance and do surprise sprints. That means you’ll call out a time duration and an intensity level (moderate, hard or breathless), count down from three and then folks will start their sprint.

The final song of the series is a reverse climb where participants will start with heavy resistance and hard intensity and take off resistance until they’ve found a moderate intensity level and are close to flat road.

The Series

We’ll do the following three workouts, three times through.

  • Song 1: Climb from moderate to hard intensity, seated.
  • Song 2: Maintain resistance from Song 1. Surprise sprints (shout an intensity level and duration, and GO!)
  • Song 3: Reverse climb. Start w/ resistance from Song 2 at a hard/breathless intensity. Slowly take off resistance as you go to decrease intensity.

The Playlist

Series Song / WorkoutSong
Warm-up“Draw The Line,” Aerosmith
Song 1: Climb“Remember the Name,” Fort Minor, Styles of Beyond
Song 2: Surprise Sprints“P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing),” Michael Jackson
Song 3: Reverse Climb“T.N.T.,” AC/DC
Song 1: Climb“Into You,” Ariana Grande
Song 2: Surprise Sprints“She Works Hard For The Money,” Donna Summer
Song 3: Reverse Climb“Our Own House,” MisterWives
Song 1: Climb“Fighter,” Christina Aguilera
Song 2: Surprise Sprints“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” The Police
Song 3: Reverse Climb“CAN’T STOP THE FEELING!,” Justin Timberlake
Cool Down“Just Like Fire,” P!nk, Wideboys

Click here for the playlist!

Indoor Cycling Routine Theme #6: Increasing Intervals (45-minute Workout)

Here’s one of my indoor cycling routines and playlists that I call “Increasing Intervals”.

The first series revolves around a “30” theme, so intervals and activities are held for 30 seconds each. So, we start with a climb, increasing resistance from moderate intensity to hard intensity, finishing the song with a 30 second breathless interval. The next song is breathless intervals and periods of recovery for the allotted time, so 30 seconds each in this case. Finally, the series wraps up with an increasing intensity drill. Every 30 seconds, participants increase intensity, either adding resistance, increasing leg speed, sitting or standing. There are a total of four intervals: moderate, hard, very hard and breathless intensity. The group can recover for the rest of the song and can continue to recover at the start of the first song of the next series, if needed.

The next series focuses on “45”, so we do the same activities this time for 45 seconds each. Then, we do these exercises again with a “60” theme, holding everything for one minute.

I like this indoor cycling workout, because it gives participants a chance to get good at the drills, but it also increases in difficulty as the class goes on. By the end, you’ll really need to motivate the participants to push themselves for the 1-minute intervals.

The Series

We’ll do the following three workouts, three times through.

  • Song 1: Climb, moderate to hard intensity. Breathless interval at the end.
  • Song 2: Breathless / moderate recovery intervals.
  • Song 3: Intervals: moderate, hard, harder, breathless.

The Playlist

Series Song / WorkoutSong
Warm-up“Bad Medicine,” Bon Jovi
Song 1: Climb, 30s breathless at end. “Bang Bang,” Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj
Song 2: 30s breathless / 30s recover“The Middle,” Jimmy Eat World
Song 3: 30s each: moderate, hard, harder, breathless“Rock And Roll All Nite,” KISS
Song 1: Climb, 45s breathless at end“Bring Me To Life,” Evanescence
Song 2: 45s breathless / 45s recover“Thnks fr th Mmrs,” Fall Out Boy
Song 3: 45s each: moderate, hard, harder, breathless“We’re Not Gonna Take It,” Twisted Sister
Song 1: Climb, 1m breathless at end“You Shook Me All Night Long,” AC/DC
Song 2: 1m breathless / 1m recover“Separate Ways,” Journey
Song 3: 1m each: moderate, hard, harder, breathless“Pour Some Sugar On Me,” Def Leppard
Cool Down “One Call Away,” Charlie Puth

Click here for the playlist!

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