A Solo Ride Set to Uptempo Movie Music

Here's your chance to ride hard to a movie-based playlist.

In honor of the Oscars and our collective love of movies, here’s an intense interval ride set to songs that appeared in popular movies. You'll tackle some hill climbs and lots of speed work in this workout—a combination that will boost your strength and stamina. Step one: make a playlist with the following songs. Want to crank up the fun factor? Try to identify what movie each song is from while riding (there’s a key at the end).

Now, fill a large water bottle to stay well hydrated and grab a towel because you're guaranteed to sweat!

Song:  Happy, Pharrell Williams

What to Do: Warm up. Sit and pedal steadily against light-to-moderate resistance for 1½ minutes. Transfer the work to your right leg for 30 seconds, then to your left leg for 30 seconds. Add resistance and engage both legs again.

Duration: 4 minutes   Speed (RPM): 80-100      Difficulty (RPE):  4-5

Song: Shut Up and Drive, Rihanna  

What to Do: Pedal while seated for 30 seconds; add enough resistance to support you in a standing position and bring yourself to a run (hands in position 3) for 30 seconds. Move to a standing jog (hands in position 2) for 30 seconds. Return to the saddle for 30 seconds. Repeat the pattern.  

Duration: 3½ minutes           Speed (RPM): 60-80             Difficulty (RPE): 6-7

Song: It Takes Two, Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock 

What to Do: Add medium-heavy resistance and pedal while seated, adding resistance every 30 seconds.

When you can’t take any more resistance in the saddle, bring yourself to a standing climb (hands in position 3) and stay there, continuing to add resistance every 30 seconds for the rest of the song.

Duration: 5 minutes        Speed (RPM):  45+ Difficulty (RPE):  8-10

Song: 1901, Phoenix

What to Do: While seated, pedal briskly with mild-to-moderate resistance on the bike.

Try to keep your pace steady the entire time.

Duration: 3¼ minutes     Speed (RPM):  80-90       Difficulty (RPE): 6

Song: Gonna Make You Sweat, C+C Music Factory

What to Do: With light to moderate resistance on the bike, find a quick baseline pace (70-80 RPMs) and pedal steadily for 30 seconds; do a 25-second speed interval (RPMs of 110). Repeat the pattern throughout the song. 

Duration: 4 minutes             Speed (RPM):  70/110           Difficulty (RPE):  7-8

Song: Footloose, Kenny Loggins

What to Do: Place moderate resistance on the bike, stand with your hands in position 3, and maintain a steady pace (between 70 and 80 RPMs) for 1 minute. Do a 45-second sprint, pushing your pace as fast as you can. Drop back to 70 to 80 RPMs for 1 minute. Do another 45-second sprint at maximum speed. Ride the last 30 seconds at a comfortable pace. (Note: You're standing for the entire song.)

Duration: 4 minutes             Speed (RPM):  70/100           Difficulty (RPE):  8-9

Song: Breath, Pearl Jam  

What to Do: Add medium-heavy resistance and pedal, seated, for 1 minute.

Add a little more resistance and rise to a standing climb for 30 seconds. Return to the saddle, add resistance, and pedal seated for 1 minute. Stand and pedal with hands in position 3 for 30 seconds. Sit, add resistance, and pedal for 30 seconds. Stand, add resistance, and climb for 1 minute. Return to a seated position for 30 seconds. Add more resistance if you can; finish the song standing.  

Duration: 5½ minutes           Speed (RPM):  45+        Difficulty (RPE):  8-10

Song: Jai Ho!, A.R. Rahman & The Pussycat Dolls 

What to Do: Drop your resistance to a mild-to-moderate level and pedal briskly while seated. Try to keep your pace steady the entire time.

Duration: 3¾ minutes           Speed (RPM):  80-90            Difficulty (RPE): 6

Song: Let’s Go Crazy, Prince   

What to Do: With moderate resistance on the bike, maintain a steady pace (60 to 70 RPMs) for 45 seconds. Increase your pace by 10 RPMs (70 to 80 RPMs) and hold it steady for 45 seconds. Next, push your pace by 10 more RPMs (80 to 90 RPMs) for 45 seconds. Finally, increase your pace to 90 to 100 RPMs for 45 seconds. Drop 10 RPMs from your pace (down to 80 to 90 RPMs) for 30 seconds. Drop to 70 to 80 RPMs for 30 seconds. Finish the song between 60 and 70 RPMs.

Duration: 4¾ minutes           Speed (RPM):  70/100          Difficulty (RPE):  7-8

Song: Livin’ la Vida Loca, Ricky Martin  

What to Do: With moderate resistance on the bike, find a quick baseline pace (70-80 RPMs) and pedal steadily for 20 seconds then do a 20-second speed surge (to 100 RPMs). Return to 70-80 RPMs for 20 seconds then rev it back up to 100. Keep the pattern going. 

Duration: 4 minutes             Speed (RPM):  70/100           Difficulty (RPE):  7-8

Song: Living in America, James Brown

What to Do: Add medium-heavy resistance, stand, and climb with hands in position 3. Add a little resistance every 45 seconds until you reach the top. Stay out of the saddle the whole way!

Duration: 4¾ minutes           Speed (RPM):  45+ Difficulty (RPE):  8-10

Song: Young and Beautiful, Lana Del Rey

What to Do: Gear down to a flat road and pedal steadily for 1 minute. Keep your legs moving, sit up tall, take some deep breaths, and do a series of upper body stretches. Follow with lower body stretches off the bike.

Duration:  4 minutes             Speed (RPM):  60+     Difficulty (RPE):  3-4

And that's a wrap!  

Song/Movie Key:

Happy, Despicable Me 2

Shut Up and Drive,  Wreck-It Ralph 

It Takes Two, The Proposal

1901, Boyhood

Gonna Make You Sweat, Chicken Little

Footloose, Footloose

Breath, Singles

Jai Ho!, Slumdog Millionaire

Let’s Go Crazy, Purple Rain

Livin’ la Vida Loca, Shrek 2

Living in America, Rocky IV

Young and Beautiful, The Great Gatsby

Continue Reading