Do You Start With the Song or the Drill First?

Do You Start With the Song or the Drill First?

When planning drills for your classes, which do you start with, the song or the drill? 

I used to start with the drill and try and match a song but over the years I have learned that the flow of a drill works wonders when you start with the song. 

I find the easiest way to create drills for my class is to start by letting my Spotify run wild. I usually let the music play until I hear "that" song, then I quickly add it to my "To Be Choreographed" playlist. 

Next up, I listen to the song repeatedly and write out the song in terms of seconds by a process I call "chunking it down." From there, I will get on my bike and ride and see what feels natural with the cadence and gears in the pieces of the song. If you listen carefully, the 32, 16, 8 and 4 count can represent intervals as well as the chorus in songs. 

Now I am not saying that you can't start with the drill first and then find a song to match, but what I did find when I used to create drills with the song second was it always felt off. If I am going to use a drill first, song second, I choose a song that is more steady in tempo.

For instance, a song like "Just Be" by Tiesto (Club Remix) is 9:49 in duration. The first 49 seconds is slow but for the remaining 9 minutes I add in 45 second speed or power intervals with 15 seconds of recovery for a total of 9 sets. 

In terms of choreographed drills, I have created hundreds of drills around songs and the best part, it makes creating a playlist easy, because the song is associated with a drill. Therefore, I am not creating countless drills to one song and the songs flow with the drills.

For more choreographed drills, check out my ebooks at and don't worry, I have lots of timed drills in the ebooks too!

Whether the chicken came before the egg or the song before the drill, it is irrelevant if the song and drill don't flow together. When you are creating drills, make sure the song creates energy for the drill and vice versa.

Happy Teaching!

Rachel Seay

Creator of Indoor Cycling Teaching Ideas

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