Before Your First Indoor Cycling Class, Learn to Talk REV™

Apr 08, 2014

By Christine Dailey


If you’re new to indoor cycling, this is a must-read. Indoor cycling, or REV™ as we like to call it, has its own language. While cycling jargon can easily be picked up after a few classes, this guide lays it out plain and simple. Rather than spending 45 minutes following the movement of your neighbors, learn the lingo and make the most of your workout!


Here are the need-to-know words and phrases:

Saddle: The bike seat.

Seated/standing: This is a no-brainer: seated means you’re sitting in the saddle. However, there are many drills that require you to come up out of the saddle and ride in standing position. When in standing position, it’s important to keep your butt back over the seat instead of just standing up tall and jumping off the pedals. Standing position can also be called a “jog” where you’re mimicking a light jog while standing on the pedals.

Hover: This requires you to lift your butt out of the seat but hover over the saddle while you continue to pedal in standing position. In this position, your body weight should be centered over the seat, even though you’re not sitting.

Resistance: To add resistance, turn the small knob under the handle bar clockwise. To take resistance off, turn it counterclockwise. Adding resistance makes it harder to pedal – like a hill getting steeper and steeper. Instructors will often tell you to “add half a turn” or “two full turns” to guide you to the appropriate resistance for that specific drill.

Cadence: In a

REV™ class the cadence is characterized by the pedal speed in revolutions per minute (RPM). For example, a cadence of 80 RPM means that one pedal makes a complete revolution 80 times in one minute. Instructors usually tell you what range your RPM should be for specific drills. During a typical REV™ class, you work within the cadence range of 60-110 RPM.

Climb: This refers to adding resistance slowly, either seated or standing, which would mimic riding a bike up an actual hill.

Lifts/jumps: This is a popular drill that has you moving from the seated position to standing or jogging position for short bursts of time. Usually instructors do drills with counts of two, four or eight where you lift for eight seconds and then come back down to seated for eight seconds.

Sprints: When in sprint mode, you go as fast as possible with flat speed resistance. Typically, sprints are done on a flat road without heavy resistance. However, it’s important to have some sort of resistance when sprinting as you would never pedal as fast as you can downhill – your legs would be spinning out of control.

Hand position: There are three different positions on the bike handle bar. Instructors will commonly yell out the position they want you in for a specific drill or exercise. Position one means your hands are close together in the center of the handle bars, oftentimes placing your hands one on top of the other. Position two is the most common and has your hands just inside the upward curve on the handle bars. When position three is called, place your hands on the top of the handles. Position three is only used when standing for a climb.