The 3-2-1 Drill

This drill is designed to increase your body’s ability to process lactate in your muscles. The goal is to increase your maximum sustainable power, as the majority of the work is below threshold.

14 Responses to “The 3-2-1 Drill”

  1. Kristen Barricelli says:

    Wow! I taught this class yesterday. It was amazing and well received! Thank you!

  2. Colleen Neary says:

    You could refer back to Ramp It Up 3-2-1 (Through the Doors) an ICA existing profile.

  3. NinaMallette says:

    This drill looks like fun Sara-thanks! So you are recommending only 30 seconds recovery before beginning the drill again?

  4. Rod Hayward says:

    Sara. I took this drill for a test drive before I introduced it to my class. I thought it was an awesome and felt that it would be a perfect fit for my class. To say the least it was well received!! I am just wondering if you could build on this type of ride? Could you progress to a three, three, two ride??

    • Sara Zalesky says:

      Hi Rod:
      I’m glad your class liked the drill. You could increase the time spent at each effort level, but make sure your participants can handle two minutes above functional threshold. It’s not easy and takes conditioning. Remember, it’s not two minutes pedaling as fast as you can. Going above threshold takes your breath away and makes your muscles burn as they use up oxygen. If you do go for longer efforts, make sure the time spent in recovery between each set is longer.

  5. EdMaher says:

    Thanks for this profile suggestion. I taught it for my 6:00am class this morning and it went really well. …or they were all in a stupor from staying up to watch the Super Bowl last night 😉
    Giving it another shot later this week for my evening class.

  6. Mary Hawkins says:

    Here is the one minute drum track….

    Intro Uploaded 1:00 Michael W. Smith A New Hallelujah 0 129 10/27/08, 3:21 PM

    Thanks so much for the music suggestions. I’m going to look them up right now. 🙂

  7. Mary Hawkins says:

    Sorry!! I should have directed my comment to Sara. 🙂

  8. Mary Hawkins says:


    I’ve done the 3-2-1 drill before, but simply as a flat road….and only 2 intervals. I didn’t want to bore some of them. 🙂 But, wow, you’ve given me new ammo!

    So, if you did this as an entire class would you do, say 2 or 3 flat road intervals, then 2 or 3 hill intervals….or alternate to keep them engaged? Or would you put some sort of different drill in the middle as a transition from the flat road to the hill?

    I’ve got a one minute timer track that is just drums beating it out (with a clock ticking in the background) for exactly 1:00, that I could put at the end of the drill each time

    I’m going to try to put this together for next week’s classes. Thanks so much for expanding my thought process with this drill!


    • Sara Zalesky says:

      The idea of having that one minute of just drums is great. Decyfer Down’s Ride with Me is just over 3 minutes, Art of Dying’s Get Thru This is a little over 2:40. Or, you can go with a full 6 minute song like The Crystal Method’s Keep Hope Alive. You’ll keep your class engaged with transitions from sub-threshold flats right into a threshold climb. Use music that keeps the energy alive.

      • CarlaGraham says:

        Great suggestions, Sara! “Get Thru This” is so perfect, and it’s the perfect complement to Ride With Me. 🙂

        I am thinking about using “Masters of the Universe” by Juno Reactor.

        • Sara Zalesky says:

          Masters of the Universe, holy wow! That’s a new one to me and I must have it. I have another Juno Reactor song coming for Friday Favorites – keep an eye out for it.

  9. NicholeArthur says:

    Music suggestions??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *