Let the Music Play Spin Mix (34 minutes)

29 06 2008

A brand new mix of dance tunes. This one’s designed for a lunch hour class, but don’t make the mistake of thinking shorter = easier. Like life in Hobbes’ state of nature, this workout is nasty, brutish, and short. Here we go!

Black & Gold (Marcussen Album Version) – Sam Sparro (4:35): This was the free single on iTunes the other week and it’s pretty good. Warm up those legs. Nice smooth pedal strokes, abs engaged, shoulders, elbows and wrists loose.

Let the Music Play (Hard Candy Video Mix) – Jackie B. (3:55): Take the tension up to 5/10. This is a fast climb. Focus on your core, light on the handlebars.

E 08 (Renegade Master Remix Edit) – Tunnel Alliance (3:39): Eminem started it. Let’s do some sprints: 15 seconds on alternating with 15 seconds recovery. At 2:25, we’re going to make it harder: 15 seconds seated sprint, 15 seconds standing sprint, 15 seconds for recovery. Go!

Disturbia – Rihanna (3:59): A brand new tune from this talented artist who seems to produce nothing but dance-friendly hits. I predict this will be her next one. Time for some lifts: 8/4/2 beats. Tension should be around 5/10, nice, controlled movements throughout.

Just Dance – Lady GaGa (feat. Colby O’Donis) (4:02): Single-leg training at high tension 7/10 or 8/10. Do 2 sets of 60 seconds per leg. Remember to push down and pull up with the lead leg. The tension should be high enough here that you’re very happy to see the switch, but don’t take the cadence below 60 revolutions per minute.

Candyman – Christina Aguilera (3:08): I’ve been wanting to use this song in a spin mix for a while. It’s got so much energy, and we’re going to need all of it today. Standing sprints for the entire song – 16 counts sprinting alternating with 16 counts of recovery. It works out to about 6 seconds on/6 seconds recovery. Yes, you heard me right.

Pressure – Belly (feat. Ginuwine) (3:37): A slow, grinding climb at 8/10. Alternate 30 seconds seated with 30 seconds standing.

Eye of the Tiger (Football Republic # One Edit) – Willfire (3:51): The last drill of the day, time to sprint! There are four of them: 15/25/25/40 at 0:27 – 0:41, 1:11 – 1:38, 2:08 – 2:34, and 3:04 – 3:44.

Don’t Call Me Baby (Radio Mix) – Kreesha Turner (3:25): Don’t call her baby. Cool down and stretch. You’ve earned it.

According to a recent article in Fitness magazine, low fat chocolate milk is an “incredibly effective recovery drink.” It helps replenish exhausted muscles and significantly aids recovery. An Indiana University study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism concluded low fat chocolate milk is optimum for recovery, due to more carbohydrate, more protein, and more calcium than water or a traditional sports drink. The catch? Make sure your workout was strenuous enough to justify it. For best results, drink it within 30 minutes of completing your ride. Here’s a link to the article in Fitness magazine.

A follow-up (and counterpoint) on post-exercise nutrition from Toronto’s Globe and Mail: people concerned with their blood sugar levels or who are trying to lose weight should consume post-exercise calories cautiously.  While chocolate milk has the coveted 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein, size matters, as does the window during which the food is consumed.  The first 30 minutes after exercise are best, but the window for the body’s elevated rate of repair doesn’t close until about 2 hours post-workout.

A University of Massachusetts at Amherst study by Barry Braun looked at 16 sedentary, overweight subjects who walked on a treadmill for an hour a day at a moderate pace, to burn 500 calories.  Half replaced the lost calories with a sports drink and food immediately after the workout; the other half were given nothing.  The abstainers saw their insulin sensitivity spike 40% after exercise (a good thing), but there was no increase in sensitivity in the refuelled group.

Bottom line: for a regular 30-60 minute spin class, keep the chocolate milk intake to one small carton, if you decide to refuel.


Sandstorm Spin Mix (62 minutes)

11 06 2008

This is a 60 minute class designed for regular Spinners looking for a longer ride. Many of the drills offer modifications to present additional challenge for advanced riders. Typically, participants in hour long classes are chasing that pleasantly thrashed feeling when the class is over. This playlist should do the trick.

Saltwater (Original Radio Edit) – Chicane (3:30): Warmup and stretch.

Viva la Vida – Coldplay (4:04): Steady climb. Start with tension at 4/10 and increase every 60 seconds to finish at 7/10.

I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry (3:01): Keep climbing, only faster! Find the beat. Take the tension back down to 5/10 for each verse, and back up to 7/10 for the choruses. Advanced riders can try it at 6/10 and 8/10. Either way, the tension should make it challenging to maintain the beat here.

Stoned in Love (Radio Edit) – Chicane (feat. Tom Jones): Love, love, love this sprinting song. Three sprints here 30/30/30, one at each chorus. Tension should be at 4/10. Take them seated, or standing (advanced).

Sandstorm (DJ Cobra v. Doug Laurent Electro Edit) – Tunnel Alliance (3:33): Time for some lifts. Take them at 8/4/2 beats, or try random intervals (just explain the drill then call out 8! 2! 4! 2! 8!)

Keep Hope Alive (There is Hope Mix) – Crystal Method (5:43): This is a long climb for a single song, but your riders can take it. Start with tension at 5/10 and mix it up with various tension levels, seated and standing. Change it up every 20-40 seconds.

Beds are Burning (Radio Edit) – Novaspace (3:21): It took almost six minutes to climb the hill, but will only take three to go down. Sprint out each chorus 35/30/30. Advanced riders can turn the last sprint into a full 60 seconds, through the end of the song.

Sweet Dreams (Doug Laurent Mix Edit) – Overdub (3:15): Single leg training, 45 seconds per leg, 2 sets. This is not a break! Tension should be high enough that riders are very happy to get to the switch, while still maintaining 60rpm. Tension at 6/10 is about right.

The Way I Are (feat. Keri Hilson and D.O.E.) – Timbaland (2:59): Leave the tension at 6/10 for a combination standing/seated climb. When you hear Timbaland, stay seated. For Keri Hilson, stand.

Billy Jean (Morales and Heller Electro Warehouse Mix) – Groove Jet (3:43): Keep climbing! This is a faster climb, so reduce the tension to 5/10.

Beat It (feat. John Mayer) – Fall Out Boy (3:48): Continue the Michael Jackson theme for the next set of sprints, one at each chorus. These ones are longer at 45/45/60. Advanced riders can do one or more as standing sprints.

Bounce with Me – Kreesha Turner (3:08): Just plain lifts, 8/4/2 beats, one minute of each. Tension 4/10.

Give it 2 Me (Paul Oakenfold Edit) – Madonna (5:00): Another long climb for this advanced class. Do it with a slight lean toward the downstroking pedal. Start with tension at 5/10.  Advanced riders should increase the tension after each chorus.

U+Ur Hand – P!nk (3:34): Last set of sprints for the day – make them count! 30/30/60. Advanced riders should do one or more as standing sprints.

Love Generation (feat. Gary Pine) (Bob Sinclar Radio Edit) – Bob Sinclar and Gary Pine (3:34): Last drill before the cool down. This one is riders’ choice. It’s good for getting out anything they don’t feel they’ve had enough of. Try a steady cadence or some more single leg training, 2x 45 second sets for each leg.

Hard Sun – Eddie Vedder (5:22): We need a good cool down after a ride like this. Time to slow your legs and stretch.

Say – John Mayer (3:52): An additional cool down song for those who want or need it. Pleasantly thrashed? Excellent.

Labels or Love Spin Mix (42 minutes)

6 06 2008

I just want to start off this post by thanking everyone who’s stopped by the blog. In less than three weeks, I’ve had almost 700 views and I’m getting 70-90 views a day. I’d love to hear from you – leave me a comment and tell me your favourite Spinning tunes.

Tody’s playlist is another eclectic mix, with pop, rock, dance, and alternative music rubbing shoulders. About half the playlist is currently charting on iTunes.

When I Grow Up – Pussycat Dolls (4:05): The latest from this all-female group. Start with a nice, easy pedal with tension at 2/10. At 2:00, increase to 3/10. At 3:00, increase to 4/10 and start climbing.

I Kissed A Girl – Katy Perry (3:01): Yes, Katy, now we all know you kissed a girl and you liked it – it’s not that big a deal. Try, just try, to get this song out of your head. It’s pop perfection. This is a fast climb – take the tension up to 5/10 for the verses and increase it to 7/10 for each chorus. Advanced riders can go with tension at 6/10 and 8/10 – it is very challenging to maintain the pace with this tension.

In Love with a Girl – Gavin DeGraw (3:30): Gavin DeGraw also kissed a girl and apparently liked it as well. This is a grinding, high tension, seated climb. Take the verses at 8/10, but loosen up to 6/10 for each chorus and stand.

Bleed it Out – Linkin Park (2:44): We’re 10 minutes in and time’s a’wasting. Time to sprint! Take the tension to 4/10 and give me three: 15/30/30 at 0:37-0:51, 1:18 – 1:50, and 2:10 – 2:44. Download the clean version to avoid the word f**king.

Sandstorm (DJ Cobra v. Doug Laurent Electro Edit) (3:33): This version of the ubiquitous Spinning song is perfect for lifts. No predictable 8/4/2 beats this time – call out 8, 4, or 2 at random intervals – not even you will know exactly what’s coming next.

Labels or Love – Fergie (3:51): This is the theme song for the Sex and the City movie. I saw it opening weekend with one of my closest friends. It was much darker than I expected – the film explores the uncomfortable line between mature acceptance of human flaws and settling in relationships. We’re climbing again.

Sweet Dreams (Doug Laurent Mix Edit) – Overdub (3:15): A dance version of the Eurythmics’ 80’s classic. This song is versatile: you can climb, do lifts, steady cadence, or single leg training. How about riders’ choice? Pick your pleasure.

The River – Good Charlotte (3:15): A bit of time for recovery, then more sprints – three of them: 25/35/30. The first one comes at 0:56 – 1:20, 1:59 – 2:34, and 2:46 – 3:15 to finish the song. Advanced riders can choose to do some or all of them as standing sprints. Encourage all riders to try at least the first shorter sprint as a standing sprint.

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life – 54 (3:45): Lifts: 8/4/2 beats.  No using your arms – light touch on the bars only for balance. Switch it up around the 1:30 and 2:45 mark.

When I’m Gone – Simple Plan (3:42): Finish up with some single leg training. Switch it up every 50 seconds to get in two sets. Do the first set at a tension of 6/10 and turn it up to 7/10 for the final set.

The Time of My Life – David Cook (3:36): Cool down with the first single for Cook, winner of American Idol 2008. The song won the Idol songwriting contest, and despite criticisms of sappiness, peaked at a very respectable #3 position on the American Billboard charts, and #2 in Canada.

Dear God – XTC (3:39): An extra cool down song. I vividly remember hearing this song on the radio for the first time, shortly after its release in 1986. The DJ didn’t mention the name of the band. I couldn’t get the song out of my head so I went looking for it, but in those pre-Internet days, finding out who did a song usually involved walking into a record store and performing a dodgy rendition of the tune to see if the clerk would recognize it. Controversial for the chorus: “Dear God, I can’t believe in you,” the song has subsequently been covered by Canadian Sarah McLachlan.

Gonna Make You Sweat Spin Mix (43 minutes)

4 06 2008

Back in the 90s, we watched the latest videos on Much Music (or MTV) instead of YouTube. We bought CD’s at record stores instead of downloading songs from iTunes. At the gym, we listened to music on our Walkmans, with cassette tapes we dubbed at home. Working out was all about staying in the fat-burning zone. People lined up to use the latest, hottest cardio equipment: the StairMaster. Life was a highway, and we wanted to ride it all night long. This Spin mix heads straight back to the 90s. It’s an easier workout designed for beginner classes, and it’s far and away the most popular mix on this blog, with over 1,000 views. Variations on 90s music are also the most popular search terms that bring people to the blog – who knew 90s music was so hot?

Good Vibrations (Workout Remix) – Power Music (4:54): Mark Wahlberg had a #1 Billboard hit with this 1991 single, back when he was Marky Mark and had a Funky Bunch. The video is still on YouTube. In the mood, yet? Three minutes in, jack up the tension to 4/10 and start climbing.

Strike it Up – Black Box (4:32): This dance tune charted in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, the UK and USA. It was everywhere in 1991. Take the tension up to 8/10 and climb with the beat. Every 30 seconds, alternate between standing and seated climbs. Jack the tension up to 9/10 for the last minute.

Gonna Make You Sweat – C+C Music Factory (4:03): Another #1 hit from 1991. The opening bars are still played at sporting events. We’re doing lifts: 8/4/2, tension around 5/10.  Place your hands on the bars for balance only – this is all about the legs. Raise and lower yourself in nice controlled movements.

Laila – Dieter Bohlen and Blue System (3:26): Who? This German musician sold an impressive 125 million units worldwide and had 15 #1 hits in Germany, including Du hast mein Herz gebrochen (“You broke my heart,” according to Babelfish.) So how’d I get onto Dieter? I picked up a cassette tape for my Walkman in a bargain bin in St. John’s, Newfoundland. It was called Euro Dance Hits and featured Laila along with a number of other tunes, like Finally (CeCe Peniston), Show Me (Robin S.), and Rhythm is a Dancer (Snap!) and a few others I’ve never been able to track down anywhere else. I listened to that tape on dozens of runs and eventually lost it in a move. One thing I’ll say for old Dieter, he really knows how to make a girl sprint. There are four sprints here (at each chorus): 15/30/30/30 (give or take) at 0:14 – 29, 0:50 – 1:18, 1:54 – 2:23, and 2:37 – 3:07.

What is Love – Haddaway (4:34): Saturday Night Live’s Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan head-bobbed to this 1993 hit in their hilarious movie about two brothers desperate to get into a hot nightcub, A Night at the Roxbury. No head-bobbing here, just fast climbing. Keep the beat.

Mr. Vain – Culture Beat (4:32): Right away, you know you’re in for some sprints:30/40/40 at 0:30 – 0:60, 1:41 – 2:21, and 3:06 – 3:46 with nice 45 second recovery breaks in between. This song topped the charts in twelve countries in 1993.

Rhythm is a Dancer – Snap! (3:24): Single leg training, 2 sets of 45 seconds for each leg. Keep the tension high enough that you’re really glad when it’s time to switch legs – 8/10 or higher. Don’t listen too closely to the lyrics. One line, “I’m serious as cancer when I say rhythm is a dancer,” comes up regularly in polls of the worst song lyric of all time.

I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred (2:49): This one’s pure fun. Don’t discount Right Said Fred until you’ve listened to the charming Deeply Dippy, from the same album. We’re doing lifts: 2/4/8.

Blinded by the Light (Radio Cut) – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and Michael Mind (2:45): For the love of Pete, the lyric is not “wrapped up like a douche.” How do I know this? Exhibit A: the songwriting credit for this one goes to Bruce Springsteen, and I ask you, would the Boss write that? (Bruce’s version on iTunes is so different from this one that they don’t seem to be the same song.) Exhibit B: lyrics websites report that he’s actually singing: “Blinded by the light/revved up like a deuce/another runner in the night.” We’re sprinting for this one, just two, though: 30/45 at 0:37 – 1:07 and 1:52 – 2:37.  When the music goes, explode forward – race day effort!

Finally – Ce Ce Peniston (2:50): I will always remember this chirpy 1991 hit for the Australian Outback dance scene in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. In fact, you should watch it right now – it’s unforgettable. Here’s the Youtube link. I’ll wait. Okay, ready to climb? Tension at 6/10.

Sleepy Maggie – Ashley MacIsaac (5:28): This Cape Breton fiddler took Canada by storm in 1995 by infusing Celtic fiddle music with hip hop and dance elements. Mary Jane Lamond is on vocals (they’re in Gaelic.) MacIsaac is breathtakingly talented. He plays with such passion that he can wear out a fiddle bow in a single song. Cool down and stretch, then head back to the future.

Keep Hope Alive Spin Mix (34.5 minutes)

1 06 2008

Quite a few of the songs in this playlist are from #1 Club Hits 2008: Best of Dance, Trance, Electro, House, and Techno. 50 tracks for $9.99 on iTunes – you’re sure to find a dozen or more that you like. Unless, of course, you despise dance/trance/electro/house/techno. To paraphrase a local beer slogan, “those who hate it, hate it a lot.” So why do I use it? It’s still the most requested form of music in my classes. I like it myself, in small to medium-sized doses. Would I listen to it off the bike? Nope. Is it great to Spin to? Yep.

We Will Rock You (Ultra Club Sounds Edit) – Alex Twister (2:56): There’s a reason Queen’s most famous song is played at sporting events all over the world – it fires people up. Start with an easy pedal 2/10, increasing to 3/10 at the 60 second mark while you limber up. For the last 45 seconds, increase it to 4/10 for low tension climb – quick feet!

Shake It – Metro Station (3:00): Keep the tension where it is and continue climbing for the first 45 seconds of this song. All warmed up? Alright, let’s sprint! 25/25/45 at each chorus (0:45 – 1:10, 1:36 – 2:01, 2:17 – 3:00).

Keep Hope Alive (There is Hope Mix) – Crystal Method (5:43): Grab a drink and take a posture break – this next drill is a long one. When you’re ready, take your tension to 5/10 and start climbing. The voice is Jesse Jackson’s, from his 1992 speech titled “You Do Not Stand Alone.” Mix it up here with a variety of tension levels (up and down), plus seated and standing climbs. Switch it up every 20 – 40 seconds. This is the song that’s playing in the YouTube video of Johnny G’s wicked Spin class on the top of a Sao Paulo skyscraper – check it out on the About & Contact page of this blog.

Radar – Britney Spears (3:49): Just when you think you really need a break, we’re going to do some lifts, hard ones first: start with 2 counts for 60 seconds, then 4 counts for 60, then finish the song with 8 counts.

Billy Jean (Morales and Heller Electro Warehouse Mix) – Groove Jet (3:43): get that tension up to 5/10 and start climbing fast!

Gimme Gimme Gimme (Dub Kontor Mix) – Donna M. (3:19): This song samples Hung Up from Madonna’s Confessions on a Dance Floor. We’re going to do 3x 30 second sprints (I do them at 0:35 – 1:05, 1:48 – 2:20 and 2:45 – 3:14). There’s a recovery break of just under 45 seconds between the first and second sprints, and a shorter recovery of 25 seconds between the second and third. Come on, give’er!

4 Minutes (feat. Justin Timberlake and Timbaland) – Madonna (4:05): Third climb of the day, slowest of the bunch, so tension is higher here – start at 6 or 7/10.

Perfect Day – Cascada (3:42): Finish it off with three more sprints 30/25/60 at each chorus (0:33 – 1:03, 2:02 – 2:27, 2:43 – 3:42). This is your last chance to get that energy out! Give it everything you’ve got left.

Apologize (Workout Remix) – Power Music (4:21): One of my favourite cool down songs. Take the tension back to 3/10 then to 2/10, slow your cadence and stretch.

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