Happy New Year!  Funny that this is the No Stress Spin Mix, because for the first time, I had a wicked case of playlist block while putting it together.  I have well over 1000 songs on my iPod (and added close to 100 more over the holidays) but nothing seemed to fit, and when a song did fit, it didn’t fit with the other songs I already had.  Even an eclectic playlist has to have some cohesiveness.

aquaspinningSo, then – this first playlist of 2009 is all-new except for one Lady GaGa song.

The photo?  It’s an aquaspinning class.  I’d never heard of such a thing.  When I Googled aquaspinning, I got 14,000 hits.  You learn something new every day.

One Day – Delta Goodrem (3:38): Thanks to reader Denise for puting me on to this talented Aussie singer/actress who got her start on the long-running soap, Neighbours.  Goodrem had the #1 album and single in Australia when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 18.  She beat it and is engaged to be married in 2009.  When she sings, “One day, it will be okay,” it sounds like a mantra.

No Stress (Radio Edit) – Laurent Wolf (3:21): This disco-inspired song hit #1 in France and Belgium in 2008 and it’s fitting for the first week back to work after the holidays.  We’re going to burn off whatever stress we have left.  Take the tension to 5/10 for a fast climb.  Increase it one more time before the end of the song.

I Drove All Night (Hex Hector Extended Vocal Import Mix) – Celine Dion (7:50): This is the first time I’ve used a song by monster Canadian artist Dion, who has sold more than 200 million albums.  I’m going to steal a move I observed from another instructor while taking a cycling class this weekend: alternate 30 seconds of climbing with 30 seconds of in-your-seat sprinting.  I start this song at 0:28 and explain the drill.  The first sprint starts at 0:56.  Keep the tension at least 4/10 or higher – no bouncing on the saddle.  This song is long enough for seven 30 second sprints.

Stayin’ Alive – N-Trance (4:05): Hip hop meets electronic in this version of the disco anthem that became a surprise hit for N-Trance.  Back to a straight climb here, with a slight lean to the downstroking leg.  Start with an easy tension of 4/10 but increase it every 15 seconds until you hit your max, then take it back down, notch by notch.  Repeat.

LoveGame – Lady GaGa (3:32): Lady GaGa performed in New York on New Year’s Eve and has two songs in the top 10 on iTunes right now.  Increase the tension every 15 seconds until you get to 9/10, then keep it there, or alternate 30 seconds of standing climb with 30 seconds seated, all at high tension.

Lady Killer – Kreesha Turner (3:35): I first heard this song on local radio station 101.3 The Bounce and found myself humming it hours later.  I should have recognized Turner’s distinctive voice – it’s her latest single.  We’re doing some high tension lifts – tension at least 7/10 or 8/10.  Start with 8 beats, switch to 4 for the chorus, then back to 8, with a tension increase.  At 2:10, after the bridge, go to 2 count lifts for the rest of the song.

Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) – 411 (5:39): I couldn’t legitimately work this song into a Best of 2008 spin mix, so here it is for the first playlist of 2009.  Cool down and stretch.  The lyrics began as a 1997 Chicago Tribune column by Mary Schmich titled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young.”  It was set to music by Baz Lurhmann and became a worldwide hit.

Below is a May 2008 article from the U.K.’s The Guardian comparing indoor and outdoor cycling on four fronts: cardiovascular fitness, perceived effort, convenience, and lower body strength.

Spinning vs Cycling

Cardiovascular fitness

Spinning: A study by the American Council On Exercise found spinners worked at 75-96 % of their maximum heart rate – far exceeding the minimum requirement.

Cycling: Not quite as good as spinning . Still, research shows the average amount of oxygen the body can take in and use each minute is 73.5ml/kg in pro-cyclists – compared with 42ml/kg in non-cyclists.

Perceived effort

Spinning: The fact that there’s no respite in spinning – no change of scenery, say – can make spinning “feel” harder than cycling outdoors. However, the music and group motivation can help to off set this.

Cycling: The varied intensity of outdoor riding – freewheeling, uphill inclines, etc – can make it feel much more satisfying and spontaneous than fi xed cycling in a closed environment.


Spinning: Once you get to the gym, you can work at your own personal level, while still being part of a group – in a dry, temperature-controlled and safe environment.

Cycling: Since you can cover a lot of miles in an hour, you need to plan your routes – and watch the weather. There’s also an inherent risk from being on the road . And, if you do get hooked, cycling can be expensive.
Lower-body strength

Spinning: Spinning uses the same muscles as road biking. However, the weight of the fl ywheel ( 14-18kg) increases the number of pedal strokes per minute, forcing the hamstrings to work harder.

Cycling: Cycling uses all the major lower-body muscles – the glutes, hamstrings, quads, shins and calves. The thighs, in particular, are worked incredibly hard.
Calorie expenditure

Spinning: The fixed wheel of a spinning bike means you can’t “freewheel” – so your muscles work the whole time. This makes it a pretty high-intensity activity, burning a lot of calories.

Cycling: Cycling has the potential for high-energy expenditure – particularly when you’re covering high mileage or taking in hilly terrain. The average Tour de France rider burns 124,000 calories during the race.