Rock ‘n Roll Spin Mix (43 minutes)

17 05 2009

It’s fair to say that Spinning attracts more men than any other group exercise class, but the majority of riders in my classes are women.  This mix is for my regular male riders, who’ve been asking me for more rock ‘n roll, please.  The photo accompanying this post is of my favourite male cyclist – my brother in law, James.

James on the bikeFortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival (2:22): Warm up your legs, here we go!

Break on Through (To the Other Side) – The Doors (2:30): Still warming up.  Pick up your cadence by 10% for the verses, 20% for the choruses, then back to 10% for the verses.

Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones (6:19):  Great.  Big.  Hill.  One of the most iconic rock songs of all time.  Jack up the tension to 7/10, come out of the saddle, and settle in for the grind to the top.

Rock ‘n Roll – Led Zeppelin (3:41): The whole song is one big, juicy sprint.  Starting at 0:06, do 15/30/45 seconds on/off, then sprint out the last 41 seconds to the end.  The sprints are at 0:06 – 0:21 (15 sec), 0:36 – 1:06 (30 sec), 1:36 – 2:21 (45 sec), 3:06 – 3:41 (35 sec).

Get Up – James Brown (2:50): You heard the man, get up.  We’re going to do some lifts, high tension around 8/10.

Born to Be Wild – Hinder (3:59): Steppenwolf (another Canadian band!) released this song in the summer of 1968.  Hinder’s version came almost 40 years later, in 2007 – now there’s a song that’s stood the test of time.  Adam Lambert did a dance version on this season’s American Idol and it’s not bad at all, but we’re in a rock ‘n roll mood today.  We’re going to do some standing sprints: 15 on/off, 30 on/off, 45 on/off/on.  The fun starts at 0:15.

Thunderstruck – AC/DC (4:53):  I have to give a big shout out to Fabia, another cycling instructor at my gym.  Thunderstruck and Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting are two of her signature songs, and they’re both fantastic to spin to.  Fabia is one of those instructors who has such a devoted following that riders are typically lined up a half hour before the class begins, just to make sure they get a bike.  Take 30 seconds for some well-deserved recovery, then take the tension to 4/10 and come out of the saddle for a climb.  Alternate between aggressive and regular stance every 60/45/30 seconds.

Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting – Elton John (4:56):  This is a mixed drill: climbs and sprints:  Start with a fast, out of the saddle climb for 60 seconds, then sit down and sprint for 60, then 45 seconds, 30 seconds.

Copperhead Road – Steve Earle (4:30):  Last climb of the day.  Start seated with the tension around 7/10 increasing every 45 seconds.  At 2:37, when the music picks up, decrease the tension to 4/10, get up out of the saddle, and go!  Race to the finish line two minutes away. Go! Go! Go!

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd (4:45):  Cool down.  When I was in my early 20’s I played keyboards in a band and often followed friends in other bands around to local shows.  This song will always remind me of a night at a not-very-fancy bar in Hamilton, Ontario, called the Carrot Club.  My friend’s band was opening for another act.  The headliners performed this song with some of the most astonishing guitar playing I’ve ever heard.  The two guitar players in the band threw the solo back and forth between them.  I no longer remember the name of the band, or the guys in it, but the song was unforgettable.

For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield (2:41): Some extra cool down and goodbye music.  This single was released in January, 1967 and peaked at #7 on the Billboard Charts.  Many people think the song was written about the Kent State shootings, but in fact the shootings occurred on May 4, 1970, more than three years later.  This is another song that’s stood the test of time.  In 2003, my spouse and I rented a row house in central Halifax, right on the edge of the ‘hood.  We shared a back yard with our neighbours, a group of early 20-something students.  We were all in the back yard one afternoon, enjoying the sun.  A couple of the students had guitars and were entertaining the group.  One of them said, “Hey, I heard the coolest song the other day – listen to this!” and started picking the intro to For What It’s Worth.

What do you think?  Do your riders prefer to spin to rock and roll, Top 40, dance, electronica/house music, or a mix of all of them?




16 responses

11 02 2013

I used your awesome playlist yesterday with the motorhead add with a class where most of them are road cyclists pro……. what a session it was!! energy and fut at the top!! it was just amazing!!! …..You dead a great job…, definetly! thank’s a’lot!!!


12 02 2013

Thanks Luca! Funny, I used this playlist last week myself. Glad you had a great ride.

10 02 2013
Big Lank

The last song I use before the cool down is Overkill by Motorhead. Set resistance at 60 – 70% and sprint for 5 minutes. I find that works really well.

18 09 2012

I dusted off this class last week (it was an hour long class, so I also raided the Are You Gonna Spin? Mix from way back in May 2008 for a few extra rock and roll tunes). I like rock but I don’t play a lot of it in my classes. The response to this class was fantastic – I have to rethink how infrequently I use it. A guy doing weights just outside the cycling room came in (twice!) to play air guitar (for AC/DC and later for Aerosmith) and four of my regulars gave it two thumbs up (though one only after asking, “is there any Pink Floyd?”)

I think it’s time to put together another rock ‘n roll playlist!

13 01 2012


23 09 2011

These are all GREAT. Thank you!!!!!

18 06 2009

Hey Cynthia,

The class overall liked the Metallica and some loved it. I was surprised and asked them prior to the song to just “work with me on this one” and promised a pop song to follow. After reading your rock n roll list though, I came up with an all rock and (almost) all climb playlist. This is what I used and the class absolutely LOVED it! A mixed group and a full class but 50 years of rock n roll (I opened with the Beatles Back in the USSR). Lemme know what you think!

Thunderstruck – AC/DC ______ (4:52)
“In and out of saddle climb” 40/20/60
Add resistance every 15 seconds (up to 2 minutes) until you cannot stand any more.
1:52 – 2:28 (15 seconds back in saddle)
2:42 – 3:04 (40 seconds back in saddle)
3:43 – 4:40

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty ______ (4:23)
“Sprints” 20/30/40/60
:35 – :55 (20 seconds recovery)
1:16 – 1:48 (20 seconds recovery)
2:11 – 2:50 (20 seconds recovery)
3:13 – 4:13

Elevation – U2 _________ (3:47)
“In the saddle climb with uphill sprint” 20/20/20
Double-time at the chorus
:52 – 1:12 (25 seconds until next burst)
1:36 – 1:56 (35 seconds until next burst)
2:34 – 2:54

Do You Wanna Touch Me – Joan Jett _______ (3:44)
“In and out of saddle climb” 30/60
Keep resistance VERY high & keep adding it.
:54 – 1:27 (30 seconds back in saddle)
1:56 – 2:56

Old Time Rock & Roll – Bob Segar ________ (3:15)
“Out of saddle climb”

Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey ______ (4:11)
“In and out of saddle climb”
Take the first minute to scale some resistance back and gradually begin to add again.
1:05 – 1:21 – standing run – pick up the pace
1:22 – 1:54 – aggressive racing stance
1:55 – 2:16 – back in saddle
2:17 – 2:32 – standing run – pick up the pace
2:33 – 3:05 – aggressive racing stance
3:06 – 3:20 – back in saddle
3:21 – 3:55 – aggressive racing stance

R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. – John Mellencamp ________(2:55)
“Sprints” 20/20/30/20
:05 – :29 (10 seconds recovery)
:40 – 58 (20 seconds recovery)
1:21 – 1:51 (30 seconds recovery)
2:21 – 2:41

Ride The Wind – Poison _______ (3:51)
“In and out of saddle climb” 20/20/30
:49 – 1:07 (back in saddle 40 seconds)
1:49 – 2:07 (back in saddle almost one minute)
3:03 – 3:35

Juke Box Hero – Foreigner __________(4:21)
“In the saddle climb w/sprint to the top” 10/30/20/10
:33 – :43 (10 second recovery)
:54 – 1:26 STAY ON THE HILL
1:27 – 1:47 ~~~~ out of saddle for 20 seconds
2:11 – 2:32 (50 second recovery)
2:32 – 2:54 ~~~~ out of saddle for 20 seconds
3:25 – 3:36
3:36 – 4:10 ~~~~ out of saddle and SPRINT out of saddle for last 10 seconds

Sex Type Thing – Stone Temple Pilots ________ (3:39)
“In and out of saddle climb”
In and out of saddle throughout the song

Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) – The Offspring ______ (3:11)
“In and out of saddle climb” 15/40/40/40
:17 – :31 (10 seconds in saddle)
:44 – 1:24 (15 seconds back in saddle)
1:38 – 2:04 (15 seconds back in saddle)
2:18 – 3:10

Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top _______ (4:13)
OPTION: “In the saddle climb” or hear my cues to get up and down throughout the song

Rock You Like A Hurricane – The Scorpions _______ (4:16)
“In and out of saddle climb” 15/15/30/40
:16 – :33 (30 seconds back in saddle)
1:07 – 1:24 (30 seconds back in saddle)
1:57 – 2:28 (
3:20 – 3:37 – (in and out of the saddle) and @ 4:00 – double time

10 06 2009

Hi Sarah,

Thanks so much! I dropped by your blog ( and really enjoyed how you riffed on the classic rock format for your class. I saw that you’ve ridden a double metric century and am in awe.

Take care,


10 06 2009
Sarah Trejo

Wow I just found your blog! Awesome! I teach 4 spin classes/week and I am always looking for new ideas. Like you, I have a few guys in my class who practically beg me for more rock ‘n roll. In fact, I always have to ‘prep’ one of my guys if it’s going to be more pop/dance music. Finally on Monday I said “Sean, Wednesday’s workout will be dedicated to YOU!” Being a child of the 80s I have to admit I don’t know much about rock ‘n roll so I googled ‘rock ‘n roll spin list’ and your site was the first that popped up. This is great! Look forward to coming back and checking out more. I occasionally post my workouts to my blog but I should do it more often. Thank you for sharing!

2 06 2009
Dave London

I just wanted to let you guys know that I am a member of a Facebook Group called

Spinning Music

it has 2000 people all talking about mixes and tracks for spinning music. Great stuff.

One person there gave me a tip for:

Also a good sight, if nothing else to steal their ideas ;-) or buy their mixes.


5 06 2009

Thanks, Dave. I’ve seen posts by this fellow on Facebook, and he dropped by this blog to comment. I’m a member of two Facebook Spinning groups. One’s called “I LOVE Spinning” and the other is “I’m addicted to Spinning.” I’m going to check out the Spinning Music FB group as well.

31 05 2009

Hi Cynthia,
I like what you are doing here and wanted to connect with you. I’m always looking for passionate people doing interesting things to interview for my radio show.
Please contact me if you would be interested in discussing.
John Macgowan

29 05 2009

I tried this for a class of all 20-something women and it didn’t go over well at all. (It was a beautiful day and my male regulars didn’t show up. I would have chosen something else but I’d already announced what type of music we’d be doing before the class began.)

Live and learn.

Denise, did you have better luck with it?

28 05 2009

Depending on who my audience is, I may try it out tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes!

27 05 2009

I’d enjoy it!

27 05 2009

I’m going to take a chance and play Seek and Destroy by Metallica. I think it will be an awesome climbing in and out of the saddle (a lot) song with a 50 second sprint right in the middle. It’s a 7-minute song so stay tuned to see how it goes over! My class knows I’m a rocker at heart so I think they’ll hang with me as they know there will be something different afterwards (for those who aren’t Metallica worthy).

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