Who Do You Love Spin Mix (50 minutes)

22 05 2010

Hello and welcome to Spinning Music!  Guest blogger Darcy here…also known as SpinCycles.  For as long as I can remember, I have incorporated fitness into my life.  I think the first workout video I used religiously was Cindy Crawford’s Shape Your Body Workout….circa 1992 and on VHS, of course!  I quietly, but quickly, turned my parent’s basement into my own personal work-out studio.  Living in a small mid-western town did not provide many gym options, so I had to create my own.    Workout videos finally progressed into real live group exercise classes thanks to breaking out of the small town & attending college in Chicago.  Step aerobics, and high low were staples, but for me, it was Spinning that made the most impact, as well as the one I kept returning to time and time again.  The pumping music, dark room, me + a bike; I just couldn’t get enough.  Spinning became an essential aspect to my workout routine.

It wasn’t until a few years ago I successfully transitioned from a face in the crowed to the one who is facing the crowd motivating my gym members to give me just a little more effort.  Currently you can find me teaching at a variety of Washington Sports Club locations in the DC-Metro Area, and of course on my blog at www.spincycles.wordpress.com.

I think music plays a huge role in a successful Spinning profile and I love searching for music to add to my playlist.  Generally, I am partial to the alt-rock/pop genre, but I try to mix it up (I know people can only hear so much Green Day & Weezer!)  The bottom line is that I’m always searching for the perfect song.  You know…the one that within the first few notes instantly stirs up an emotion, your heart rate quickens just a tiny bit, and you know you can push on a bit longer.   I bet you are thinking of one right now!

This profile does not disappoint in either music selection or action…it’s all about the intervals & enjoying our after burn (i.e. Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption).  Here’s the playlist and breakdown:  You are going to work very hard in this class, elevate your heart rate, push yourself out of your comfort zone for 4-5 minutes…but after each push you’ll be rewarded with a 1-2minute recovery.  Every time!  I promise.


Nothing to Worry About (Jocko for Teddybears Remix) – Peter Bjorn and John (5:18):  Take time for a really good warm up today.  Start with light resistance.  Progressively add every minute.


Who Do You Love? – Ted Leo and the Pharmacists (4:15): Flat road.  Your gear might be just fine from the warm up, but if it’s too thick, just drop a little…just a little, remember to hit it hard, a recovery is right on the other side (besides, we’ve just begun…toughen up!)  Start out of the saddle for 1 minute to raise the heart rate, seated fast pace 1 minute (keep the HR up), stand for 1 minute, finish seated.

Battery Run – Thomas Newman (1:14):  Recover.  Don’t let your heart rate drop below 65% of max (we want to recover around 65-70% of MHR)


Boys Wanna Be Her – Peaches (3:56):   Begin in a standing climb for about 1 minute.  Then the stair steps start!  30 seconds alternating between standing and sitting.  Keep the cadence to match the beat.  Oh yeah, that smoke you’re smelling…it’s your legs…on fire!

Go Go Go – John Murphy (2:11): Recover at 65-70% MHR


Medicate – AFI (4:21):  Medium resistance/find a moderate effort out of the saddle.  Start with a standing flat…but I want it fast.  Jump on the chorus (“medicate, you and me…”)  The song slows around 2:33, slow the standing run to a jog.   Remember to keep good control during your jumps.  If you have knee problems, or jumping is uncomfortable, turn the jumps into speed surges.

Was in der Zeitung Steht – d.o.c.h.! (1:56):  Recover at 65-70% MHR


Blood on My Hands – The Used (3:18): Heavy, hard, challenging, tough resistance.  Standing climb (hands in position 3 of course.)  Speed surges on the chorus (“there’s blood on my hands…”)

Check – Goose (1:38): Recover.


But Tonight We Dance – Rise Against (2:48):  Find a moderate resistance out of the saddle and jog…run on the chorus.  Hands are in position 2, weight is balanced over the center of the bike.  Make your legs work for you.

Since that was a short song, you get a two-for in this interval.  Here we go….

Hurry Up Let’s Go – Shout Out Louds (2:19):  Keep that resistance knob right where it is.  Have a seat.  I’m going to ask you for a faster cadence with little tiny speed surges on the chorus (i.e. when the music speeds up.)  Earn your break!

Safari Beach – Goose (2:20):  Hello recovery, we missed you!

INTERVAL #6  also known as the FINAL INTERVAL! (please hold your applause until the end)

You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Soulwax Remix) – The Rolling Stones (6:07):  This is all you….one last climb, make it your own.  It can be a seated climb, a standing climb, or a combination of both.  All I ask is that you dial up the resistance every minute….again, it’s your choice how steep to make the climb.  Your ride, your mountain, just CLIMB!

Meet Me on the Equinox – Death Cab for Cutie (3:44):  Recover & cool down.

What a Day (2008) – Greg Laswell (5:09):  Stretch, breath, pat yourself on the back ‘cause you made it!

Yay for intervals…burn fat burn!

— Darcy

Thanks, Darcy!  Each of these songs or mixes was new to me and I really enjoyed checking them out on iTunes.  I think my favourite is Nothing to Worry About for its juicy warmup energy.  I really liked how you found short recovery tunes to balance each interval.  Can’t wait to try this one.

I noticed that many of your choices are from TV or film soundtracks (Battery Run from Jarhead, Boys Wanna Be Her from The L Word, Go Go Go from 28 Weeks Later, Hurry Up Let’s Go from Good Luck Chuck, Meet Me on the Equinox from Twilight: New Moon).

Darcy made an iMix for this playlist called Cynthia’s Spin Mix – SpinCycles Style.  Check it out on iTunes here.

May 23 is my two year blogiversary.  Yes, it’s true – SpinningMusic is two years old tomorrow.  It’s grown from a wee blog averaging 150 views a day in year one to more than 1,000 views a day now, and a total of more than 380,000 views since it launched.  It’s not like a cyclist to be happy with traffic, but this traffic, I like.  My favourite thing about the blog is the community that’s grown up around it – I so enjoy hearing and learning from you.

Our next guest post is from Aquagirl.  Look for it on June 1.  Happy spinning!


Energy is You Spin Mix (45 minutes)

16 05 2010

Warm Weather has finally arrived.  Time to dust off the road bikes and head out for the “Flat as a Pancake” century ride here in Southwestern Illinois.  Don’t fool yourself, this ride is not flat as a pancake as I discovered the first time I attempted a century ride (100 miles).

My name is Beth Ann and I’m your guest blogger for May 15.  I’m 50 years old, my husband Keith is errr…around 55 or so and we love to road and most recently, mountain bike.  A word of advice, make sure you get shocks on your mountain bike is you are in our age range…good for the tush and assorted joints throughout the body.

Today’s ride begins with your main objective:  FUN… remember the music is your “outdoor” road, so let’s set the tone early on…MOVE YOUR FATTY ACIDS is the theme and we will be on mixed terrain.  Fasten the brain sieve (helmet), hop on the ole’ beater (your mountain bike) and let’s bag out of here!

Jai Ho – A.R. Rahman (4:15):   Warm-up.  Get ready to ride today. We are coming out of the saddle early…roll the shoulders, neck, practice slow and deep breathing.  We have a great mix and workout today.

Tarzan Boy – Baltimora (6:01): Let’s get into our first KICKER of the day.  Start at a light hill climb and stay in the saddle.  Keep working it (change hand positions if you want), stretch out and ohhhh those glutes.  If you feeling strong (or you want to get strong) crank up the tension and let’s stand and yell like Tarzan…all the way to the end….crank those chains baby!

Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas (3:54):  No Rest!  Stay in a moderate tension and move the hips back for some “off road” excitement-back to the river beds and baby heads (small boulders)!  Stay rhythmic and smooth.  Let’s do a few attacks…increase that cadence and burst out of the saddle for a few seconds (10 to 25 seconds).   Ease back into the saddle and slow down by cranking it up two gears.  Light on those bars-covered with ooze!

Conga Fury – Juno Reactor (7:16):  Not much to say, speed drills…feel the road, feel the speed, go to the flats with a light wind resistance, knees to chest and hammer on the pedals and go. (When the song slows, yell rock slide, slow down, grab water, half turn up and when music picks up tempo, hit it hard and fast).  Turn over those legs baby—focus until the road fades out.

Goodbye – Kristina Debarge (3:20):  Keep digging into the road…three pointers coming up…then back to heavy hills….a little screamer to wake up those lungs and legs.

Surfing Drums – Dick Dale (4:41) Back to the rolling hills for some speed and fun.  Stand and jog to stretch the legs…wind is to the side and surf is up!  Add tension…relax the shoulders and speed up over the next hill (chorus line).

Energy is You – The Hitmen (4:04):  Ahh..Sunrise, coastline, open, super flat road…steady pace with the music…breathe and be!

Don’t Cha vs. Pon de Replay – Pussy Cat Dolls vs. Rihanna (4:23):  Ok, this is an out of the saddle grinder.  Back to some steep hills with little decline!  Heavy Hills for the “Don’t Cha” and Light Hills for the “Pon deReplay.”  Better wake up the legs on this one baby.

Ceu da Boca – Ivete Sangalo (3:04):  No rest for the weary…keep standing and go to a light climb with a moderate cadence…throw in some “mini attacks” and a few “power surges” to wake up the body!

I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go – U2 (4:05):  This will leave your mind screaming…continuous climb…that has you going no, no, no!  Shout back with defiance, a mighty, YES, YES, YES!  Let’s make it hurt a lot in a p90X sort of way…”HATE IT” but “LOVE IT”!

I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas (4:04):  I gotta a feeling that this ride is two thumbs up or two thumbs down.  Either way take extra care of those muscles today.  Start with the neck and work through the shoulders, arms, back, quads, hips, hamstrings, and calves.  Fill the lungs with air-final stretches and goodbye.

Credits to J.R. Atwood for some of the verbiage.

— Beth Ann

Thanks, Beth Ann!  I love the energy of your ride.  I was so excited to get your playlist with new tunes to check out.  I hadn’t heard Tarzan Boy in so long.  Love Conga Fury and the retro energy of Surfing Drums.

I went back to the gym this week.  My better half asked me what I wanted for my first Mothers’ Day and I said, “Body Pump!”  So he had some Kate time and I went to the gym on Mothers’ Day.  I was sore for about three days, but it felt so good to move.  I was back at the gym on Wednesday and I’m looking forward to my first outdoor ride of the year.

Got a note from Amy asking what I’m listening to these days.  One of my newest faves is Airplanes (feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore a.k.a. Eminem) by B.o.B.,  Naturally, by Selena Gomez (part of Tim’s mix), Break Your Heart feat. Ludacris, by Taio Cruz, In My Head, Jason Derulo, and Sexy Bitch, by David Guetta.

I’ve included a couple of pics of Kate.  The first was taken this week on the way to a doctor’s appointment.  The second is of one of her first smiles.  I love the look on her face in this one.  She’s such an easy baby – we are blessed.

Happy spinning, everyone!  Look forward to Darcy’s ride on May 22.  She blogs over at SpinCycles – check it out.

Thunderstruck in the Hot Summer Rain Spin Mix (45 minutes)

1 05 2010

My name is Tim, and I am a newly qualified spinning instructor. The first time I ever went to a spinning class was about 4 years ago, when my brother talked me into it. I found it very tough the first time (I thought I’d have to call an ambulance). However, the euphoria that I experienced while cooling down afterwards led me to go to a spinning class again, and again, and again… I eventually liked it so much that I started to train to be an instructor, and a year later, I was teaching spinning classes of my own in the gym.

I regularly attend the classes of the other (more experienced and skilled) spinning instructors, as I get a great workout, and it gives me great ideas for routines and songs!

My love of spinning arises from the group effort (if I was on my own, I would probably give up sooner!), the music, and the motivation of the instructor. My spin mixes usually don’t have a thematic connection, but rather just a collection of what songs I find the most effective at giving me the best workout, and hopefully those that attend the class!

Naturally (Dave Audé Radio Remix) – Selena Gomez & The Scene (4:01):  Warm up. Start off easy, increasing the resistance in steps. By the end of the song, everybody should be well warmed up and pushing for the beat.

Thunderstruck – Blizzard Brothers (3:55):  A cool remix of a well-known AC/DC song. Get sprinting. What I do is divide the group into two, and get them to sprint alternatively (while one group is sprinting, the other is resting, but still going fast while they are resting).

Hot (Cahill Radio Edit) – Inna (3:01):  The big climb is starting now. The next 3 songs are all part of one standing climb, so remind the class not to decrease the resistance or sit down between songs. Choose a high enough resistance, but don’t over do it – you will be climbing for the next 15 minutes (simulates climbing a hill or mountain in real life cycling).

Summer Rain (Alex K Klubbed Up Mix) – Slinkee Minx (6:08):  Continue the climbing, off the saddle the whole time. It’s getting a bit faster but challenge everybody to push for the beat.

Bruised Waters (Chicane Rework Mix) – Chicane & Natasha Bedingfield (2:59):  It’s getting faster, but push through it. You can almost see the summit of the mountain. Keep climbing out of the saddle, making sure that everybody’s form is correct.

Telephone (Kaskade Extended Remix) – Lady GaGa & Beyoncé (5:24):  The final section of the climb. The class will be very tired but challenge them to increase the resistance for the final stretch. The summit of the mountain is in clear sight! Once you are finished this song, congratulate your class on having climbed for almost 17 minutes (no easy feat!). Sit down, take all the resistance off, and take a drink in preparation for the sprints.

The Sound Above My Hair – Scooter (4:36):  Once you get to the top of that hill, you need to sprint down it! These sprints are fast, and should be done by the whole group together. Challenge the class to stand while sprinting for some of it, but make sure they are comfortable with doing this. Remind them to lift only a tiny amount off the saddle, as if you lift right up, it will be uncomfortable on your knees. Beginner riders can remain seated!

Fade Like The Sun (Frisco Remix) – Stunt (4:56):  More sprints (cruel!) Split the class into two (or more) groups and have them sprint against each other. I find that people work hardest when they are being competitive.

Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) – Supershake (3:30):  Turn the resistance way up, and have the class do lifts out of the saddle. It’s a slow song, so maybe start of with counts of 4 (Up-2-3-4, Down-2-3-4) and after a minute or so reduce it to counts of two (Up-2, Down-2). Increase the resistance as necessary during the song. Only lift a tiny bit off the saddle each time, as this allows your muscles to do the work rather than your joints.

Self Control (Club Edit) – Paffendorf (3:28):  Final songs. Really fast sprints. Give it 120% as after this it is the cooldown. Do the sprints on the saddle and off the saddle. Going very fast is fine once you are in control – make sure nobody is spinning their legs out of control! Remember, if you are lifting off the saddle, only lift a tiny amount, as it doesn’t put pressure on your knees. It will almost look like you are sitting down, but it will feel much harder as you will be sprinting against your weight also.

Rude Boy – Rihanna (3:42):  Cool down and stretch.

Tip: Drink water all the time. I can assure you that you will feel better if you drink water regularly. I started drinking around 1.5L of water everyday for the last month and I find myself jumping out of bed in the morning! It certainly increases your energy levels. The downside is that you go to the toilet a lot more, but it’s worth it!

Thanks for reading! I had fun writing it.

— Tim

Thanks, Tim!  I can always count on you for great dance and electronica tunes.  Next up is Beth Ann, on May 15.

A recent comment by Dr. Cathy W on the I Know You Want Me Spin Mix got me thinking.  Dr. C. pointed out that when she teaches a spin class, she gives 100%, because she’s noticed that riders give a little less than the instructor.  So if the instructor isn’t giving it her all, nobody’s getting the best workout.

I think Dr. Cathy is on to something here.  A recent Globe & Mail article referenced a Ball State University study where two groups of 10 men were put through identical 12-week weight-training regimens.  The groups were evenly matched at the outset, but by the end of 12 weeks, one group had gained 32% more upper body strength, and a whopping 47% more lower body strength.  The effects of some new performance-enhancing drug?  Nope – using a personal trainer.

The researchers concluded that what resulted in the additional strength gains in the trainer-led group was that the men who were trained lifted heavier weights sooner.  In other words, the trainer pushed them. This push is exactly what Dr. Cathy was referring to as a spin instructor.

I think it’s at least possible that the same effect exists in instructor-led cardio classes, like spinning.  It’s more than just a desire not to be seen as slacking.  So let me put it out there – how do you motivate your riders to give that extra push?

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