Glamorous Spin Mix (60 Minutes)

15 06 2010

Hi, I’m Lisa. I happened to be in LA when Johnny G first debuted spinning, so I was an “early adopter,” spinning with just a handful of others & a boom-box in a gym at UCLA where I was in grad school back around 1995. But, it wasn’t until 2007 that I took the plunge and started teaching. I love it and have been teaching indoor cycle classes for 3 years now; I’ve also branched out and teach TRX and Pilates as well. I live in the Silicon Valley, so it’s a busy, type-A crowd around here. My class sizes range from 15-30 – I love ‘em when they’re packed! I like mostly pop/rock music, but mix it up too, with occasional techno, disco, Beatles, even Neil Diamond & Glee. I hope you enjoy this playlist & would love to hear any comments or questions.

[About the photo: I asked a student to snap a photo of me after class last week. Turns out I don’t look nearly as good as I feel after teaching for an hour. I decided to spare you the sweaty overheated portrait, and instead photo-shopped my head onto Lance’s body.]

(Title inspired by my 4 y.o. daughter who  learned how to spell “glamorous” after listening to this playlist with me.)

This ride has 4 hills with 1 interval song after each hill. This is a “no recovery” ride (meaning take your breaks when you need them, I haven’t choreographed them in).

[Tip: I like to play interesting background music for the 5 minutes or so while people are coming in and setting up their bikes. It gets their attention and sets the mood. A good one is Kalandero from Cirque de Soleil.]

Listen to the Music (DJ Malibu Mix) – The Doobie Brothers  (5:01):  I always start with a flat road, just enough gear that you can feel a bit of tension as you round the front of the pedal stroke, gradually adding as you warm up and need to adjust to maintain that flat.


The Gambler (World Cup Final Version) – The R Team (3:13):  This song is very controversial in my house. My husband hates it. But he’s not the one with the keys to the cycle room stereo.  This is the start of hill #1.  Combination hill, start seated, add gear to slow cadence and climb. Stand and add gear  0:55 – 1:15, sit down & hold that gear, stand and add gear again 1:47 – end.

Glamorous (Radio Edit) – Fergie (4:06):  Still climbing, start in saddle, add gear at 0:45 and 1:30, stand 2:30 – 3:10, sit and pick up cadence a bit, add a touch of gear at 3:40 and take cadence back to the beat to the end/top.


California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg) – Katy Perry (3:56):  Take maybe ½ a turn down; you’re off the hill, but on a rocky dirt road. 3 sets of jumps coming. Add a touch of gear at 0:40 and 0:50, jump from 0:50 – 1:25, 1:55 – 2:30, 3:20 – end.


Love Lockdown – Kanye West (4:30):  Add gear, Stand at 0:55, pull hips back and get low 2:00 – 2:15, then sit down (gently!), add a touch of gear, stand at 3:03, hips pull back 3:35 – 4:05, then set it down again.

Holllaback Girl (embarrassingly I resorted to the “Mix Masters” version trying to keep it clean) (3:21):  we’re going to do a little passing on the hill, not full sprints, but cadence “surges.” Starting in the saddle, first surge is 0:22 – 0:38, second surge 1:15 – 1:30, add some gear, Stand at 1:50, third surge is 2:05 – 2:20, add another touch gear to get to top, final surge is 2:58 – 3:15.  (Note from Cynthia: the explicit version is by Gwen Stefani and uses the word sh*t).


Where’s Your Head At – Basement Jaxx (4:44):  Flatten out and pick up cadence, prepare to do “drafting.” I usually split the class up into 2 groups and instruct them to find a cadence they can stick with the whole song, but play with the gear. When their group is in the “back” they are more in their comfortable zone, when it’s their turn to “pull forward” add about ¼ turn without slowing down and feel the wind resistance and drag of your buddies behind you. Starting at 1:35, alternate 30 seconds each.


Butterfly – Crazy Town (3:37):  “Stairstep” up this hill, meaning every time you come out of the saddle add about ½ a turn, and every time you sit down take off about ¼ (or half of whatever you chose to add). Cycle thru that about 4x.

Supermassive Black Hole – Muse (3:29):  I lifted this shamelessly from our fearless leader Cynthia. Same drill, ‘cept on a hill:  Climb/surge C: 0:00 -0:15, S: 0:15 – 0:32, C: 0:32 – 1:02, S: 1:02 – 1:35, C: 1:35 – 2:25, S: 2:25 – 3:12.

Cobrastyle – Teddybears featuring Mad Cobra (3:00):  I’m groovin’ on this song this week. I love it and I hope it earns me back any cool points I may have lost by playing a Kenny Rogers cover earlier. Finish off the longest hill today with a seated climb. We’re holding the cadence, but adding gear 3x “passing thru the crowd with gear instead of speed” add at ~ 0:35, 1:15, 2:00.


Desenchantee (Radio Mix) – Kate Ryan (3:41):  Adjust gear and get on a flat road and increase cadence. Go around 2 turns and hit headwind, add about ½ turn and slow cadence a little for those headwinds at 0:58 – 1:30 and 2:25 – 3:00.


Paper Planes – MIA (3:24):  Standing climb, straight up, just keep adding gear. Do a “seated gear check” at 1:40 – 2:00 (means take a seat and see if people look like they’re really on a hill, adjust gear as nec. and then resume standing climb).

Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas (4:11):  Ok, iTunes did not warn me that this song has explicit language, so poor Gwen got supplanted by the Mix Masters but BEP here says sh*t more times than I can count. Whoops. But once I’ve paid iTunes my $1.29, my classes are gonna hear it.  I don’t get paid enough to buy multiple versions of the same song dangit!  Finish off this last hill strong. Start in the saddle, then stand at 1:00 +, around 1:45 Fergie wails “time to get down ” and that means we need to pull our hips back and get down, then set it in the saddle and pick up cadence a bit 1:55 – 2:30, back to beat, then stand at  2:50, 3:20 pull hips back again, sit and increase cadence a bit  3:50-end.


Self Control (Club Edit) – Paffendorf (3:29):  You are *Not* tired! “It’s all about self control.” Gather your strength. Finishing on a flat into a headwind with 2 passes. You can see the 2 riders you want to pass before you hit that yellow tape. Let’s go. Pass #1 is 40 seconds, start increasing cadence at 1:13, pick it up even more at 1:27, finish it off at 1:55. Pass #2 is 50 second start at 2:40, pick it up even more and give whatever you have left from 2:55 to end.


Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) (feat. Freshlyground) – Shakira (3:23):  Easy flat as folks catch their breath and recover. Gradually reduce speed and gear.  (Note from Cynthia: This is the official 2010 FIFA World Cup Song.)

Poker Face (Glee Cast Version) [feat. Idina Menzel] – Glee Cast (3:40):  continue cool down and then quick stretching. Shout out to any fellow Gleeks out there! Woot!

Thanks Lisa!  I love Cobrastyle and downloaded it right away.  Also love Waka Waka and it’s timely with the World Cup.  I’m not a Gleek – haven’t really watched it.  I was a Lostie and I adore The Big Bang Theory.  Speaking of the World Cup, look for a couple of World Cup rides on the Reader Playlist page very soon.  Did you get to spin with Johnny G?  Tell us all about it!

Next up is Jen on June 22.  She blogs over at Leave it on the Bike – check it out.

And folks, I’m officially back on the bike – I will be covering a colleague’s Wednesday 5:30 p.m. 50 minute spin for the rest of the summer, then going back to my old Thursday lunch class… or maybe both?  We’ll see.


Back in the Saddle!

4 06 2010

I was at my gym the other day and saw a sign posted: “Mon/Wed/Thurs 5:30 spin classes CANCELLED until further notice.”  I asked what happened.  The regular instructor hurt her back and no subs could be found.  (Summer can be like that, I guess.)  An idea hatched in my feverish post-partum brain.

That night I checked with my better half – yep, he could come home early and mind Kate one day per week.  So it’s official – I’ll be teaching a 50 minute spin on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. for a month or so, until the regular instructor is well enough to resume teaching.

I’m ridiculously excited.  On the bike again!  And in the interim, my gym got a fancy new sound system and mike for the spin room.  Sweet.  But I’m also apprehensive.  I haven’t done a spin class since two weeks before I delivered Kate and haven’t taught one in 4 months.  How much sucking wind and wheezing am I going to do?

Thank goodness, I have your playlists to choose from, since having Kate makes it difficult to create more.  She’s not on a regular nap schedule yet (i.e. who knows when – or if – she’s going to sleep during the day.)

Wish me luck!

Ride, Baby, Ride Spin Mix (58 minutes)

1 06 2010

Hi everyone, my name is Selma (Aquagirl) and I am a busy mom of 3 and part-time fitness instructor.  I got into spinning in late 2003 after the birth of my first child and as most of you have said, immediately got hooked!  I became certified in 2004 and have been teaching since.  I also teach other fitness classes and aquafitness.  My playlist is called “Ride Baby, Ride!!” in honour of Kate (Cynthia’s girl) and my baby son Joshua (pictured here) who was born Jan. 21st.

Ever since getting my iPod over two years ago, finding songs and creating playlists have been so much easier and fun.  I try to look for interesting remixes of songs most people know but with a twist.  I’ve found some amazing 8 and 9 minute extended remix tracks that I use for long climbs.  I try to make a new playlist every 3-4 months, and usually I have to tweak it a few times before getting it right.  The playlist I’m sharing with you is my most recent one…just started using it around mid-May.  Enjoy!

Telephone (DJ Dan Extended Vocal Remix) – Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé (6:03): Warm up: Start the warm up with an easy ride, I like to have them sit up and do some upper body stretches before settling back into riding position.  Begin to increase the resistance around minutes 4- 6.

Faded (Dave Ramone Extended Mix) – Cascada (5:53): Accelerations on a Hill: We are now beginning to climb…have them set the pace to the tempo of the song.  During each chorus, it’s time to pick up speed.  I have the class return to their own pace for the second verse, and then dial up again, and accelerate for the second as well as final chorus.  I usually do one more add (3 in total) so by the end it becomes a very challenging seated climb.

DotA – Basshunter (3:22): Seated Sprint – Standing Tempo: Start the class out of the saddle, then on the fast part I bring them back down for a 30 sec. sprint.  After the sprint, we’re adding resistance and coming back up for a standing tempo ride.   Then back down for the second sprint, and back up.

Poker Face (Jody Den Broeder Remix) – Lady Gaga (8:05): Long Climb:  This is a slow climb that starts in the saddle, adding resistance every minute for the first 5 minutes.  I tell the class to ‘feel the difference’ each time they dial up, they need to make it challenging by the end of the seated portion, looking forward to coming out of the saddle.  Last 3 minutes we continue uphill with a standing ride, and one final add with 90 sec. to go on the song.

Turn It Up –  Stereos (2:55): Seated Sprint Verse/Seated Climb Chorus – This is a great song, the lyrics are the cue!  I have us riding almost at a sprint for the verse, and on the “Turn It Up.. Turn it UP.. Turn it Up NOW” dial way up to a hard seated climb.  The good news is the choruses are short so the class can really push themselves for that period.  On the verse we dial back down to a flat and pick up speed.

Let’s See How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox 20 (3:30): Seated Tempo Ride – We stay in the saddle and set the pace to the beat of the music.  Slightly uphill, working about a 4 out of 10 on resistance.  We have a couple adds along the way, I tell my class they should be working to ‘keep up’ to the tempo.

Memories  (Extended) – David Guetta feat. Kid Cudi (contains objectionable lyrics) (5:20): Standing Tempo Ride with Breakaways – Now we are out of the saddle, again set the pace to the beat of the song, with a bit of resistance.  Continue on tempo, adding resistance just before the lyrics begin.  Just prior to the “Hey Hey… Yeah Yeah..” part I call out BREAKAWAY!… My class knows that means to get ahead of the beat!  It lasts about 30 seconds.  Return to tempo and add resistance, and breakaway again.. repeat one more round (3 in total).

Take a Bow (Tony Moran & Warren Riggs Encore Club) – Rihanna (9:18): Ride Of Extremes – 90 sec. flat, followed by 90 sec. climb x 3. – My personal FAVE!!!  This one really tests everyone’s endurance and stamina… start on a flat right away and then after the first minute and half dial up and come out of the saddle for a challenging climb (8/10 difficulty).  Climb for 90 seconds and then back down to a flat.  NO breaks in between…. It’s a tough one!!

Stereo Love ( DJ Myeloo & DJ Dark Extended Mix) – Edward Maya feat. Alicia (6:35):  A Ride of Thirds – I have us starting with a bit of resistance (4/10) in a standing ride for 30 seconds, followed by standing acceleration for 30 seconds, building up momentum then back in the saddle for 30 seconds.  Add resistance and repeat each set four times for a six minute drill.

The Fear – Lily Allen (3:27): Cool Down – keep the legs moving, some deep breaths and upper body stretches (pecs, sides, shoulders etc..)

This Woman’s Work – Kate Bush (3:34):  Stretches – Come off the bike to finish off with lower body stretches.


Motivational cues keep your class going strong.  Sometimes I wonder what other instructors say or do during class to keep everyone motivated and working hard through those tough rides (especially as it gets near the end).  So I thought I’d share some of my phrases and maybe you can do the same in the comments section so we can all learn from each other!

Cues during Climbs –

“Now find your strength, dig deep, you can do it!”

“Come on team, stay with me!!”

“Let’s have a race to the top!!”  (Only for the last 10 – 15 seconds, if they seem to be lagging)

Cues during sprints/intervals –

“Now push for speed!!”

“Don’t let anyone pass you!!”

“Let me see your best effort on the next one!!”

Or “show me what you got!”

Thanks for reading my entry and happy riding…

— Selma

Thanks Selma!  I am loving the extended mixes you found.  The Dave Ramone Electro Club Extended Mix of Faded is also great.  I also really liked the drill you use with Turn it Up, alternating between sprints on the verses and seated climbs for the choruses.  Extended mixes are perfect for getting into the zone on the bike.

I came across a moving cool down song the other day – Highway of Heros, by the Trews.  It’s a tribute to the Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan.  I’ve got a soft spot for the Trews, because the guys are from Nova Scotia.  It’s folksy and would make a good cool down post Memorial Day.

To motivate my riders during climbs I sometimes say:

“Repeat: I am bigger than this hill.”

“Dig in – feel the climb in your glutes.”

And for sprints:

“This is the last one… time to get all that energy out.”

“Come on, get what you came for…”

(at the end of a sprint) “Have you got 10/20/30 more seconds?  Let’s go!”

Next up is Lisa.  Look for her post on June 15.  Happy spinning!

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