I have a confession to make: when I was in high school, I was a metal head.  What can I say, I had really good grades; it was my way of being badass.  I went to the concerts, I got the t-shirts, I played the albums a thousand times in my room while cultivating a feeling of disaffection.  I could still whup “80’s metal bands” as a Jeopardy category.  I’m a little bit rock ‘n roll, and it’s been too long since I posted a badass rock ‘n roll playlist.

I ran this playlist in my class tonight and got rave reviews – people said it made them work really, really hard and (surprisingly) they also liked the music.  I wasn’t sure how a playlist this heavy might go over.  Anyway, it turned out to be one of my more challenging rides.  During the cool down I mentioned that I’ve been home alone for two nights as my better half has taken Kate to visit his parents.  As a result, I got my first two unbroken nights of sleep in six months.  One of the riders called out to me, “Next time you get two nights sleep, warn us!”  I guess I had a bit of extra energy tonight.

Let It Happen – Jimmy Eat World (3:26): This alt rock band hails from Mesa, Arizona.  Warm up your legs with some easy spinning to begin.  Around 2:30, pick up the pace.

Enter Sandman – Metallica (5:32): This 1991 hit propelled Metallica to worldwide popularity.  It post-dates my own metal phase – by 1991 I was in law school and more egghead than metal head.  We’re going to start off this class with an out of the saddle climb.  Jack up the tension to 4 or 5/10 and find the beat.  Get aggressive for the choruses, just like Metallica.

KGB – Backstreet Girls (2:07):  I just found this song from Norwegian rockers the Backstreet Girls, when blog reader posted a comment looking for a song called KGB.  This wasn’t the song she was looking for (she found it: Channel KGBs (TNT remix) by the KGB’s) but I thought it would make a great tempo drill.  So here it is: find a resistance and a cadence that you can maintain for two minutes (but not a whole lot more).  There’s a break coming after this.

Live and Let Die – Guns ‘n Roses (3:02):  I saw GNR way back in the 80s when they opened for the Cult.  I hated them and predicted a quick demise for the band, thus ending any possibility of a career as a record producer or talent scout.  They covered this McCartney hit in 1991.  We’re going to use it for three out-of-the-saddle, charge up the hill sprints 35/12/25 seconds, at 0:43 – 1:18 (35 sec), 1:33 – 1:45 (12 sec), and 2:25 – 2:50 (25 sec).  They’re short, so I want EVERYTHING you’ve got on these ones.

Cobrastyle feat. Mad Cobra) – Teddybears (3:00): Okay, this is more reggae fusion than hard rock, but it’s been on heavy rotation on my iPod since Lisa posted it on her Glamorous Spin Mix back in June.  We’re gonna do some lifts: 8 count, 4 count, then 2 count, one minute each.  If you want to switch at a good time for the music, try switching at 1:04 and 2:10.  Augh!  Those quads.

The Pretender – Foo Fighters (4:29): This song starts slow, but it’s all badass – one great, big, juicy sprint.  Split the class into two teams, A & B.  They’re going to alternate 30 second sprints (2 sets) starting at 0:34 – 2:38.  Then there’s a 50 second rest, followed by a one minute, all-out sprint for everyone at 3:28 – 4:29.  Spontaneous whoops encouraged.

Hot Cherie – Hardline (4:47):  I’ve had this song in one form or another since I’ve had a walkman.  It’s originally by a Winnipeg band called Streetheart (but I didn’t know that until I checked Wikipedia while putting this post together).  The lyrics are insipid and suggestive, but there are no f-bombs (ah, the innocent 90s) and the chorus has get-up-and-go power.  Besides, what’s a hard rock playlist without a cheesy metal song?  Sort of a poor man’s Scorpions.  We’re going to do an out of the saddle climb, gettin’ aggressive at the choruses.

Speed – Billy Idol (4:18):  Time for another tempo drill, this time with surges at each chorus to keep everyone on their toes.  The choruses are at 1:00 – 1:23, 2:04 – 2:47 (including the bridge), and 3:35 – 4:10.  Every time you hear “speed” – go!  Somehow I don’t think that’s the speed Billy Idol was talking about.

Beside You – Marianas Trench (3:38):  Let’s dial down the intensity a bit.  Take 25 seconds to recover and grab a drink, then ratchet up the tension for this seated climb from Canadian rockers, Marianas Trench.

Dead – Buckcherry (5:27):  I didn’t know about Buckcherry back in my metal days (they didn’t form until 1995) but I would have been all over them back then.  They’re seriously badass, from heavily-tattooed lead singer Josh Todd to their breakout hit, Crazy Bit*h.  We’re taking this one right to the finish line as an all-out, gimme what you got left sprint.  If you’re really badass, do ’em standing.  Let’s do 15 seconds off/on, 30 seconds off/on, 45 seconds off/on then 60 seconds off/on (ride out the end of the song).  I stop this one at 4:45, as the song winds down after that.  If you leave it in, start the cool down at 4:45.

Free – Train (3:58):  We deserve this cool down to Train’s 1998 hit, Free.  Slow down your legs, take a few gulps of water, and relax.

Just a Ride – Jem (3:20):  Reader Bob put me on to this Welsh singer-songwriter.  Some perfect cool-down energy here.

I spent a sunny Saturday this week sitting on a stability ball at my gym getting my Schwinn certification for indoor cycling.  Schwinn is big on coaching rather than instructing and I got some really good tips from the class.  I realized that I was already doing some of the things they suggested, like Dimensional Cueing.  One dimensional cueing provides facts or information (“take this hill at a comfortable challenge”).  Two dimensional cueing includes a sensory component like a comparison, contrast, analogy, touch or visual image (“this hill is tougher than the last one”).  Three dimensional cueing asks a question of the riders (“Are you ready to tackle the biggest hill yet?”)  I’ve also been doing music mapping (using a song’s structure to enhance the terrain on the ride).

The instructor coached us through a 40 minute class – much of it off the bike – using lots of visualization.  The ride was very well-received by the class of about 20 instructors.  My own experience was marred by having chosen a bike with a wonky resistance knob.  I couldn’t get the resistance right – there was too light and too heavy and very little in between.  I really liked that he gave us two profiles complete with music, so we could deconstruct them on our own time, or try them out ourselves.

Reader Mae posted a question on the Reader Playlist page that ties into this training: she needs to teach off the bike for a couple of months and isn’t sure how.  Frankly, I’m not, either.  I have been to classes where the instructor taught off the bike – some good, some not so good.  The point I took away from the Schwinn training is if you’re coaching rather than instructing, you can do it more easily off the bike because you can talk more.  The Schwinn instructor pointed out that it’s not like a step class where you need to demonstrate the moves constantly.  Once you’ve demonstrated good form seated and standing, why not get off the bike and really coach?

I’ll admit, I was too chicken to even try it when I was pregnant and couldn’t giv’er like I wanted to.  I chose to get someone to sub my class until I was ready to go again.  But I’m intrigued with the coaching model and want to learn more about it.

So riders – who teaches off the bike?  How do you do it?  We all want to know!

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