I normally shy away from single artist playlists – there is too much chance of a total miss.  If someone made me spin to The Eagles for an hour, I’d be homicidal by the end of the class.  But I’ve been playing with this idea for a while and while her catalog is not large (only three albums), if there’s an artist out there who can support a full spin class of tunes, it’s Her Ladyship. 

I tried it with my class this week and asked for feedback.  The four riders who took the time to comment told me they really enjoyed it and I enjoyed the class, too.  What saves it from being too plain-old-FM-radio (I hope) are the remixes.

Hair – Lady GaGa (5:08): An upbeat warm up and one of GaGa’s lesser-known offerings.  (Yes, that’s Clarence Clemons on saxophone.)  Pick up the pace for each chorus and fall back for the verses.

Marry the Night – Lady GaGa (4:25):  Where has this song been?  It came out in May 2011 with GaGa’s latest record but I didn’t really pay much attention to it until it became a single in November 2011.  My mistake.  It’s a kick-ass sprinting tune.  Three intervals: 30/30/30 seconds at 0:42 – 1:11, 1:50 – 2:20 and 3:00 – 3:28.

I usually coach riders to take sprints in one of three ways: standing (hardest), seated, or as surges (seated, 80% maximum effort), depending on what they have to give.  They can choose which way to proceed for each interval.  Sometimes I will ask them to commit publicly: “Okay, hands up –  who is going to take the next interval standing?”

Telephone (Kaskade Extended Remix) – Lady GaGa & Beyonce (5:24):  A combo drill here.  For the first minute we are going to do 4 count jumps on a hill with resistance at 8/10.  From 1:30 to 4:00 we’ll come out of the saddle to climb, reducing the tension a bit for those who need to.  When we get to the last minute and a half, it’s 4 count jumps again.  No cheating and bailing early – we get a full minute to recover before the next working interval.

Born This Way – Lady GaGa (4:20):  More sprinting – 30/30/30.  These ones are at 0:58 – 1:28, 2:08 – 2:38 and 3:18 – 3:48.

Paparazzi (Demolition Crew Remix) – Lady GaGa (3:54):  Initially I had this one pegged as a seated climb with multiple tension increases but when I got to class I decided to do it as a single leg training drill: 60 seconds for each leg with a tension increase for the second set.  I think I liked that better than what I initially had planned.

With single-leg training, one leg does all the work and the other comes along for the ride.  I coach riders to consciously push down on the downstroke and pull up on the upstroke and to make their cadence as smooth as possible.  As for tension, I advise to choose a tension that makes riders mighty happy to see the end of the interval so they can switch legs.  It’s important with single-leg drills to ask riders not to remove the non-working foot from the pedal cage (some will do this and rest the foot on the crossbar).  With a weighted flywheel, this could result in a calf injury if the empty pedal swung around and hit the rider in the leg.

Just Dance (RedOne Remix) – Lady GaGa (4:19):  This was the first GaGa song that captivated me, and when I realized that she’d done a remix with Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall, I was, well, gaga.  The original version was released in April 2008 and by June 2008 I was using Just Dance in my classes.  Lady GaGa played in my home town of Halifax in July 2008 as one of the acts at the Summer Rush concert and I desperately wanted to go but had booked a week’s vacation in Prince Edward Island, a three hour drive away.  I could just tell that this New Yorker was going to be huge.  You know what?  I should have driven back to Halifax to see her.  I’d certainly drive three hours now.  This one is a standing climb, medium tension (say, 5/10), just you and the bike.  Close your eyes and let yourself go with the music.  (For an additional challenge, don’t take a break between this song and the next to make a 10 minute hill.)

LoveGame (Chew Fu Ghettohouse Fix) – Lady GaGa [feat. Marilyn Manson] (5:21):  The second half of this hill.  Increase the tension to 7/10 or 70% of your maximum effort.  Alternate a regular climbing stance with a more aggressive stance – hips back and up, shoulders down.  You can do 30 seconds of each, or try 15/30/45/60 of each.

Poker Face – Lady GaGa (3:57): Take the tension back down to 6/10 and get ready for some jumps. 8 counts for 1:30, 4 counts for 1:30, then 2 counts to the end (about 1:00).

The Edge of Glory – Lady GaGa (5:21):  I know, I am getting far too predictable here.  How could any all-GaGa spin playlist not finish with this one?  A combo-drill: standing climb for the verses, sprints (standing if you still have the juice) for the choruses.  The sprints are 30/30/60 seconds and you’ll find them at 1:04 – 1:34, 2:28 – 2:58 and 4:02 – 5:02.  This song always leaves riders sucking wind in a very satisfying way.

Bad Romance – Lady GaGa (4:54):  At last.  Cool down music.  I confess, Bad Romance is not my favourite GaGa tune.  She sounds as if she’s singing with a mouth full of marbles.  So if you want to run Alejandro first and finish up with You and I (5:07), I wouldn’t blame you a bit.

Alejandro – Lady GaGa (4:34):  Perfect cool down energy for some stretching and goodbye music.

Have you ever done a single artist playlist?  Which artist?  And how did it go?

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