Guest Post: A ShLOC (Sh*t Load of Climbing) Cycling Mix

16 07 2013

cyclinguphill1Long-time reader Lisa Goldman from sunny California e-mailed me after my last post (in which I bemoaned my lack of time for blogging) and offered to contribute a guest post.  Lisa first guest-posted for me when I was on maternity leave back in 2010 (check out her original guest post here).  I love her stuff, plus she’s a really good egg, so I jumped at the chance to feature another guest post from her.

The profile involves, well, a sh*tload of climbing.  The playlist is heavy on American indie and alt-rockers but veers into Spanish dance, British house and African beats.  There are also some lesser-known songs from major artists, such as Coldplay, Beyonce and Calvin Harris.  Some of the songs offer numerous options via remixes, including Plage and Acapella.  And for the classic rockers in the group, there’s even a nod to 1978 with Stuck in the Middle with You.

So without further ado, heeerrrreeee’s Lisa!

Lisa:  This March I attended my first Schwinn Education classes at a local SCW Mania fitness conference. I was thrilled to finally get to sample classes from some instructors I’d heard so much about. Most lived up to the hype. Julz Arney & Jay Blahnik were awesome. Mindy Myrlea was hilarious. Gregg Cook’s musckles are very impressive. Keli Roberts – the woman from all those DVDs!, live and in the flesh! I wandered the halls star struck. I took copious notes, and returned home with all sorts of inspiration.

And then I experimented on my classes. I used similar playlists and cues to those I heard at the conference. And, some went over better than others. Turns out, I’m no Jay Blahnik. Elaborate race day visualizations work great coming from him, but I had a hard time pulling it off with the same urgency & sincerity. And, as much as I adore Julz, I was a poor imitation of her too. Julz did this thing in her classes that made it feel almost like church (or what this Jewish girl imagines church to be like). Without getting explicitly religious, she used cues that prodded riders to be their best both in the class, and beyond. It was utterly awesome when Julz did it, but my classes looked at me quizzically when I tried to emulate it. Mindy’s bawdy humor is totally my speed, but I could get fired for that sh$%^! And, well, my muscles will never match Gregg’s. But Keli Roberts class – that I think I pulled off pretty decently!

KeliRobertsKeli taught a class called ShLOC (Sh*t Load of Climbing). She used some great visualization, and taught a high energy, fun, tough class. But her visualizations didn’t go into quite as much detail and drama as Jay Blahnik’s. This allowed me to replicate it and stay authentic to my (enthusiastic, but less dramatic) voice/personality. I found my classes enjoyed my version of Keli’s ShLOC class the best of all the SCW Mania classes I’ve tried to replicate so far. I contacted Keli ( and she generously gave me permission to share with you my slightly modified version of her ShLOC ride here. Thanks Keli!!! Hope you all enjoy!


Warm up:

  1. Plage – Crystal Fighters (3:51)
  2. Lonely Boy – The Black Keys (3:13)

Seated flat, 75-90 RPM, gradually adding gear, moving from easy to moderate work. You’re going to do a lot of climbing today; it’s going to be a challenging ride. Check out who your competition is. Think of someone you’re incredibly competitive with (on the bike, or just in life). Today I am that person.

By the end of the warm up you should be at a challenging but comfortable intensity. It should feel more natural to breathe though mouth. You’re in the comfort zone, but it shouldn’t feel easy (it’s tempting to confuse comfortable with easy, so pay attention, there’s a difference!).

Stage 1: Short hill followed by a False Flat

3.  Lonely Lonely – The Belle Brigade (2:40):  Combo Hill, Hard, 70-80 RPM

On this first short hill the pack always surges. People fight for position. Build wattage by adding gear, enough so that you need to stand about halfway up, finishing this hill with your highest wattage (or hardest effort if you don’t have a computer tracking wattage).

4.  Hurts Like Heaven – Coldplay (4:03): Seated Flat, Moderate-Hard, 80-95 RPM

Fast section. I am your nemesis and I’m going to surge. Should feel a little uncomfortable by now (if not -> add gear). Ask yourself: Do I feel uncomfortable? Close to breathless? Picture us as a pack, heading up a false flat. We’re about to turn onto steepest part. At the end of the song the pack slows, grab water.

Stage 2: Long hill followed by a Flat with a Paceline

5.  Ring the Alarm (Freemasons Club Mix) – Beyonce (8:34): Combo Hill, Hard, 60-70 RPM

This is a winding climb, with a hard steady pace. Come out of the saddle periodically for “switch backs” when it gets a little steeper. The upper section (~last 2 minutes) is the steepest part. The front of the pack has pulled away a little bit. You and I are in the middle. Is that good enough? No! My goal is to get to the top first. Your goal is not to let me.

Add and Stand to attack. Look at wattage. Each time Attack -> Add & Stand. Each time you see me do it, you have to stay with me.

There’s gonna be a regroup. Recovery in a minute – hang on! [Insert a mini recovery at the end of this song and/or beginning of the next]

6.  The Brazilian – Dirty Vegas (3:54) Combo Hill continues, Hard-Anaerobic, 60-70 RPM

I think you came close to beating me on that last hill section, but I don’t think you did. Not quite. So go ahead and surprise me. Attack right now. 3.5 minutes super steep. Your chance for pay back. I got you on the last one. Zone 3, not breathless, but ALMOST.

I’m hanging on your wheel pretty nicely. You’re going to have to do more, something exceptional to drop me. Stand up!

In the last 30-45 seconds of the hill, take it back in the saddle and accelerate! Drop me off your wheel! Come on go! Done, you’re at the top.

7.  Into Action – Tim Armstrong (3:42): Seated Flat, Mod-Hard, 70-85 RPM

Take a break, and then shift “into action” with a paceline down the hill. Do some drafting & pulling. When drafting, watts drop ~30.  Do about 3 rounds of 30 seconds on/off, don’t drop wattage too much and lose me. [recover at end of song]

Stage 3: Long set of Rolling Hills & Climbing

8.  Thinking About You – Calvin Harris, Ayah Marmar (4:08): Rolling Hills, Hard, 60-75 RPM

Steep climbing and rolling descents. Pack attacks on the descents. I’m right in front of you, you’re pacing off me.

On 1st roller I beat you. See if you can beat me on the 2nd.

9.  Stuck In the Middle With You – Stealers Wheel (3:24): Rolling Hills cont., Hard, 60-75 RPM

Two more summits on this section.  You’re “stuck in the middle.” Try to break away! First summit, you got me.  Second, I got you. Even again.

10. Rumor Has It – Adele (3:42): Last set of Rolling Hills, Hard 60-75 RPM

Roll/accelerate on the chorus when the music picks up. A little less aggressive here. Save a little extra for the last song (& summit) on this climb, coming next.

11. Acapella – Kelis (4:08): Combo Hill, Hard-Anaerobic, 60-75

One more summit. Get back on hill. 1 minute away from top, add and St & GO. Get me to the top of this hill. You did it. We’re even, Steven.

Stage 4: Flat with some Passing, Finishing with one last quick Hill

12. Gang of Rhythm – Walk Off the Earth (3:35): Seated Flat, Hard-Very Hard

Paceline. Add enough gear and accelerate enough to take you into very hard work.  Accelerations “c’mon everbody” at :48-16, 1:44-2:11, 2:33 & 2:46-3:22. On recoveries, take care not to drop too much and lose my wheel. Also careful not to get breathless when you pull. Are your watts close to last paceline? That’s what we want, nice strong push. Strong wattage, not breathless.  Recover at end of song and into next song.

13. Shosholoza – Overtone & Yollandi Nortjie (3:30): (but ends at 3:00) Seated Flat with one 30 second acceleration/sprint/pass.

You know you have one more short hill up ahead. It’s very narrow, and you must get yourself in position in front of me on this flat before you get on that hill. You have one chance to pass me, and it’s a 30 second interval at: 1:23-55. Get enough gear on that when you accelerate for those 30 seconds, you get breathless.  *Note: the version I have for this song is from the live version, and it erupts into applause at 3:00, so be prepared just to advance to the next song.

14. Cups – Anna Kendrick (2:07): Combo Hill, very hard, 60-70 RPM

Add gear. Stand :30-1:00, add one more time and Stand ‘til the finish 1:35-53.

Side note: I really like this Cups song (Anna’s version in the Pitch Perfect movie is so cool:, but it might lack the punch you want to end your class with. Two other short climbing songs I’ve used here, that might work better for you are: Bang it Out – Baby Bee (2:37) & Before the Light Takes Us (Original Mix) – Darkness Falls (2:34).

Cool Down:

15. Ruin – Cat Power (4:33)

16. Love Love Love – Tristan Prettyman (3:26)

Thank the riders for their hard work!

Thank you Lisa, for contributing this ride!  I am going to use it on Thursday with my lunch class.  (I teach most of the same folks on Tuesday at lunch so I told them about your ride today and they’re primed to climb.)  If you’d like to read Keli’s original notes for this class, just Google ‘Sh*tload of Climbing’ and they’ll pop up in PDF form as the second link.

I was fascinated by Lisa’s observations on adopting successful strategies of master instructors.  The bottom line? No matter how awesome the strategy or presenter is, you’ve got to be you.  It only works if you’re being 100% yourself.




21 responses

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27 07 2013
StableGlassArt (@StableGlassArt)

Hey Lisa:
I did your class today . Music is great and it is a kick ass work out.
Thanks for the post.

29 07 2013

Monica – so glad to hear it, thanks so much for letting me know!

15 10 2013


18 07 2013

Hey folks, as promised, I did this class today with my Thursday riders and it was a HUGE hit. I had a really great time with it, too. There was an ‘oh crap’ moment at the outset – I pulled out the profile to study it and sync my iPhone to add the playlist before class, then forgot my notebook with the profile in it and didn’t realize it until I reached for it at the gym. It’s the first time in more than five years of teaching that I’ve forgotten that notebook, and of course it had to be with a brand new ride and unfamiliar music. I decided to muddle through – after all, I’d just read the profile an hour before.

It worked out fine.

My lunch class is a 45 minute class so I had to trim a bit, but here’s what I did with the profile:

The shorter version works out to 10 hills. I coached riders to choose someone else in the class that they could see – they didn’t have to indicate who – and make that person their opponent for the day.

We started with Plage for a warm up, then right into Lonely Boy as a fast out of the saddle climb (my notes said to move to seated flats for the choruses at 1:02 – 1:27, 2:00 – 2:20 and 2:45 – 3:10 but I forgot and didn’t miss them.)

For Lonely Lonely we did a seated climb with repeated tension increases, standing when necessary.

Hurts Like Heaven was a glorious seated flat with our first opportunities for breakaways, one at each chorus. Riders could check out their opponent and decide whether to take each one.

I planned Ring the Alarm as a seated climb with lots of standing attacks. Like Lisa, riders would have to follow when I rose. Then I thought it might be fun to let THEM choose when to attack – if one rider rose, anywhere in the class, I’d rise, and everyone would follow or be left behind. I forgot about this, too, and we did the song as one long series of rolling hills, out of the saddle. This was the song that got the most praise from my riders and I agree: I love it. I have no idea how I didn’t know about this song, but it is going to become a staple in my rides.

The Brazilian I planned as a standing, super-steep climb where riders would try to drop their opponents. I forgot and coached it as a seated climb, which was a nice counterpoint after 8 minutes of standing.

Thinking About You – I’d planned to coach this one as four small hills, climbing out of the saddle for 30 seconds, then a seated descent as a surge for 30 seconds. Forgot that, too. I’d been telling the class about the genesis of Spinning, Johnny G and the Race Across America. We were talking about the mind body connection in Spinning so I decided to let Thinking About You become a silent seated flat instead, just them and the bike.

Acapella I planned to coach as a big hill, rider choice to take it seated or standing but when we got there, I coached it standing.

Gang of Rhythm I was a bit worried about. For me, it has cool down energy. I love Walk off the Earth, but I wasn’t sure about using this song for work. So I talked a bit during Acapella about dissociative and associative exercise – how we usually use music to dissociate from the work, essentially make us forget we are working as hard as we are. But for endurance athletes like Johnny G, it’s crucial to be able to also be present, to associate with the work, to be 100% focused on it. So I posed Gang of Rhythm as a challenge: a seated flat with strong legs accelerating into surges or sprints at each chorus (0:48-1:16, 1:44 – 2:11, 2:46 – 3:22) where without the driving beat, their minds would have to work to push their fatigued legs to do their best. This really worked well. At the end, I asked them to compare it with earlier songs where we’d dissociated and I saw several surprised looks as people realized how much harder it is to do without the driving music.

I am a sucker for a flat-out last song, so I snuck in an instrumental that I really like but don’t use much, KGB by the Backstreet Girls. It’s two minutes of rockin’ energy, a race to the finish. I gave riders the choice to race to the top out of the saddle or in. All but two chose to leave the saddle.

I used Love, Love, Love and L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole as my cool down songs. At the end of the class, I asked each rider to turn to the person he or she had picked as their opponent and give them an acknowledgement. (I didn’t suggest hand shakes or fist bumps because most sweaty folks don’t really want to touch other sweaty folks.) There was a great sense of camaraderie at the end of the class and everyone seemed more energized than usual. I’d call it a massive hit. I can’t wait to pull it out again. I think I will do a 60 minute version for my Wed night class next week, as there is only one rider who overlaps and she has been away. Lisa, you rock!

30 07 2013
Diane Wiegel

I did a modified version of this ride in my class tonight and liked it very much, the competition aspect and loved the music :) Thanks for sharing. Diane Wiegel

15 10 2013

Thanks Diane! I agree, this is one of my new favourite rides.

18 07 2013
Robert Llamas

ShLOC is the name the late Deb Davis gave to the Thursday ride from the Rose Bowl into the hills surrounding the Rose Bowl and adopted by Keli.

18 07 2013

Love the history Robert. Thanks for the shout out to Deb Davis.

18 07 2013

Oops, I meant to include a link to my playlist in Spotify in the original post. Here it is, belatedly:

18 07 2013

Thanks Chris! Now I only owe you about 100 more playlists and we’ll be almost even. ;-p
Timmy, that sounds interesting. I will have to check that out!
Arti – we were there together! Did you go to many other Schwinn cycle classes? I don’t know how Jay does it. Pretty awesome. Not sure I’ll ever get there, but I’ll keep trying!

18 07 2013
Arti Sud Steinkamp

Lisa – I didn’t know you were at CA Mania! I went to 6 other Schwinn classes that weekend and I loved them all! I was exhausted by the time I got to to Jay’s class and I even raised my hand when he asked who was going to “fake” the ride. I think I ended up working harder in that class than any other! He is something else!

17 07 2013

Great post Lisa! You rock! :)

17 07 2013
Timmy Aiight (@TimmyAiight)

I really like this playlist! Have you heard of Motion Traxx? it’s a cool app that streams mixes to your phone! They also have coached albums as well, you should check it out!

18 07 2013

Hey Timmy, thanks. 10 million podcast downloads is nothing to sneeze at!

16 07 2013

Hey Lisa, Kelli Roberts is awesome! If any instructors live in California, we have the IDEA convention coming in August down in L.A.. All your favorite Schwinn instructors will be teaching Master Classes. If you are on Facebook Schwinn also has a great Facebook page where Master Instructors will guest write up stages of a profile plus their coaching notes. We have a page on FB called FORMER CYCLING PINGERS. You may request to join and myself or Jen will be happy to have you join us. All we ask is that you post a profile and playlist once in awhile. While we don’t promote other blogs or any commercial items we do talk alot about I-tunes or Spotify!

SHLOC is a great playlist. All the instructors at their events hand out sheets ( or you can download prior to the seminar) their profiles and playlists. The best part is their cuing notes. I took a class by Jay B and I really liked how he explained the ride and used some of his sayings. So you use wh you like and put the rest in your back pocket for future use. This playlist is great, I also have it on my Spotify profile, with just a few songs changes out for my preference. So Lisa, good playlist from Ms Roberts! We are so lucky to have these resources available to use. I recommend connecting with us on Facebook and/or Spotify. ( sorry no Spotify available in Canada)
I have one of Jays and Julz and Mindys profiles I’ll be happy to pass onto you Cynthia! Awesome community :-) keep on riding friends

Marianne Albretsen

18 07 2013

Marianne, I would love to see those profiles. You can get them to me at Thank you!

16 07 2013
Arti Sud Steinkamp

Great post Lisa – you crack me up! I took Keli’s class at CA Mania in March and it was awesome! I totally agree with you about emulating the different presenters…I could only come close to Keli’s style in my class. How does Jay Blahnik do it?!?!

9 08 2013

Lisa, labeled my ride C.L.O.C. (Crap Load of Climbing) and told the class to get ready to spend “TIME” climbing…ha….get it….”Clocks”! Change a couple of songs, but everyone like the concept and 75% stated they top their best calorie burn ever! Thanks for sharing and for Ms. Robert’s agreeing to let you share.

15 10 2013

Top calorie burn – interesting BAR! I certainly found the Beyonce song pushed my limits. I haven’t been wearing my heart rate monitor as much lately (must get back to that). BTW, great to hear from you – folks, BAR is a longtime reader and frequent commenter from way back.

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