S p i n n i n g M u s i c

Songs and Playlists for Indoor Cycling / Spinning Classes


scotia-square-spin-room1About Spinning

Spinning is a form of indoor cycling set to music in which an instructor leads the class through a series of drills simulating an outdoor ride. Most classes run 30-60 minutes. It’s a fantastic, addictive workout.



Here’s a video that captures the energy of a Spin class (the soundtrack is The Crystal Method’s Keep Hope Alive) (and yes, that is Johnny G leading the class).

About this Blog

Great music is one of the things that makes an indoor cycling class. The right song can give you the push you need to climb to the top of a hill, or sprint for 20 seconds longer than you thought you could.

I started this blog to offer other Spinning/indoor cycling instructors and enthusiasts a place to share favourite songs and playlists. I will post the playlists I use in my own classes, along with ideas for songs to use for particular types of drills.  I’m a huge fan of Canadian music so I try to showcase Canadian artists as much as possible, especially newer ones.

I get most of my music ideas from two sources: iTunes, and a local radio station called 101.3 The Bounce.  The station posts it’s playlists and you can listen live online.

The iTunes charts are ideal for finding new music.  After looking at the main chart, I often peruse the pop, rock, and electronic charts as well.  With iTunes, you can listen to a snippet of a song and usually get a sense of whether it would be good for a cycling class before downloading it.  They also flag (most) songs with explicit lyrics, which is a plus, since many gyms don’t permit instructors to play songs with explicit lyrics in classes.  If you’re concerned about this, any version of a song listed as a radio edit is a clean version.

Some of my older mixes are posted on the Canadian iTunes by title as Sport iMixes and from January 2011 through 2012 I posted most of my playlists on iTunes Ping as Spinning Music.  With Apple discontinuing Ping as of September 30, 2012 I don’t have an easy way to share my playlists.  If you have any ideas, please drop me a note or leave a comment.

I believe in paying artists for their work.  That’s why I absolutely refuse to download or play pirated music.

What songs do you love to spin to?  Which ones fire up your classes and get requested again and again?  You can post song suggestions for the different types of drills as comments on the page where they fit best.  I’ve also got a Reader Playlists page for posting entire playlists/profiles.  Even if you don’t post a song or profile, leave a comment.  I’d love to hear from you.

The latest addition to the blog is The Bike Cafe, a page for us to ask questions and receive answers from experienced indoor cycling instructors from all over the world.  Drop in, pour a cup of coffee, and join the conversation.

About Me

I took my first indoor cycling class and immediately got hooked. I started making my own playlists and cycling by myself when I couldn’t get to a scheduled class. When I showed my trainer the playlists on my iPod he commented, “If you like indoor cycling that much, you should teach it!” It was the push I needed to take the training.

I started teaching indoor cycling classes at my gym in February 2008. I love teaching classes as much as I love taking them. (That’s me on the left, with my sister, before an outdoor ride.)  I am certified through Schwinn but I also draw on elements from other schools in my classes.

When I’m not on the bike, I enjoy yoga, writing fiction, and cappuccino. I live by the ocean in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada with my husband and our daughter.  You can reach me at spinningmusicblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

Have fun cycling!

— Cynthia

149 thoughts on “About

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  2. Thank you for posting your wonderful spin ideas and music. It has been a great help to me as I look for fresh ideas for my classes! Julia from SF

  3. HI,
    I just tried spinning earlier this year because of a serious ankle injury that caught up with me now that I’m older. I like where I go to spin but sometimes the music is not what I enjoy and some instructors tend to play way too loud for me. I was thinking of buying my own indoor spin bike and doing my own playlists. Thanks for the ideas. I live in a beach town in southern CA but the traffic is still heavy so I am reluctant to try outdoor cycling. I too am a Canadian from Toronto originally!
    Thanks again,

    1. Thanks Trish. It can be hard for instructors to gauge volume as we are usually seated behind the speakers. I keep close tabs on the volume in my classes – too low and you lose some of music’s motivating power; too high and it’s irritating at best, damaging at worst. I was in a class once (run by a very experienced instructor who should have known better) and the volume was so high I worried about ear damage. I asked him to turn it down a bit and he refused.

      One of the great things about indoor cycling is you can always find an instructor who plays the kind of music you like. I change it up quite a bit but there are other instructors who develop a huge following playing genres other than Top 40. Ask around and I bet you’ll find a perfect match. In the meantime, cycling indoors on your own captures the meditative aspect of the experience, but it would be a shame to lose the energy you can only get from a full class of sweaty, passionate riders.

      1. HI Trish, if you like the instructor an easy way sometimes is to ask if they take requests. I have people in my class who do that all the time and that keeps them motivated hearing even one song that they like or waiting until their song comes on. Most instructors will be happy to do this if they have advance notice. We want the students to be happy so I would try that.

  4. Cynthia – only a true Canuck can make this happen! Congrats to you for making something so simple, so applicable. I am also a Canadian living in Los Angeles and as much as I am spinning (and teaching spinning because of my love for music) – after 10 years of teaching and my own tastes, I need to flourish on other people’s music (OPM)…lol.

    Your blog is my new fresh source. Thanks for sharing… “and you take care buddy… alright there buddy… keep Nova Scotia and those Cape Breton’ers happy”.

    Love, light and peace from sunny Southern California!


  5. Hi, Thanks for your fantastic blog. I love picking my own music for my classes but have a problem with mixing the music together. How do you mix each track together or does one track stop then the other starts? Many thanks Fiona

    1. Hi Fiona, you could get all fancy with a DJ program like Mixmeister and completely eliminate the break but I just set the crossfade to 1 second in iTunes – go to preferences/playback/crossfade songs and set it to 1 second (the minimum). If you want to cut the beginning or end of a song, you can do that as well. In iTunes click on the song, then under File/Get Info/Options and you’ll see boxes where you can set the start or stop time for the song. I do this if there’s a bit at the beginning or end that isn’t really suitable for cycling. I don’t know of a way to cut from the middle. Hope this helps!

      1. Hi Cynthia, I just stumbled upon your blog after “googling” music for spinning. I used many of your suggestions from your last blog entry for my class this morning. The format was high intensity interval training and it was very helpful to see how to cut the end of a song in Itunes. Thanks, and I’ll be reading regularly!

  6. Hello there! I’m Jean from Brazil and i really like spinning! I’m used to make my own spinning mixes following the RPM system. Today i found your website and took a look on your mixes, and i got to say… its WAAAAYYY BETTER workout then the RPM system!

    thankyou so much!!!

  7. Hey you guys, I’m from Brazil and I simply LOVE spinning. The thing is, I’ve been trying to set up my own spinning mix but I don’t get some terms used on this website. Could someone please try to explain to me what the meaning of jumps and surge? I appreciate the attention!


    1. Hi Thiago,

      Jumps are also called lifts. They are controlled movements in and out of the saddle, sometimes with the beat 8/4/2 counts up/down, sometimes as a series of standing runs. If you go to the Spinning website you can find an explanation of the core movements here: https://www.spinning.com/en/training_tips

      Surges are not-quite-sprints. I use the term to refer to a seated flat where you work at about 80% of your maximum intensity; as distinguished from race day or all-out sprints. Generally, my surges are 30-60 seconds long, sometimes longer. I coach riders to choose a pace that borders on uncomfortable but that they can maintain for the duration. They will be working too hard to talk much but still have enough extra that if I asked them to sprint, they could increase their effort once or twice before maxing out.

    1. Hi Robert,

      I have never used commercially prepared music though I know there are some sites out there. I’m a fan of making your own rides – there are lots here and on other blogs (check out the links section) though it’s a bit of work to get the songs and burn a CD. I highly recommend an iPod because it’s so easy to create and edit playlists.

  8. Hi Cynthia, so at 43 I am starting a new career. I have my practical and written next week but I wanted to know if you and or your readers could give me some tips feedback on these few things. First what is the best way to remember what cadence/ride I plan for each song, do people write it down etc and if they do whats the best a notebook? Second, once I pass which I had better because I can’t wait to start teaching whats the best way to get experience and feel more comfortable? The practical isn’t as long as a whole class so do people practice in their gyms, with friends or just kind of get the experience as they go along teaching and letting everyone know they are a new teacher so hopefully they will bear with me. Sorry for the long question but I think i have found more on your blog then on the entire web (no joke!!)
    Love it. Thanks

    1. Hey Simone,

      Rats, I am just seeing your comment now. How did your test go the other week?

      (1) Remembering the Ride

      Some instructors memorize or wing it – I put a lot of attention into my rides so I tend to make and follow notes because I want it to be just right. Here’s what I do: I have a plastic covered 8.5×11″ notebook. I put one ride on each page, title at the top (so I can find it easily on my iPhone). I title them Spinning – 55 (length of the ride) then the title. I put the song and artist on the left side, time in the middle column, and notes on the right. I start with the type of drill with a box around it e.g. STANDING CLIMB and any coaching notes e.g. up tension at 1:15 and 2:45 and sometimes cues to remind me of particular visualization or other coaching techniques. I don’t write a lot – just enough to jog my memory. The day I teach, I choose the ride, review my notes, and listen to the playlist on the way over to the gym. I set the notebook on the stereo (visible from the bike) and keep my checks as discreet as possible.

      Others here have mentioned putting the ride in a plastic sleeve, writing the notes in the lyrics section on the iPod, or using an app. Chris Roche from Schwinn posted the Schwinn template which is very comprehensive but would need a second cheat-sheet for class since the print comes out quite small to fit everything on one page.

      (2) The best way to get experience and feel more comfortable

      Most gyms have an audition process to be hired and often start you out on a sub list – sort of like being a substitute teacher, you don’t have a regular class, but can pick up classes when regular instructors are away. After a while, you can get a regular class. Some gyms allow you to teach at multiple gyms, others require an exclusivity agreement. Pay really varies – there’s a post on that on the Reader Playlists page.

      For the first year or so I recommend practicing your rides before you do them. Just go in by yourself, set up the stereo, start the music and teach the class to an empty room. This will give you confidence and help you to work out any bugs in your rides. I also recommend teaching as much as you can get your hands on, and going to other instructors’ classes – especially the wildly popular ones, though you’ll learn from every class you take.

      There are some good resources online (aside from this blog!) Indoorcycleinstructor.com offers free podcasts and some free content, though you have to subscribe to access most of the content. http://www.pedal-on.com is a discussion board for cycling instructors of all types, though it can get pretty judgmental and some parts are restricted to regular posters to discourage lurking.

      (3) Should you volunteer that you’re newly qualified?

      You have to read the crowd, but I am not generally a fan of volunteering that you are new. You’re a qualified instructor, period. Of course, if you are asked, you must be honest, but I don’t find people ask.

      Good luck! Come on back and tell us how it is going for you.

  9. Hi Cynthia, just wanted to say what a great site this is! I live in Australia and am a busy mum of 3 so don’t have time to make it to the gym to do spinning classes but I use your playlists to do my own “class” at home using my indoor trainer. Thank you for such a great resource and for explaining exactly what to do with each song, I love it. I’m also training for triathlons so this is a great way to put some variety into what can be quite long training sessions on the bike. Thanks again :)

    1. Hi Chantal, thanks for writing! If you want to incorporate some video into your training, check out the Sufferfest link on the right side of the blog. You can download rides with video footage of real races dubbed with instructions. The prices are very reasonable and there are a few free samples so you can see if you like the format before committing.

      I was mulling over a sprint triathlon when I got pregnant – it’s on hold for now because free time is at such a premium with a little one.

      I’d love to hear about some of the Aussie artists you’re cycling to these days. I’m on to Gotye but I know there are many more. Come on back and post a few suggestions for us when you can.

  10. Cynthia – I love your blog and get a lot of ideas from you. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! I recently had a member request I play “I like to move it move it, I like to move it move it”. I’ve been thinking about how to set this song up. Any ideas??? Again, thanks for all your great lists!!

    1. Hi Tracy, thanks so much. What a fun song! Reel 2 Reel had a big hit with it in 1994 and it’s since been repopularized by the Madagascar films. I think it’s a jump song, 100% (4 counts up/down) but it would also work as a peppy seated climb. I lean toward jumps because the song really does want to make you move it. If you’re looking for a 90s playlist to go with it, you can find one here: https://spinningmusic.wordpress.com/2008/06/04/gonna-make-you-sweat-spin-mix-43-minutes/

      Hope this helps!

  11. Hi there. I frequently visit your site and I love it! Thank you so much for this site. I would like to know if you have considered putting a 90s routine together with very popular 90s music like Vanilla Ice, the guys that sing I’m Too Sexy for My Shirt, Salt n Peppa, etc.? That would be an amazing routine!!!

    1. Hi Amber, sorry for the delay in responding to your post. I have one 90s playlist – the Gonna Make You Sweat Spin Mix – and it is far and away the most popular playlist on the blog. You can find it here: https://spinningmusic.wordpress.com/2008/06/04/gonna-make-you-sweat-spin-mix-43-minutes/

      (Funny, one of the songs is Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy.) We definitely need more 90s music on the blog, so please come back and post one of yours.

  12. Hi –
    Is this still an active site? I’ve not gotten an update in a while. Been busy with my daughters wedding but ready for some new music and suggestions!

    1. Hi Sue,

      Thanks for your note. YES, Spinning Music is still active. I am a busy mom of a toddler so I can’t always give it the attention it deserves. I am working on moving the blog to another domain and creating some improvements (new pages! forums!) so look for a lot more activity by the end of the summer.

  13. I have been browsing your site for about a month or so now, and I have to say: It’s great! Well done, and really something that was missing out there on the web. I love spinning, and I love music. I hate spinning when the music does not match the work-out or if the song is not motivating you to work harder. With your website I can get great ideas for new play lists and songs. I’ll try to share some of my favorites as well.

    Thanks and regards from the Netherlands!

    1. Thanks Bassie! I would love to hear what you’re spinning to in the Netherlands. Please drop by again soon and post a few songs or a playlist.

  14. I am so happy to have found this site!!!!! I never realized that my play lists could be so versatile. Class on Tuesday morning is going to ROCK!!

  15. Hi Cynthia

    I just found your site, it’s amazing. I moved to Montreal about a year ago and haven’t been able to find a spinning class that fulfill my needs, so I just create my own. I have been doing some mixes if you are interested I can make them available to you. I’m not a professional at all in spinning or mixing but I do my best.

    Just let me know and I will post a link for you if you’d like to give them a try.

    Thanks for the site

    1. Hey Wilma, welcome to Spinning Music. I’d love to see some of your rides, and I bet my readers would, too. Could you post a link on the reader playlist page? Cheers, Cynthia

  16. I am currently based in Afghanistan, and as a spinning instructor, have been tasked to run the classes 3 x a week. I have used many of the routines off this site, and they always go down a treat.

    The one problem I have is getting hold of the music out here, as internet connectivity is very bad, and downloading is almost impossible.

    Would anyone be kind enough to send me some routines with the music?

    If you can, please send to mercury2622@yahoo.co.uk

    Thank you in advance.


    1. Hi Lance,

      I want to help but I am not sure how to send you music by e-mail. (It’s true, I don’t know how to zip/compress files.) That would still involve downloading though. I could burn you some CDs and mail them, but maybe that wouldn’t be practical? Can you explain more about what you need?


  17. Thanks for sharing such great play lists! I am just curious as to what you mean by 2 and 4 count for things. I have not been to a class or been taught to teach spin classes with reference to 2/4 counts. If you could explain that would be great cause I think your playlists and workouts are awesome!!


    1. Hi Naomi,

      Thanks for dropping by the blog and commenting.

      When I mention 2 or 4 or 8 or 16 count, I am talking about lifts or jumps. I have also heard them called speed bumps. They are part of the official Spinning program, but not all indoor cycling programs (e.g. Schwinn doesn’t recognize them.)

      Jumps are controlled movements where you lift yourself out of the saddle for a certain amount of time, then return to the saddle. Some are done rhythmically to the music (e.g. 16 counts, 8 counts, 4 counts, or 2 counts) up/down – so the instructor would count something like “up, two, three, four, down, two, three, four.” In others, it is for a certain number of seconds and is accompanied by increased cadence.

      I usually use the rhythmic type. Once everyone has the rhythm, I’ll indicate up and down with a thumbs up/down signal. I usually vary the count within a song, so we might start with 8 counts for the verse, then 4 for the chorus, then back to 8, etc.

      Key to doing proper lifts/jumps: (1) sufficient resistance – similar to a standing climb; (2) using your quads to lift and return to the saddle, always controlled, not plopping down; (3) not pulling up with your hands – it’s solely a lower body drill; (4) not going too fast. Quickie up/down up/down jumps are called popcorn jumps and are contra-indicated. Some songs will accommodate 2 count jumps, some won’t.

      Jumps are similar to what you’d do on an outdoor bike if going over a bump in the road – if you don’t lift yourself off the saddle, you’ll get jarred or worse. They also remind me of posting – when riding a horse, English style, riders will lift up out of the saddle when the horse trots – much more comfortable than bouncing on the saddle.

      Hope this helps explain things,


  18. Hi Cynthia
    I have been going to spinning classes for a month now and you are right, they are addictive! I have improved a lot since my first class when I suffered from a case of overwhelm.
    My main problem is I am not that co-ordinated so when our instructor gets into the fast BPM stuff I struggle to keep up. I am not as fit as the rest of the class so I reckon that has a lot to do with this.
    My husband is 63 so really shows me up here but I am keen to continue with spinning because I have found it does give me a good cardio workout and I feel so great afterwards too.
    Thanks for the list of spinning music, I will check these out.

    Nice interesting site by the way!

    1. Hi Kathy,

      Welcome to the blog! I have found that it takes 2-4 months of regular classes (say, 2-3 per week) before new riders can consistently keep up with everything. Even people who are quite fit from other cardio (particularly running) find there is a transition when they come to spin classes due to sport-specific fitness. I certainly find running harder than spinning, so I think it works in reverse, too. Funny that you mention not feeling coordinated. One of the reasons I was first drawn to spinning was that it is a form of group exercise that is not heavily choreographed.

      Happy spinning,


  19. Hi Cynthia

    Thanks for the shout out on your previous posting when you joined my class in Toronto at the Boulevard Club. You actually made my day too knowing that you were in my class and enjoyed the music :) Sorry I didn’t reply sooner, I had meant to send my playlist a long time ago but I’ve actually missed spinning for a while recovering from an injury so when I got back into it I definitely referred to your site for some inspirational music and I just recommended your site to a member of my class today who wanted more great spinning/workout tracks.

    All the best!

    1. JJ! Thanks so much for posting. Glad to hear you’re feeling better and back on the bike. Do send in your playlist – you can post it on the Reader Playlists page. I will be in Toronto again for a week in April and I will be seeing the friend I came to your class with, so maybe I’ll be able to get to another of your classes. All the best, Cynthia.

    1. Hi Kerry,

      Hmm.. I am at a loss here. My knowledge of Latin music stops with Shakira and Nelly Furtado, and disco with the Bee Gees. Readers, can you help Kerry out?

    1. Hi Michael. Yes, and sorry for the delay in getting back to you. You can e-mail me at spinningmusicblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
      All the best,


  20. I just wanted to give you a HUGE thanks for this blog. I found you after doing a google search of “good spin music.” I am totally addicted to spinning after only five minutes, and have goals of losing another 50 pounds and becoming a spin instructor. I will visit this site OFTEN. Spinning combines two of my loves: working out HARD and listening to GOOD music.

    Thank you!!!!

    1. Hi Tracy,

      Welcome to the blog, so glad you like it. Becoming a spinning instructor is a great way to further your weight loss goals (plus it’s tons of fun!)

      All the best,


  21. I’m a physician in Indiana and cannot make it to spinning classes, but have been thinking of getting a bike for home. Do you have any recommendations for DVD’s that can be used for at home training. Thanks for your time.

    1. Hi Jeff,

      I haven’t used any DVDs at home. I’d start with the Spinning website as they sell DVD’s. If you find one by Master Instructor Josh Taylor, he is very well-regarded. The other place I’d check out is http://www.thesufferfest.com – blogger David McQuillen produces awesome looking training videos with footage from real races. The first few were (and maybe still are?) available on iTunes free; now he charges $10.99.

  22. Love the blog and thanks for the tips, i have just started to teach a spin class in my village and they love it. What like about your blog is the play lists and i am happy to see some of the music i like an use is there.
    happy days

    1. Hi Paul,

      Thanks for stopping by the blog. Drop by again and post one of your favourite playlists. I love to learn what songs other people are spinning to.

  23. Hi Cynthia
    I practice the indoor cycling since one year in Luxemburg but only 2 times/weeks …. not enough :-)
    Today I found your blog and I would like to thank you for your work. Now I have lots of great playlist with all instructions…., well done!
    Thanks for the tips and informations.

    I love this blog :-)

    And thanks again for the site & greetings from Luxemburg

    1. Hi Aurelie,

      Thank you so much! I am glad you enjoy the blog. Drop by again soon and post a couple of your favourite spinning tunes. I really enjoy learning what songs people are spinning to outside of Canada.

      All the best,


  24. Hi Cynthia.

    I just wanted to thank you because, thanks to your effort, I´m able to have harder and funnier sessions of spinnnig. I really appreciate your job.

    Thanks for sharing,and greetings from Colombia.

    1. Thanks so much Camilo! What are you spinning to these days? Drop by again and post the titles of a couple of your favourite spinning tunes. I’d love to know what’s popular in Colombia.

      All the best,


    1. Hi Liz,

      I’ve emailed you off-blog with the info. I haven’t checked with my employer to see how they feel about being mentioned on the blog so I’ve been studious about not indicating which gym I work for.

  25. Hi,

    Great blog! I stumbled over it when searching for playlists and inspiration for my new class which starts on Saturday (late – I know…… arghhhh). I found some new songs that I will use.
    A song that I have used earlier is Rammsteins “Asche zu Asche”. Heavy stuff, but much appreciated by the class!
    Instructor in Sweden (Stockholm at SATS)

    1. Hi Helena, Glad you like the blog and thanks for the tip. Rammstein sounds a bit like KMFDM. I’ve been interested in Sweden all summer because of reading the Dragon Tattoo series.

      Take care,


  26. hi there…
    i can’t – for the life of me – find any of your stuff on iTunes Canada….
    have you taken your playlists off of there?

    1. Hi Liz,

      They’re sport iMixes – they don’t show up on regular iMix searches. I am woefully behind in posting them….

  27. Hi Martin,

    Thanks for dropping by the blog and commenting. So glad you like it! Come by again sometime and post one of your favourite rides on the reader playlist page – would love to know what music you’re riding to in the UK.

  28. Hi, What a great website, blog site, I am a spinner come spinning instructor over in the Uk. There is some good stuff on here, and I totally endorse an earlier blog thread on here, an instructor has to give 100% minimum or the class doesn’t work as hard. I have a very good “hardcore” spinners following at my classes.

    Its Great!!

    And thanks again for the site, well done!

  29. Cynthia! How are you? I just noticed that you recommend my blog on your site – thank you sooo much! I hope it’s okay, I’ve done the same and have included your blog on my blogroll. I’ve been following you for a while now but just recently updated my recommended sites.

    I commented on your most recent post about guest posting while you are on maternity leave. How exciting!!! When are you due? In April? I’m getting baby fever again – my first is almost 2! The time flies. In any case, I just wanted to make sure you saw my post and that I would love to guest post for you. You can email me at jennifer@karmakreationz.com with details.

    All my best!
    Jenn :)

  30. Hi Fernando,

    Thanks for visiting the blog. Good question!

    With spinning you don’t have to pay as close attention to the exact BPM as you do for (say) step aerobics. I find that most songs have a feel to them – they feel like a good song for a particular drill.

    Climbing songs have a steady beat that riders can match their cadence to as they climb.

    Sprinting songs may be fast all the way through, but most are fast for the chorus, and allow for recovery during the verses.

    Lifts or Jump songs are particularly strong every 4 or 8 beats.

    To get a sense of what I mean, go to the page on the blog for each type of drill and listen to a few songs on the list. You will start to get a feel for it.

    As for putting classes together, you can take a certification like Spinning, that tailors each class to a particular zone (strength, endurance, race day, recovery) etc. Other programs teach mostly interval classes (periods of intense activity followed by recovery).

    I like to use a mix of drills in each class. I always start with a warmup. As a general rule, the warmup and cool down should be 10% of the class each – so 3-6 minutes, or about one song. My cool downs are usually one song on the bike to stretch upper body and slow the legs, then a second song to stretch lower body and clean up.

    You can mix up the drills any way you like. I try not to do sprints until at least 6-10 minutes into the class to be sure everyone is warmed up, including newer riders and any latecomers. Most of my classes mix up the drills so we do one or two of each type. Sometimes I’ll do multiple songs of climbs to mimic a long, tough hill outdoors. Sometimes we’ll do multiple sprinting songs in a row. Some instructors put together all climb, all sprint, or all jump classes – these are challenging to put together, so I’d suggest starting with a general interval class that mixes up the drills.

    If you are a new instructor, it can really help to test-drive your class by yourself before trying it with others. Just go to the cycling room when no class is scheduled, put on your music, and run through your class. You’ll see right away if there are songs or drills that don’t work. I did this pretty consistently for the first year I taught cycling. Now I very seldom need to do it.

    Happy spinning!


  31. Hi, I’m taking my first classes of cycling and I’m already in love with it. Cycling as turning my life up side out and it was really the kind of sport that I was needed.
    Now I would like to create my own music classes so I can at the same time make a class and listen to my favorite music.
    I have already selected one hundred recent songs that I like to be included on some of the classes but is really hard for me to understand how to pick up and order the songs so the BPM are correct and the all the 60minutes classes have a normal development.
    How do you manage and select the songs?

    Regards, Fernando

  32. Hi Chickrunner,

    I know a lot of fitness instructors use programs like Mixmeister. I haven’t found I need them. First, I set the delay between songs on my iPod to zero seconds, so they flow into each other. This makes a big difference – I really recommend it. I pause the playlist if I need to do so between songs to cue. Second, if I want to start a song late or finish it early (e.g. to remove applause in a live recording) I can set the song in iTunes to start or end at a particular place.

  33. Hi Cynthia,

    Thanks for the tips and information. I also use Itunes, so this will be where I will prefer to find them…..
    Suppose you make your playlists, and doing so it will not be with mixing ? – if you know what I mean. The numbers are not mixed into each other ?


  34. Hi Cynthia,

    Thanks for an amazing and inspiring web-page…. – Spinning Instructor from Denmark, and I find some good tips on this page.

    Music ? – can I download from your page – your music-sets are good and various which I like, and know my classes would appreciate too…..

    Have a nice weekend.

    Chickrunner – Denmark

    1. Thanks, Chickrunner! I’m not tech-savvy enough to offer downloads from my blog, but you can print each profile and download the songs from your favourite provider. I use iTunes almost exclusively. I know some of the Canadian artists I use are hard to find on international sites. My suggestion is to try Youtube for the song to see if you really like it, then do a bit of hunting for an alternate download. Sometimes the artists’ websites offer downloads or samples.

      Keep spinning,


  35. Hey leute ich bin auch ein neuer spinning trainer..wer könnte mir vielleicht weiterhelfen mit geiler music…viele grüsse aus germany


    1. Hi Stefan,

      I had to put your comment into Google translator… it came out as:

      Hey people, I am also a new spinning trainer .. who could possibly help me with horny music … many greet from germany.

      Congrats on becoming an instructor! I think there will be lots of horny music (I think I understand what you mean here) on the Top 25 Spinning Tunes of 2009. Look for it in early January.


  36. Thanks Cynthina. I will continue to surf around when I have a chance. I did take a quick peek at the others you have listed in your side bar.

    Btw, I just Bongo Song as a huge final hill push at the end of a workout. It’s super powerful that way and the students go nuts for it. I do the first about 3 minutes out of the saddle climbing at about 75-80% effort, just staying with the group, then the music has that brief lull where we sit back in the saddle – last chance to grab water & gather energy before final push to the top, then it’s mostly out of the saddle for the rest of the way, but with more gear, pushing harder up to 85% with a final all out sprint the last about 15 second up to 90%+. It’s works great. Let me know if you give it a shot, how it goes! :-)

    – Lisa

  37. Hi Lisa,

    So glad you like the blog! I love The Bongo Song by Safri Duo and use it for a warm up.

    I am not sure where to find Lola or Fefe Dobson music online other than iTunes. Maybe try Youtube and see if you like it and purchase through the artist website or traditionally as a CD? Anyone else know where Lisa might find this music?

    I am due April 3, so at 26 weeks now. For some reason doing jumps on the bike makes the baby kick like crazy.

    Definitely check out some of the links to other spinning blogs, some great ideas there and lots of different styles. You are sure to find things you like.

    All the best,


  38. Hi!
    I have spent the better part of the day ignoring my children and pouring thru your site! Awesome! I’m a cycle instructor (just had my 2 yr teaching anniversary). And I’ve been struggling here all by my lonesome to come up with playlists wondering why the internet wasn’t lit up with resources like yours. It took me a while to stumble across yours.
    Anyways, I’m putting together a new list based off many of your suggestions, but I’m struggling to find some of the Canandian music you mention. Two in particular are not on U.S. iTunes or Amazon: (1) Watch Me Move by Fefe Dobson & (2) High Heels by Lola. Can you let me know where I might find these to purchase?
    I promise to contribute some of my faves when I get a chance. I trust you know the Bongo Song by Safri Duo???
    Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday and enjoying your pregnancy. When is the due date? Best of luck to you. My kids are 4 & 7, and I had easy labors which I definitely credit at least in part to my spin & yoga practice throughout pregnancy (I’m sure genetics, luck and a fantabulous doula helped too! :-)).
    Thanks again!
    – Lisa

  39. Thanks Starr! I enjoy the reader playlists page the most. I think other people do, too – it’s one of the most popular pages on the blog. Happy holidays!


  40. I have been spinning forever, but only teaching for about a year and I want to thank you. There are sometimes when you hit a “writer’s block” when making a mix and I just come here and it is like 1,2,3 problem solve. So thank you for posting and creating a place for instructors, participants, and listeners can come and interact and share ideas.


  41. Hi Cycling in Oregon,

    Is the Breakbeat CD you mentioned the one with 168 instrumental tracks? At $9.99 on iTunes, it’s quite a bargain. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Glad you like it!

  42. I have been teaching cycling for 5 years and love your website. I love it every month. One of the new mix CD’s I like to pick and choose from is Breakbeat. Thanks and keep the music coming!

  43. Much appreciated, Trigirl! So glad you like the site. Come back and post some of your own favourite playlists and profiles when you get a chance.

  44. I love this site! Thank goodness i found it! I am a very new cycle instructor (got my cert. thru Schwinn) and I am at a loss as to how to put a class together – I mean I know how but when I sit down and look at itunes I get so overwhelmed! I want to be a really great instructor and so I think I am putting alot of pressure on myself. Nonetheless I love seeing everyone’s classes and playlists and getting an idea of how others put their classes together! Thanks for providing such an invaluable resource!

  45. Hi Jenn,

    Thanks for stopping by. Your blog looks really promising! I enjoy J.R. Atwood’s Spinning Mixes blog, too. His blog was the inspiration for mine. Let me know if it’s okay to add a link to your blog,


  46. ps – I just saw K’Naan live last Saturday – he opened up for Jason Mraz. I never heard of him before but I was really into it. He opened up to the audience and seemed very vulnerable and likable. His songs we unique and catchy and he created a beautiful atmosphere.

  47. Cynthia – This is a beautiful site, with amazing song choices, conversational and easy to read instructions, and I’m definitely going to be stopping by and seeing what you have going on.
    I started spinning a few years ago, but I really got into it this past year. I am going for my certification at the end of the month and in the meantime, I began searching for good mixes. I was amazed at how I couldn’t find any. I stumbled upon http://spinningmixes.wordpress.com/ and it has been a tremendous resource for me. It inspired me to do the same and combine my passion for music and spin and create my own blog.
    On that site, your blog is recommended and I’m glad I stopped by.
    Thanks for the great ideas and check out my blog when you get a chance. http://movemewithmusic.wordpress.com

    Jenn :)

  48. Hi Yamile,

    So glad you like the blog. I also spin on my own and enjoy it. I think it’s great that you coach yourself through your own class.

    Happy spinning,


  49. Hi Cynthia:

    I found your blog by accident. I am a fan of spinning. I have practiced for many years but since I move to Canada it was difficult to practice because of lack of time and music. Thanks for this great blog, it helps me a lot. Because of you I could burn about 400 calories again and smile after my own class. :)
    Spinning drives me passion after practice I have such a good energy that nothing is difficult to reach…Thanks for providing this feeling again.

  50. Hi Cynthia,

    That’s the ticket, I found them. Thanks for the quick reply. I’m going to spin away this rainy day :)


  51. Hi Sheena,

    Thanks so much. I’m a tad behind posting the iMixes but you can find the ones I’ve done under Sport iMixes, which are separate from the regular ones and sort of hard to find. I should probably switch it over to regular iMixes. To get to the Sport iMixes on iTunes, click on Music, then Nike Sport iMixes, then View or Create Sport iMixes. Put in Cynthia as a search term and they’ll come up.

    Happy spinning,


  52. Hi Cynthia,

    Great site, it keeps me motivated! I love the music and was trying to find your imix on iTunes (I have the Canadian version) but can’t seem to find them when I searched for ‘Cynthia’s spin’ or even just ‘spin’. Any ideas where they’re hiding?


  53. Congratulations on becoming an indoor cycling instructor, RK! That’s fantastic.

    If you go to the Reader Playlist page, I responded to a question with some tips for being the best spin instructor you can be, but I think your question about being a brand new instructor teaching a first class is an important question.

    For a first class, here are my tips:

    1. Write out your profile and take it into class with you on a sheet of paper. Make sure you know when the sprints are, and where to cue all the changes. I keep my profiles in an 8.5 x 11 inch notebook with a plastic cover. It fits nicely on top of the stereo next to my bike. Some people use index cards, some put the profile in a sweat-proof plastic sleeve. Some wing it entirely.

    2. Practice your profile by yourself before you try it in class. Go to the spin room at an off-peak time when it is empty (ideally, the one you’ll be teaching in) and play your music through the stereo (not headphones). Actually talk through the class, cuing the changes. Practice the warm up and cool down a few times – this is where you’ll be doing the most talking. Practicing will help you to feel comfortable and work out any bugs in your profile.

    3. If you stop the music between songs to cue the next drill, the breaks will take up about 3-5 minutes of the class, so account for this in your playlist. If you’re using an iPod, make sure it’s fully charged.

    4. Don’t get too fancy with the music right away – until you get comfortable, pick songs you love and already know well. They’re much easier to cue.

    5. Make sure you speak loud enough, especially if you’re not miked. You can pause the music between drills to cue the next drill, or turn the music down a bit when you need to talk. Turn it up a bit for the sprints and long stretches.

    6. You may need to dial your own tension back a bit from what you’re used to as a rider. It takes extra effort to ride and do all that talking! If you find it hard to talk so much, try using common hand gestures (like thumbs up or down for lifts).

    7. Enthusiasm always shines through – riders can tell when instructors are dialling it in. New instructors may feel enthusiastic inside but you’ve also got to show it outside.

    8. You might choose to confide in the riders that it’s your first class and ask them to help you make it a great one for everyone. You might also choose to just introduce yourself. Personally, I would do the latter. You’re an experienced rider who just happens to be a new instructor.

    9. Show up to class at least 20 minutes early. It’s the instructor’s job to make sure the fans are on, the lights are the way you want them, the music is set and ready to go. Greet each rider as they come in. You may have to set up new riders and it can take a while to get everyone going. Play some upbeat music during the pre-class period.

    10. Have fun – everyone is there to get a fun workout. They *want* you to do well, and you will, because you really care about doing well. How do I know this? Because you’re nervous. There’s a saying about trial lawyers that the day they aren’t nervous about going to court anymore they should give it up because they’ve lost their edge.

    Good luck RK! Drop us a comment on Monday after your class to tell us how it went.


  54. I am teaching my first spin class on Monday. I have been spinning for a long time and have done lots to prepare, but I’m so nervous! Any tips?

  55. Hi Gavin,

    Whoops, I thought it was a typo. I checked out the Chilli Pipers on iTunes – they even have a medley of Smoke on the Water/Thunderstruck. Bagpipes are big in NS – it’s not unusual to get piped from pub to pub. Thanks for the suggestion!

  56. Hi Cynthia,

    It’s not the Chilli Peppers. It’s the Chilli Pipers. Totally different type of rock music with bagpipes. Totally different for your class. I’ve used “Rockin’ All Over The World”. Starts off quite slow then a heavy bass beat kicks in for a tough standing climb. They also do a version of “we will rock you”.

    Let me know if you can’t find these and I’ll send you a link.


  57. Hi Gavin,

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Don’t leave me in suspense – you must have a couple of ideas for good Chili Peppers tracks for spinning.

    Breaking the Girl as a seated climb?



  58. Hi Cynthia,
    Excellent website. Given me some great ideas for classes.
    Have you ever tried to play anything by the “red hot chilli pipers”? I think that it might get your classes going if you find the right track.
    Something a bit different. Let me know what you think.

    Keep up the good work.


  59. I am looking forward to Monday! I can’t wait to get started teaching myself. I love your website. There is alot of good info.

    ~ the grasshopper :)

  60. Hi Geraldine,

    Welcome to Halifax! I’ll e-mail you off-blog about my class times and locations.


  61. Hello Cynthia,

    I just moved to Halifax this past summer and I work out at the base. I have been taking spinning classes twice a week during the noon hour (approx 30 minutes). But I would like to join a spinning class that is longer and offered throughout the week. I am hoping that you could recommend a club or let me know where you teach as I have been enjoying your blog and interested to take your classes.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Geraldine David

  62. Hi Amy,

    Thanks for stopping by the blog! So glad you like it. Drop by again, maybe post some of your go-to songs or playlists.



  63. Just found your blog while googling “top spinning songs!” Love it. I have been teaching for about 5.5 years & LOVE LOVE LOVE the art of making a playlist. I am a little music obsessed (just a tad) and actually decided to google it to get some fresh ideas to dig out of my itunes library. We have very similar tastes. I was just reading back through your recent playlists and was laughing when I got to your “out of india” – just last week I did a world music playlist inspired by Slumdog. I decided that 60 min of bollywood might be a little tough to stomach all in one session – so I brought in some african beats, and a TON of latin (I teach Zumba as well) to go along with it. I must admit to playing the PCD version of Jai Ho over and over and over in my car. LOVE it.

  64. Hey Cynthia,
    So glad I found your blog… I moved to NS last spring and have been looking for a spinning class !! Where can I find you – or where can I find a good spinning class ?

  65. Thanks for dropping by the blog, Kelvin. I’ll be checking out yours, too, to see how it develops. I agree that many of the riders in my classes are interested to know how many calories they burn. I’ve often wondered if one of the reasons people use the equipment instead of taking cycling classes is that the equipment generates a hard number at the end of the session. We need to promote cycling classes as a more-than-viable (and more fun!) alternative to using exercise equipment.

  66. I’m impressed, Gene! I’ve thought of opening a cycling/yoga studio, but I don’t really want to run one, I want someone else to open one so I can go there. I love the idea of adding video to classes – wish my gym had the technology.

  67. Super Blog Cynthia!! I’d love to do a Global Ride Tour through Canada sometime. I’m a Spinning instructor who, like you, took my love for it to the next level. In my case, I opened my own spinning studio, and started a cycling training DVD business based on the FUSION of principals I learned from Mad Dogg, and my outdoor cycling/coaching. The result are Virtual Cycling DVDs (http://www.cyclingfusion.com). I just spent 2 weeks traveling 10,000 miles across the US launching the Hawaii series, and the response from fellow “spinnners” nationwide was amazing (http://gallery.me.com/genenacey#100403). Perhaps you could help me identify some good sites to use when launching my Italy series, which is due out in February. Keep up the good work by the way!

  68. Denise – you’re right, Delta Goodrem rocks. I’d use “In This Life” as climb at the end of the ride – it has a finale feel to it. The acoustic version on iTunes is gorgeous and perfect as a cool down song. I also really liked “One Day” for lifts/jumps.

  69. Cynthia – check out Delta Goodrem’s “In this Life”. Great tune! Good beat and so energetic with positive lyrics. I’m thinking a good climbing song with out of the saddle bursts during the chorus – powering up the hill as I like to call it. Delta has been around for a while but is just starting her journey in North America (she is huge in Australia). anyway – just wondering what or if you could/would do with this song! Any ideas?

  70. Okay readers – here’s your challenge: I added a Reader Playlist page to the blog, and it’s all ready to fill up with your best playlists. (If you want to recommend a song instead of a whole playlist, you can post it in a comment under whichever type of drill you think it best fits.)

    I’m excited to see what you’ve got!


  71. I think that is an awesome idea! You have really turned me on to some new music and I’m sure I can do the same for you so imagine what all of your readers can contribute. I’ll check my e-mail…. thanks!!!

  72. Hi Denise – so glad you like the blog. I would love to see some of your playlists. I’ll send an e-mail to the address you used to comment. Maybe I should create a new page for readers to post playlists of their own? Readers, what do you think?

  73. Cynthia – you totally rock. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I began teaching in September after leaving my awesome gym (Equinox) for a less-awesome gym (Crunch). I could not find a class I liked so like you, I began making my own playlists and training myself. One thing lead to another and now I teach four classes a week. The hardest part is putting playlists together and keeping the music fresh! Your website has helped me a great (HUGE) deal. Thanks again for the time you put into this. MUCH appreciated!!!

    Chicago, IL

  74. Hi Lori,

    Thanks for stopping by the blog! I’m so glad you find it useful in planning your classes.

    Take care,


  75. Cynthia,
    I am always excited to see when you have a new paylist and suggestions for how to coach the song, I have learned allot from your website, YOur blog extends far into the help of instructors and mutiply that by the fellow class Indoor cyclist.
    From the Bottom of my Heart
    thankyu for your inovation and creating this blog

  76. dear Cynthia, I just found your blog by accident. Great thing! I’m a Cycling Presenter from Germany – and – as you are talking about music for spinning – I’d like to share my website with you: http://www.music4cycling.com — Maybe you like it! So, in case you do – I was wondering if we could link our websites…?

    Take care and have fun!
    ciao, Carli

    ~ Hi Carli, thanks for checking out my blog and commenting. I don’t link to commercial sites, but if you have a related non-profit site or blog, I’d be happy to link to that.



  77. Hi Cynthia.
    Your blog is great! I´m a spinning instructor from Denmark. When I am working on a new spinning program I alway drop by this site to get ideas. That way my classes recive greater variation. There is a great danish band called Infernal – you should hear some of their songs. The songs I use most are called: cheap trick kinda girl, from paris to berlin, ten miles, downtown boys and self control.
    Thanks for the best blog!

  78. Hey Cynthia, Thanks for the blogroll link! Much appreciated. And thanks for all the great music and workout ideas! Cheers, David (www.thesufferfest.com)

  79. Hi there,

    Came across your website while creating my own Spinning Blog….thank you so much for your music sharing. We have very similar tastes! Would love to put a link to yours on mine. Let me know.

    Jen (www.leaveitonthebike.blogspot.com)

  80. Thanks for stopping by, Cybil. Some people call lifts speed bumps or jumps. The drill is based on the movement a rider would do on a mountain bike to get over an object on the trail, but modified for an indoor class. It’s a great quad workout. It involves lifting yourself off the seat for a certain number of beats (usually 8/4/2 to work with the music) and then lowering yourself back onto the seat. The movement is very controlled and is all about the legs. Hands are used on the handlebars for balance only. To make sure my class isn’t inadvertently pulling up with their hands, I have them try the drill placing only the base of their palms on the handlebars. As the pace quickens, the drill gets more difficult, so lifting on counts of 2 beats is tougher than 8 beats. The other point about lifts is you need to use climbing tension – 4/10 or more.

    Stop by and leave me the URL of your blog when you get it up and running – I’ll be sure to visit.

  81. This is a great blog…very inspiring. I’m trying to put together a blog of my own, not so much geared towards music, but a general spinning/triathlon site. I like the photos that you add to each blog. One question though, what exactly is a lift? Finding new drills is important to keeping things fresh in class. I’ve been teaching since nov.07 and love it!!!

  82. Thanks for all the good spin playlist music! I am a new instructor and am busy working away at trying to find good music to pull together. Thanks again! And I will be sure to pass along good music that I come across as well.

  83. This blog is heaps of fun! Love it! The music to which one spins is crucial and it can totally make or break a class. Oh, how I long for the good ol’ days when I had something called “spare time” when I could attend a spin class at the gym. *SIGH* One day…one day…

    Blog looks great, btw.

  84. You are a wild woman!
    Totally hilarious, I will pass it on to all the cyclists I know, if you wnat any pictures of people riding, let me know…


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