Guest Post: Let The Sun Shine In Cycling Mix (60 minutes)

14 12 2013

Sunshine bicycleReader Fern sent me this ride with a note:

  • Hi Cynthia – I have been following your blog for a couple of years. You used to be so great about putting up playlists. [Cynthia: Gaah, the guilt, the guilt!]  I found such great songs and learned a lot about how to coach them. I have been teaching a really awesome ride. I have taught it a few times and for me it is time to retire it. [Cynthia: Nooo! You could easily pull this one out again in a few months.] But I have had amazing feedback from it and I thought I could put it into a format and give something back to you so other people who come to your blog could be helped. I just really wanted to give something back to you. If you don’t want to put it up it is totally cool. But if you want to, [Cynthia: I do!  I do!  It looks like an awesome ride] all you have to do is cut and paste. I see you haven’t put something up in a while and I just wanted to give you something back for all that I have gotten from you. Please feel free to use it if you want. Happy Holidays!

Commit to Change – Finding Inspiration

This ride has 3 climbs. In each climb you will be challenged.

Most of the climb will build to the lactate threshold and we will hold it there building aerobic endurance.  Then you will be challenged to dig deep inside to find more.

Three important things to keep in mind:

1)    Cycling is an aerobic exercise. The more oxygen you inhale, the more you can fuel your working muscles.  Make your breath mindful and breath from your belly.

2)    Mostly we think about putting resistance on.  On this ride we are going to have some challenges where we are forced to decide how much resistance to take off.

3)    Have fun. Make it your journey. Anytime you need to back off or change something it is totally ok.  Each rider must listen to their own bodies.

This is what I use as a reference for Rate of Perceived Effort

[Fern sent me a fancy graphic that I loved and totally wanted to steal, but it did not like being cut and pasted into WordPress.  I am not doing it justice but here’s the text:]

100%     Maximum effort

90%        Very hard

80%        Hard

70%        Somewhat hard

60%        Fairly light

50%        Light

40%        Very light

30%

20%

10%

Warm Up

          Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine in (70-90 RPM) 4:52 –Peace People – Seated, Position 1 –  Warm Up – This is the first song to get your legs moving. It’s important to take time to let your muscles warm and your joints loosen.  Pick a cadence between 70 and 90 rpm that works for you.  Add 4 increases of resistance.  Make them small changes, but feel the difference through the pedals.  Increases at 1:00, 1:55, 2:51 and 3:25.  At 3:25 stand in position 2.  What is your inspiration to get on the bike?  What brings you here?  Fitness? Training for a race? Burn some calories?  Fit into a new outfit?  Fun?  Your friend dragged you?  Just think about it.

Hold Resistance through song 2.

2)    Castle of Glass (108 RPM) 3:25 – Linkin Park – Seated, Position 1 – Fast Flat – Start out at 100 RPM – this is the first opportunity to decide about resistance.  Take the first 30 seconds to let your body adapt to the speed.  Then after 30 seconds, decide if you can maintain the speed.  Adjust if you need to.  There are 2 changes. The first change at 1:30 increase cadence to 110.  The second change at 2:15 – Stand up – it is ok to let your cadence decrease but try to keep it as high as you can.  Keep your effort up. Option to increase resistance at 2:40. At 3:25 Have a seat – position 1 and slow your legs.

Building to First Climb


3)    Stay the Night (90 RPM) 3:32 – James Blunt – Seated Position 1 – Seated/Standing Intervals – There are 3 intervals where you stand.  Make 3 increases of resistance along the way. We are building to the first climb.  Increase resistance just before the interval and then stand for the duration of the interval, sit at the end.  Intervals 20/20/30 from 1st (:50-1:10) 2nd (1:50-2:10) 3rd (2:50-3:20)


Climb 1

4)    My Love is Not Blind (Vocal) (65-80 RPM) 6:25- Margaret Grace – Seated Position 1 – Climb – Build resistance to the lactate threshold at 8/10. You know you will be at 8/10 because we are going to increase our speed for 20 seconds.  You will know if you are 8/10 because when we increase our cadence for 20 seconds you will feel mild hyperventilation. You will have taken one foot over the line.  Get to 8/10 by 1:36.  From (1:36-1:54) increase cadence to 80 rpm.   Check in.  Did the increase in cadence cause your breathing to become anaerobic?  If not, add some resistance.  Hold 80 rpm once more for 1:40 from (3:06-4:55).  Focus on breathing – staying in control of your breath.

Hill continues – stand in position 2 at the end 6:25

One Thousand Suns (70 RPM) 8:01 – Chicane – Standing Position 2/3 – Working on aerobic endurance stay at 8/10 for the entire song.  Once you are settled into the beat ride in position 3 as long as you can. This is a great song with a really catchy beat. Don’t need to say much here…let the riders have their own space.  Remind them to breath, to stand or sit as they would like but to hold the effort of 8/10 building aerobic endurance.

Hard change comes at 8:01 at the end of the song.  You are going to stand and increase cadence to 90 rpm.  This will be challenging. 

5)    Torn (90-95RPM) 4:05 – Natalie Imbruglia – Standing Position 2 Run.

Take 30 seconds to let your body settle and then decide how much resistance you should take off.  Stay standing with as much resistance as you can.  at around 2:00 ask – Did you take too much resistance off?  A break is coming in 2 mins, are you working as hard as you want to?  As hard as you can?  Do you think you could work just a little harder?  Earn the break?  If you turn the resistance up, you can always take it down.

Recovery

6)    Brother Down (100 RPM) 4:24 – Sam Roberts – Seated fast flat recovery.   Let your heart rate fall. Don’t drop down more than 7/10, the bottom of your aerobic effort.  Think about your breathing, breath deep.  Think about your position on the bike, soften your upper body, smooth pedal strokes.  As you start to recover, add resistance on.  Make sure you are connected to the road beneath you.  Add 3 turns 1:30, 2:30, 3:45.

Climb 2

7)    Get Lucky (60 RPM) 4:08 – Daft Punk.  Power Burst Jumps – Seated/Standing Position 2.  Cyclists normally stay in the saddle.  They come out of the saddle for a reason.  Usually to get some power to speed up or when they are climbing.  Power Burst Jumps are done as follows.  1) Start with enough resistance on the bike to feel like you are working at 7.5. 2) Stand and accelerate your cadence, as much as you can. 3) Slow your cadence down back to 60 RPM. 4) Gently lower down into the saddle.  You will feel your heart rate increase and your quads start to burn.  Continue doing Power Burst Jumps to the end of the song.  Increasing 3 resistance turns along the way. Cueing – Stand, Burst your legs, get some power, slow the legs, gently slide back to the saddle.  Check in along the way and offer any rider the chance to sit one or two out if it is too much. At the end stay standing.

8)    Feel the Love (feat. John Newman( ( 55-90 RPM) 4:05 – Rudimental – Standing Heavy Position 2 Climb – Stand and increase the cadence [Cynthia: I think Fern means resistance here?] as much as possible to slow the legs down to 55 RPM  from (0-1:04).  From 1:04 to 2:34 increase the cadence to 90 RPM decreasing as much resistance as you need but keeping as heavy as you can.  Match the cadence at 90 RPM and hold.  A good break comes at 2:34 – 3:22.  Sit and slow the cadence down.  Recover  50 seconds  – Big deep breaths.  Don’t touch the resistance.  At 3:30 ask could you turn up the resistance just a bit.  One Power Burst to Finish (3:22 – 3:50) Stand and go as fast as you can.

Recovery

9)    Suddenly I See (80/100 RPM) 3:22 – KT Tunstall – Seated/Standing  Position 2 Intervals – Recovery and then 3 intervals 20/20/45 increasing resistance before each one building back to Climb #3. 1st (0:40-1:00) 2nd (1:35-1:55) 3rd (2:33- 3:12)

Climb 3

10)Zocalo (68 RPM) 8:32 – Armin van Buuren – Seated/Standing Climb – Change positions as desired.  Work to effort.  Building resistance from 0 to 1:53.  By 1:53 you want to be at 8/10 perceived effort.  At 1:53, turn the resistance until pedals start to slow just a little and stand.  Hold 80% (1:53 – 5:13) working on aerobic endurance.  2 ½ mins from the top ask for every bit of effort.  Come back to your inspiration. Why you are riding.  Your body is tired but you want to push through the fatigue and ask yourself for more.  Everything you have.  Don’t leave thinking, I could have worked harder. Know, it’s going to be worth it because you did your best.  Keep your thoughts positive and find your inspiration.  Ask for commitment.  at 5:13 add resistance, add speed, add whatever you can to get to 100%.  Don’t talk too much, just count the time.  Let the music move the riders.

Cool Down

11)Say Something (feat. Christina Aguilera) 3:49 – A Great Big World

12)Stay (feat. Mikky Ekko) 4:01 – Rihanna

       Thank you so much Fern, for sharing this ride.  I love the eclectic music – any ride that veers from cheeky disco to Linkin Park to James Blunt, R&B inspired and Top 40 radio hits gets my vote.  I like your profile of three hills with flats, power burst jumps (they are hard, oh so hard) and I like that you included your coaching notes.  Happy holidays!

       Readers, I have three rides of my own in the hopper.  Should get them all posted within the next week (promise!)  Look for one more post before year-end: my sixth annual Top 25 Indoor Cycling Tunes of 2013.  Want to vote for your favourite tune?  Leave it in a comment.

S

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Guest Post: Under Control-ish Cycling Mix (60 minutes)

14 12 2013

spinners in a rowLong time reader and contributor Lisa sent me this ride in November and I am just posting it now (sorry Lisa!)  If you’ve checked out some of her other guest posts to the blog, you’ll know that your iPod will be a hipper place with her music suggestions on it, and every time she posts a ride, there’s at least one “where did she find THAT song?” moment of pure deliciousness.  Plus, this ride includes four contenders for my list of the Top 25 Indoor Cycling Songs of 2013.  Here’s Lisa:

In my September guest blog post I prattled on about how long it can take me to put together a playlist and profile for a 1 hour class. Well, guess what? Sometimes it doesn’t. Occasionally it gels really quickly. In this ride, I started with Chris Spins’ Under Control Cycling Mix (thanks Chris!) There were several songs I liked, but I ended up modifying it quite a bit. Some of my modifications were due to simple music preferences (e.g. I just needed a break from Tabata music), and some of my modifications were profile driven (e.g. Chris used Stompa as a heavy climb, but at 42/84 RPM I prefer it as a flat [Cynthia: I’m leaning toward using it as a climb, around 70 RPM]). I also mixed in some other music I’d been wanting to use. And, so I offer up to you, my version “Under Control-ish.” There are 3 stages, each with a 12-14 minute hill. If you have bikes with computers, it can be fun to compare efforts on each of the hills (tracking mileage, watt average, or calories burned) and set goals (either matching, or escalating targets for each segment). Since the hills get slightly shorter in each segment, even matching efforts from one hill to the next should result in greater challenge.  [Cynthia: I wish we had bike computers at my gym.]

Here is the Spotify link.

[KEY: song time, total run time; BPM &/or RPM, effort level (easy/moderate/hard/very hard/breathless), Terrain (F= Flat, SC= seated climb, StC= Standing Climb, CH= Combo Hill, J= Jumps),  + & – refers to increase or decrease in gear, ^ or v refers to increase or decrease in cadence.]

UNDER CONTROL-ISH

Warm Up


1) Mat Kearney – Hey Mama
 2:57,  80-100 RPM, F warm up, easy to moderate, gradually +

 

2) Au Revoir Simone – Crazy 2:57, 5:54; 87 RPM, F warm up continues. Hold RPM, gradually + (~3x), moving from moderate to hard

 

Stage 1: 13.5 min Climb, 3 min Flat

3) Pitbull – Timber 3:24, 9:18; 65 RPM; Hard, CH, St :38-1:07, 1:37-2:20, 2:50-3:20(end) 30/40/30 (add gear in mid of each, back off when S in between) [Cynthia: I used this song for the first time a couple of weeks ago and have been humming it ever since.  Total earworm.]


4) NONONO – Pumpin Blood 3:29, 12:47; 60 RPM, Hard-Very Hard, CH, 15/15-30/15-30 ^ :57-1:13, 20:01-2:15 or 33, 2:50-3:09 or 23

 

5) MIKA – Relax, Take It Easy 3:44, 16:31; 61 RPM, Hard-Very Hard SC, -1:20, + 1:50, -2:20, +2:54, -3:25

6) Flo Rida – How I Feel 2:50, 19:21, 64 RPM, Hard-V Hard StC [Cynthia: Great new Flo Rida]


7) Serena Ryder – Stompa – Radio Version 3:05, 22:26; 84 RPM, Easy-Mod-Hard Flat, recovery, then into headwind.

 

Stage 2: 13 min Climb, 6.5min Flat 

 

8) Alesso – Under Control 3:05, 22:26, 63 RPM; Hard-Very Hard CH, St :45, +1:02, – S 1:28, +, St 2:10, +2:25, S 2:56


9) Joe Satriani – Crowd Chant 3:15, 28:46, 60 RPM; Mod-Hard Jumps [Cynthia: would never have thought to use this in a cycling class but it’s awesome!]

 

10) Goodwill – Take You Higher – Radio Edit 3:10, 31:56; 64 RPM, Hard CH, St :38-1:23,  2:22-end [For me, this was the moment of musical deliciousness for this ride.  According to Wikipedia, this Aussie tune went Top 10 in Belgium and Poland, but didn’t chart in Australia or North America.  See?  How did she find it?]

 

11) Paffendorf – Welcome To Africa – Short Cut 3:26, 35:22, 69 RPM with surges, SC (3x 30 sec Very Hard pushes).  Starting at :30 Mod, 1:10 Very Hard, 1:40-1:55 easy, 1:55-2:25 Very Hard, 2:25- 40 easy, 2:40-3:3:20 very hard)

 

12) Vampire Weekend – Unbelievers 3:23, 38:45; 78 RPM, Easy-Mod-Hard Flat, recovery, then into headwind. Riders can start this F at a higher cadence, but must + in the last minute to bring cadence down to 78 (this is important for the drill in the next song to work)

 

13) Jhameel – Feisty 3:01, 41:46, 99 RPM, Very Hard-Hard Flat, 1 min on/off/on, “off” at 1:03- 2:08. Keep gear where it was in last song, but instead of going 78 RPM, ^ up to about 99 RPM (this should shift work into Very Hard territory) for both of the one minute “on” segments. [Cynthia: this one has a cool Michael Jackson vibe.]

 

Stage 3: 12.5 min Climb, 5 min Flat/cool down 

 

14) Avicii – Wake Me Up 4:10, 45:56, 62 RPM, Hard CH St :40-1:10, 1:24-56, 2:27-3, 3:29-end [Cynthia: I could use this song every ride and not get tired of it.]

15) David Guetta – One Love – feat. Estelle 4:01, 49.57; 63 RPM, Hard-Very Hard, SC +1:16-50, 3:26-4/end

16) Britney Spears – Work Work 4:08, 54:05, 64-94 RPM, Hard-Very Hard – Breathless CH, 3 intervals 45/45/30, ^ & then St for last 15  seconds of each interval to take it into breathless.  :45-1:15-1:30, 2-2:30-2:45, 3:35-3:50-4:05/end [Cynthia: this is the clean version.]

Cool Down

17-19) Cool Down Music du jour (in my Spotify playlist I currently have A Beautiful Day by India.Arie, Feelin’ Groovy by Simon & Garfunkel, and Salala by Angelique Kidjo).

[Cynthia: Gentlemen, you may choose to skip this next bit…]

In completely unrelated news, I thought I’d use this platform to get something else off my chest (pun intended). The whole brouhaha with Lululemon’s disdain for customers with touching thighs got me thinking. [Cynthia: Full disclosure: I own Lululemon stock.  I was, and remain, mightily impressed with the company for creating flattering, durable workout gear.  Not so impressed with founder Chip Wilson’s “thigh rubbing” and other comments.]

moving-comfort-juno-purple sports braI am getting seriously annoyed at the poor choices out there in athletic gear for well-endowed women (D cup or higher). I teach 4-5 indoor cycle classes a week. I wear a lot of athletic gear. I’ve shopped at all the obvious places (Lululemon, Lucy, Athleta) and many less obvious (Costco has surprisingly nice workout pants). They all completely fail to address the needs of us curvy-up-top gals. I am constantly struggling with two things (ok, those two things, but two other things): sports bras and tank tops.

My specific issues:

(1) Built-in Shelf bras (that are built-in to the majority of cute tanks out there): Are they serious? At best they are useless for even the most sedate activities. A downward dog in a gentle yoga class with only a shelf bra built into my tank top? -> boulder landslide. At worst, they cut across the bust in weird places, rendering the top unwearable, even with a better bra underneath.

(2) Tanks: What is the deal with 99% of the tanks having a T-back, but 99% of the really supportive sports bras being regular (non-T-back) style? I am almost always wearing a tank that shows my bra straps in the back – a look I thought I’d given up at age 19, but am forced to continue to flaunt. This is made worse by the fact that I teach classes with my back to the mirror, so everyone gets a clear view of this fashion. Why, why, why can’t there be more non-T-back tanks???

Also, let’s talk about the scoop neck. Since I teach cycle with my back to the mirror, it took me longer to realize this than I’d like to admit, but one day while taking another teacher’s class (so I was facing the mirror for a change), I realized that my top that had seemed modest whilst upright, became quite revealing when I leaned over my handlebars. Oh my. Talk about your low hanging fruit. You wanna know what’s even harder to find than a non-T-back tank? A tank with a higher cut neckline. And if you’re in the market for a tank that is non-T-back AND has a higher neck line … Good. Freaking. Luck. In 6 years, I’ve found exactly 2. Between wearings I store them in a fireproof safe, along with all my other most highly prized belongings.

(3) Bras: Good grief. The selection for women with D+ cups is pretty sad. We cannot wear those pull over stretchy things. They’re like the shelf bras without the tank on top. Useless for support, fantastic at creating mondo-uniboobs. Memo to manufacturers – just do the world a favor and stop making them in our size. The good news is that, unlike tanks, there have at least been some attempts at creating other styles of sports bras for the D+ population. I’ve tried many. The Enell High Impact Sports Bra is a distant relative of the boa constrictor, I’m pretty sure. Athleta has a better selection than any of its competitors, but they are all cut pretty low, and since I can’t find a tank to cover me up, I’m looking for my bra to help in this area, so I haven’t found the perfect one. Manufacturer Moving Comfort has the best choices. Right now, I rely on the Moving Comfort Women’s Maia Bra because it offers decent support as well as a high neckline (so it looks almost as if I layered an additional tank underneath, rather than seeing “my bra”), however, it does not come in a T-back, so I’m always flashing my straps (super classy & professional – not). [Note: the links are Amazon Affiliate links]

Some cyclists will tell me: just wear a cycling jersey. Thing is, (a) I find most of those unflattering, and (b) they’re overkill for an hour indoor class. I don’t need pockets to hold snacks, or gloves, etc. like I would on an outdoor ride. I’d just like an attractive, professionally appropriate tank, like my lesser endowed sisters get to wear. Is that so much to ask?

Now – who wants to start a business with me?

Cynthia again: Sadly, I am of no help to Lisa in this department and I will leave it at that.  But if you’ve found the sports-bra-of-your-dreams, drop us a comment and tell us about it!





Guest Post: Hallowe’en Cycling Mix (60 minutes)

27 10 2013

halloween pumpkin bikeGot a note from intrepid California instructor Lisa Goldman asking if I would be interesting in sharing her Hallowe’en playlist with you.  My response?  Hell, yeah!  So, just in time for Hallowe’en week, here’s Lisa:

Confession time: I made a Halloween playlist about 7 years ago and I’ve recycled it every year since.  I figured, “Hey, who’s gonna remember what I played a year ago?”  Well, if not them, then me. I pulled out my trusty Halloween mix, and I just couldn’t do it this year. Not entirely anyway. Truthfully, this new playlist is only about 50% new. But once I ditched Monster Mash and Thriller, it felt 100% new. Besides, I used to make a joke about imagining being chased my Michael Jackson’s over-eager plastic surgeon during Thriller, and now that being chased by MJ’s doctor is actually terrifying, the joke doesn’t play that well anymore. Time for something new.

When I decided to make a new Halloween mix, I tried to go the lazy route, and crib off another teacher’s profile. I searched the web and came up with a few, but I couldn’t make them work for me. Turns out, I’m incredibly sensitive to matching the RPMs I cue to the beat of the song.  I know there are strong arguments for letting the training profile dictate the ride, instead of the music. But, asking me to pedal even slightly off the beat makes me crazy – like the reverse of asking someone to pat their head and rub their tummy – I just cannot do it myself, much less cue others to do so. (My compromise is the shift around my music to fit a profile that makes sense.) I did get some music inspiration from other instructors out there, but had to put together my own ride, Lisa-style.  It’s not my most favorite profile ever, but I think the Halloween music is fun for this time of year, and you can certainly play it up asking people to name the movie (several songs in this list come from movies), or asking other Halloween trivia, and passing out prizes, or as I plan to do, passing out Glo-necklaces for my night classes. Hope you enjoy – Happy Halloween!

[KEY: song time, total run time; BPM &/or RPM, effort level (easy/moderate/hard/very hard/breathless), Terrain (F= Flat, SC= seated climb, StC= Standing Climb, CH= Combo Hill, J= Jumps, RH= Rolling Hills),  + & – refers to increase or decrease in gear, ^ or v refers to increase or decrease in cadence.]

Warm Up

1)   Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead – 9:40, 9:40, 75-95 RPM; easy-moderate, F & SC. I use the first half of this song to let folks warm up on a F at whatever cadence they choose, gradually adding gear. By ~ 5 minutes in, I have people find enough gear to get the cadence to match the beat (75 RPM) and find a moderate hill.  [Cynthia: lots of peppier remixes of this one on iTunes, but this one’s the spookiest.]

STAGE 1 – 7+ minute hill, followed by ~3 minute F

2)   The Black Keys – Howlin’ For You – 3:12, 12:52; 67 RPM with some cadence pick ups for RH. Moderate – Hard.
Power Music – Tales From The Crypt Theme – 2:02, 14:54; 71 RPM, Hard, CH
Danny Elfman – Beetlejuice (Theme from “Beetlejuice”) – 1:54, 16:48; 75 RPM; very hard StC
Linkin Park – SKIN TO BONE – 2:49. 19:37; 80 RPM, easy-moderate. First recover from hill at easy, then find your way back to a moderate flat, bringing wattage back to where you finished your warm-up or slightly higher, but allow yourself to recover because we have a 17 minute hill next, followed by two short, but very steep hills after that. Lots of climbing today!

STAGE 2 – 16.5 minute hill, followed by ~3 minute F

3)   Deadmau5 – Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff – feat. Rob Swire – 5:29, 25:06, RPM 64, mod-hard, CH. Every time you come out of the saddle add ~2 gears, every time you sit back down, take off 1 gear (or half of what you added). [Cynthia: Love!]

4)   Oingo Boingo – Dead Man’s Party – 6:22, 31:28, RPM 81, RH. St and +v, S and ^-. [Cynthia: Love!]

5)   101 Strings Orchestra – The Exorcist (Theme from Tubular Bells) – 4:23, 35:51; 74 RPM, SC with 4 passes (picking up 20-30 RPM, maxing at 100RPM – if you can go faster than that, you need more gear!) 1-1:15, 2-2:25, 3-3:25, 4-4:15.

6)   Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy – 2:45, 38:36; 90-110 RPM, easy-moderate FF with headwind + at chorus. [Cynthia: Love!  The perfect antidote to all the creepiness.]

STAGE 3 – 4 minute hill, 3 minute F, 5 minute hill with passes

7)   Harajuku – The Phantom of the Opera – 4:11, 42:47; 66 RPM, hard-very hard, CH. [Cynthia: Iron Maiden has a hard-driving song with the same title and it clocks in at 7:21.  Anyone brave enough to pull out Iron Maiden in cycling class?]

8)   Santana – Black Magic Woman – 3:16, 46:03; 80-110, FF, easy-mod

9)   Karl Jenkins, Marat Bisengaliev & West Kazakhstan Philharmonic Orchestra – Requiem: Dies Irae – 4:36, 50:39; RPM 61, very hard-breathless, StC with seated passes 20/15/15/35, ^ ~20 RPM and shoot for breathless at 1-1:20, 2-2:18, 3:05-20, and 4-end.  [Cynthia: Love!  See, this is why Lisa is the best.  How does she find this awesome music???]

Recovery & Cool Down

10)                  The Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil – 6:18, 56:57

11)                  Mumford & Sons – Ghosts That We Knew 5:40, 1:02:37

Spotify Link: Halloween 2013

Hey folks, Cynthia again.  I was going to pull out MY good ‘ole Hallowe’en playlist that I’ve used every year since 2009 (in journalism these sorts of things are called ‘evergreen’ because they never lose their currency) but Lisa has inspired me to, if not completely rework it, at least play with it.  Hallowe’en playlists are flying thick and fast on Facebook indoor cycling groups, but like Lisa, I can’t simply co-opt someone else’s ride.  I need to make it my own first.  I’m not above shamelessly lifting great tunes, though.  Here are some of the best Hallowe’en cycling tunes I’ve encountered this year:

Cry Little Sister – The Anix (3:32):  Theme from The Lost Boys.  This one’s industrial metal; for a dancier version, check out the Mozart and Friends Remix (4:57).  Thanks to Jen Ward Horenziak for this one.

Maneater – Nelly Furtado (4:19):  This song was EVERYWHERE in 2006-07, plus Furtado is Canadian.  Thanks to Vicki Greenwood for reminding me of it.  (She used the dancier David Garcia and Morgan Page Remix).

Swamp Thing – The Grid (7:15):  I’ve used the 3:59 Radio Mix a few times, but man, was I delighted to see Vicki scared up (ha!) a longer version with the same driving beat.  High intensity intervals anyone?

Shivers (Radio Edit) – Armin van Buuren (3:09): or the full version at 7:33.  A tough connection to Hallowe’en other than the title but if you’re looking to add a little trance to your mix, this is a great bet.  Vicki…

Bleeding Out – Imagine Dragons (3:43):  Sometimes evergreen playlists can feel a little tired; this tune will inject an of-the-moment feel.  Plus it’s catchy.  Clearly, I owe Vicki Greenwood a latte.  This one’s hers, too.

Night Crawler – Judas Priest (5:44):  Not quite ready to rock out to Iron Maiden on the Spin bike?  This head-banger is perfect for high intensity intervals and you never know… you might find you have a few closet metal heads in your class.  This one is from Kathy Schiebe Leggitt.

This is Hallowe’en – Marilyn Manson (3:22):  Not exactly subtle, but that’s why I like it.  Another from Kathy.

Dragula – Rob Zombie (3:43):  Another industrial metal tune from Kathy – she and I are sympatico on this: industrial metal is great for indoor cycling.  (Go ahead, listen to Megalomaniac by KMFDM while cycling and you’ll see what I mean.)

Somebody’s Watching Me (Freakmatique Cut) – DJ Brian Howe (3:23):  An old standby I use for jumps.

Reader Di commented recently with a link to her Hallowe’en playlist here.  (I especially liked Scream, Bodies, and Run with the Wolves but you’ve got to check it out for details.)

And I can’t resist a link to ChrisSpin’s hot-off-the-presses Hallowe’en playlist here.

scooby-dooAs long as we’re on spooky, I am loving that my daughter (age 3.5) is really into Scooby Doo at the moment.  I downloaded the first season (1969) onto our iPad and we also have a Scooby Doo book that has become a go-to favourite for bedtime stories.  They are just the right level of spooky for a kid – it’s comforting that the monster is always captured and unmasked as a plain old person at the end.  I remember enjoying the show when I was little and I love that I can share Scoob and Shaggy and the gang with her.

Happy Hallowe’en everyone!





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 (www.keliroberts.com) 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!

ShLOC

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3C463W4sHBg), 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.





Working Day and Night Spin Mix (60 minutes)

8 04 2010

My first post as a blogger… this is fun!  Thank you Cynthia for giving me the opportunity to reach out to your readers!

Up until recently, I was teaching eight spin classes as week.  If I could do 40, I would but unfortunately a nagging neck injury has made me cut back to three classes a week.  Regardless, I pride myself on keeping every playlist fresh and making it about the music.  I am a rocker at heart but sing along (or mouth along as the case may be… I am mic’d up after all) to every song.  Many of my riders will tell me they love my class for the music but a lot of my male riders like that I offer them the option to do a “no recovery ride”.  I attract riders from ages 19 to 65 and it is an awesome feeling when a 65 year old woman is singing “Highway to Hell”.

I turned 40 last week and on the same day finished up two of my classes.  I left with what I will call my Greatest Hits playlist although this is no way reflects my favorite spin songs.  It’s tough to pick the absolute favorites.  So this is a few giving you a solid 60-minute ride.

—- Denise

Take It Easy – The Eagles (3:31): “Warm Up” No need to take it easy on this ride!  Let’s ride a total of six hills today!  Each hill ranges from 7.5 – 10 minutes.  Not a typical Denise class since I like to climb so much.

I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas (5:24):   “In and out of saddle climb” For the first hill your cadence should be at 65 RPM.  Keep adding resistance for first 1:45, then get in and out of the saddle throughout the song.

Working Day And Night – Michael Jackson (5:15):  “In and out of saddle climb” Let’s stay with the 65 RPM but accelerate during the out of saddle periods.  Get out of the saddle to cadence then pick it up – let the energy of the music guide you.  The brackets after the times are either recovery times between sprints or time in the saddle between the out-of-saddle bursts.  0:30 – 0:59 (15); 1:14 – 1:21 – 1:36 – 1:44 ~ 15 seconds double time; 2:06 – 2:28 – 2:43 – 2:58 ~ 15 seconds double time; 3:12 – 3:27 (30); 3:57 – 4:05 – 4:20 – 4:50 ~ 15 seconds double time.

Time To Go – Dropkick Murphys (2:55):  “Sprints” 40/15/20/15 Quick drink of water… the first flat road sprint comes up quickly!  Thanks to my brother for turning me onto the Dropkick Murphys.  This song is about the Bruins, a hockey team out of Boston, MA.  Great tune!  0:19 – 0:56 (20); 1:15 – 1:32 (20); 1:50 – 2:08 (10); 2:23 – 2:40 (end of song).

Thunderstruck – AC/DC (4:52):  “In and out of saddle climb” RPM will hang right around 67 for the first nearly seven minutes.  First 1:52 of the climb is in the saddle.  Continue to add resistance and then up and down throughout song.

Bad Girlfriend –Theory of a Deadman (3:26):  “In the saddle climb w/sprints” 15/20/15/60 Continue with the RPM.  This part of the climb is slightly different because we’re staying in the saddle for it.  When the chorus hits, add some resistance and pick up your speed – in the saddle.  The quads will thank you later.  Right around 2:00, take the resistance all the way off for a 60 second flat road sprint. 0:15 – :29 (30); 0:57 – 1:18 (20); 1:39 – 1:54 (25); 2:18 – 3:18 ~ flat road sprint.

Pump It – Black Eyed Peas (3:33): “In and out of saddle climb” 25/25/45 Quickly add the resistance right back on again.  Every time you get out of the saddle, add as much resistance as you can! RPM: 77.  1:00 – 1:25 (30); 1:56 – 2:21 (20); 2:43 – 3:30 (end of song).

Love’s The Only Rule – Bon Jovi (4:38):  “In and Out of saddle climb” 30/60/40 I’m a huge Bon Jovi fan and because this is a playlist of some of my favorite songs, they are in here twice.  This is off of their latest album.  It’s an uplifting song – great beat and great lyrics.  RPM: 70.  0:41 – 1:10 (30); 1:44 – 2:39 (30); 3:12 – 3:53.

King of Rock City – Nero Zero (3:47):  I must confess, I have known a couple of guys from Nero Zero since the early 90’s.  I met them back in my day of hanging out on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood,CA.  They are a local Hollywood band still trying to make it big.  Friends or not, I think this song is huge!  It has incredible energy and you can download it at http://www.digstation.com/AlbumDetails.aspx?albumID=ALB000037456 for 99 cents.  If you love rock and roll, you will love this song!  “Sprints” 15/35/45/45.  0:14 – :26 (20); 0:49 – 1:24 (15); 1:47 – 2:33 (15); 2:56 – 3:42 (end of song).

The Cup Of Life – Ricky Martin (4:39):  “In and out of saddle climb” I confess, I love Ricky Martin.  I can’t get enough of him.  But believe it or not my class loves him too (or at least this song).  Take the first 30 seconds to add resistance then get in and out of the saddle throughout the song.  Take it to the very end of the song.  RPM: 63.

Chelsea Dagger – The Frattelis (3:37):  ‘In and out of saddle climb” 25/10/15/mix The Blackhawks are playing well so here’s another song for the hockey lovers.  Pieces of this song are played every time a goal is scored.  Pick up the pace so your RPM is at 77!  0:25 – :50 (40);  1:27 – 1:39 (20); 2:04 – 2:17 (25);  2:42 – end of song… mix up in and out of saddle.

Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting – Elton John (4:54):  “Sprints” 10/30/30/30/50 A much needed “recovery”.  First sprint is: 48 seconds.  You can extend the sprints for less recovery or use it as a little bit of interval training for the ride. 0:42 – 1:19 (30); 1:48 – 2:19 (30); 2:48 – 3:19 (25); 3:44 – 4:30 (25).

C’Mon N’ Ride It – Quad City DJ’s (7:31):  “In and out of saddle climb & standing run” As soon as my riders hear the whistle of the train, they know what they are in for.  30 seconds in the saddle, 30 seconds standing run and 30 seconds aggressive climb.  There’s time for five sets.  I believe I have Cynthia to thank for this song!  RPM: 68.

It’s My Life (techno remix) – Bon Jovi (2:20)  “In and out of saddle climb” 30/30 You will have to go searching for this song…  I’m not really sure where I got it from but it’s an awesome version and a great energetic way to end the class.  Keep the RPM at 68 and pick it up and sprint out of saddle twice for the chorus. 0:48 – 1:17 (30); 1:47 – 2:18 (end of song).

Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You – Madonna (5:09): Cool Down

One – Mary J. Blige & U2 (4:23): Cool Down

Thanks, Denise for kicking us off with such a high-energy playlist.  Nero Zero’s great!  I also liked their song, My Own Addiction (both available on iTunes).  And One has perfect cool down energy.  Folks, Youtube has a version of the Techno Remix of Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life.  If anyone else finds it, send us a link.  I can’t take credit for using C’Mon and Ride It – my grasshopper Nancy put me on to that one.  Look for her guest post on August 30.

I’m sorry to be posting this late but I have a 7.5lb excuse – our daughter Kate was born on April 1, 2010.  We are completely smitten with her.  Here’s a pic taken the day she was born.  We are all doing well and enjoying time at home.  She was out for her first walk today and wasn’t particularly impressed about being in a stroller – she likes to be held.  She’s sleeping on my lap as I type this.

Look for Judy’s guest post on April 15.  Happy Spinning, everyone!









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