I noticed two consequences to teaching all those cycling classes last week – a burst of creativity (and another new mix today), plus, was I ever hungry! I just couldn’t fill myself up. This mix is 100% brand new – none of the songs have ever appeared on the blog, though I will admit that a couple of fun remixes snuck in.
Ready to ride?
100% Pure Love – Crystal Waters (4:39): This 1994 tune hit #1 on the U.S. Dance charts. It’s got a nice steady beat to warm up to, and it bookends the other 90’s dance hit in this mix, a cover of Ce Ce Peniston’s chirpy Finally.
From Paris to Berlin (Radio Edit) – Infernal (3:29): Thanks to S., a spinning instructor from Denmark and blog reader, for suggesting this Danish band. What a great, relentless beat. Take the tension to 5/10 and climb. At each chorus, stair-climb (as erect as possible, light, quick feet on the pedals). Easy? Take the pace to double-time. You need to have sufficient tension on the bike to keep yourself up here. Keep both hands touching the handlebars for balance.
This is How a Heart Breaks – Rob Thomas (3:51): Picked up this wicked sprinting tune from the Top 20 Spinning Songs List at the Spinning website and it’s been on heavy rotation on my iPod ever since. (They post weekly playlists there, too – check them out.) Two quick, out of the saddle sprints 15 seconds (0:44 – 1:00) and 20 seconds (1:32 – 1:52), then recovery until 2:20 and a final seated push for 1:15 (2:20 – 3:35).
Mr. Hurricane – Beast (3:26): This is the first single from Beast’s debut CD – it was the free download of the week on iTunes a couple of weeks ago. Great new Montreal band! I love it when the gospel singers come in about 2/3 of the way through. It’s a high tension, seated climb. Start at 8/10 and give it a couple more cranks, find the beat, and start pushing up the hill. Throw in a couple more tension increases. The goal is to have the class cursing at you by the time you reach the top.
Finally (Classic Radio Mix) – Love to Infinity (4:09): We’ve got to balance out that grind of a climb with some quick legs, so take the tension back to 5/10 and get up out of the saddle. From :00 to 2:35 we’re going to alternate 15 seconds of standing sprints with 15 seconds of recovery. Just to prove I have a heart, we’ll take a longer recovery period from 2:35 – 3:20 before the last 60 second push from 3:20 – 4:20. Don’t need no stinking recovery? Okay, do 4 count lifts from 2:35 – 3:20 before the last sprint. Ce Ce Peniston’s original hit #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart in 1991.
Somebody’s Watching Me (Freakmatique Cut) – DJ Brian Howe (3:23): I don’t know a lot about this tune or the DJ – he’s not even on Wikipedia. It’s just a good song to do some lifts: 8/4/2 counts, but with a twist: follow the beat and do them double-time. I know, I’m mean.
Just Dance (RedOne Remix) – Lady GaGa and Kardinal Offishall (4:19): How excited was I when I realized Toronto hip hop artist Kardinal Offishall collaborated with Lady GaGa on a remix of her best song? Listen closely – it’s got a lot of Offishall’s own hit Dangerous in the background. As the Lady would say, “This beat is sick!” This is the last climb of the day. Take the tension up high enough to support you, but not so high you’ve got difficulty keeping the beat. 5/10 is about right for me. Close your eyes and really concentrate on your pedal strokes – see if you can zone out so it’s just the ride and the music. If the lyrics make it hard to do this, an alternate song is Busy Child by Crystal Method (7:25).
If I Were a Boy – Beyonce (4:09): New Beyonce, from her CD I am… Sasha Fierce, just released today. This single has been out for about a month, and it’s going to be a huge hit. Beyonce says Sasha Fierce is the alter ego she adopts when she performs. I get that. We worked hard today, so take the time for an easy spin to cool down, tension around 3/10. Mid-way through, take it to 2/10.
It’s a New Day – will.i.am (3:39): Will.i.am’s delighted response to Barack Obama’s election as the next American President. A little extra time to cool down and stretch.
The Truth about Stretching
According to a New York Times report on October 31, 2008, static stretching (holding a pose for 20-30 seconds) before a workout decreases muscle strength by up to 30% for as long as half an hour, and is of little or no benefit.
A better warmup includes dynamic stretching (stretching muscles while moving), which has been shown to increase power, flexibility, and range of motion. Guide a proper warmup by getting riders to increase their body heat and blood flow with light aerobic activity at about 40% of their maximum heart rate, slowly increasing to 60% of their maximum heart rate over 5-10 minutes. The best warmup for a sport activates all of the joints and connective tissue needed for the task ahead – for us, some easy spinning at light tension, slowly increasing tension or cadence, or both, until the riders reach 60% of their maximum heart rate. I also include some dynamic upper body stretches. The New York Times report suggests 5 minutes of recovery before the workout begins and a longer warmup before sprinting. I address this in my classes by easing into the first drill, generally a climb, never a sprint.
Thanks for all the comments and support – this little blog is now well over 22,000 page views and getting more than 225 views a day. Keep the music suggestions coming!