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Rock ‘n Roll Spin Mix (43 minutes)

It’s fair to say that Spinning attracts more men than any other group exercise class, but the majority of riders in my classes are women.  This mix is for my regular male riders, who’ve been asking me for more rock ‘n roll, please.  The photo accompanying this post is of my favourite male cyclist – my brother in law, James.

James on the bikeFortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival (2:22): Warm up your legs, here we go!

Break on Through (To the Other Side) – The Doors (2:30): Still warming up.  Pick up your cadence by 10% for the verses, 20% for the choruses, then back to 10% for the verses.

Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones (6:19):  Great.  Big.  Hill.  One of the most iconic rock songs of all time.  Jack up the tension to 7/10, come out of the saddle, and settle in for the grind to the top.

Rock ‘n Roll – Led Zeppelin (3:41): The whole song is one big, juicy sprint.  Starting at 0:06, do 15/30/45 seconds on/off, then sprint out the last 41 seconds to the end.  The sprints are at 0:06 – 0:21 (15 sec), 0:36 – 1:06 (30 sec), 1:36 – 2:21 (45 sec), 3:06 – 3:41 (35 sec).

Get Up – James Brown (2:50): You heard the man, get up.  We’re going to do some lifts, high tension around 8/10.

Born to Be Wild – Hinder (3:59): Steppenwolf (another Canadian band!) released this song in the summer of 1968.  Hinder’s version came almost 40 years later, in 2007 – now there’s a song that’s stood the test of time.  Adam Lambert did a dance version on this season’s American Idol and it’s not bad at all, but we’re in a rock ‘n roll mood today.  We’re going to do some standing sprints: 15 on/off, 30 on/off, 45 on/off/on.  The fun starts at 0:15.

Thunderstruck – AC/DC (4:53):  I have to give a big shout out to Fabia, another cycling instructor at my gym.  Thunderstruck and Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting are two of her signature songs, and they’re both fantastic to spin to.  Fabia is one of those instructors who has such a devoted following that riders are typically lined up a half hour before the class begins, just to make sure they get a bike.  Take 30 seconds for some well-deserved recovery, then take the tension to 4/10 and come out of the saddle for a climb.  Alternate between aggressive and regular stance every 60/45/30 seconds.

Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting – Elton John(4:56):  This is a mixed drill: climbs and sprints:  Start with a fast, out of the saddle climb for 60 seconds, then sit down and sprint for 60, then 45 seconds, 30 seconds.

Copperhead Road – Steve Earle (4:30):  Last climb of the day.  Start seated with the tension around 7/10 increasing every 45 seconds.  At 2:37, when the music picks up, decrease the tension to 4/10, get up out of the saddle, and go!  Race to the finish line two minutes away. Go! Go! Go!

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd (4:45):  Cool down.  When I was in my early 20’s I played keyboards in a band and often followed friends in other bands around to local shows.  This song will always remind me of a night at a not-very-fancy bar in Hamilton, Ontario, called the Carrot Club.  My friend’s band was opening for another act.  The headliners performed this song with some of the most astonishing guitar playing I’ve ever heard.  The two guitar players in the band threw the solo back and forth between them.  I no longer remember the name of the band, or the guys in it, but the song was unforgettable.

For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield (2:41): Some extra cool down and goodbye music.  This single was released in January, 1967 and peaked at #7 on the Billboard Charts.  Many people think the song was written about the Kent State shootings, but in fact the shootings occurred on May 4, 1970, more than three years later.  This is another song that’s stood the test of time.  In 2003, my spouse and I rented a row house in central Halifax, right on the edge of the ‘hood.  We shared a back yard with our neighbours, a group of early 20-something students.  We were all in the back yard one afternoon, enjoying the sun.  A couple of the students had guitars and were entertaining the group.  One of them said, “Hey, I heard the coolest song the other day – listen to this!” and started picking the intro to For What It’s Worth.

What do you think?  Do your riders prefer to spin to rock and roll, Top 40, dance, electronica/house music, or a mix of all of them?



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I Know You Want Me Spin Mix (44 minutes)

My blogiversary is coming up on May 23, 2009.  Spinningmusic will be one year old!  In the past year, I’ve posted 40 playlists and met fantastic people from all over the world who happen to love Spinning as much as I do.  I’ve been anxiously watching my view stats creep upwards.  About a month ago it occurred to me that the blog might possibly – just possibly – be able to hit 100,000 views before the one year mark.  This amazes and delights me.  I love sharing music and I especially love hearing from you. I think I’m most excited about the Reader Playlists page of the blog.  I think it has the potential to become a really cool resource for all of us.  (I just wish I was tech-savvy enough to make it prettier – and printer-friendly.)

cycling in a field of flowersHere’s this week’s new playlist, another collaborative effort with my grasshopper, Nancy, who chose the music and created the profile for the warm up, cool down, and two of the drills (I Know You Want Me and Helena).

Hey Ya! – Outkast (3:56): Here’s a fun song to warm up your legs and get ready for the ride.

I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) – Pitbull (4:04): We’ll start with a climb.  Alternate between stair-climb, aggressive stance and seated climb, changing every 20 seconds (4 sets).

Helena – My Chemical Romance (3:35): 3x 30 second sprints – at 0:31 – 1:02, 1:19 – 1:50, 2:54 – 3:26.

Dance 2night – Madonna (5:03): This was the first song I ever used the Shazam app on my iPhone for.  (For those who aren’t familiar with it, Shazam is an application that allows you to hold your iPhone up to take a sample of a song and the program will tell you the name of the song and artist.)  I heard this song while browsing in a store.  I love the bass line.  Let’s do some lifts.  There’s time for 8/4/2/4/8 counts – one minute of each.

Waking Up in Vegas – Katy Perry (3:19): Perry’s latest single – more frothy pop goodness with a catchy chorus.  We’re going to sprint at each chorus – 0:47 – 1:02 (15 seconds), 1:29 – 1:44 (15 seconds), 2:22 – 3:07 (45 seconds).  Go!

Fire Burning – Sean Kingston (4:03): A fast, out-of-the-saddle climb.

Fire – Scooter (3:30): Pace line.  Split the group into three teams (I have three rows of bikes in my class, so I use front/middle/back row).  When you hear, “FIRE!” at 0:20, that’s the cue for the front row to GO LIKE STINK.  20 seconds at the front of the pack, then they fall back, and the second row takes it for 20 seconds, then the back row for 20 seconds.  By that point, the front row has recovered and should be ready to do it again.  There’s time for 3 sets.

Drowning (Face Down) [Radio Edit] – Saving Abel (3:38): Enough speed for today.  Let’s tackle this hill seated.  Start your tension around 5/10 and increase it every 45 seconds.  These guys remind me of Extreme and the melodic metal era of the mid-90s (check out Hole Hearted).  Saving Abel’s other hit, Addicted, is also great for a seated climb, but it may be too risque for some clubs.

Blood in the Tracks – Attack in Black (3:34): I think this was the free song of the week on iTunes recently – great song!  Steady tempo here – choose a tension (3 or 4 sounds good) and a pace you can maintain for the entire three and a half minute song.  Close your eyes and focus on your legs moving up and down, making smooth circles with the pedals.

The Climb – Miley Cyrus (3:56): Cool down and stretch.

Beautiful – Akon, Colby O’Donis, and Kardinal Offishall (5:13): Some extra cool down and goodbye music.

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Beat the Creep with Small Steps

No, I’m not talking about perverts, the “creep” is slow, steady weight gain.  Some studies peg it at about a pound or two a year, nothing major – until 8-10 years go by.  I see it in many of my classmates from law school – when I run into them now (15 years later) almost all of us are at least 15lb heavier.

Toronto Globe & Mail food columnist Leslie Beck suggests we fight small with small: combat small changes in weight with small lifestyle changes you implement consciously, but barely notice.  (Read her column here.)  Beck cites the ASPIRE study of overweight, sedentary adults as proof that small steps really work.  In that study, one group of adults were asked to make one small, new change in their diet and one small, new change in their exercise habits each week for three months.  The other group was given a traditional weight-loss plan.  After three months, the small changes group lost substantially more weight and kept it off after the study ended.

Some of Beck’s ideas:

  • walk 1.5km (about 2000 steps) daily instead of driving to burn 100 calories.
  • pass on OJ and eat an orange – save 50 calories.
  • swap mayo for mustard on your sandwich – save 100 calories.
  • instead of rice, have extra veg at dinner – save 100 calories.
  • swap a toasted bagel with cream cheese for a toasted english muffin with light cream cheese – save 300 calories.
  • instead of a muffin mid-morning, have a piece of fruit – save 370 calories.
  • replace the cream in your coffee with milk.
  • use a lunch sized plate at dinner time.
  • swap a sweetened beverage for plain H2O.

Do you subscribe to the small steps approach?  What are your favourite small steps?

Postscript – Thank you, thank you, thank you readers!  This little blog hit 100,000 views on May 16, 2009, a week ahead of its one-year blogiversary.  I can’t tell you how much I look forward to your comments and song suggestions.  Happy Spinning!