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Live and Let Die Spin Mix (47 minutes)

I have a confession to make: when I was in high school, I was a metal head.  What can I say, I had really good grades; it was my way of being badass.  I went to the concerts, I got the t-shirts, I played the albums a thousand times in my room while cultivating a feeling of disaffection.  I could still whup “80’s metal bands” as a Jeopardy category.  I’m a little bit rock ‘n roll, and it’s been too long since I posted a badass rock ‘n roll playlist.

I ran this playlist in my class tonight and got rave reviews – people said it made them work really, really hard and (surprisingly) they also liked the music.  I wasn’t sure how a playlist this heavy might go over.  Anyway, it turned out to be one of my more challenging rides.  During the cool down I mentioned that I’ve been home alone for two nights as my better half has taken Kate to visit his parents.  As a result, I got my first two unbroken nights of sleep in six months.  One of the riders called out to me, “Next time you get two nights sleep, warn us!”  I guess I had a bit of extra energy tonight.

Let It Happen – Jimmy Eat World (3:26): This alt rock band hails from Mesa, Arizona.  Warm up your legs with some easy spinning to begin.  Around 2:30, pick up the pace.

Enter Sandman – Metallica (5:32): This 1991 hit propelled Metallica to worldwide popularity.  It post-dates my own metal phase – by 1991 I was in law school and more egghead than metal head.  We’re going to start off this class with an out of the saddle climb.  Jack up the tension to 4 or 5/10 and find the beat.  Get aggressive for the choruses, just like Metallica.

KGB – Backstreet Girls (2:07):  I just found this song from Norwegian rockers the Backstreet Girls, when blog reader posted a comment looking for a song called KGB.  This wasn’t the song she was looking for (she found it: Channel KGBs (TNT remix) by the KGB’s) but I thought it would make a great tempo drill.  So here it is: find a resistance and a cadence that you can maintain for two minutes (but not a whole lot more).  There’s a break coming after this.

Live and Let Die – Guns ‘n Roses (3:02):  I saw GNR way back in the 80s when they opened for the Cult.  I hated them and predicted a quick demise for the band, thus ending any possibility of a career as a record producer or talent scout.  They covered this McCartney hit in 1991.  We’re going to use it for three out-of-the-saddle, charge up the hill sprints 35/12/25 seconds, at 0:43 – 1:18 (35 sec), 1:33 – 1:45 (12 sec), and 2:25 – 2:50 (25 sec).  They’re short, so I want EVERYTHING you’ve got on these ones.

Cobrastyle feat. Mad Cobra) – Teddybears (3:00): Okay, this is more reggae fusion than hard rock, but it’s been on heavy rotation on my iPod since Lisa posted it on her Glamorous Spin Mix back in June.  We’re gonna do some lifts: 8 count, 4 count, then 2 count, one minute each.  If you want to switch at a good time for the music, try switching at 1:04 and 2:10.  Augh!  Those quads.

The Pretender – Foo Fighters (4:29): This song starts slow, but it’s all badass – one great, big, juicy sprint.  Split the class into two teams, A & B.  They’re going to alternate 30 second sprints (2 sets) starting at 0:34 – 2:38.  Then there’s a 50 second rest, followed by a one minute, all-out sprint for everyone at 3:28 – 4:29.  Spontaneous whoops encouraged.

Hot Cherie – Hardline (4:47):  I’ve had this song in one form or another since I’ve had a walkman.  It’s originally by a Winnipeg band called Streetheart (but I didn’t know that until I checked Wikipedia while putting this post together).  The lyrics are insipid and suggestive, but there are no f-bombs (ah, the innocent 90s) and the chorus has get-up-and-go power.  Besides, what’s a hard rock playlist without a cheesy metal song?  Sort of a poor man’s Scorpions.  We’re going to do an out of the saddle climb, gettin’ aggressive at the choruses.

Speed – Billy Idol (4:18):  Time for another tempo drill, this time with surges at each chorus to keep everyone on their toes.  The choruses are at 1:00 – 1:23, 2:04 – 2:47 (including the bridge), and 3:35 – 4:10.  Every time you hear “speed” – go!  Somehow I don’t think that’s the speed Billy Idol was talking about.

Beside You – Marianas Trench (3:38):  Let’s dial down the intensity a bit.  Take 25 seconds to recover and grab a drink, then ratchet up the tension for this seated climb from Canadian rockers, Marianas Trench.

Dead – Buckcherry (5:27):  I didn’t know about Buckcherry back in my metal days (they didn’t form until 1995) but I would have been all over them back then.  They’re seriously badass, from heavily-tattooed lead singer Josh Todd to their breakout hit, Crazy Bit*h.  We’re taking this one right to the finish line as an all-out, gimme what you got left sprint.  If you’re really badass, do ’em standing.  Let’s do 15 seconds off/on, 30 seconds off/on, 45 seconds off/on then 60 seconds off/on (ride out the end of the song).  I stop this one at 4:45, as the song winds down after that.  If you leave it in, start the cool down at 4:45.

Free – Train (3:58):  We deserve this cool down to Train’s 1998 hit, Free.  Slow down your legs, take a few gulps of water, and relax.

Just a Ride – Jem (3:20):  Reader Bob put me on to this Welsh singer-songwriter.  Some perfect cool-down energy here.

I spent a sunny Saturday this week sitting on a stability ball at my gym getting my Schwinn certification for indoor cycling.  Schwinn is big on coaching rather than instructing and I got some really good tips from the class.  I realized that I was already doing some of the things they suggested, like Dimensional Cueing.  One dimensional cueing provides facts or information (“take this hill at a comfortable challenge”).  Two dimensional cueing includes a sensory component like a comparison, contrast, analogy, touch or visual image (“this hill is tougher than the last one”).  Three dimensional cueing asks a question of the riders (“Are you ready to tackle the biggest hill yet?”)  I’ve also been doing music mapping (using a song’s structure to enhance the terrain on the ride).

The instructor coached us through a 40 minute class – much of it off the bike – using lots of visualization.  The ride was very well-received by the class of about 20 instructors.  My own experience was marred by having chosen a bike with a wonky resistance knob.  I couldn’t get the resistance right – there was too light and too heavy and very little in between.  I really liked that he gave us two profiles complete with music, so we could deconstruct them on our own time, or try them out ourselves.

Reader Mae posted a question on the Reader Playlist page that ties into this training: she needs to teach off the bike for a couple of months and isn’t sure how.  Frankly, I’m not, either.  I have been to classes where the instructor taught off the bike – some good, some not so good.  The point I took away from the Schwinn training is if you’re coaching rather than instructing, you can do it more easily off the bike because you can talk more.  The Schwinn instructor pointed out that it’s not like a step class where you need to demonstrate the moves constantly.  Once you’ve demonstrated good form seated and standing, why not get off the bike and really coach?

I’ll admit, I was too chicken to even try it when I was pregnant and couldn’t giv’er like I wanted to.  I chose to get someone to sub my class until I was ready to go again.  But I’m intrigued with the coaching model and want to learn more about it.

So riders – who teaches off the bike?  How do you do it?  We all want to know!



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Dynamite Spin Mix (53 minutes)

I’ve been feeling the need to do a mix of recent dance tunes.  This mix includes a bunch of hits that have been charting this summer, including I Like It from Enrique Iglesias, Dynamite and Break Your Heart from Taio Cruz, Love the Way You Lie by Eminem, Memories by David  Guetta, Naturally by Selena Gomez & The Scene, Telephone from Lady GaGa, Blah Blah Blah from Ke$ha, and Airplanes from B.o.B. to wind it up.

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes to Hollywood (3:56):  Let’s warm up to this 1984 dance hit that went to number one in the U.K., New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands, but inexplicably only #43 in the U.S.A.  Either way, the song has great warm up energy.  Let’s get those legs moving.

I Like It (feat. Pitbull) – Enrique Iglesias (3:52):  Start with some lifts: 8 counts for the verses, 4 counts for the choruses.  At the bridge (2:00 – 2:30) go to 2 counts.  This song was all over the Top 10 in multiple countries this year: the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Spain, the U.S.A., Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Norway, Scotland, and Switzerland.

Dynamite – Taio Cruz (3:24):  Cruz is an English popstar and this tune has catchy all over it – just try not to hum it later.  We’re going to use it for a high tension out of the saddle climb, so take that resistance up to 6/10 and alternate between regular and aggressive stances 45 seconds/45 seconds, then 1 minute each.

Machines Can Do the Work – Fatboy Slim vs. Herve (5:01):  Speaking of catchy, Fatboy Slim is a lot more memorable than Norman Cook (his real name).  We’re going to start with a tempo drill.  At 1:00, surge for 60 seconds.  At 2:00, turn up the tension a couple of clicks, and go back to tempo.  At 3:00 we surge again for 60 seconds.  At 4:00, turn up the tension and go back to tempo to ride it out.

Love the Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna) – Eminem (4:23):  Let’s do a seated climb to this controversial song about domestic violence.  At 0:25 take that tension up to a comfortable challenge and dig in.  Be forewarned: Eminem drops a few f-bombs in this one, and I couldn’t find a radio edit.

Memories (feat. Kid Cudi) – David Guetta (3:31):  David Guetta is a French DJ who really knows how to spin a tune – his music is so darn, well – happy.  It makes me want to dance when I’m alone in my living room, never mind in a club at 4:00 a.m.  Another language warning, though: this one uses the word sh*t.  We start a ten minute out of the saddle climb here.  Are you up for it?

Break Your Heart – Taio Cruz (3:06):  And what’s wrong with a double shot of Taio Cruz?  Heading into some rolling hills.  Every 10-30 seconds take the tension up a notch; after 3-4 increases, head back down the same way.

Naturally – Selena Gomez & The Scene (3:23):  I first came across this song not long after having Kate.  I was out for one of my first tender walks after getting home from the hospital and couldn’t stop myself from breaking into a jog (that I later regretted) when I heard the chorus of this song.  The bloom has since gone off the rose a bit, since Canadian TV network CTV picked up the song to plug their fall lineup of TV programs.  What we’re going to do here is what comes naturally: an out of the saddle climb for the verses, and hard, all-out sprint for the choruses.  Do ’em seated or standing.  I’m gonna stand.

High Roller – The Crystal Method (5:30):  Take some well-deserved recovery after that 10 minute hill that ended in crazy sprints.  Rest for 1:07, then start some single-leg training with medium-high tension 7/10.  One minute each leg, two sets.  A high roller is also known as a whale and just like Ahab, casinos look to reel them in.  In Las Vegas you need to be able to gamble with anywhere from $150,000 – $300,000 to be a high roller.  (Are you kidding me?  I feel bad if I lose 20 bucks at the casino.  That’s five cappuccinos.)

Telephone (feat. Beyonce) – Lady GaGa (3:41):  I’m a huge, unabashed GaGa fan.  She wrote this hit for Britney Spears, who rejected it.  (Can’t you hear Britney in it?)  Britney’s loss – it went on to hit #3 on the American Billboard charts and #3 in Canada as well.  On the surface, the song is about a woman who doesn’t want to take her boyfriend’s call while she’s at a nightclub, but GaGa says she doesn’t go to nightclubs and the song is really about her workaholism.  We’re going to use this song for some lifts 8/4/2, at least a minute for each.

Blah Blah Blah (feat. 3OH!3) – Ke$ha (2:52):  Keep those lifts going for a full 7 minutes.  Oh yes, I am cruel.

Fire – Scooter (3:30):  The best way to get any remaining energy out is with some sprints, so let’s go at 0:20 when the singer shouts “go!”  15 seconds on/off, then 30, then 45 seconds.  Then blessed recovery.

Airplanes (feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore) – B.o.B. (3:01):  Cool down with this ultra-catchy hip hop tune from B.o.B.  It took me ages to track down the name of this song after hearing it on the radio.  I thought I heard Eminem on it sometimes, and other times not (turns out there’s a second song, Airplanes Part II on which he does appear).  Once again, watch for explicit language.

Stereo Love – Edward Maya and Vika Jigulina (4:08):  Some more cool down and goodbye music.



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A State of Trance Spin Mix (52 minutes)

Longtime readers of the blog will know I’m a huge fan of Dutch wunderkind DJ Armin van Buuren, and not just because we’ve both been to law school.  Van Buuren spins trance tunes, particularly good for zoning out and just letting your legs move during a ride.  All of the songs in this mix come from his latest CD, A State of Trance 2010.  I ran it for my class tonight and asked for feedback.  One regular gave it a thumbs up and said he thought it made him work harder than usual.  Another said she preferred my usual Top 40.  I thought it was challenging but I forgot my heart rate monitor so I couldn’t compare it with previous weeks.

Taxi (Original Mix Edit) – Simon Patterson (4:32):  Warm up your legs and do some upper body stretching.  At 2:15 pick up the pace by 10% – fast legs here, we’ve got somewhere to go today.

Run Till U Shine (Cosmic Gate Remix) – Andrew Bennet and Sir Adrian (8:00):  Some rolling hills here.  Tension increases one click at a time, every 10-30 seconds, then down again one click at a time.  From 3:30 – 5:10 it switches to a seated climb.  At 5:10, head back into rolling hills.

Collider (Jorn van Deynhoven Remix Edit) – Thomas Bronzwaer (4:01):  start with a fast, out of the saddle climb to 0:35.  Rest when the music rests (0:35 – 1:12).  From 1:12 – 1:40 move into a seated climb.  At 1:40 we’re back out of the saddle and gathering speed.  Alternate between regular and aggressive stances every 15/30/45 seconds.

We Won’t Forget (Original Mix Edit) – Robert Nickson (4:30):  Time for some sprints.  Surge to 1:20, then recover from 1:20 – 3:00.  From 3:00 – 4:00 we’re gonna sprint.  Recover to 4:30.

Ancient World (Roger Shah Long Haul Flight Edit) – Roger Shah and Signum (4:33):  Start with some 8 count lifts to 0:40.  Take a break from 0:40 – 1:40, then add a hunk of tension (7/10) and go back to 8 count lifts.  At 3:30, take off some tension (4/10) and pick up the pace but stick with 8 count lifts.

Ibiza Sunrise (Classic Dub Edit) – Myon, Shane 54 and Labworks (5:00):  An out of the saddle climb.  At 1:11 sit down and close your eyes and keep the pedals moving.  At 2:30 we’re back to climbing until 4:30.  The last 30 seconds are for recovery.

Last Minute (Original Mix Edit) – Ron Hagen and Al Exander (3:34):  Come out of the saddle and start to climb.  Take a break from 1:00 – 1:35 then get back to it.  For two minutes, alternate stair-climbing (standing jog), regular stance, aggressive stance (20 seconds each), 2 sets.

Not Going Home (Armin van Buuren Remix Edit) – Faithless (5:00):  Start with some 8 count lifts.  Take a break from 1:30 – 2:08 and move back into 8 counts.  At 3:50 switch to 4 counts through the end of the song.

She Moves (Original Mix Edit) – Andy Moor and Carrie Skipper (4:56): Tempo.  Take the tension to 4/10 and find a cadence you can maintain for the full five minutes of this song.  Close your eyes and focus on your pedal strokes: pushing down, scraping across the bottom and pulling up to make nice smooth circles.

Sun in the Winter (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Remix Edit) – Max Graham and Neev Kennedy (4:19):  For the first 45 seconds continue with the tempo ride from the previous song.  From 0:45 – 1:40 take a well-deserved minute for recovery.  From 1:40 – 2:23 we’re climbing out of the saddle with light tension as the music builds.  Finish up with some sprints from 2:23 – 3:45: 15 seconds on/off then 30 seconds on/off.  At 3:45 we’re done – wind back the tension and head into the cool down.

Closer (Original Mix Edit) – Susana, Omnia and The Blizzard (4:21):  Cool down.  Start with some easy spinning, then upper body stretches.  Careful dismount, take all the tension off the bike (that’s extends the life of the brake), and we’ll do some lower body stretches for quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.  Ahhhh……..