I was in Toronto recently visiting family and friends. One of my girlfriends suggested we take in a Saturday morning spin class at her gym. We dropped our kidlets off at the gym’s child care centre and hit the bikes for an hour, followed by 15 minutes of stretching and ab work, which was very civilized. At the end of the class, my friend told the instructor I teach out East and have a spinning blog. “What’s it called?” he asked. I told him and – here’s the excellent part – he replied, “I use that site! That’s you? Really? Did you start it?” Yes, Yes, and Yes. He made my day, and I was so chuffed I forgot to ask his name. So – if you’re reading, a big shout out to the instructor at the Boulevard Club in Toronto who taught the 9:45 a.m. spin class last week.
This new playlist has Aussie flavour. Phazing is by Aussie DJ Dirty South, and Witchcraft is by Aussie group Pendulum. We round it out with Barbra Streisand, which hit #1 on the Aussie club charts in September.
Channel Kgbs (TNT Remix) – The KGB’s (5:42): Reader Zia put me on to this high energy tune with tongue planted firmly in cheek (listen for the news update on Mel Gibson). Let’s harness that energy and use it to warm up our legs. Start with easy spinning, then add some tension and pick up the pace. It’s going to be a great ride!
Phazing (Tiesto Remix) [feat. Rudy] – Dirty South (7:28): We’ve got some rolling hills here from 0:00 – 3:40… tension goes up one click at a time 2-3x then back down one click at a time, with changes every 20-40 seconds. From 3:40 – 4:30 the incline gets WAAAYY steep and it becomes an 8/10 slog for 40 seconds, but at 4:20 – relief! We’re back to rolling hills for the last three minutes.
Blueberry (Rex Mundi Remix) – Probspot (9:38): This trance tune has a little of everything for us. We take the first 30 seconds for recovery. From 0:30 – 2:00 we pick up the pace for 90 seconds of steady spinning. From 2:00 – 3:55 we add some tension and come out of the saddle for a fast climb. Make it work, there’s a break after this. From 3:55 – 5:35 we can take a break, but at 5:35 – 6:33 there’s a minute of surging (a seated not-quite-sprint at 80% capacity). From 6:33 – 7:15 we pick it up into an all-out sprint for 42 seconds. Recover for as long as you need to, then pick up the pace again and surge to the end.
Witchcraft – Pendulum (4:13): First sprint drill of the day. Take 45 seconds to recover and get ready. We’re going to do 3x 45 second sprints at 0:45 – 1:30, 1:50 (so soon?) – 2:35, and 3:22 – 4:07.
Firework – Katy Perry (3:48): What’s a pop song from Perry doing in this mix? I dunno, I just think it’s catchy. Perry calls it her favourite song on her latest CD and says it was influences by Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. (A fantastic, meandering book – I packed a bag after reading it in high school, intent on going on the road myself. But no, I didn’t go.) From 0 – 1:10 come out of the saddle to an easy climb. At 1:10 – 1:25 we’ve got 15 seconds of all-out, out-of-the-saddle sprinting – we want you breathless here. From 1:25 – 2:12 we’re climbing again and recovering. From 2:12 – 2:42 we’re going to launch into another breathless standing sprint, 30 seconds this time. Climb and recover from 2:42 – 3:14 then there’s one last 30 second standing sprint from 3:14 – 3:48.
Barbra Streisand (Original Mix) – Duck Sauce (4:57): Let’s do some high tension lifts to this silly tune. It’s got Can-Con – half the DJ duo Duck Sauce is Canadian and the Calgary Flames just adopted it as their new goal song. It samples ‘Gotta be Home’ by Boney M (‘member them?). Recover to 1:00 then take the tension to 7:10 and give me 8 counts for 90 seconds, then 4 counts for 90 seconds, then 2 counts for a minute to finish off the song (and your quads).
Raise Your Glass – P!nk (3:23): Reader Marianne recomnmended this kick-ass sprinting song from P!nk that’s sure to make my list of the Top 25 Spinning Tunes of 2010. Recover to 0:39, then we’ve got a 24 second sprint at the chorus (0:39 – 1:03). Recover for 30 seconds then sprint again from 1:34 – 2:06 (32 seconds, but tell ’em it’s 30). Recover until 2:30 then give me a 48 second sprint (tell ’em it’s 45) to 3:18 to finish it up.
Paradise City – N-Trance (4:31): There’s something delightfully contrary about mixing heavy metal and hip hop – both sides probably view it as an abomination. We view it as a climbing drill: take the tension to 7/10 then alternate 45 seconds each in the regular out-of-the-saddle, aggressive (elongated over the saddle, hips up, shoulders down), and seated positions. There’s time for two sets, with a tension increase to 8/10 in between.
Magic [feat. Rivers Cuomo] – B.o.B (3:16): This tune’s been on heavy rotation since I first heard it about a month ago – I’ve been sneaking it into my classes as a warmup song. It’s another candidate for the 25 Best Spinning Songs of 2010. Here we’ve got it as a challenging drill for lifts. Barbra Streisand gave us high tension slower lifts, these ones are lower tension and peppy – 4/10 starting with 16 counts, then 8, then 4.
Dread Rock – Oakenfold (4:40): Time to wind it up, last drill of the day, last chance to get all that extra energy out. This is a short race – for the first 30 seconds we spin easy while the music builds. From 0:30 – 2:40 it’s an uphill climb. At 2:40, siddown and hammer it to the finish line at 4:40. This one’s from the Matrix Reloaded movie soundtrack.
Stay the Night – James Blunt (3:34): Brand new James Blunt! I had his Back to Bedlam CD on heavy rotation on my iPod for about a year – the whole thing was just excellent. This song shows him to be in an entirely different place – he’s happy. James Blunt, happy? Take a listen. Time for a well-deserved cool down and stretch.
The Bike Song – Mark Ronson and The Business Int’l (4:23): Reader LiveinTO recommended this a propos song to wind out today’s ride. It’s a British tune released in September 2010.
I’ve added a ratings widget (below) so you can give feedback on which rides worked best for your class and which didn’t (hopefully there won’t be too many of those.) To see the rating widget you have to click on the post to open it up. If you use a ride, drop by and rate it or leave me a comment about how it worked for you. It’s retroactive so it appears on all posts.