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Stayin’ Hot Spin Mix (50 minutes)

Ahh, fall.  We’re getting the summer we never had.  It’s been glorious.  I haven’t been able to enjoy it as much as I’d like, due to a large work deadline that looms on November 10.  What’s a girl to do when a large deadline looms?

Create a new spin mix, of course!  I never get more done than when I’m avoiding what I should be doing.  My house is clean, my fridge full, and my laundry basket empty.  Hell, I even went to yoga last Saturday afternoon.

This is the playlist I used in class tonight.  My riders gave it two thumbs up and the general consensus was that this is a tough ride.  “What got into you this week?” one of them shouted after I exhorted them to tackle all three of the final sprints standing.  “Hallowe’en candy!” I replied.  At least, I think sugar made me do it.

The profile for this class is simple: four sets of rolling hills and jumps, followed by some speed work to finish it off.  It’s a 50/50 mix of new music and some recent favourites.

This Night (Max Graham Remix) – Filo & Peri (feat. Audrey Gallagher) (6:26):  My first class of the month so the warm up today was all about proper bike fit.  More talking calls for a longer warm up.  (For a summary of what I tell my class, click here.)  This is a recent tune from Dirty Mexican Lemonade.  My apologies – when I went back to include a link to the page with the song, I couldn’t find it.  DML, can you help me out here?

Good Feeling – Flo Rida (4:07):  First set starts here with some rolling hills.  When I do rolling hills, I coach a standing climb with tension changes every 15-60 seconds as the mood strikes me.

Stayin’ Hot (Nelly vs. Bee Gees) – Lobsterdust (4:16):  On to jumps on a hill.  This song comes from DJ Lobsterdust – one of my favourite sources for mashups.  (Yes, this time I included a direct link to the song.)  Crank that tension up to 8/10 and give me 90 seconds each of 8 counts, 4 counts, and 2 counts.  Hup!

We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) – Rihanna (3:36):  Second set… more rolling hills.  This song didn’t grab me when it first came out, but on repeated listens, I’m drawn to the keyboards in the peppy chorus.

When We Stand Together – Nickelback (3:10):  Okay, Nickelback is the Canadian band that Canadians love to hate, but come on – this is one catchy tune.  It’s the lead single from their next album, Here and Now.  (I love that they’re still called albums.  I remember albums.)  This is a ridiculously tough jump drill.  I thought it would be tough – until I did it.  Holy crap.  It’s really tough.  Here’s the catch: we do everything double time.  8 counts for the verses and 4 for the choruses, but twice as fast as the beat, so really, it’s more like a series of short, standing runs with tension at 5/10.  Believe me, 5/10 is plenty.

Sexy Bitch (feat. Akon) – David Guetta (3:16):  This is the tune that made me fall in love with David Guetta.  How can you not dance when you hear this?  Third set of rolling hills start right here.  If b**ch is too risque for your club, Sexy Chick by GG is virtually identical, without the problematic lyrics.

Sexy and I Know It – LMFAO (3:19):  This fun ditty peaked at #1 on the Billboard Chart.  More jumps – 7/10 tension, 8 counts for the verses, 4 counts for the choruses.

Moves Like Jagger (The Voice Performance) [feat. Christina Aguilera] – Maroon 5 (3:21):  This song topped the charts in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and the United States.  I find it fascinating when songs have such wide appeal.  Last set starts here.  Rolling hills.  Yep, again.

Haven’t Had Enough – Marianas Trench (3:30):  Vancouver pop punk rockers Marianas Trench released this single from their latest album back in July 2011.  It hit #1 on Canada’s iTunes download chart (a chart I peruse regularly for ideas.)  Highest tension of the day: 9/10.  8 counts for the verses, 4 for the choruses.

Find Yourself (Radio Edit) – John O’Callaghan (2:32):  Finally, a chance to just ride.  Close your eyes, choose a tension and a cadence that is slightly uncomfortable for you (about 80% of your maximum effort), and appreciate how good it feels to move.

The Edge of Glory – Lady GaGa (5:21):  I admit it: I’d finish up every class with this song if I could get away with it.  A combo drill – more climbing, but with three sprints at the choruses 30/30/60 seconds.  (They’re at 1:04 – 1:34, 2:28 – 2:58, 4:02 – 5:02).  I coach riders to choose one of three options: standing (toughest), seated (medium), and surges (seated, least intense).  I will often ask: “Show of hands – who’s got the juice to do all three standing?”  Having stuck a hand in the air, people feel accountable to keep their word.  Sometimes I can keep the whole class on their feet.

Stereo Hearts (feat. Adam Levine) – Gym Class Heroes (3:32): This one peaked at #1 on the US Billboard Chart but languished at #47 in Romania, #48 in France, and #49 in Belgium.  Those Belgians are tough customers.  And yep, that’s the ubiquitous Adam Levine on the chorus.  A well-deserved cool down.

Fight For You – Jason DeRulo (4:02):  DeRulo’s recent hit pays homage to Toto’s 1982 smash, Africa.  It’s the second recent song to reference Toto’s version.  Canadian Karl Wolf pulled out a fab version (also called Africa) that I’ve used here on the blog.  Which is better?  Tough call.  I like the rapping in Wolf’s version, but the backup singing on DeRulo’s is awesome.  Wolf’s career is really taking off in the USA and I just want to give him kudos for doing it first – his version was released in December 2008.  More cool down and goodbye music.

I went trick-or-treating this year for the first time since 1980.  My daughter was a scary tiger.  We taught her to roar,  knock on doors, and say “boo!” – all useful life skills, as a friend pointed out to me.  K. was right into getting treats from people, and she doesn’t even eat them.  (She’s like her Dad – more interested in a pork chop than a candy bar.)

We live downtown, on a street with many rental properties.  There are three toddlers on our block at the moment, but we had no luck at any other houses on our street – people weren’t home, or came to the door and confessed they didn’t have any candy.  Hello!  Who doesn’t have candy on Hallowe’en?  Half a dozen people gave K. loonies ($1 coins) or toonies ($2 coins) instead of candy.  One woman on another street (bless her) gave out delicious homemade lemony shortbread cookies, thus single-handedly redeeming the entire neighbourhood.


29 Comments On “Stayin’ Hot Spin Mix (50 minutes)

  1. Kevin Heffernan Reply

    Hi Cynthia, new website looks awesome, great job. Have any of your contributors ever recommended a good site for Mashups

  2. Shivki Reply

    I liked the Playlist esspecialy This Night (Max Graham Remix)….


  3. Lisa Reply

    Hi Everyone, I love reading this blog – Thanks Cynthia for such a great site! Wondering if any of you have playlists for endurance rides. I am doing a 90 minute ride this weekend and am looking for both music and cueing ideas. I did a 60 minute ride that I just played my normal interval playlist and it was still very enjoyable. Lay it on me everyone – I can’t wait to take this ride.

  4. Jannike Reply

    Hi Cynthia!

    The first thing I want to say is that my english is really bad, but I hope you understand what I write.

    I am a spinning instructor from Norway. I was very happy when I saw your website for the first time. I was looking for a website where I could get help to create a spinning program and get more inspiration. And your website have all I need. So thank you for that! :-)

    But it is one thing I do not understand. How do you do the jumps? And what are these rolling hills etc.?

    To have a little bit variation I use to have something we call 4×4. Four steps standing and four steps hanging over the seat. Uhm yeah, it is difficult to describe..

    So if you could show a video how you do these rolling hills etc. it would be really nice. You can answer me here or in a mail.

    Hope you understand what I mean! :-)


    1. Cynthia Reply

      Hi Jannike,

      Your English is great – far better than my Norwegian.

      Jumps are controlled movements in and out of the saddle. Riders lift and lower themselves with their quads (legs) and not by pulling or pushing with their arms. Jumps are usually done rhythmically for 16/8/4/2 counts up/down but can also be done as quick standing runs followed by recovery in the saddle.

      Rolling hills involve climbing seated, standing, or both. I usually coach them standing. The cadence stays the same throughout the song with small tension changes every 15-60 seconds (for example – three rolling hills could look like this: up, up, up, down, down, down, up, down, up, up, down, down).

      I am afraid I don’t have a video but I have seen videos of all the spinning moves – I think done by Master Instructor Josh Taylor – but when I went looking for them just now to include a link, I couldn’t find them.

      Godt Nyttar,


      1. Jannike Reply

        Thank you so much for the reply :-) Now I have some new things to show my spinning class, and it will be so much fun!

        Godt nyttår til deg også.

  5. Maddy Reply

    Sorry to keep posting
    Looking to be a more powerful instructor in 2012
    Tools are important
    Do you get all your music from itunes or do you have some sites that are good and offer free music

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Hi Maddy,

      I get virtually all my music from iTunes. I haven’t really investigated other options. I don’t mind paying artists for their work.

  6. Maddy Reply

    Can you explain what you mean about your rolling hills
    Do you have them ride up hill in third and then stay in third take the tension down and go down hill?
    Do you stay in third the whole time for your rolling hills?
    I am use to doing them more from a seated position sometimes going to a standing climb
    I suppose there are many ways to do them.
    All ideas and suggestions welcomed.
    Happy 2012

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Hi Maddy,

      The way I do rolling hills, they can be standing or seated or both. I usually coach them standing. Basically, you start with low resistance for a hill and spend the rest of the song adding a little, a little more, then reducing a little, a little more, till you’re back where you started, resistance-wise. I coach tension changes every 15-60 seconds. It’s a way of playing with tension while keeping cadence the same.

  7. Maddy Reply

    Thanks for sharing this Cynthia
    Learned about lots of new songs here and I love ones that have a REAL world message in them like Nickelback We Stand Together. These songs motivate me to motivate my riders.

    I have a question Ryan
    Hulkshare. Is it safe and easy to use?

    Thanks to everyone out here and wishes for a HAPPY 2012

  8. Stephanie Reply

    Hi, I have been checking out your playlists for quite a while now and I am excited to say I got an ipod for Christmas so I can actually borrow your ideas and give my class something new now. Thanks keep it up!

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Hi Stephanie, welcome to the blog & thanks for commenting. You will be amazed at how easy it is to make new playlists with an iPod compared to burning a CD. It’s addictive!

  9. morganajMorgan AJ Reply

    I was wondering if anyone knows a good interval song. I’m trying to do more intervals, but find it hard to get matching music. Thanks Morgan

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Hi Morgan! Most sprinting tunes work with sprints at the chorus (typically 30-45 sec) and recovery for the verses (typically 45-60 sec) but I am thinking you mean a song that is more flexible – where you can create intervals as long or as short as you want. If I’m right about this, look for any songs on the blog that mention sprinting 15/30/45/60 seconds on/off or pace line songs as I’ve chosen those for their capacity to be good for sprinting throughout. Off the top of my head, some of the songs that are good for this are Black Betty by Ram Jam, Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting by Elton John, Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin. Some long dance remixes and trance can also be good for this. I know there are lots more songs but I am out of town and don’t have my stuff with me. Is anyone else able to help Morgan out with some good interval tunes?

      1. jayr Reply

        how can you download the stayin hot playlist or others?

        1. Cynthia Reply

          Hi Jay,

          All of the playlists posted since January 2011 are on iTunes Ping – just follow me there. My handle is Spinning Music. You can preview each song or buy all of them with a click. Some earlier playlists were posted on iTunes as Sport iMixes (a precursor to Ping) but most aren’t. It’s on my to do list to go back and create previous playlists in Ping but I haven’t done it yet. I am afraid there isn’t a one click solution at the moment – I suggest printing the playlist you like and checking out the songs manually on whatever music service you use. All the best, Cynthia

      2. Ray Reply

        I’m not sure what kind of intervals you are using but I like to use the following for Tabata sprints or VO2 intervals.
        Rude Mood – Stevie Ray Vaughn
        Miserlou – Dick Dale
        Surfin’ Bird – The Trashmen
        Du Hast – Rammstein
        Go Speed Go – Alpha Team
        I Can’t Surf – Reverend Horton Heat
        Bark at the Moon – Ozzy Osbourne
        Fuel – Metallica

  10. Steven Sosa Reply

    Hi, Im new at this! so if i wanted to use your playlist do i just put one after another? or is there someting to make them not have a swich gap in between? thank you

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Hi Steven, just make the playlist but under iTunes/Preferences/Playback click the box to Crossfade songs and then set the gap to 1 second. That will nearly eliminate the break. My understanding is that if you use a program like MixMeister, you can put all the music into one file with no breaks but that’ll make it tougher to cue or skip a song if you run out of time.

  11. Ryan Reply

    Just noticed the Max Graham post was deleted – heres a link to the file though-

    Cheers- DML

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Thanks Ryan – you rock. Cynthia

  12. Kristen Mercier Reply

    Love the playlist! I will have to incorporate some of these songs into my Spin classes. Thanks for the ideas!

  13. Susan Stachewicz Reply

    Love the concept of your site. Do you offer mixed CD of the music and spinning instructions to follow? If not do u know who would with oroginial current artists? Too lazy to make my own for home spinning. If not,will have to vest the time. Thanks for your suggestions.

    1. spinmuse Reply


      I can help you out! check out my website @ and if you like the playlists, I can burn you some cd’s to send. I could write out instructions too, but wouldn’t even know how to voice instruct over a CD. if you are interested, leave me a comment on my blog and I can e-mail you :)

      1. Cynthia Reply

        Hey Susan,

        I don’t offer CDs but if you have an iTunes account you can follow me on Ping (my handle is spinning music) where I post all of my playlists. iTunes offers a one click download of the entire playlist or you can buy individual songs. The instructions for the class are all posted on the blog.

  14. spinmuse Reply

    Hey Cynthia! Adorable daughter. Question: can you explain what you mean by “surge” in spin class? I have seen this term often, and I can’t quite figure out exactly what it means. Accelerations?

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Hi Spinmuse,

      A surge is a not-quite-sprint, done seated and working at about 80% of maximum capacity, which enables riders to go for longer periods. I do surges for 60 seconds or more.

  15. Lisa Goldman Reply

    Great mix – thanks for sharing Cynthia!
    Here’s my “spin” on it, which I used for my class this morning and it was very well received:

    La Nova Alegria 4:05 Cirque du Soleil
    Sweat (Snoop Dogg vs. David Guetta) [Remix] 3:16 Snoop Dogg vs. David Guetta
    You Make Me Feel…(Feat. Sabi) 3:36 Cobra Starship Pop
    Good Feeling 4:07 Flo Rida Pop
    Without You (Feat. Usher) 3:28 David Guetta – Usher
    Stayin’ Hot (Nelly vs. Bee Gees) 4:16 lobsterdust
    The Edge Of Glory 5:21 Lady Gaga
    We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) 3:36 Rihanna
    Sexy and I Know It 3:19 LMFAO
    In The Dark 3:49 Dev
    Yoü And I 5:07 Lady Gaga
    Haven’t Had Enough 3:30 Marianas Trench
    Flamenco (Tribal Beats) 4:36 WaWa
    Thunder 3:45 Nuttin’ But Stringz
    Dance Tonight 2:55 Paul McCartney
    Atlas Hands 2:53 Benjamin Francis Leftwich

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