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Gaga for Spin Mix (52 minutes)

I normally shy away from single artist playlists – there is too much chance of a total miss.  If someone made me spin to The Eagles for an hour, I’d be homicidal by the end of the class.  But I’ve been playing with this idea for a while and while her catalog is not large (only three albums), if there’s an artist out there who can support a full spin class of tunes, it’s Her Ladyship. 

I tried it with my class this week and asked for feedback.  The four riders who took the time to comment told me they really enjoyed it and I enjoyed the class, too.  What saves it from being too plain-old-FM-radio (I hope) are the remixes.

Hair – Lady GaGa (5:08): An upbeat warm up and one of GaGa’s lesser-known offerings.  (Yes, that’s Clarence Clemons on saxophone.)  Pick up the pace for each chorus and fall back for the verses.

Marry the Night – Lady GaGa (4:25):  Where has this song been?  It came out in May 2011 with GaGa’s latest record but I didn’t really pay much attention to it until it became a single in November 2011.  My mistake.  It’s a kick-ass sprinting tune.  Three intervals: 30/30/30 seconds at 0:42 – 1:11, 1:50 – 2:20 and 3:00 – 3:28.

I usually coach riders to take sprints in one of three ways: standing (hardest), seated, or as surges (seated, 80% maximum effort), depending on what they have to give.  They can choose which way to proceed for each interval.  Sometimes I will ask them to commit publicly: “Okay, hands up –  who is going to take the next interval standing?”

Telephone (Kaskade Extended Remix) – Lady GaGa & Beyonce (5:24):  A combo drill here.  For the first minute we are going to do 4 count jumps on a hill with resistance at 8/10.  From 1:30 to 4:00 we’ll come out of the saddle to climb, reducing the tension a bit for those who need to.  When we get to the last minute and a half, it’s 4 count jumps again.  No cheating and bailing early – we get a full minute to recover before the next working interval.

Born This Way – Lady GaGa (4:20):  More sprinting – 30/30/30.  These ones are at 0:58 – 1:28, 2:08 – 2:38 and 3:18 – 3:48.

Paparazzi (Demolition Crew Remix) – Lady GaGa (3:54):  Initially I had this one pegged as a seated climb with multiple tension increases but when I got to class I decided to do it as a single leg training drill: 60 seconds for each leg with a tension increase for the second set.  I think I liked that better than what I initially had planned.

With single-leg training, one leg does all the work and the other comes along for the ride.  I coach riders to consciously push down on the downstroke and pull up on the upstroke and to make their cadence as smooth as possible.  As for tension, I advise to choose a tension that makes riders mighty happy to see the end of the interval so they can switch legs.  It’s important with single-leg drills to ask riders not to remove the non-working foot from the pedal cage (some will do this and rest the foot on the crossbar).  With a weighted flywheel, this could result in a calf injury if the empty pedal swung around and hit the rider in the leg.

Just Dance (RedOne Remix) – Lady GaGa (4:19):  This was the first GaGa song that captivated me, and when I realized that she’d done a remix with Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall, I was, well, gaga.  The original version was released in April 2008 and by June 2008 I was using Just Dance in my classes.  Lady GaGa played in my home town of Halifax in July 2008 as one of the acts at the Summer Rush concert and I desperately wanted to go but had booked a week’s vacation in Prince Edward Island, a three hour drive away.  I could just tell that this New Yorker was going to be huge.  You know what?  I should have driven back to Halifax to see her.  I’d certainly drive three hours now.  This one is a standing climb, medium tension (say, 5/10), just you and the bike.  Close your eyes and let yourself go with the music.  (For an additional challenge, don’t take a break between this song and the next to make a 10 minute hill.)

LoveGame (Chew Fu Ghettohouse Fix) – Lady GaGa [feat. Marilyn Manson] (5:21):  The second half of this hill.  Increase the tension to 7/10 or 70% of your maximum effort.  Alternate a regular climbing stance with a more aggressive stance – hips back and up, shoulders down.  You can do 30 seconds of each, or try 15/30/45/60 of each.

Poker Face – Lady GaGa (3:57): Take the tension back down to 6/10 and get ready for some jumps. 8 counts for 1:30, 4 counts for 1:30, then 2 counts to the end (about 1:00).

The Edge of Glory – Lady GaGa (5:21):  I know, I am getting far too predictable here.  How could any all-GaGa spin playlist not finish with this one?  A combo-drill: standing climb for the verses, sprints (standing if you still have the juice) for the choruses.  The sprints are 30/30/60 seconds and you’ll find them at 1:04 – 1:34, 2:28 – 2:58 and 4:02 – 5:02.  This song always leaves riders sucking wind in a very satisfying way.

Bad Romance – Lady GaGa (4:54):  At last.  Cool down music.  I confess, Bad Romance is not my favourite GaGa tune.  She sounds as if she’s singing with a mouth full of marbles.  So if you want to run Alejandro first and finish up with You and I (5:07), I wouldn’t blame you a bit.

Alejandro – Lady GaGa (4:34):  Perfect cool down energy for some stretching and goodbye music.

Have you ever done a single artist playlist?  Which artist?  And how did it go?


19 Comments On “Gaga for Spin Mix (52 minutes)

  1. spincrutch Reply

    not just single artist but i’ve also done single album: black eyed peas “the e.n.d – energy never dies.” you can just hit play, it’s that awesome.

  2. soundstand Reply

    Great music to spin to! Just got to start spinning now :S

  3. mac jerian platon Reply


  4. Tim Reply

    Love it, Cynthia!
    Lady Gaga songs are always great for spinning, I never really thought of a whole playlist of just LG songs but it works surprisingly well!

    An all David Guetta playlist would be brilliant also!
    I’ve toyed with the idea of an all-Scooter playlist, but Scooter’s songs sound quite familiar and I have a feeling that apart from myself, everybody would be sick of 50 minutes of just Scooter :P

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Great to hear from you Tim. I like all of the Scooter songs you’ve recommended so far. I am away on vacation at the moment so my Guetta playlist is on hold but I am itching to get back to it (and my class! Two weeks without spinning…..)

  5. Julie Reply

    Thank you for the Gaga ride idea, Cynthia!

    I do a Peter Gabriel strength ride that I pull out every now and then. My regulars enjoy it.

    It’s 8 climbs (8 songs), 4 phases in each climb: #1 – seated climb, #2 – seated climb with more resistance, #3 – standing climb with more resistance, #4 – 30-sec surge with more resistance/cadence. Phases 1-3 range in length from 1.5 min to 2.5 min depending on the length of the song. The ride is about strength, control, intensity management. Heart rate moves between 85 and 92%, always coming back to 85% in Phase 1 and ending up at 92% in Phase 4 … x8! Target RPM 65-75 in Phases 1-3 and 80-90 in Phase 4.

    Song List:
    Love To Be Loved (Warm up)
    Burn You Up, Burn You Down
    Whole Thing
    Kiss That Frog
    Shaking The Tree
    No Way Out
    When You’re Falling
    The Rhythm Of The Heat
    The Power Of The Heart / Book Of Love (Cool Down)

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Thanks Julie, much appreciated. Solsbury Hill is one of my all-time favourites. I’d have to work it into the cool down somehow.

  6. miss.take Reply

    Hi Cynthia,
    Great blog, great music.
    Greatings from Sweden

    For all of you who can Spotify

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Thanks Miss – greetings from Eastern Canada. No spotify here.

  7. Jessica @ Fit Talker Reply

    I too have never done a ride with music by only one artist.
    A fellow instructor does an all Michael Jackson ride and it receives very mixed feedback.
    I think for me it’s too limiting. I’m more likely to do a themed ride.
    Just my two cents :)

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Yeah, I will do them very sparingly. I think themes are much safer. (Great to hear from you Jessica!)

  8. Chris Reply

    Hi Cynthai! I’ve never done A single artist playlist, but you’re right, if there’s any artist to do it to, it’s GaGa for sure. If it makes you feel any better, I have been having trouble with iTunes publishing my playlists as well. I keep getting the message that my songs are not available in the U.S, stores! Hmmm….

  9. Karen Reply

    I love the Lady Gaga Playlist and look forward to trying it. Although I haven’t tried a single artist playlist (yet), worthy artists such as, Queen; Madonna; Rolling Stones; Aero Smith and Moby come to mind.
    Thanks for all the great ideas!

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Agreed Karen! I am also thinking of an all David Guetta class…

      1. Karen Reply

        Powerful stuff, that Guetta! He pairs up with some really great artists, too! Great idea.

        1. Cynthia Reply

          Thanks Karen, I am going to start work on an all-Guetta playlist.

  10. Cynthia Reply

    For those who are following on Ping… I haven’t been able to get this playlist to post yet. iTunes keeps telling me some songs aren’t available in the Canadian store. I will keep working on it.

  11. cpaspinner Reply

    I have never done an single artist playlist as I find the my spinners are so varied in their musical taste, but your list looks great!
    I do however frequently do “blocks” so two artists back to back…..
    Love your website. Lots of modern music these days! I love Gaga and all your picks are ones I use and people love!

  12. MET Reply

    That’s great they liked it. Otherwise, it could have been a disaster. I gave that some thought a while ago, (different artist) but since the attendees varies greatly in age group, I thought…. better not. :-)


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