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Gangnam Style Spin Mix (60 minutes)

Hot on the tail of October 15th’s Rumour Has It Spin Mix is another mix of brand new and charting tunes (with no duplicates!)  Two all-new mixes in a week?  What’s gotten into my Wheaties, hey?

I used a 45 minute version of this mix for today’s class and one of my long-time regulars told me she thought it was the best ride I’ve ever done.  (!!)  She asked if I would use it again for my Wednesday class (normally, I wouldn’t, since I know she attends both, but with feedback like that, why not?  Never mind, in six months she’ll be begging me not to pull out the Gangnam Style ride again.) 

I caught a clip of South Korean artist PSY on the Ellen Show – where he shows Ellen and Britney Spears how to dance Gangnam Style.  His secret?  “Dress classy and dance cheesy!”  How can you not love this?

Diamond Jigsaw – Underworld (5:37):  I didn’t catch this cool track from UK electronica group Underworld when it came out in 2010.  Pity, because it’s a great warm up tune.  (If you’re in a shorter class and don’t need 5.5 minutes of warmup, just transition a bit earlier – the song supports this.)

I Need A Hero – Andrew Spencer & Blue Nature (6:04):  Another great find from Di at her blog, Work Out With Di.  We’re going to start working today with a punishing combo drill.  Just to show that I’m not a complete monster, take the first 30 seconds to swig some water and get ready.  From 0:30 – 1:00 we’re going to pick up the pace into a surge (a seated not-quite-sprint, about 80% effort)  Then we’re going to alternate 1:00 minute of climbing out of the saddle with 1:00 minute of surging.  Here goes:  1:00 – 2:00   Climb  /  2:00 – 3:00   Surge  /   3:00 – 4:00   Climb  /  4:00 – 5:00   Surge  /  5:00 – 6:00   Climb.

Turn It Up (feat. Karl Wolf) – Kardinall Offishall (3:31):  I can’t relate to a lot of Offishall’s music but I love it when he gets radio-friendly, as he does with this track, and his 2008 hit, Dangerous.  You heard him, turn the resistance up and keep climbing.

Pound The Alarm – Nicki Minaj  (3:26):  Ugh – more climbing.  By the time we finish this hill, we’ll have 8:00 minutes of climbing behind us.  We’re going to grind to the top here, slower pace, high tension: 7/10., 8/10, 9/10.  Make sure you download the clean version of this tune – iTunes has $1.29 I’ll never get back and there’s no way I can play the standard version in class.  (They really oughtta have a feature where you can swap the filthy version for the clean version without paying for the song again.  Sheesh.)

Faster, Harder, Scooter – Scooter (3:46):  Whee – some speed work.  Let’s do 15 seconds off, then 15 seconds of sprinting in the saddle, followed by 30 off and 30 seconds on, then 45 seconds off and 45 on.  When you get to the 3:00 minute mark, you can keep going to 3:35 for a total of 80 seconds of all-out-effort, if you’ve got the juice.  Wanna?

Don’t Stop the Party – Pitbull (3:26):  Jumps!  For a change, let’s do 4 counts up/down for the verses and 8 counts for the choruses.  Mid-range tension, maybe 5/10.

Gangnam Style – PSY (3:39):  Sure, iTunes has an English remake but I went with Psy’s original song in Korean.  We’re at the bottom of another two-song hill here – 7 minutes of climbing.  Ready for some rolling hills?

Sweet Nothing (feat. Florence Welch) – Calvin Harris (3:34):  Keep… climbing….

Blow Me (One Last Kiss) – P!nk (4:16):  Back into the saddle for some more speed work.  P!nk’s latest gives us three opportunities to sprint at 0:48 – 1:21, 1:59 – 2:33 and 3:07 – 4:14 (33/33/1:07).  We’re really stretching the sprint intervals today.

Domino – Jessie J (3:52):  This track had been hanging around on my iPhone for a few months.  It was clearly a jump song, no issue there – but I was waiting for the right mix to use it.  Let’s do the opposite of the last jump track: 8 counts for the verses and 4 counts for the choruses.

Locked Out of Heaven – Bruno Mars (3:53):  I was one sprint song short of a full playlist, so of course, I turned to reader Spindarella, who put me on to this brand new track where  Bruno Mars channels Sting.  If you’ve got the juice, climb out of the saddle for the verses and take the choruses as standing sprints.  There are only two, at 0:57 – 1:22 and 2:17 – 3:10 (25/50 seconds).  No juice?  Remain seated and take the verses for recovery.

Survival – Muse (4:17):  I must be the last person on the planet to hear this song, which was the official song of the London 2012 Olympics and channels some of Queen’s anthemic work.  This couldn’t possibly be anything but a seated climb, so let’s get to it.

Feel So Good (Radio Edit)Calvin Harris (3:28):  I originally had this song where Locked Out of Heaven is, but I used Feel So Good as the last song in my 45 minute class today and it worked beautifully.  It’s a tempo drill starting at 0:45.  I coached my riders to choose a cadence and resistance that they could maintain for 2:30 but that would leave them utterly spent by the end, and judging from how many were sucking wind when we finished, they did and they were.  (The last 12 seconds are a freebie.)

Some Nights – Fun (4:37):  I can’t get enough of this gorgeous, gorgeous song from Americn Alt-rockers, Fun.  The video follows two soldiers in the American civil war and is nothing short of magnificent.  I know I’m not the only one who can’t stop listening to it – the official video has 36,000,000+ Youtube views – and the song hit #1 in Australia, New Zealand and Israel.  It is also a top 10 hit in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Austria, Italy, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.  Perfect cool down energy.  (iTunes offers a dance remix by DJ Space’C, but why mess with perfection?  This song is that good.)

One Life – Hedley (3:33):  A little extra cool down and goodbye music.

If you want to use the 45 minute version of this playlist that I used today, just skip Turn It Up, Sweet Nothing and Survival (all climbs), and you probably won’t need the second cool down song (though I would leave it in as I like to have enough music to last through clean up and everyone’s departure.)

Have I mentioned that I’m really enjoying Di’s Work Out With Di blog?  She offers tips for putting together a playlist here.  Like me, she looks for songs first, and creates a class around the music, which is pretty much Spinning heresy.  I am NOT saying that I sacrifice training principles for music – there is so much flexibility in the music we choose that you can achieve any training goal and still use great tunes.

Di’s tip to mix genres and dates allows you to create playlists with more legs (a journalism term for a story with longevity).  I have a weakness for Top 40 but an all Top 40 playlist like this one is just gonna sound dated in a year or two.  (For that, I do what Di does – cherry pick songs into new playlists).  Di is right about Top 40 – it is going to have great appeal to a certain segment of the population and is likely to leave other riders cold.  I had at least half a dozen riders over 45 in my class today – I got great feedback from one of the guys that he liked the class – but I do feel like I should mix it up a little more.

What do you think?  How central is the music for you?  Do you try to create playlists with legs or just go with what’s getting lots of airplay?


20 Comments On “Gangnam Style Spin Mix (60 minutes)

  1. Janet Reply

    MUSIC FIRST, definitely. It can sometimes take me up to three weeks to get just the right music. Love your blog — the blogs really help me find the perfect tunes.

  2. laura Reply

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I have been looking for new music/routine and this is great. Can’t wait to use it tonight. I will post one of my favorite classes soon!

  3. stevespinlist Reply

    I’ve used this playlist a few times with good feedback…and was a great way to get the weekend going. 50 minutes was just right.
    Happy Thanksgiving all!

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Thanks Steve!

  4. achogan Reply

    Cynthia – Love your blog and playlists! I agree — I create playlists first — then create the class – usually end up replacing a few songs and always reorder to get the class I want. And I always mix it up genre-wise — more interesting! Thanks for your great lists!! Carol

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Thanks Carol! No question, genre-mixing and using older/newer songs gives a playlist more longevity.

  5. Whitney Reply

    I discovered your blog when I was looking for different spinning profiles. I need a bit of boost to my classes. This mix NAILED it last night in my spinning class. I did take out a few songs and add some of my favs in, but over all this mix was awesome! Thank you so much. I loved this routine sooooo much. It was exactly what I need to spice up my classes and get my creative juices flowing. My class was really into it and a few people definitely responded to the Gangnam style. Checked out some of your other posts and mixes. Definitely my style. Great appreciate your taking the time to do this. Cheers!

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Hey thanks Whitney! I am glad to hear the ride worked so well for you. C’mon back and post one of your favourite rides on the Reader Playlist page.

  6. Nicole Reply

    I agree with your method of picking music first then creating the workout. Try mumford and sons new album! theres a bunch of great songs for climbing. Thanks for 2 mixes in one week.

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Oooh, I hadn’t heard of these guys! Sort of Indigo Girls meets Great Big Sea. I downloaded Babel right away – it’s a great climbing track. Thanks Nicole!

  7. Lisa Alfert Reply

    We are not heretics!! There is soooo much we can do (effectively and safely) on the bike that there will always be gazillions of songs to match our profiles to. I start out with a “leggy” playlist–one that incorporates new, old, rock, techno, top 40…you name it—then make sure I LIKE it, and create the profiles for it. My riders are all sorts of ages, and amazingly, seems the youngest actually ask for a few oldies. I get the very best compliments from playlists that are all mixed up. Yet again, why not have a theme music day? All rock, all techno, songs that span last 6-7 decades….works, too.

    1. Cynthia Reply


  8. Molly Reply

    I think the Fun. video and single cover show confederate army… Booo. Did you notice? I’m not into promoting the separation of north and south or the enslavement of any people.

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Hi Molly,

      Thanks for your comment. You’re right that the video depicts an older farmer and some other soldiers on the Confederate side, but the lead singer and the young soldier are both on the Union side. I saw the video not as a comment on slavery but rather on the unfathomable horror of war from a soldier on the ‘right’ side of the conflict, who is still very morally conflicted about what he is doing:
      “But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
      Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for, oh
      What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
      Most nights, I don’t know… (come on)

      So this is it? I sold my soul for this?
      Washed my hands of God for this?
      I miss my mom and dad for this?”

  9. Rick grond Reply

    How can i take this remix on my computer?

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Hi Rick,

      Sadly, I don’t offer music. I just post my playlists and the profiles I use for my class. I get almost all of my music at the Canadian iTunes store. If I’ve downloaded it elsewhere (as with a mashup) I try to provide a link.

  10. workoutwithdi Reply

    Awww thanks for the shout out! For me music is KEY. My first spin class that I attended was a disaster, the music was 90% instrumental and I wanted to bang my head against a wall. I figured cycling just wasn’t my thing, but soon realised it was the instructor. Once I realised I wasn’t one of those “put the music on and just spin in 2nd for 5 minutes” instructors and one that went with the music feel and rhythm things went much better ;) like you said though we’re considered heretics. However our classes are full! so :P

    1. Cynthia Reply

      I have been mulling over the advantages of the other camp after taking a class from exactly this sort of instructor – steady spinning, 100% in the saddle, a few cadence changes but nothing like a sprint or a climb, 60s and 70s music, very much in the background… and yet when I finished, I was dripping with sweat and burned close to 700 calories, according to my HR monitor, which is about 50-75 more than I do when I teach a 1 hour class.

      Now, part of that may be that in order to talk throughout the class you can’t be working quite as hard as you can when it’s just for you. Part may also be that I include regular recovery breaks of 5-45 seconds or so, while this instructor kept us going for the whole hour. Whatever it was, I am trying to figure out how to use it in my classes to goose the extra 50-75 calories out of them.

  11. Tracy Reply

    2 mixes in one week!!! It feels like Christmas :) Love your mixes.

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Thanks Tracy – so sweet!

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