By Charlotte Blake

I have always loved teaching Spin classes, along with being a Personal Trainer and Pilates Instructor. Cycling is an amazing way to really get your heart rate up while building strength in your core and legs.

I haven’t been teaching Spin lately and I miss it! I miss the 45 minutes of getting lost in the music, leading a class of hard working students through climbs, sprints, and races. I also miss getting creative with my music playlists. I love receiving emails from students and clients with suggestions of new cycling songs. Since I haven’t been able to apply these new suggestions to a class, I want to share them with all of you.

Before hopping on your bike:

* Wear sneakers or spin shoes for the spin bike. Keep in mind spin
shoes are not necessary and sneakers are just fine!

* When standing next to your spin bike, make sure the seat is set at
the height of your hip bone. Adjust the seat closer to the handle bars or
further away. Adjust the handlebars to a height comfortable for you. Keep
in mind you should be leaning forward slightly while cycling for fitness.

* Keep your spine nice and long, navel reaching toward your spine so
your abdominals are working and stabilizing.

* Keep your chest open, shoulders and neck relaxed, breath
moving, hands gripping very lightly on handlebars.

* While cycling, your legs move in full circles. Along with pressing
down, there is also sense of pulling up to complete one cycle. Use your
quads (thigh muscles) but also connect with your glutes, hamstrings, and
inner thighs to work your entire leg.

Playlist and Guide

1. Bryn – Vampire Weekend
Warm-up! Set your intention and your goal for your ride, get comfortable on your
bike, get excited for your ride.
2. Street Fighting Man – The Rolling Stones
Add 2-3 small turns of resistance by turning your resistance knob to the right. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the hardest) you are working at about a level 3. Pick up your pace as the song carries on and begin to feel your body heating up.
3. Your Love Is My Drug – Ke$ha
Add a final touch of resistance and move out of your warm-up into more heart pumping cycling! Rise out of your seat during the chorus to feel the challenge of cycling out of the saddle. When out of the saddle, keep your hips and butt over the saddle and spine nice and long. Back in the saddle, keep up your pace.
Pick up your pace back up each chorus.
4. Paper Planes – M.I.A.
Add a small turn of resistance about every 30 seconds or 5 times during this song to get into your first climb. Pace yourself–stay in the saddle the entire time and feel your legs burning toward completion of your climb.
5. Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
Sprints! You’ve made it through your first climb, so return your resistance to flat road (make sure you are moving the pedals, the pedals aren’t moving you.) Every chorus, pick up your pace to move your legs as fast as you can. Challenge yourself for these 3 sprints, really go for it! Your choice if you stay in the saddle or rise out for sprints.
6. Wake Up – Arcade Fire
Your heart is pumping but you’re taking the challenge of this climb. See the top of your climb and make a big turn of your resistance to the right. You are already working at about a level 5 or 6 within the first 30 seconds of this song. About 2 minutes in, take the challenge, rise out of the saddle, and add even more resistance. Work at a level 7 or 8. Stay with it until you reach the top.
7. Dakota – Stereophonics
After that climb, acknowledge your kick-ass work climbing that hill and turn your resistance all the way down to coast and catch your breath. About 2 minutes in, bring your bike back to flat road and pick up your pace. Get a little lost in the music, get back into your ride, see rolling hills up ahead, and pick up your pace so you are racing on flat road until the end of the song.
8. Whatya Want From Me – Adam Lambert
Rolling hills! Every chorus you will be loading on your resistance for rolling hills.
Rise out of the saddle for 3 really intense and challenging climbs. They are only about 30 seconds, so you are able to really amp up the resistance.
9. Where The Streets Have No Name – U2
You are probably feeling tired, but the best is yet to come. Place your resistance on flat road. Add a small turn of resistance about every 30 seconds or 5 times during this song to get into your last climb. Pace yourself. You have your final climb up ahead.
10. Half Light II (No Celebration) – Arcade Fire
Alright, you have 3 more turns of resistance. Turn your resistance about every 1.5
minutes. Get lost in the music, remember your intention, and push to the
top of your climb!
11. England – The National
Turn the resistance all the way down and catch your breath. When you are ready, get off your bike and stretch your quads, hamstrings, chest, and anything else you feel needs stretching.
12. I’m On Fire – Bruce Springsteen
Just because. Hey, we can’t have a spin mix without some Bruce Springsteen!

Remember to pace yourself during this workout. Have little sips of water throughout the workout and have a towel you can use when you need to.

Whenever you are losing inspiration, remember the intention you set at the beginning of the class. Remember your personal fitness goals and let your motivation come from your desire to see positive changes in your body, mind, and spirit. Commitment will bring that change.

Take the challenge and ENJOY!

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