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spinning workout #1: ’80’s love

Update (2/28/12): I am updating this post with a link to my Spotify playlist. Yay technology!

If you’ve never taken a spinning class, the following workout probably won’t make much sense to you. But I highly recommend trying out a class. Next to erging and swimming, it’s the best way to kick my butt in an hour of exercise. The terminology has been similar at most places I’ve taken classes, but just to be sure we’re on the same page, here’s a quick definition list. As for the music I share below, take it or leave it at will. I like to have a theme to my workouts, and you can probably tell this one is full of ’80’s nostalgia. I suggest you listen to a bit of each song on iTunes to see if you like it, and if you don’t you’ll at least get an idea of the tempo I was going for. If you don’t love it, don’t use it! I promise that any song even mildly annoying to you will become 10 times worse while you’re struggling through a tough spin.

1) "Glass Concrete and Stone" by David Byrne. 4:14. Warm-up and stretch. Flat spinning.

2) "Hey Mama" by Black Eyed Peas. 3:35. Seated climb.

Seated position. Increase resistance and lower cadence during the song.

3) "Cosmic Thing" by The B-52’s. 3:53. Jumps.

Start with longer counts between switching from standing to sitting (like 10-12 counts), then progress to faster jumps until you are moving quickly (1-2 counts).

4) "Livin’ On a Prayer" by Bon Jovi. 4:11. Climb.

Take it to seated flat again, no resistance, and get water. At about 0:45 into the song (when the singing begins), begin climbing. Add resistance (1/2-1 turn) every min.

5) "Positive Tension" by Bloc Party. 3:55. Sprint.

Release resistance for some recovery spinning. Stay hydrated. Add resistance but maintain high cadence, then at about 1:20 ("Run run run" sequence) begin sprinting. Take it back down a bit when music changes. At 2nd "Run run run" (about 2:10) sprint for remainder of song. Recover at "Play it cool boy" (~15 sec left).

6) "The Lovecats" by The Cure. 3:40. Spin.

7) "Sin Wagon" by Dixie Chicks. 3:41. Intervals.

Begin song with a sprint until 1:15, then switch to jumps. At about 2:30, when it sounds like the song is going to end (but doesn’t), sprint out the remainder of the song.

8) "Let It Whip" by Dazz Band. 4:25. Climb.

Release resistance and grab water. At 0:38 when singing begins, start climbing. Gradually add resistance and lower cadence, every 45 sec.

9) "Nyana" by Tiesto. 6:42. Spin & hover.

This is a long song. Any song by Tiesto is awesome for spinning. Spin out the first 4:10, then hover for remainder of song. Burn baby burn.

10) "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet. 3:37. Jumps & squats.

Change it up however you like to make yourself work hard. Maintain good body posture.

11) "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. 2:58. Climb.

Add resistance more frequently than previous climb, every 20-30 sec. I love this song for climbing.

12) "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins. 3:37. Recovery & sprint.

I find that I need some encouragement at this point in the workout, and a good laugh keeps me going. Enter Kenny Loggins…always good for a smile. When guitar riff comes on at 1:26, switch from recovery to hard sprint in saddle. Keep high tempo through rest of song.

13) "Bathwater" by No Doubt. 4:00. Intervals.

Begin song with seated climb until tempo change at 0:51, switch to standing squat. Go back and forth with tempo changes throughout song.

14) "Time Is Running Out" by Muse. 3:56. Hover.

Last chance for glory. Push it out. Feel the burn.

15) "A Little Respect" by Erasure. 3:34. Spin.

Get water as needed. Cool-down is coming up, so gradually lower resistance through song.

16) "Fat Bottomed Girls" by Queen. 3:27. Cool down.

A little levity goes a long way when you’ve been pushing yourself for an hour. Relax, smile, breathe. You’re done!