Tuesday Tunes

Some of my students have been asking lately where I get my music, how I make my playlists, how I plan them out, etc. so I thought I’d answer a few questions here. If this doesn’t interest you, you can go over and drool at some Paleo desserts and think about those instead of exercising. 🙂

One of my favorite things about teaching spin is making playlists. Having killer music motivates you physically and mentally. There’s nothing better than getting lost in the beat of a song, and not even realizing how hard you’re working because you’re so into it. I sometimes get a liiiitttlleee too into the music.. head bopping, fist pumping, and body rocking tend to occur. Thank God there’s not a mirror so I can’t see myself. Apologies to everyone in class. But, even though I feel ridiculous thinking about how crazy I looked, I think it’s motivating to see an instructor who is feeling it and pumping themselves (and the class) up. And, I look even more psychotic if I’m fist pumping taking someone else’s class, so I gotta let it out somewhere!

I’m uber conscious about the flow of music during a class. While I’ve realized that certain sequences work best in terms of revving your heart rate up, I also pay attention to how the songs mesh together. For example, if I have a rock song, I’ll try to play 2 back to back so it’s more cohesive. Or pick a transition song that ties together two genres of music. Maybe I obsess over this too much and put in more time and effort than necessary, but as a musician, those little transitions make a big difference to me.

In terms of picking songs.. I want to keep it interesting. I don’t want anything to be expected. Starting off, I stuck more to Top 40 music.. Rihanna, David Guetta, Usher, etc. Don’t get me wrong- those artists all have kick ass songs for working out. But, it becomes boring after awhile. When “We Found Love” comes on, you know you’re gonna sprint. You slack off. You know what’s coming. The more comfortable I’ve become teaching, I’ve been letting my personality and choice of music shine through a little bit more. I’m constantly on the lookout for upbeat, pump up jams. I’m lucky to have a large music library from over the years, and I don’t discriminate against ANYTHING! Sometimes the songs are pretty cheesy (Call Me Maybe anyone?) but if you own it and bring the energy, the class will follow suit, usually with a smile on their faces. There are a few songs that I gravitate towards and get me really pumped, but for the most part, I try to make a different playlist for each class. It’s also fun to do theme rides, like my sweet Early Millennium Jams from a few weeks back.

So, bottom line: Have fun, and own it. Switch it up, do the unexpected, and know that fist pumping is acceptable and encouraged. Here’s a glimpse of my most recent rides!

I had SO much fun with this one.. Little 70’s, disco, and 80’s. Get down with the get down.

Yes, BSB made another appearance. Sorry I’m not sorry

As you can see, I’m currently obsessed with The White Panda and Sam Sparro. And 80’s music. Basically anything I can dance to and act a fool. Hope you guys enjoy! Instructors, how do you make your playlists? Any tips?



3 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes

  1. pumped to have come across your blog! I’m a fellow boston spin instructor, with a blog… spinmuse.com, and i wrote a post a few weeks ago called “the art of the perfect playlist” because music really is SO important in a spin class, and along with the instructor and ride profile, can make or break a class for most. i like what you said about keeping things fresh in terms of the guettas and rihanna’s of the music world. and i, like you, also try to not discriminate what-so-freakin-ever. i want people to be able to recognize most of the stuff that they hear, because people enjoy that – but at the same time, throw some unexpected, “wow that was cool!” jams in that people ask about after class is over. I already posted another comment to a different post asking where you teach. I’d love to check out a class sometime! I post playlists and profiles 1-2x a week, hopefully there’s stuff on there you might be able to find helpful for your own rides!


  2. That’s awesome! Music is the best part about spinning, and it is definitely noticed and appreciated when the instructor gets into their playlists. The instructor for the Saturday morning class I take has just started having her son DJ our class once or twice a month. Seeing him get into the music – with lots of your head bopping and fist pumping – and not knowing what to expect definitely makes us all work harder.

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