Head Above Water Cycling Mix

22 Mar

Hey, Hey, Hey!  How’s it going?  I know, it’s been one whole year since I’ve posted a cycling playlist!! In case you didn’t know, I only teach cycle on a sub basis these days, so I don’t get to make playlists as much as I used to.  I miss it a lot and I thought this one was really a winner with it’s mix of new music and some older stuff, so I thought I’d post it here in case any of you were looking for some inspiration for your next class.

Like I said, I’ve been subbing cycling classes these days, but I’m teaching 2 regular PiYo classes per week and I absolutely love it.  The nice thing about PiYo is that the playlists and choreography are already done for you.  If you haven’t tried it (as an instructor or a participant), I encourage you to do so.  🙂

But I digress….back to cycling.  Here’s the latest playlist.  I really hope you love it.  Feel free to leave a comment with what you’ve been loving lately or how you used this playlist!


Head Above Water (2:57) Warm up

Pretty  Shining People ( 3:31) Continue warmup, bring it out of the saddle for a standing climb at 63 RPM

It’s Raining Men (3:31) Alternating seated/standing climb 72 RPM

Natural (3:09) Seated accelerations @ :48 (20 seconds); 1:43 ( 20 seconds) and 2:22 (40 seconds)

Turn it Up (2:52)  Standing climb with jumps @ :29 (8 ct.) and 2:10 ( 4ct. ) 70 RPM

Shape of You ( 3:54) Seated flat road 97 RPM

Mettarevolution: (4:04)- so excited to have a new one from one of my favorites!  Alternating seated/standing climbs. 70 RPM

Fire (3:18) seated flat with standing accelerations @ :45 (15 seconds); 1:41 ( 15 seconds); 2:38 ( 35 seconds)

Head Above Water (3:41) :00-:58 seated climb; :58 standing climb; :1:22 seated climb; 1:46 standing climb; 2:16 seated climb; 2:58 standing climb (65 RPM)

Bones: (2:48) Standing climb with Jumps at :55 and 2:12

The Greatest Show (2:54) Seated climb (78 RPM)

Climbing to The Top (5:28)  Pyramid climb:  30 second SEC/ 30 second STC; 1:00 seated climb/1:00 standing climb; 30 second seated climb/ 30 seconds standing climb; 30 second seated climb/ 1:00 standing climb.

Who Won? (1:02) Recovery

Insomnia ( 6:13) WALK, JOG, SPRINT INTERVALS: 30 second recover on easy flat road; 20 second working effort; 30 second all out sprint.  Go through this sequence 4x.

You Say: Cool Down

Someone You Loved: Stretch


Thank you so much to all of my followers that still stop by the blog to get ideas and inspiration and to all of my new followers as well!  I hope to post again soon!


Beautiful Trauma Cycling Mix

21 Feb

Are you ready for another amazing playlist to rock your next cycling class?  Look no further.  This one features some newer tunes from Pink, JT and Fall Out Boy.  I hope your classes love it as much as mine do!

The rundown follows, but first check out the playlist on Spotify:


Beautiful Trauma by Pink (4:10) (Do me a favor….make sure you are using the clean version.  Unless of course your riders welcome multiple f-bombs, then by all means, stick with the original) Warm up in the saddle

Get Out of Your Own Way-Switch by U2, Switch (3:41) 65 rpm  Warm up, continued, seated to standing climb

Play Hard (feat. Ne-Yo & Akon) R3hab remix by David Guetta, Akon (4:06) 65 rpm Alternating seated/standing climb

I’m So Sorry by Imagine Dragons (3:50) 72 rpm Seated accelerations on the chorus

We Come 12.0 Armin Van Buuren Remix by Faithless (5:26) 65 rpm Standing climb with optional jumps

Thunder-Young Dumb & Broke with Khalid-Medley by Imagine Dragons, Khalid (4:11) 72 rpm Seated climb

like that by Bea Miller (3:05) 62 rpm Heavy standing climb

Daylight (feat. Hadouken!)-Club Mix by Drumsound and Bassline Smith, Hadouken! (5:52) Seated accelerations

I Don’t Care by Fall Out Boy (3:34) 66 rpm Standing climb

Man of The Woods by Justin Timberlake (4:04) 100 rpm Fast seated flat road

Turn All The Lights On by T-Pain, Ne-Yo (3:37)  64 rpm Standing climb

Monaco by Haik Naltchayan (1:35) Recovery

Zorba’s Dance by David Garrett (2:33) Seated flat road-at 1:00 pick up cadence and continue to pick up to 100-110 RPM, sprinting the last 15-20 seconds

Scared to Be Lonely-Acoustic Version by Martin Garrix, Dua Lipa (4:17) Cool down

Gravity by Sara Barreilles (3:53) Stretch

Favorite Cycling Songs 2017

26 Dec

It’s hard to believe Christmas is over already.  Time to think about ringing in 2018 and I can’t think of a better way than to celebrate some of my favorite cycling songs from 2017.  It’s not a long list, and I’m sure I’ve missed some along the way, but I hope you can use some of them well into 2018 and beyond.  Here are some of my favorites from 2017 and how I used them:


Favorite Climbs:

Green Light by Lorde (3:57)  65 rpm  I love this comeback song which was the first to be released off of her album Melodrama.  Lorde tweeted when it came out: “[I]t’s very different, and kinda unexpected. it’s complex and funny and sad and joyous and it’ll make you DANCE.”  (or pedal!)

Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift (3:32) 64 rpm This one was met with mixed reviews from critics, but I have to tell you, every time I’ve used it I get great reviews from my riders, so I’m keeping it on the list.  The lyrics are pretty dark-so much so that I used it in my Halloween playlist this year.

There’s Nothing Holding Me Back by Shawn Mendes (3:19) 61 rpm I just love this song because it’s super upbeat and catchy.  It has a great energy that’s just perfect for the climb.

Believer by Imagine Dragons (3:24) 63 rpm It was great to hear some new stuff from Imagine Dragons this year an Believer did not disappoint.  I love the lyrics and drum beat.

Walk on Water by 30 Seconds to Mars (3:08) 71 rpm Returning with their first new song in 4 years, 30 Seconds to Mars delivers this beauty.  I used it as a faster climb, mostly in the saddle. Here’s what lead singer Jerod Leto had to say about it: 

“It’s a song about freedom, about persistence, about change and about fighting for what you believe in.  It is a call to arms, but also full of optimism and hope that is such an integral part of the American dream.”

Hmm… maybe I should save this one for my Independence Day playlist?

Castle on The Hill by Ed Sheeran (4:21) 67rpm Ed Sheeran kicked off 2017 with Castle on The Hill and Shape of You (see my favorite flat road songs below). It’s great for a faster climb and I just love the way he pronounces “castle”.

Dig Down by Muse (3:49) 64 rpm The lyrics are about overcoming adversity and finding faith and this song really begs you to get out of your comfort zone and find the strength to keep pedaling when you just don’t think you have any more to give.

River by Bishop Briggs (3:34)  63 rpm  I think this one may have actually dropped in 2016, but I just found it in 2017 so I’m adding it anyway.  While it’s considered Indie/Alternative,  I hope you mainstream it into your playlists because it’s probably one of my favorites.

Kamikaze by WALK THE MOON (3:17) 78 rpm While it’s never going to be as popular as Shut up And Dance, I really like this song for a seated hill on the higher end of the rpm range.

Kissing Strangers by DNCE, Nicki Minaj (3:22) 60 rpm Nothing really groundbreaking.  Just a fun, catchy song to add to your library.

I Don’t Know Why by Imagine Dragons (3:10) 61 rpm  Another good climbing song from Imagine Dragons

Whatever it Takes by Imagine Dragons (3:21) 67 rpm Climbing a little faster now-yep-it’s Imagine Dragons again.

Something Just Like This by Coldplay, Chainsmokers I really like the original, but it was just a bit too slow, so I’ll settle for a few of the remixes:

            Something Just Like This Alesso Remix (4:13) 60 rpm

           Something Just Like This Don Diablo Remix (3:51) 63 rpm

Bad Liar by Selena Gomez (3:35)  60 rpm  At first I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why I liked this song so much, but when I read that it builds around the bassline from one of my favorite Talking Heads songs, Psycho Killer, I got it.  A different sound for Selena Gomez for sure, and it’s good.

Favorite Flat Roads:

Shape of You By Ed Sheeran (3:54) 96 rpm Nothing surprising here.  Shape of You is  one of the biggest songs of 2017 so if you’ve not used it in your classes you’re definitely missing out.  Even though it’s totally overplayed, it still so much fun for a flat road and you may even find yourself singing along.

Thunder by Imagine Dragons (3:07) 84 rpm  I love the lyrics and it’s totally catchy.  It’s on the lower end of the rpm range for a flat road so add some gear play here for a real working effort.

Scars to Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara (3:51) 99 rpm It’s popular on the charts and has inspiring lyrics so this one is sure to be a hit if that’s something your classes dig.

Rise Up by (you guessed it…) Imagine Dragons (3:52) 95 rpm

Other Favorites:

The Devil You Know by X Ambassadors (4:03) I’ve most recently used this one for sprint intervals (30 seconds sprint/ 30 second recovery 4x)

Favorite Cool Downs:

Sign of The Times by Harry Styles (5:41)

New Years Day by Taylor Swift (3:55)

Perfect by Ed Sheeran (4:23) – Also check out his duet with Beyonce’ 

Torches by X Ambassadors (3:27)

What do you think?  Did I miss any of your favorites?  Feel free to share them in the comments!  Happy 2018!!

Jump Cycling Mix and Updates

13 Dec

Hey there!!! It certainly has been a while, so I thought I would share some of what is going on with me and of course throw in a recent playlist with teaching notes. With the holidays approaching, I know how hard it can be to worry about creating a new playlist so feel free to use this if you’re stuck for something new.

When I started this blog, I was posting all the time.  Sometimes twice a week!  I can’t even imagine where I found the time, but somehow I did.  Things have gotten a lot busier since then, and now I’m posting every few months or so, but I hope that my previous playlists and ride notes are still relevant and easily accessible to you.

I am still teaching cycling classes on a sub basis.  Believe it or not, instructors need subs ALL THE TIME, so I am able to keep up with my cycling classes and even though I don’t have my own class at the same time every week.  I absolutely love it because I can say no if I need to and when I do say yes, I get to see all of my old cycling friends and catch up.  And it also reminds me how much I absolutely LOVE teaching cycling classes!

Other than cycling, one of my all-time favorite classes to take has been PiYo.  I’ve been meaning to get certified to teach it for some time, and an opportunity came up nearby just recently, so now I am an official PiYo Live instructor!  So, what are the differences in teaching the two formats?  Well…cycling is a lot of work up front.  You have to create your ride and your playlist on your own. (Unless of course you use one of mine, in which case-You’re welcome!)  Then you have to write out your notes or put them into an app.  All of that is time consuming, but to me, it’s something I love doing!  With PiYo, all of that is done for you.  When you subscribe as a member, you get the rounds, notes, music and an overview video all sent to you.  All you have to do is memorize the choreography (that’s the time consuming part), but guess what?  It’s so fun, because you are getting a workout at the same time!  Winning!!!

Anyone else teaching both formats?  Do you agree?

Back to cycling (because that’s really why you’re here, right?)  As promised, here’s my latest playlist complete with teaching notes.  Hope you love it!


Good Day by DNCE (3:39) warm up

Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift (3:32) Continue seated warm up, bringing it out of the saddle at 1:30 to a standing climb with moderate gear. (128 bpm/ 64 rpm)

No Diggity-Fare Soldi Remix by Blackstreet (4:53) alternate seated/standing climb (126 bpm/ 63 rpm)

The Phoenix by Fall Out Boy (4:05) seated accelerations on the chorus at :59 (25 seconds); 1:59 (25 seconds); 3:13 (45 seconds)

Jump Jump-Original Mix by Jason Risk, Jacob Rodi (3:34) standing climb with optional jumps (130 bpm/ 65 rpm) Jumps at  :44 (8 ct.); 2:27 (4 ct.)

Be Your Love by Bishop Briggs (3:14) Standing climb (130 bpm/ 65 rpm)

Jump Around-Radio Edit by Melbourne Bounce Project (3:24) standing climb with jumps (129 bpm/ 64.5 rpm) Jumps at 1:15 (4 ct); 2:29 (8 ct.)

Best I Ever Had by Gavin DeGraw (3:46) seated accelerations on the chorus at :35 (30 seconds); 1:39 (30 seconds); 2:44 ( 60 seconds, gradual increase in cadence-sprint final 20 seconds)

Take Me Home (feat. Alexander Tidebrink) by BUNT (3:19) Heavy standing climb    (124 bpm/ 62 rpm)

One Of Us by New Politics (4:20) seated fast flat road (100 bpm/rpm)

Kissing Strangers-Remix by DNCE, Luis Fonzi (3:22) rider’s choice (122 bpm/61 rpm)

Who Won by Haik Naltchayan (1:02) Recovery

Insomnia 2.0 Avicii Extended Remix by Faithless, Rollo Armstrong (6:13) Walk, Jog, Sprint intervals: :30 recover/ :30 up the intensity (jog)/ :30 all out sprint-repeat the sequence 4 times.

Four Five Seconds by Rhianna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney (3:08) Cool Down

Little Do You Know by Alex and Sierra (3:05) Stretch

Black as Night Cycling Mix

21 Aug


Hi guys!  Hope you have been enjoying your summer!  Today I’m sharing with you one of my latest playlists that I really have loved using recently.  It features a few newer releases like a cool remix of Miley Cyrus’ Malibu, Whatever it Takes and I Don’t Know Why by Imagine Dragons (I”m loving so many songs from their new album) and a song with a very different sound for Harry Styles called Kiwi.  The title track of this playlist is Black as Night by Nahko and Medicine for the People.  This is not a song I would have normally just come across from searching Spotify. I first heard of it while reading one of my favorite Instagram feeds from Yoga Girl. If you love yoga like I do, (or even if you don’t), you should definitely follow her. She also writes a blog, has written a best selling book ,  and has a new podcast.  As if all of that wasn’t enough, she also founded Oneoeight, a site with on demand yoga classes and much more.   Anyway, she mentioned recently on her instagram comments that this is one of her favorite songs.  So much so that she has some of the lyrics tattooed on her arm and has a cameo in the video which you can view below.  I  checked it out and thought it might work great in my next cycling playlist and of course I was right. 😉  Check out how I broke it down in the ride notes!

I hope you continue to enjoy your summer.  I’ll try to post at least a few more times before my busy back -to- school life keeps me from doing so!


Spread the Happiness (3:00) seated warm up

Go Big or Go Home by American Authors (2:49) Easing into the work effort with a 61 rpm standing climb

Whatever it Takes by Imagine Dragons (3:21) 68 rpm- alternate the seated/standing climb

Beleiver-Fronliner Remix (3:49) seated accelerations @ :30 (20 seconds), 1:21 (30 seconds) and 2:39 (30 seconds)

Malibu- Teisto Remix by Miley Cyrus, Tiesto (3:19) standing climb

Black as Night by Nahko and Medicine for the People (7:14) seated flat road at around 97 rpm.  I use this longer song for some ‘gear play’.  Keeping the rpm steady, every minute or so, add gear and see if you can maintain your pace for at least 30 seconds.

I Don’t Know Why by Imagine Dragons (3:10) standing climb, adding gear every 30 seconds-61 rpm

Kiwi by Harry Styles (2:56) seated climb at around 74 rpm

River by Bishop Briggs (3:34) heavy standing climb at 63 rpm

Bora! Bora! Bora! by Scooter (3:12) seated accelerations @ :47 (25 seconds); 1:42 (25 seconds) and 2:36 (30 seconds)

Human (Ferry Corsten Club Remix) (6:53) *So many great remixes of this song out there!! alternate seated/standing climb.  Jumps on a hill would also work well here.

Count It! by Hit the Lights (1:02) recover

Insomnia 2.0 Avicii Extended Remix (6:13) walk, jog, sprint drill:  30 second easy pedal (recovery), 30 second with more intensity (jog) and 30 second sprint.  Repeat 4x.

I’m The One by Walk off The Earth (3:18) cool down

Mercy-Acoustic Guitar by Shawn Mendes (3:39) stretch

I hope you enjoy this playlist and profile!  Please leave a comment below and let me know if you have questions or how you liked it!




Dig Down Cycling Mix

14 Jun

My newest cycling playlist features some of my favorite tunes along with a few recently released songs from bands like Muse, Imagine Dragons and X Ambassadors.

Here are the teaching notes:

Sinner by Andy Grammar (3:40) warm up

Great Night (feat. Shovels and Rope) NEEDTOBREATHE (2:55) warm up continued, seated to standing

Let Me Know by No Wyld (4:12) :00-1:00 Seated climb; 1:00-2:00 Standing climb; 2:00-2:30 Seated climb; 2:30-3:00 Standing climb, 3:00-3:30 Seated climb; 3:30-4:12 Standing climb

Devil Drums by Scooter (5:24)  seated accelerations 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.  5 accelerations

Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran (4:21) Standing climb (64 rpm) with jumps on the chorus (8 count and 4 count)

River by Bishop Briggs (3:34) seated climb at 64 rpm

Dig Down by Muse (3:48) standing climb (heavy gear) at 64 rpm

Gimme Gimme by Beenie Man (3:04) standing climb (lighter gear) at 64 rpm

Big Love by Fleetwood Mac (3:06-music ends at 2:47)  seated accelerations at :20 (20 seconds)’ 1:20 (20 seconds) and 1:15 (30 seconds)

Warp and Weft (dr. trippy remix) Banco De Gaia (4:29)  :00-2:00 seated climb 65-70 rpm; 2:00-4:29 seated flat road 95 rpm

Whatever It Takes by Imagine Dragons (3:22) 68 rpm standing climb

He’s a Pirate by Klaus Badelt (1:30) flat road recovery

Tabata:  8-20 second accelerations with 10 second recoveries.  I give my riders the option of doing some of the accelerations in the saddle and some as a standing acceleration

Torches by X Ambassadors (3:27) Cool Down

Mercy (Acoustic Guitar) by Shawn Mendes (3:39) Stretch

I hope you enjoy using this one in your classes. Feel free to comment and let me know how you liked it or share any new songs you’ve been riding to lately!



Progressive Climbs and Corkscrews

24 Apr

I hope you’re all enjoying your week! Here in the Northeast it’s finally feeling a bit like spring. My classes at the Y have busier than usual, which has been a welcome surprise. I always love the energy that a full room of riders brings and I think one of my favorite sounds is the hum of all of those flywheels when the music gets quiet.

One of my readers has asked for me to share a few of my recent profiles. I’m assuming she found the playlists on Spotify and guessed that there were awesome profiles behind the titles. Well, she guessed right, but as is often the case, I cannot take full credit for either of these. Both profiles I’m sharing with you today came right from my friends at Pedal-On. It’s where I always go when I need a bit of profile inspiration. I’m telling you guys, there is some great stuff there and everyone is so kind to share. Whenever I use or adapt one of the Pedal-On profiles I always get tons of compliments. Folks at Pedal-On usually share their playlists as well so you can get a ready-made class in no time flat, but I always like to put my own ‘spin’ on it with my own music.

So without further adieu, I give you Progressive Climbs and Corkscrews!

*It’s always a good idea to follow and then recreate my original Spotify playlists (name them something like “Chrispins Corkscrew”) because I’ve been known to go in and change out songs and I would hate for you to not have the playlist you were expecting when you go to use it for your class.

Corkscrew Loops

OMG you guys, this one is so fun! At first it feels like just your typical ride profile and then…BAM….the Corkscrew literally throws you for a loop. My riders just love this one and I’m sure yours will too. Here are the notes:

The first song (Good To Be Alive) is a seated warm up.

3:00 Seated climb-add resistance each minute
1:00 Standing climb
3:00- 1:00 Seated climb, 2:00 standing climb-adding resistance after the first minute
2:00 Seated fast flat road
CORKSCREW!: 2:00 Seated 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off (so: 30 second sprint then recover for 30-2x)
2:00 Standing 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off
2:00 Seated flat recovery

**Go through the sequence 3 times. Each set is 15 minutes long.
I added two songs at the end for a cool down and stretch.
Here is how the songs I chose play out in the profile:

Set 1:
Heartbeat Song
Here We Go
Last Impression

Set 2:
The Spark

Set 3:
Hard Work

For some reason, I can’t get the Spotify player to show up so follow this link for the playlist: Corkscrew Loops

Progressive Climb

This one is just as it sounds. Each climb gets longer and steeper, starting with a three minute climb and ending with a nine minute climb. Each climb is just a minute longer than the previous one. One of my riders suggested that I turn it around and start with the long climb and end with the shorter climb. I think I just might try it some time! This one is challenging, but if you love climbs like I do, it will quickly become one of your favorites.

After starting this post, I realized that I already posted this ride so to check out the profile follow this link.

If you try the profiles or make any modifications to the movements or music, please feel free to share in the comment section. We would love to hear your ideas!

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