Oldies are the Best-ies: “Back to the ’80s” 60 Minute Workout & Spinning Mix

October 20, 2008 at 12:43 am 5 comments


16-song music mix and choreographed workout includes
“We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel
“Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson
“The Best” by Tina Turner

Peg those stonewashed jeans, baby, and perm that hair. We’re dusting off and updating one of the most requested mixes from my spinning classes, first published way back when in July 2007: the “Back to the ’80’s 60 Minute Spin Mix.”

1. “Jump” by Van Halen / 4:00

Warm-up and stretch. It’s gonna’ be a fun day.

2. “Tell It to My Heart” by Taylor Dayne / 3:40

Fast immediately out of the gate! Light to moderate tension with all of your “I’m a maniac!” energy. Think of dancing on your toes and lift your knees to your chest with all of your might. First 60 seconds are in the saddle; add a bit of tension (just half a turn or so) and then wake-up those legs with a standing 60-second charge. Then settle back into the saddle (keeping the tension where it was from the climb — don’t take any off!) for the remainder of the song. Fast feet, baby!

3. “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel / 4:50

This is one of my favorite spinning songs. Start off by scooting towards the back of the saddle and adding a full turn or two of tension. We are going to do some in-saddle/seated climbing. But when Billy gets to each chorus, starting with “We didn’t start the fire,” stand up and do a Power Sprint all the way through! These aren’t just regular sprints — they are POWER SPRINTS! Do them as hard and as fast as possible — spin so fast that your churning and burning legs start a lil’ fire of their own. Yeah! (Do NOT use the seated-climbs as a recovery. Keep on quad-busting throughout the song, even when not sprinting.)

4. “We Built This City” by Starship / 4:57

I heard somewhere that this was named one of the worst songs of all time. Qua?! Dude, this song is THE.BEST. Crank it up and feel the energy! Stand up and climb out of the saddle for the entire song, increasing tension every 45 seconds, and surprising the class with a couple of Power 10s and 20s.

5. “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson / 4:17

It’s hard to feel the pain when music is this good. Settle into the saddle, get aero, loosen the tension so that you are on the flats, and then fly! This is an all-out, gut-busting, super-sonic extended sprint, especially at the chorus. Double time here, baby!

6. “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany / 3:50

Riders’ choice. Either a butt-back exercise or some quad climbing. If you climb, throw-on a bunch of tension (we’re tackling mountains, baby, not hills) and scoot towards the back of the saddle for 2 minutes of grindin’ and climbin’. For the last two minutes, add another full turn and then stand up. Keep those legs movin’. Plenty of time to recover after the workout.

7. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2 / 4:38

Oh my goodness. Keep the tension where it is from the last song (!) and sit down. Hurt-so-good climb time. Increase tension by 1/4 to 1/2 a turn every 30-45 seconds. And yup: Two Power 10s and a Power 20.

8. “The Best” by Tina Turner / 4:10

“Simply the best!” Let’s get there, yo! Take off a bit of tension from the last song, stand proud and strong out of the saddle, and charge this hill! Climb it, baby, as if racing Armstrong to the top of the Alpe d’Huez. Just shy of a sprint for the entire length of the song.

9. “Take On Me” by a-ha / 3:48

Stair climbing exercise! (Look at FAQs for details on how to do it.) Do not rest or think of this as a recovery. Instead, attack the stairs two at a time with light-as-a-feather feet.

10. “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins / 3:50

Time to practice what all of this is for. Get back to the flats and spin, baby. Try to go at race-pace speed and effort. Concentrate on maintaining proper and strong form: pull the knees to the chest, take slow and deep breaths, relax the shoulders, and keep the eyes focused 5-20 yards ahead of where you want to ride.

11. “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses / 6:45

Goodness, gracious — it’s time for a little party. We’re pooped — utterly exhausted! — from the last song. But somehow… We have to dig deeper. Crank the music and do a random mix of rolling hills and sprints. The last 60+ seconds is an all-out, everything-you-could-possibly-imagine super-power sprint to the finish. Keep the upper-body relaxed while the legs fly. Slooooow breathing, here. Faaaaaaast legs, here.

12. “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey / 4:10

Don’t step spinning, either. Slow things way down, add on more tension than seems morally justifiable (punish those legs, baby!), and do a sitting climb. This is hard. I know. But it’s also awesome. And just for shizzles and giggles, do two Power 10s.

13. “Livin’ On a Prayer” by Bon Jovi / 4:10

One more song?! Why not?! Roll right into this from the last song… Stand up out of the seat, and finish the mountain climb. At the top is an “I Survived the ’80s” t-shirt baseball-style t-shirt. Who wants it?! Go, baby, go, baby, go, baby, go! A Power 10 and a Power 20 finish things off!

14. “Babe” by Styx / 4:23

Cooldown. Very much needed. All tension off the bike.

15. “Chariots of Fire” by Richard Clayderman / 3:33


16. “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits / 5:56

Goodbye music.

J.R. Atwood
Power 10 Spinning



Entry filed under: indoor cycling/spinning workouts and music mixes. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

“Remember Those Shirts?” 60 Minute Workout & Spinning Mix “Cash the Check” 60 Minute Workout & Spinning Mix

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cherylyn hensley  |  July 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    I love this workout so much! Please keep the goodbye music coming I love this idea.

  • 2. cam  |  August 8, 2009 at 4:05 am

    all the songs 4 to the end are all in black text and impossible to see unless you highlight….

    • 3. J.R. Atwood  |  August 8, 2009 at 5:55 am

      Great catch, Cam. Not sure what happened with the html code, but I fixed it. Thanks!

  • 4. princeton67  |  December 14, 2009 at 10:22 am

    How does one put this mix on a spinning CD?

    • 5. J.R. Atwood  |  December 14, 2009 at 10:26 am

      Unfortunately, this is simply a list of songs and notes on the workout you can do with each song. You’d need to download each song individually (via iTunes or Amazon’s MP3 store) and then burn them to a CD or make an iPod playlist. My more recent mixes provide direct links to where you can download each individual song.



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Indoor cycling workouts and music mixes

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