About & Contact

I’m an avid trail runner, endurance cyclist, and doctoral student at U.C. Berkeley with research interests in the fields of human development and social psychology. For more than eight years, I’ve been teaching indoor cycling/spinning classes and am often asked for copies of my music mixes and choreographed workouts — spinningmixes.wordpress.com is a place to share this information.

I invite you to browse the blog, discover some new music, and maybe find some motivation for your next workout. Also, please feel free to leave a comment with your favorite “pump up” songs to listen to while training — I’m always looking to add to my playlists.

Finally, you may be interested in my regular blog at playthink.wordpress.com, which provides a forum to share ideas, news, and research related to the brain and exercise sciences.

Thanks for checking out the site and for any suggestions about how to improve it.

Ride like the wind!

J.R. Atwood
jasonatwood [at] gmail [dot] com

Updated June 2008


68 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cindy  |  October 25, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Can you tell me BPM’s for the music mixes please

  • 2. Sean  |  November 6, 2007 at 12:50 am

    When you say a mix of “pick-ups and climbing”; what exactly is your definition of a “pick-up”?


  • 3. J.R. Atwood  |  November 6, 2007 at 6:08 am

    Howdy Sean,

    When I say, “pick-up the pace,” I want the class to increase their effort and leg-turnover a few more notches. It’s a substantial, concentrated effort — just slightly uncomfortable, right around race-pace speed and effort. These are usually called out to keep people from getting lazy or too relaxed on the bike — need to stay focused and hungry!

    Hope this helps.

    Happy spinning!

  • 4. Eva  |  November 7, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for sharing some of your workouts … they are powerful and enthralling! I have a likeminded approach to Spinning workouts in terms of music choices so this website was a pleasure to come across … I have in fact tried some of the songs in my own classes and they were quite a success!
    Keep up the good work!

    Song suggestions:

    – Breaking the Habit – Linkin Park (fast climb w/ standing sprints at chorus)

    – Creep – Radiohead (Long, slow climb)

    – Pain – Reamonn (Long, slow climb .. I appreciate the irony of the lyrics)

    – Life is a Dream – Reamonn (Mix of in-seat climbing and standing sprints w/ much tension)

    – Behind Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson (In-seat spinning with standing sprints at chorus )

    – Vertigo – U2 (In-seat spinning with standing sprints at chorus )

    – Don’t Drag me Down – Social Distortion (Hard Spinning)

    – Nowhere Fast – Fire Inc (Sprints)

    – Sandstorm – Darude (Sprints)

    – Holding out for a Hero – remix (spinning w/ Sprints)

    – Blowers Daughter – Damien Rice (relax)

  • 5. J.R. Atwood  |  November 8, 2007 at 12:56 am

    Hi Eva,

    Thanks for the kind words! And I very much appreciate you sharing some of your favorite spinning songs and workouts. I will download these tonight and look forward to incorporating them in my next mix.

    Happy spinning!

  • 6. Cynthia  |  February 8, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Love your blog, Jason. Thanks for sharing your mixes.

    Here are a few of my favourites. I’ve included some Canadian bands that might not get a lot of airplay in the USA. They’re all on iTunes, though.

    – I Like the Way (Radio Edit) – The Bodyrockers (3:20)
    – Hard Sun – Eddie Vedder (5:22)
    – Ooh La La – Goldfrapp (3:26)

    – Seven Day Fool – Jully Black (3:25)
    – Stronger – Kanye West (5:12)
    – Paralyzer – Finger Eleven (3:28)
    – I Don’t Wanna Stop – Ozzy Osbourne (4:00)

    – Glow – Alien Ant Farm (3:17) (sprints at 15/30/75 sec)
    – Money Honey – State of Shock (3:18) (1 sprint at each chorus – 25/40/40 sec)
    – Tongue Tied – Faber Drive (3:33) (1 sprint at each chorus – 30/30/50 sec)
    – The Hand that Feeds – Nine Inch Nails (3:32) (sprint for whole song)

    Lifts (Speed Bumps)
    – Hey Julie – Fountains of Wayne (2:37)
    – Fake It – Seether (3:14)
    – Piece of Me – Britney Spears (3:32)

    – Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s (3:53)
    – Sitting on Top of the World – Amanda Marshall (4:20)
    – Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel (4:20)
    – Could I Be Your Girl – Jann Arden (4:48)
    – Thank You – Dido (3:38)
    – Ice Cream – Sarah McLachlan (Live) (3:02)

  • 7. J.R. Atwood  |  February 10, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Cynthia! Thanks so much for the kind words and I very much appreciate you sharing some of your favorite spinning songs. I need to make a new mix this week and have been searching for some new tunes.

    Happy spinning!

  • 8. Jill in Sicily  |  March 17, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Great Blog
    I am so new to the teaching world of Spin the ink on my GroupX exam isn’t dry yet.
    Your info and rides inspire me
    Jill in Sicily

  • 9. J.R. Atwood  |  March 18, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Thanks for the kind words, Jill. Welcome to the World o’ Spin!

    Happy spinning!

  • 10. maria in ireland  |  April 9, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    can you download the audio instructions (not the music) from your website?

  • 11. J.R. Atwood  |  April 10, 2008 at 4:55 am

    Hi Maria,

    About your inquiry… No, I have not uploaded the “instructions” to this blog in any format, so I don’t think you can download them. But maybe you could simply print them out? Let me know if you have any other questions!

    Happy spinning!

  • 12. Micaela Scarpulla  |  June 25, 2008 at 4:19 am

    JR – awesome website, thanks for sharing it with me! (Don’t worry, I won’t steal any of your workouts for the Y ;)… but definitely gave me an idea of where to start with my own spinning mixes, so I totally appreciate it.

  • 13. Micaela Scarpulla  |  June 28, 2008 at 4:01 am

    Forgot to tell you to check this out:

  • 14. Clay Wright  |  August 21, 2008 at 6:04 pm


    I’ve been asked by my gym to take the certification course. In perperation – a question about your most excellent mixes. Is it possible to download the music from your site. If so – how – I don’t see a download link.

  • 15. J.R. Atwood  |  August 22, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Hi Clay,

    Unfortunately, there’s no way to download my mixes or music directly from this lil’ blog… These are just lists of the songs and routines I use in my classes.

    Some of the songs are available on Amazon’s mp3 download site; most are available on iTunes.

    (Hoping to get a bit more technological savvy so that it could be possible to download the mixes with one click. Not there yet.) :)

    Glad you’ve found the site useful!

    Happy spinning!
    J. R.

  • 16. Ana  |  September 2, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Hi J.R.

    Thanks for the great song ideas. I am using a lot of these for my ipod.


  • 17. ufuk  |  October 17, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Would you be kind enough to send me some musical samples (such as videos and songs) for the spinning lessons and also some information to help the people that are newly beginning their spinning lessons? Thank you in advance…

  • 18. DMcQ  |  October 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Hey, great tracks! Really enjoyed your ideas for workout music, and will probably rely heavily on those ideas this winter. Also a good way to add new tracks to my music collection. Check out my site http://www.thesufferfest.com. I’ve put together a few videopodcast workouts..something a bit different..as well as some spinning reviews.

  • 19. Rick Frimmer  |  November 7, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    J.R. – these are great mixes. Well thought out. Our two sports music sites, http://www.TechnoSweat.com and http://www.MyWorkoutAlbum.com gives folks the ability to make custom albums at different speeds and using different workout templates using songs like these. We also have great workout music pre-made for spinning. We sell in 45 countries.

    We would be happy to have you as a collaborator.

    Give us a shout.


    Rick Frimmer

  • 20. Tracy  |  November 19, 2008 at 7:27 am


    O.M.G. I have been teaching Spin for 5 years and I just found your website….. DUDE, you just made my life sooooo much easier. The hardest part is putting together a profile for a class. Now I can use some of your music suggestions and put together a profile lickety split! I get annoyed with the time consuming task of searching for music.. My husband always say’s “making love to that computer again are ya?) LOL I feel like I have my face in it every chance I get to make a new playlist….. I teach spin in Japan, we are in the military and I have been training active duty folks for 5 years now and its such a variety of folks….I always try to cater to everyone’s musical likings, I take suggestions whenever possible but there’s nothing like having already done for you…..

    You bet your sweet bum that Im gonna steal steal steal…. But at least Im honest and tell you huh? Sorry to write a journal, I am just thrilled with this.

    I appreciate you!!!
    Thanks a bunch
    Happy Spinning!!!

    Tracy Derivan
    Yokota AFB, Japan

  • 21. Stacia Howard  |  December 11, 2008 at 3:22 am

    Hi J.R.,

    You’ve got another fan! I happened upon your website and have stolen a song or two from you as well as some profile ideas. I’m always on the prowl to keep learning and improving my classes. I love learning from different sources (people) and incorporating these ideas into my own style of teaching. Thank you so much for taking all of the time to write down your spin class information. A few questions for you…you’re prolific with your playlists/profiles–how long does it take you to make one up? It takes me forever to come up with a new playlist/profile…I wish I were quicker with it. Also, do you write anything down on a card so that you can keep track of times, etc? Who did you certify with?



  • 22. J.R. Atwood  |  December 12, 2008 at 5:18 am

    Hi Stacia,

    Steal away! That’s why I post the workouts and spinning mixes… And if you have some favorite songs to ride to, let me know — I am always looking for new music.

    As for your questions…

    As you can see from the archives, I usually make a mix every 4-7 weeks. To be honest, though, if it weren’t for fans of the blog like you, I would probably only make one every two to three months — it’s a fun, but time demanding, project to put together a music mix and workout.

    (I spend 3-5 hours preparing every mix: finding new music from the internet and burning tunes from CDs, narrowing down the music selection to the 15 best songs, arranging the songs, figuring out which kind of set to do with each song — e.g. sprints, climbs, stairs, etc. — , and becoming familiar enough with each song’s beat and rhythm to choreograph a total workout.)

    Even with teaching 3+ times a week, I find that having 5-9 quality mixes is enough to keep the class engaged and prevent me from getting bored.

    And yes, I usually have a card with me that lists every song and some short notes about the workout that I prepared. I rarely look or refer to it though — it’s there simply as a psychological safety net in case I completely blank out. Writing my workouts down on a card also help me to prepare for the class by requiring me to deliberately think about the mix of speed and endurance sets that I want to do.

    Usually, I have become familiar enough with the music and arrangement to respond to the energy and needs of the class to do more of an impromptu kind of ride. (Sometimes I have the hard core hammerheads in class who want to train for a criterium, other times people want speed and sprints; some classes seem to want more hills and climbs, and still others simply want a low-impact cardio workout to complement a swim or weights workouts. It’s all about being sensitive to the needs of the class and challenging them to do something new and exciting, if not exhausting.)

    Looking forward to seeing some of your favorite Power Songs! ;)


  • 23. Sean  |  December 29, 2008 at 3:27 am


    Great website, I steal your song suggestions all the time :-)

    Just a quick question on pre / post workout nutrition, fueling and hydrating are super important but do have any suggestions on what to use?


  • 24. J.R. Atwood  |  December 29, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Hi Sean,

    Thanks for the props… As for your question, I wrote a post on my favorite workout fuel at my other blog. The entire post can be found here: http://playthink.wordpress.com/2008/06/09/chocolate-milk-does-a-body-good/

    Below is a version of the article, though the hyperlinks don’t work when I cut and paste…

    Chocolate Milk Does a Body Good
    Published June 9, 2008
    Full post at http://playthink.wordpress.com/2008/06/09/chocolate-milk-does-a-body-good/

    Forget the fancy packaging and multi-syllabic scientific terms that are used to describe the nutrition benefits of expensive powders, gels, and other liquid concoctions found at General Nutrition Stores. Muscle Milk and its similar-marketed cousins of the “endurance fuel” family have nothing on moo milk and Hershey’s syrup. Seriously.

    With the increasing demand and use of protein and carbohydrate drinks aimed at the hard-core athlete, the New York Times published comments from an un-scientific taste and performance test of leading post-activity sports drinks designed to optimize recovery. In “Gear Test: How About a Spin and Tonic?“, Gatorade Protein Recovery Shake, Met-Rx RTD, EAS Myoplex Read-to-Drink, Powerbar Recovery, and Cytopsorts Recovery Drink were sampled.

    I could not help but notice how expensive all these drinks were. And the image of chugging any of these drinks after a workout brought to mind a picture of a mechanic topping-off the fluids in a race car after a hard drive. It seems as if the marketing of these products appeal to an idea in our head of our bodies as machines that need to be re-fueled with fancy chains of lab-designed amino acids, carbs, and proteins.

    Then I remembered of hearing an anecdote that Michael Phelps drinks Carnation Instant Breakfast between races. For Michael Jordan, “It’s gotta’ be the shoes!” For this Michael, maybe, “It’s gotta be the milk!”

    In 2006, the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism published a study conducted at Indiana University that found:

    Chocolate milk contains an optimal carbohydrate to protein ratio, which is critical for helping refuel tired muscles after strenuous exercise and can enable athletes to exercise at a high intensity during subsequent workouts. It is a strong alternative to other commercial sports drinks in helping athletes recover from strenuous, energy-depleting exercise. (Source.)

    How effective? Co-author Joel Stager says, “Chocolate milk was nearly twice as effective than the synthetic products [such as those taste-tested by the NYT] as a recovery product.” (Source.)

    “The researchers found that cyclists who drank chocolate milk during the rest period were able to bike nearly twice as long before reaching exhaustion than those who consumed the carbohydrate replacement drink.” (Source.)

    Bonus: “And the athletes liked the taste a lot better.”

    Double bonus: Chocolate milk is relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to the $3-4 cost of a single-serving of Muscle Milk.

    What is so great about chocolate milk? And what about that sugar? That can’t be good for you, can it? Well…

    Chocolate milk has the ideal ratio of carbohydrates to proteins — 3 or 4 grams of carbs to 1 gram of protein — for optimal post-exercise recovery. Regular milk does not have this same ratio.

    It’s not just the ratio of carbohydrates to proteins that makes a difference. There seems to be something special about milk itself that cannot be replicated in the lab. “Endurox, which has the same carb-to-protein ratio as chocolate milk, fared poorly” in the study.

    What gives? One researcher supposes that “It may have to do with the different composition of the sugars in the milk. The sugars in the milk may be better absorbed in the gut than those in the Endurox.” (Source.)

    Whatever the reason, Mother Nature and Hershey’s know what’s best. Pass me some milk and chocolate syrup!

    Play, think…
    J.R. Atwood

    Further reading: Swallow This by Gretchen Reynolds discusses the trends and science of post-workout recovery nutrition.

    Note: Some good information about soy milk, courtesy of http://www.answerfitness.com/162/skim-milk-healthy-food-of-the-day/

    An excerpt:

    An April 2007 research article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that milk-based proteins (skim milk was actually used in this study) promoted greater muscle protein uptake than soy-based proteins when consumed after resistance exercise. The researchers concluded that while both soy milk and skim milk resulted in a positive net nitrogen balance, those who regularly consume milk proteins after resistance training would likely experience greater lean mass gains (greater muscle.)

    A 2007 Canadian Study led by Stuart Phillips at McMaster University (and funded in-part by the Dairy Council) and also published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, involved 56 men aged 18 to 30 who signed up for a rigorous five-day-a-week weightlifting program over a 12-week period. One group was given about two cups of skim milk post-workout (approximately 17 grams of protein and 25 grams of carbs), another was given a soy drink with identical ratios and a third was given a carbohydrate-only sports drink. The study was blind (and identical flavors were used) to blunt any placebo effect.

    By the end of the study, all three groups had gained lean muscle and most lost fat, but the milk drinkers lost the most fat (on average two pounds of fat each, compared with one pound for the sports drink and no pounds for the soy group.) The milk drinkers also came out ahead in the muscle department, gaining 2.5 pounds more of lean tissue than the soy group and 3.3 pounds more than the carbohydrate-sipping sports drink group.

    Finally, another study, led by Darren Willoughby at Baylor University, suggests that the combining skim milk, whey protein and a carbohydrate post-workout is more effective at building lean mass and anabolic markers than consuming carbohydrates alone.


  • 25. Stacia Howard  |  January 4, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Hi J.R.,

    Happy 2009! Don’t know if you caught “Slumdog Millionaire” or not but regardless, it has some great music. A fun longer remix of MIA’s Paper Planes and the closing number, Jai Ho is great! I used them both in my latest playlist along with a few other international songs. It was a fun way to mix things up.

    Take care,

    Stacia from CT

  • 26. cindy torbett  |  January 12, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    J.R. – what is your Power 10/20? What does that mean? Increase resistance by 10% or power it out on the the bike for 10 seconds/20 – blessings – cindy torbett, atl, ga.

  • 27. J.R. Atwood  |  January 13, 2009 at 5:59 am

    Hi Cindy,

    I explain all my workouts on the FAQ & Spinning Notes tab on my blog (https://spinningmixes.wordpress.com/what-the-heck-is-a-power-10-faqs-and-definitions/)… Buried in there is an explanation of Power 10/20 (see below). Hope this helps! :)

    Power 10s & Power 20s

    Essentially, these are double-time, all-out, warp-speed sprints. Increase the tension/resistance a notch or two before starting them. And then, hammer! I count down real slow from 10 to 0 (usually taking 15-20 seconds to do so). For Power 20s, I count up to 10 then back down to 0 (usually taking 20-40 seconds).

    I cannot emphasize this enough: these are everything you have, no-holds-barred sprints. Exhaust yourself. Your heart rate should jump pretty radically during the sprint sessions. But also, while the legs are moving uber-fast, try to keep your upper body relaxed and breathe deeply and slowly. This is especially important on Power 20s — the only way to survive these speed sessions is to carry fresh oxygen to your legs.

    Note, these can be done sitting in the saddle, on the flats — or, while standing up and attacking/charging up a hill.

  • 28. Kathy Makowski  |  January 24, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    When I go into the archives I can only see 3 songs or so – am I missing something? Thanks!

  • 29. J.R. Atwood  |  January 25, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Hi Kathy,

    Good question…

    After going into the archives, you then need to click on the title of the post to see the entire spinning mix and workout.

    For example, if you click on “November 2007” under the archives, you then need to click on “Weebly Script 60 Minute Spin Mix” to see all the songs for that particular post.

    Hope this helps!


  • 30. Becky  |  January 26, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Hey JR..thanks for the great workouts!!

    Do you have to have one that is older music??

  • 31. J.R. Atwood  |  January 26, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Becky,

    The oldest music I have so far is a great mix with 80’s tunes:

    If you have song suggestions or favorite older songs, definitely pass them along! I’m always looking for some new (even if old) music.

    Happy spinning!

  • 32. Tom M  |  February 16, 2009 at 8:46 am

    JR your Blog has helped me endlessly with new music i have decided to try and give back a little with my own blog Have you got any tips to make it as good as yours


    Tom M

  • 33. Jeff  |  February 18, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Hey there-

    As a cyclist and a blogger, you may be interested in Global Ride virtual cycling DVDs. This is sort of a shameless communication attempt, but bloggers like you have been the source of nearly all our publicity since our company formed around two months ago.

    We create our DVDs with a mission to bring together the worlds of indoor and outdoor cycling – providing indoor cyclists with motivation to get outside and do the real thing, and convincing outdoor cyclists that indoor cycling can provide suitable training.

    We have tried to create the best virtual cycling training product out there. You can take a look at it at http://www.globalride.net – and if you have any feedback, we’d love to hear it.

    Thanks for your time. Keep up the good work with the blog.

  • 34. Jenn  |  February 24, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    We seem to ride to some of the same music and I think you might dig “Death” by White Lies from Death – EP. Think 1 minute flat road – then 3 minutes of leg isolation…30 seconds right leg only…30 seconds with the left leg only…same again for 3 full minutes. By the end of the the 3rd minute of isolation putting the pedal stroke back together will feel like magic. Last minute full out for 60!

    Alternatively – for the whole song pick a cadence you can hold for 5 minutes and staying seated adding tension each minute – abandon your cadence for the last minute and kick it full out for the last 60.

    In my humble opinion here are some spin perennials:

    Out of the saddle favourites = Rebellion (Lies) – Arcade Fire, No Fit State – Hot Chip, Common People – Pulp, Born Slippy – Underworld, Children (Dream Version) – Robert Miles (seated and then standing climb)

    Killer seated climbs = Transatlanticism – Death Cab For Cutie, Angel or Teardrop or Inertia Creeps – Massive Attack, Haunted When the Minutes Drag – Love and Rockets, Release the Pressure – Leftfield

    Flat road/Small incline – cadence checks throughout the song – cadence you can hold for full song while adding tension each minute = All My Friends – LCD Soundsystem, Halfway Home – TV on the Radio, The Melody of a Fallen Tree – Windsor For the Derby

    I love to spin and felt like sharing + I like your site.

  • 35. Becky  |  February 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    How do you get your mixes into iTunes? I think I need it to be a feed format to download it as a podcast but I can’t figure it out for some reason :( and I really want to because your workouts look awesome!
    Thanks for the help!

  • 36. Sally Mander  |  March 12, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    1. DESTINY –Schiller(4;20) warm up & stretch for first 2 minutes. At (2:38) when the music drops a bit, turn up the gear and get up and run. Not heavy running here–just enough to warm up and take you straight into the next song, which is a climb

    2. JAI HO –AR Rahman(4:19) slum dog climb!!! don’t sit down from warm up run…add a few more turns and tackle this hill-keep the pace fast (80rpm) later on in the class we will have slower/heavier hills . Take an uphill sprint for the final 45 seconds of this song on a hill gear. Before that uphill sprint lets overload the gear, so that the gear you are on now will feel light. So—at (3:00) sit down and give the gear 2 FULL TURNS UP! yes, UP. GRIND IT OUT for 30 seconds. At (3:30) TAKE OFF the 2 TURNS–get up and SPRINT UPHILL for (3:30-4:19) even though you only went back to your original hill gear, it should feel light in comparison–so go-for-it

    3. PUT ON THE RED LIGHT (Police vs. Coldplay mashup) dj Lobsterdust(4:33) Ok you just did an uphill sprint–breathe, shake it out. Now you are ready for some sprints on a flat –3 to be exact. On the chorus (ROXANNE..) you are going to flip the gear up 1/4 turn and give an all out sprint. Take off the 1/4 gear a the end of the sprint. The 1st 2 sprints are 30 seconds, the 3rd sprint is 1 minute…(1:13–1:42)….(2:11—2:41)….(.3:24—4:23) PHEW!!!!!!

    4. RINGA RINGA –AR Rahman(4:15) more SLUM DOG!! Get ready for some hardcore jumping. The music is slower. Start off at medium gear ( by the end of the song it will be heavy). For the 1st minute,(0:00–1:00) 16 pedal strokes up, 16 down. Second minute (1:00–2:00), turn up the gear, cut the jumps in half–8 pedal strokes up/down. Third minute, (2:00-3:00) turn the gear up AGAIN, cut the jumps in half–now we are up 4 pedal strokes, down for 4. Final minute (3:00-4:15) turn the gear up one more time–pretty heavy now, but that’s OK–now the jumps are 2 up/2 down. PUSH IT–HURTS SO GOOD –

    5. PAPER PLANES—M.I.A (3:24)last Slumdog song–I promise!!! OK here comes the double hill. Two songs of back-to-back climbing. First song(Paper Planes) seated climb which gradually gets heavier every minute until you can’t take it anymore and you have to get up out of the saddle for the second song.(Kashmir)
    For Paper Planes start at medium/heavy and at the minute marks (1:00; 2:00, 3:00) increase the tension, pop-up to break the gear for about 10 strokes, gain some momentum, then sit right back down and GRIND-IT-OUT. By the end of the song, you are in the “gear you fear.” This is the gear that you will tackle the next hill with–out of the saddle. GOOD LUCK

    6. KASHMIR –Bond(5:08) out of the saddle climb in the “gear-you-fear”. Go for it. Lovely string quartet version of Led Zeppelin song.

    7. BABA O’ RILEY –The cube Guys(7:00) catch your breath for the 1st 40 seconds of this song while you explain to the class what you are doing. Grab a drink–there’s hard work ahead! SPRINTS ON A HEAVY GEAR. Here is how it works—start medium, flat road gear–30 seconds. Then increase the tension and get up and run–30 seconds. Increase it again and climb—30 seconds. Turn it up one more time to HEAVY, count 5 pedal strokes then SIT–and on that heavy gear TRY TO SPRINT for 30 Seconds. WHOAH!!!!!! At the end of the sprint, take a 15 second down hill/low gear. THEN START IT ALL OVER AGAIN 30sec flat/30second run/30 second Hill/ 30 second sprint on hill. You have time for 2 sets of these–then for the last one cut it all down to 15 seconds each. Oh this is so worth it.

    8. VIVA LA VIDA –Cold Play(4:01) live the life!!! oh here we go!! Lets take this one just like song #4 (ringa ringa) JUMPS..start with 16 counts up/down, then every minute increase the tension and cut the jumps in half until you are 2 strokes up, 2 strokes down.

    9. LITTLE BOXES–Engelbert Humperdinck (2:00) catch your breath here. Lets take 2 minutes to tread some water and gather our strength. Medium tension/medium cadence…get up and in running position, tread water and catch you breath–the NEXT song is a bitch and we need to get ready for it. I mean it, you will need everything for the next hill.

    10. LOVE LOCKDOWN –Kayne West(4:31)…ruh-roh—sprints UP a hill in seated position. There ain’t nothing harder!!!!!! This song brings me to my knees every time. Proceed with caution. So here it goes—–heavy gear, seated climb. On the chorus you are going to pop up out of the saddle and sprint UPHILL. ouch. Good news the first 2 sprints are only 15 seconds!!!(:55-1:10////2:00–2:15) BUT the 3rd and final sprint is ONE minute, 5 seconds. (3:05–4:10) OH lord–hold on!! This is tough–cheer them on or they will never make it!!!

    11.SANDSTORM –Darude(7:26) oh you are not done yet!! Dig deep, this is the finale. This is where we find out if the fittest of the fittest shall survive. SPRINTS on a flat. Now you just did sprints on a hill—so these should feel good. Take the first two minutes of the song to gather up that runner’s high and channel it into these sprints. 2 sprints–first one (2:45–3:43) the second(5:00–6:25) I count out the 10 second intervals for them..10seconds!!20 seconds!!! 30 seconds!!!! etc. After the final sprint is done, raise your hands over your head–VICTORY!!! YOU MADE IT!!!!!

    12. THIS MUST BE THE PLACE (4:01) COOL DOWN–you deserve it. This is a great rendition of Talking Heads song.

  • 37. Sally Mander  |  March 12, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    here are some great off beat songs, to shake it up. don’t be afraid of opera/classical. If you throw it in after a hip-hop or heavy rock song, they love it.

    for hills try:

    Habanera from Carmen–Andre Rieu


    Finuculi, funicula–Pavarotti

    what makes these songs effective is the shock value of putting them into your spin mix. trust me.

  • […] About & Contact “Quarterly Ascent” 60 Minute Spinning Mix […]

  • 39. Wendy  |  April 20, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    I just saw this blog and was excited to notice that the music listed here is exactly what I use in my classes. If you need more good songs I would be more that happy to provide some.

  • 40. Bob Pantzer  |  April 22, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    JR, I am Bob (second row center), the old guy with the head band who took your 6:00 AM Presidio YMCA classes until you stopped a year or so ago. Erica, still in the class, gave me your website address. I think I told you I taught spinning in Napa for many years and, boy, I sure wish I had had access to a resource like the one you have created back then.

    We miss you at the Y. I know you participated in a spinathon there recently and I’m sorry to have missed it. Come back anytime.

    I forwarded your website info to the instructor who took my place in Napa and I’m sure she’ll make good use of it.

    Power 10!!


  • […] Songs over the last few months, and shared a fun 60-minute workout and spinning mix with readers by posting a playlist in the comments section of the About & Contact page back in […]

  • 42. elbesure777  |  July 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Hello, I love your site. Thanks for sharing. I have been taking spin classes for years and decided to take the plunge and become and instructor… This is my 4th week teaching. I so need some advice for a good endurance ride…. What have you found to be the most succesful in your classes?

  • 43. J.R. Atwood  |  July 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Hi El!

    Congratulations on becoming a spinning instructor — it’s a lot of fun to make spinning mixes, design and choreograph a vigorous workout, and lead a class. I wish you the best!

    As far as advice about doing an endurance ride… Are you looking for song suggestions, or specific technique tips? Let me know and I can provide a better answer.

    Generally speaking, though, you are going to want a good mix of music to keep people from getting bored — long, steady state songs mixed-up with shorter and higher energy songs. The hardest thing is to strike a balance between not providing enough cues or instructions, and talking so much that people can’t get into a groove. And even on endurance rides, you do not need to be in the saddle the whole time. Throw in a few Power 10 sprints, and mix the flats with some hill work.


  • 44. Jenn Karma  |  August 3, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Hi JR. Your mixes are really awesome. Where do you find/think of all of these songs. Your taste in music is very cool and diverse. I’m definitely going to download these songs. Is there any way you provide an entire mix as a playlist? Or do you sell mix cds? It seems like so much work to download each individual song, then import them into my own playlist in the correct order. I’m new here so I home I’m not sounding like a complete idiot. Is there a section of all of this that I’m missing?
    Thanks for providing this service to us. Very appreciated.

    • 45. J.R. Atwood  |  August 4, 2009 at 6:05 am

      Hi Jenn,

      I’m so glad to learn that you stumbled across my little blog and have found it useful! It seems every time I think of retiring it, I get a note like yours that motivates me to compile and publish at least one more mix. (Keep an eye out later this week when I should be posting August’s spinning mix and workout.)

      I do occassionally receive inquires about selling my mixes because, as you’ve noticed, it’s a bit of a pain to download the individual songs. I’ve been selling individual mixes for $30; 2 mixes for $25 each ($50); and 3+ mixes for $20 each. (I hate to charge anything, but I need to buy each individual song again to stay within the boundaries of copyright law.)

      I’m doing a bit of traveling through the end of the month, and may not have access to my computer; but send me the names of the mixes that you want to buy, and I’ll see what I can do. (At the latest, I can get you the mixes by September 1.)

      Thanks for the kind words!


  • 46. J-Bar  |  November 21, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! your spin workouts…..FABULOUS!

  • 47. Banksy  |  December 21, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    loving the site, found it by luck! i am a newbee to spin recently done a course, can anyone explain what your looking at with regard to music(bpm) and RPM…i mean what bpm would you use for Hill, flats etc please help…merry christmas Banksy

    • 48. J.R. Atwood  |  December 21, 2009 at 2:30 pm

      Hi Banksy,

      So glad that you stumbled across my blog and found it useful—and congratulations on completing your certification program!

      In terms of BPM, unfortunately, I don’t have this information for my workouts. If someone knows of an easy way to get this data, let me know as I’ll add it to my future mixes!

      And as for RPM, it’s really hard to say—a lot of bikes don’t have the instruments to measure or provide this output to riders, so I don’t worry about it too much. I’m much more interested in perceived effort—and when we sprint, I want someone going as fast and as hard as they possibly can at the appropriate level of tension/resistance, whether that be 120 or 250 RPMs.

      Cheers for a merry Christmas!


  • 49. Alicia  |  December 23, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Hi J.R.!

    I wanted to let you know that I started using your spinning mixes over a year ago (when my gym cancelled my early morning spin class and I was forced to go it alone). I love your playlists and the way you write motivation into your workouts is awesome! I feel like I actually have a coach right there with me.

    I just thought I’d drop you a note of appreciation- please keep doing what you’re doing!!

    • 50. J.R. Atwood  |  December 25, 2009 at 1:15 pm

      Hi Alicia,

      Thanks so much for the note–it’s wonderful to hear from readers who have stumbled across and enjoy this blog.

      Keep on spinning! :)


  • 51. Cathryn  |  January 12, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Hi J.R

    Thank you so much for your inspiring workouts. I started teaching last year and your spinning mixes really really helped me!! I imagine your classes must be very motivating, fun and effective. You really did help me to build my routines. I am now teaching 3 classes per week and enjoy every minute of them. For what it is worth, I have a few tracks which pump up!

    Eighties Yilmaz Altanhan
    Heartbreak mkae me a dancer Freemasons ft Sophie Ellis Baxter
    Untouched Veronicas
    Prodigy tracks

    Once again thank you and goodluck with your future adventures and challenges.


  • 52. Lena VIncent  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Finally! routines that uses the highs and downs of the music, I love it! I have been looking over the internet, and I often find set times for routines (ex: 15 sec sprint, 15 sec. rest, 30 sec. sprint…) which can be good with some songs, but not all. I love giving it all out when the chorus comes for example.

    However, it takes me forever to find my music, then listen to them all to find when to push it. I have many songs built that way, but all of them are in French.

    I have just started translating your routines in French so it takes me so much less time to built mine!

    And by the way, your music is also great!

    Thank you very much!!!

  • 53. Kelly Robinson  |  January 14, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Wow, I feel so fortunate to have stumbled across your blog this morning! I start teaching my first spin class next week and I was starting to panic. I’ve been teaching group fitness for about 7yrs now, but “boot camp” has always been my thing. The music for my class is strictly for motivation, it doesn’t have to be choreographed at all. I had no idea where to start looking for songs that all worked together and provide enough variety to allow for variety in the class. I never want anyone who takes my class to get bored from too much of any one thing, or most important, ever feel like they haven’t worked their tail off when they leave!

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the time it must take you to put all of the mixes together, let alone the time to put it in this format for all of us! That is so unbelievably generous of you and so very much appreciated! You have alleviated a lot of stress for me this next week! Thank You!


  • 54. Nicole  |  March 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm


    are speed bumbs jumps?

  • 55. Grace  |  October 21, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Hey, there…
    I just started spinning and am so addicted I wanted to start going on my own as well as group classes… I was wondering if you had a playlist that contained motown hits for an hour workout. I am not good at putting music together for different types of routines but get very motivated with that music. Any suggestions is greatly appreciated!!
    Great site BTW!!

  • 56. Shane Gibson  |  November 17, 2010 at 9:43 am


    First – thank you for the Spin Mixes you’ve put together in the past. I’ve pretty much poached most of them – with a few change-ups. Your mixes are always the best I’ve found out there.

    I totally understand life directions changing – but I have to say – I’d LOVE more mix ideas from you. The tempo, pace, and music selections you’ve put together in the past were top notch.

    Thanks for your hard work on them!


  • 57. Bill  |  March 2, 2011 at 4:07 am


    Just found your site. Have been looking for quite a while. Thanks for the hard work at putting this together, I will be working through the music and routines for years to come. Best of luck and a heartfelt thanks.


  • 58. nreifsch  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Hi J.R.

    I stumbled across your blog when I was searching for some Spin creativity, and I absolutely love it! I’ve been teaching for about 2 years now and your blog is one of the few that gives valid information and useful resources – so thank you!!

    I’m a newbie blogger, but if you get a chance, feel free to check out my site @ nreifsch.wordpress.com

    Thanks again!

  • 59. Robert  |  April 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Please email me where i can pick up new music track my email address is rrodriguez@svnewspapers.com

  • 60. BleableAlkage  |  April 30, 2011 at 6:03 am

    I love bodybuilding and gaining my muscles. Thanks for the interesting post !

  • 61. Owen  |  November 29, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Awesome how you’re from America but feature some really good little known British songs.

  • 62. Ilona  |  July 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Sorry if this question has been asked before…I’m new to your site. I’ve been spinning for about 3 years now and while I lost weight quickly at the beginning, I’ve completely plateaued and am even starting to gain weight (and I mean weight, not muscle tone). Help! Thanks!

  • 63. Lyndsay Fillier  |  July 25, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Our spin bikes don’t have a dial for resistance, rather a lever. So, when you say complete turns for resistance about how many levels would a complete turn indicate? For reference our bikes go from level one (no tension) to level 26 (can’t turn the pedals). Thanks, Lyndsay

  • 64. martin scott  |  October 25, 2012 at 11:33 am

    love this blog

  • 65. Gutschein November 13  |  November 13, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I really love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you
    create this amazing site yourself? Please reply back
    as I’m trying to create my own website and would like to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Thank you!

  • 66. Ann  |  August 25, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I go to a spinning class and fell like the weakest link, everyone get about 23 and I get about 18 in 1 hour class, and my legs don’t seem to be going as fast as everyone elses, but I keep going and I am dripping at the end but others arnt am I doing something wrong.

  • 67. joanne munt  |  January 26, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Hi brilliant site, just found it, are you still doing it? I am a PT and have to get PPL free music, are any of these spin sessions to PPL free? Thank you

  • 68. Camping Shack  |  October 20, 2015 at 12:24 am

    Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this site, as i want enjoyment, since this this site conations actually
    good funny material too.


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