If you can get over potentially uncomfortable seats and sometimes obnoxious instructors, indoor cycling can be a great – and fun – cardio option. Almost a year ago now, I became a cycling instructor, and now there’s no going back. Choreographing classes takes time and can be tedious, but nothing beats the sweaty dance party they inevitably turn into.

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I have experience cycling on the road with triathlons which made me skeptical about the monotony of indoor cycling. I’m not gonna lie, I still prefer riding outdoors when I can, but there’s something cathartic about climbing to the beat and racing the clock – even when the bike is stationary. The game changer, though, is music. Indoor cycling is a million times better with music, and if you pair the right music with the right workout – magic.

Recently in my classes, I’ve been choreographing themes. So far, we’ve done Beyonce, early 2000s, and ’80s all with fist-pumping, booty-poppin’ success. I want to share them here, so you can do them on your own time if you can’t find a class, like spinning on your own, or can’t afford classes. If you haven’t taken a cycle class before, here’s some vocabulary that will clarify things.

RPM is revolutions per minute which will appear on the computer screens of most stationary bikes. Seated vs. standing refers to the saddle/seat of the bike. A climb means higher resistance. Sprinting is a pace with RPM at 110-120. Jumps are shorter intervals alternating between seated and standing and goes along the beat for a certain number of counts. Attacks are intervals that start with a high resistance standing sprint and shift into a seated sprint with the same high resistance. And if you’ve never set up a spin bike before, make sure to read this too.

Most of my classes are structured the same way. Beginning with a warm-up and ending with a cool down, feel free to add songs to extend those tracks as well. The resistance I use below is based on perception from 1 to 10 since all bike vary in how this is measured. If you use Apple Music, I will also link all of the playlists so you can download them to your phone. From Destiny’s Child to Lemonade, here’s the playlist.

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The next one features hits from the 2000s. It’s certainly not exhaustive, but I made sure to include Usher, Ciara, and the Black Eyed Peas. I’m considering doing a class of just the Black Eyed Peas… Anyway, here it is.

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This one was requested. I must say, 80s music is not my thing, but this mix has got some good tunes. I’ll definitely be adding some of them to my regular workout playlists. So if 80s is your jam, this one‘s for you.

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I hope you get a chance to try at least one of these. If indoor cycling is not your thing, don’t sweat it. Find what works for you. As for me, I’ll have several more playlists in the next few weeks, so look out for some classic rock, dubstep, 90s, and maybe a Usher/Chris Brown duo mix. We’ll see. Let me know if you have any requests, and I’ll see what I can do.

I’m also working on another project. As the semester dies down and I continue to see my beautiful – and broken – baby pathetically leaning against the wall, I realize I should probably fix up my road bike. It needs new tubes, a gear tune-up, and definitely some lubrication. I don’t like riding in the winter, but maybe I’ll set her up on my trainer in the apartment and get some mileage in..

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To be continued…

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