Josh Bicknell, Origin Fitness Director and Master Trainer, first started teaching indoor cycling back in 2000 and is now one of the leading expert Spinning instructors at Scotland’s first indoor cycling studio; LifesCycle.
Josh has been kind enough to allow us to share with you all one of his favourite 45 minute rides, including a track listing that will motivate, inspire and entertain you or the class you teach from start to finish.
We've even included links to each track on Youtube and have created a Spotify playlist for you to use.
This is a great track to warm up to. It starts so calmly and quietly, it makes everyone listen in and stops the pre-class chatter which can create a real air of anticipation, excitement or even fear! The song builds up slowly and by the end everyone should have begun moving steadily and should be ready to take things up a notch.
Raising the Heart Rate
This is quite a short segment which aims to get everyone moving a bit faster and to get their heart rates up, ready to apply some real intensity. Start the track from the beginning as it’s quite short. I normally let them find the tempo (this is set by the beat of the song) for the first 1 minute then push for 2 gear changes within the next minute. After that I’ll go into some jumps for example; 4 times out of the saddle for 8 counts. You can either keep going with the jumps till the end of the track or see out the last minute in the saddle.
I would normally start this track two minutes in as it takes a while to warm up, I would allow 30 sec recovery from the previous track. Everyone should have enough tension on the bike to be able to stand and run, this shows me that everyone is pushing against enough resistance. I then will ask for a constant leg speed between 85-95 rpm with 4 gear changes over the next 90 seconds. Once achieved we all have a 30 sec break, and then start again for 2 minutes. Riders need to choose a leg speed that is comfortable and you choose the size of gear change – you must hold the leg speed you started with.
This is the first of the two big climbs in the ride which will be a long one, 6 minutes. To start with just let the class grab a quick rest and recovery before getting stuck in to the climbing and have them rolling for about a minute. At the one minute mark, just increase the resistance until the rider’s legs slow down to about 60-70 RPM, to the tempo of the music, at this point you should still be seated in Hand Position 1. At the 2 minute mark bring the class out of the saddle and into HP2 and at the 3 minute mark go for HP3 and a big increase in resistance as you hit the steepest part of the climb. Keep them going for 90 seconds, until 4.30 before letting them return to seated. Allow a couple of gears down, but they should still be working right till the end of the track.
This recovery segment is important as its all back uphill from here, so make sure they make the most of it. Let them roll for 1 minute, then re-engage with the bike and increase resistance until they can feel it but are still comfortable. You can ride this flat road with small increases in leg speed and or reistance while always falling back to your initial cadence, this is done above the tempo of the track.
Approaching the Second Climb
This is quite a short one, but is good for bringing the work rate back up again. It’s quite flexible but the track lends itself to coming out the saddle and running during the chorus which kicks in at about 50 seconds and lasts around 25. The key is to maintain a steady cadence when back in the saddle, managing the resistance effectively is imperative.
For this one you’ll want to start the track at 1.00 and get everyone on the beat straight from the start. I like this track because it’s got a steady beat and quite an eerie, dark feel which builds up the suspense and anticipation before the second climb that everyone knows is coming. This time it should definitely be striking fear into your riders rather than exciting them. This is all about cadence with small adjustments to the resistance, road cyclists will love it, as this is a great chance to help them visualise a flat road with slight adjustments to road surface or wind through small resistance adjustments. Cadence is king.
This is a brilliant track to climb to in a spin class. At points it’s very ambient and there are quiet segments where riders can really hear their own heavy breathing and thumping hearbeat as well as that of the cylists around them. This is quite a cruel one, but you should keep the same tempo the whole track, before moving from seated climb, into standing climb H2, then standing climb in H3 through to the end. Start the track 1 minute in to avoid a prolonged awkward silence at the beginning.
I like to reach the summit of the climb to the last 3 and a half minutes of this track, so starting from about 4.30. It fits quite nicely as it’s got a similarly paced deep tempo to the previous song and there aren’t too many layers so the beat that you will be trying to keep up with is really clear and audible. It’s good to give the riders the option of going back into the saddle at the start of track where people who are struggling can keep driving on at the same pace, but anyone who still has anything left in the tank should keep pushing to the line.
What a great one to finish on this is! Take it right down into a gear where the resistance allows you to ride freely. This is a really chirpy and upbeat tune which creates a great contrast to the quite dark sounds we used for the last big climb. Ride out till the end of the track, then do some stretching to wrap up what I hope will have been a challenging and enjoyable session!