Building the Beats: Creating the Soundtrack to your Ride

Let’s be honest…a kick-ass playlist can make or break a workout. We’ve all taken those exercise classes, the ones where the music can only be described as uninspiring (okay, downright lame).

Indoor cycling is not for the faint of heart—it’s intense and challenges you (that’s why you can burn 500+ calories in one hour). From the moment you walk through the door, you need to feel inspired to be your best…that you’ll not only survive, but conquer.

There’s no question that the blasting beats at SHiFT Cycling are what help to elevate our classes to an epic level! A proper playlist is what keeps our hearts pounding, legs moving and souls thriving through each hour long class. Even with all of the motivational reminders during our rides and how hard I’ll push you, there’s so much extra power in fun, relatable, heart pumping music that can be the magic dust to push you past your limits.

One of the most critical parts of my job as an instructor is to create the soundtrack for your ride. It’s the roadmap for the entire class. We have to carefully choreograph each song to not only set a mood, but to also push you to your limits—climbs, jumps, sprints, intervals, sculpting—all based on the beats of the song. I like to think of it as great choreography + great music = a kick-ass work out.

But getting more into my “formula,” there are a few key elements to my equation:

With different themes in mind for each ride, each playlist is created to take SHiFTer’s on a journey of happiness, self discovery, empowerment and fun. I think about what’s going on around me and in my client’s lives and relationships to help build each playlist to be diverse.

First, I choose the warm up song, something that inspires a vibe and power from within.  It’s like a wave, you want to catch it and ride it the whole class.

Next, the playlist becomes a mix of pop, hip-hop, dance music and some very fun mixes and mashups of popular songs (the only genre rarely played is country as it isn’t the easiest to cycle too). Each of our bad ass instructors brings a different blend of music to the studio, from Iggy Azalea, The Proclaimers, Bruno Mars and even some Whitney Houston, to challenge you.

And then there’s the last two songs of the ride. These are meant to speak to you and your journey. I’ll talk you through the class, reminding you to focus and keep going. This is where I select messages like “I’m on top of the world” and “I’m gonna get better” because I want you to take this feeling with you—you did it. You’ll leave the studio knowing that you SHiFTed towards a change for the better and hey, bonus—you had a sh*tload of fun rockin’ out!

If you want to stay inspired when you’re not at SHiFT, whether you’re in your car, at your desk or doing another workout, follow our SHiFTCycling Tunes Spotify playlists!