Why do your participants show up to your group fitness class? That’s one of the hardest questions to answer, but one of the most critical for personalizing and tailoring your spin class routine for your audience. I was able to attend two separate spinning classes this month with two very different types of people, and I took away some great spin class routine ideas to share with you.
What I found most interesting from the two spin classes I took were how the style of instruction differed, and how my friends and fellow participants reacted to each class. The first was a dream for all my data heads out there. You plugged your stats into the bike, and then as you rode, the bike would let you know if you were working in the ideal range. My engineer, number-crunching fiancé loved it. He told me he much preferred that to the motivational rides that tap into your feelings. After that ride, I felt like I needed to focus on spin class routine ideas that cater to the numbers and stats.
But then I went to the second class with two inspiring, emotionally-driven friends. Familiar with spin classes, they told me they just wanted a dark room where the music was on fire and they could just let go. We went to Flywheel class where there were some numbers to look at, but it mostly focused on the high-energy music with an instructor that had a personality to match. Also interesting was that the Flywheel class has a “torq” board you can sign up for that will flash on the screen so you can race your fellow participants. In my class, only one other girl participated with me, while there was a handful of men on the board. Yet, the class had at least a dozen other women in the room that did not want to be on the board. If I just had that one experience to pull from, I would think I needed to focus on spin class routine ideas that catered to good music and inspiring directions.
This just even further complicates the question of why people are coming to your spin class. Ultimately, everyone comes for a different reason, seeking a different experience. It’s up to you to find your own style and own it, even if it’s not one everyone likes. So, we need to make sure we’re constantly evolving and changing up our spin class routine in order to cater to the wide-range of needs in a given class.
If you’re looking for 45-minute spin class routine ideas, here are a bunch of class-approved playlists and routines to try.
As you know, I like to teach my spinning classes in a series of exercises that we do twice or three times through, depending on the series. So, I pick a couple exercises to make up my series, and we stick to it throughout the class. That way, participants know what to expect, so they can go big when they’re supposed to and not hold back for fear of another interval around the corner.
Spin Class Routine Ideas #1: Fast Feet
- Song 1: “Seated climb + 30-second sprint”. Keeping feet fast (to pace of music), increase resistance starting moderate and ending hard intensity. Then, 30-second breathless sprint at the end.
- Song 2: “Seated climb + 45-second sprint”. Keeping feet fast (to pace of music), increase resistance starting moderate and ending hard intensity. This time, the 45-second sprint happens in the middle. “Force” the recovery by continuing to climb afterwards while working at a lower intensity.
- Song 3: “Seated climb + 60-second sprint”. Keeping feet fast (to pace of music), increase resistance starting moderate and ending hard intensity. Finally, do the 60-second sprint at the beginning. Afterwards, “force” the recovery continuing to work, but at a pace and intensity level that allows you to catch your breath. At the end of each series of three songs, allow for a full recovery with a towel and water break.
The Fast Feet Playlist
- Livin’ on a Prayer, by Bon Jovi [Warm-up]
- HandClap, by Fitz and the Tantrums [Song 1]
- Bad Reputation, by Joan Jett [Song 2]
- Hey Ya!, by OutKast [Song 3]
- Just a Girl, by No Doubt [Song 1]
- She’s Out of Her Mind, by Blink-182 [Song 2]
- The Greatest, by Sia [Song 3]
- She Works Hard for the Money, by Donna Summer [Song 1]
- Walking on Sunshine, by Katrina & The Waves [Song 2]
- I’m Still Standing, by Elton John [Song 3]
- Loving You Easy, by Zac Brown Band [Cool Down]
Spin Class Routine Ideas #2: Crushing Climbs
- Song 1: Climb. Start at a flat road resistance in moderate intensity. Then, add resistance, while maintaining RPM or pace, until you end in hard intensity.
- Song 2: Climb continues. Once you have enough resistance on the bike where it feels like you have to stand in order to keep up that RPM, then stand. You should have plenty of resistance under your feet. Then, continue the climb ending in a harder intensity (but not breathless).
- Song 3: 20/20/20 intervals. For the first 20 seconds, participants will strive for breathless intensity (a.k.a. sprint) for 20 seconds seated. Then, they’ll do the same thing standing for 20 seconds at breathless intensity. Finally, they’ll recover for 20 seconds standing or seated. I usually do this twice in a row, and allow them a longer break in the middle (typically around 40 seconds). Then, I’ll do one more 20/20/20 interval, or two if there’s enough time left in the song.
- Song 4: 30/30 intervals. The last exercise we did was 30/30 intervals with increased resistance. So, participants would hold breathless intensity for 30 seconds, then recover for 30 at moderate intensity. Right before each interval, I asked the class to add some resistance, so that it felt like they continued to “climb” with each sprint.
Crushing Climbs Playlist
- You Make Me Feel, by Cobra Starship [Warm-up]
- Rebel Yell, by Billy Idol [Song 1]
- Separate Ways, by Journey [Song 2]
- Without You, by David Guetta [Song 3]
- Heartbreaker, by Pat Benatar [Song 4]
- Clarity, by Zedd [Song 1]
- Back in the Saddle, by Aerosmith [Song 2]
- Dirty Deeds, by AC/DC [Song 3]
- Can’t Stop the Feeling, by Justin Timberlake [Song 4]
- In the Air, by Phil Collins [Cool Down]
Spin Class Routine Ideas #3: Climb & Sprint Combo
This time, we did a 5-song series:
- Song 1: climb + 30 second sprint at the end
- Song 2: climb + 45 second sprint at the end
- Song 3: climb + 1-minute sprint at the end
- Song 4: moderate pace/intensity with hard intensity surges at the chorus. Can be a mix of leg speed and resistance increases.
- Song 5: surprise sprints. The instructor calls out an intensity (hard or breathless) and a duration (30 seconds). When you say “go”, we’re off to the races.
If the bikes in your Group X classes have monitors, this is an easy lesson plan to incorporate the monitors, as well. Instead of doing 30 second, 45 second and 1-minute sprints in each series, devote each series to one amount of time. Say, 30 seconds for the first one, then 45 seconds for the second and 1 minute for the last one. With each sprint in a series, have the participants do the same amount of time, and track the distance they cover on that first sprint. From there, set a goal for members to try to beat that distance when they do the sprint in the next two songs.
So, in the first series, participants are sprinting for 30 seconds, tracking their time, then sprinting for 30 seconds in the next two songs and trying to beat their distance. After the first series is over, start fresh tracking the distance traveled in 45 seconds, and so on.
Climb & Sprint Combo Playlist
- Let’s Ride, by Kid Rock [Warm-up]
- I Love Rock N’ Roll, by Joan Jett [Song 1]
- Wherever I Go, by OneRepublic [Song 2]
- Our Own House, by Misterwives [Song 3]
- Without You, by David Guetta [Song 4]
- Memory, by Sugarcult [Song 5]
- Communication Breakdown, by Led Zeppelin [Song 1]
- Wild Ones, by Flo Rida [Song 2]
- The Way You Move, by OutKast [Song 3]
- Clarity, by Zedd [Song 4]
- Give Me Everything, by Pitbull [Song 5]
- Hymn for the Weekend, by ColdPlay [Cool Down]
For more suggestions, check out my workout routines and playlists page.
And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich.