Cinco de Mayo is a challenging holiday for group exercise for a couple of reasons. First, there are mixed feelings about the holiday, commemorating a Mexican victory in the Franco-Mexican War. It’s not really celebrated in Mexico, but in the U.S. it’s hugely popular. Second, it’s hard to find the perfect Cinco de Mayo spinning music playlist. Do you play only songs in Spanish? Do you play popular songs in Mexico right now?
Ultimately, the answer lies with your participants. What will they like and appreciate? For my classes, I know that a good mix of songs from a bunch of different genres and themes will be well-received.
Here are the types of songs I included in my Cinco de Mayo spinning music playlist.
- Popular songs in Spanish with a good beat. There are some songs that transcend their borders. Just like I picture Pitbull coming out of speakers across the globe, I know that there are Spanish songs that Americans enjoy. I listened to a couple until I found ones with a workout beat.
- Songs by Mexican Americans. Since Cinco de Mayo is really an American holiday, I figured it didn’t hurt to give special emphasis to Mexican American singers and artists. This includes folks like Santana, Demi Lovato and Fergie.
- Songs related to “Five”. For those of you that know my spin playlist style, I tend to throw in a few wacky songs into the mix. They always get a positive reaction from the crowd, since they’re just a little bit silly, but still provide a good workout. I couldn’t find any songs I liked with “Cinco” in the title, but there were a couple related to “Five” that I wanted to include.
Without further ado, here’s the Cinco de Mayo spinning music playlist.
- Matador, by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
- La Bamba, by Ritchie Valens
- Sky Might Fall, by Kid Cudi
- Smooth, by Santana feat. Rob Thomas
- Die Romantic, by Aiden (guitarist Angel Ibarra is Mexican American)
- A Little Party Never Killed Nobody, by Fergie feat. Q-Tip, GoonRock
- The Glamorous Life, by Sheila E.
- Come & Get It, by Selena Gomez
- Confident, by Demi Lovato
- Testify, by Rage Against the Machine (Zack de la Rocha is Mexican American)
- Blame in on the Boogie, The Jackson 5
- High Five, by Beck (edited version)
I’m still looking for the perfect Selena workout remix to add, so if you find one, please share!
If you liked this list, you’ll also like the St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day spinning music playlists. And, for those already gearing up for Memorial Day, I’ve shared a super fun list of workout songs, as well.
For more playlists, check out the spinning routines page.
And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich.
Spinning songs will make or break your group fitness class. Sure, the exercises, motivational cues, tempo and overall vibe are important, but it’s mission critical to get the music right, or you risk losing return Group X participants. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some great chart-topping hits in 2017, but in the meantime, it’s always fun to toss in a few throwback spinning songs to get the class jamming.
Whether it’s a popular song from 2016 or one from the 80s, it’s always a good idea to think about your audience when choosing songs. After a few classes under your belt, you’ll know whether they prefer Top 40s, rock, instrumental or one of the many other genres out there. Once you know their faves, you’ll want to continue to offer a mix of songs, with a special emphasis on their preferred genres.
I teach evening weekday spinning classes, mostly to professionals at the end of their workday (our gym is right outside a couple corporate buildings). There’s certainly a mix of interests in the class, leaning towards a love of classic rock and the Top 40 pop music.
Here are their favorite spinning songs that they ask for again and again.
- Livin’ on a Prayer, By Bon Jovi — I think this is generally folks’ all-time favorite spinning song!
- You Shook Me All Night Long, By AC/DC — this is another major crowd pleaser in my class.
- Bad Reputation, By Joan Jett — great for sprint/quick feet songs.
- Born to Run, By Bruce Springsteen — this one makes me feel like I’m spinning in a movie.
- Come as You Are, By Nirvana — good for a climb with heavy resistance.
- Communication Breakdown, By Led Zeppelin — this song is a little over two minutes. It’s great when you need to fit a quickie sprint at the end of the class.
- P.Y.T., By Michael Jackson — pretty much any Michael Jackson will do. He gets you in a such a good mood.
- Draw The Line, By Aerosmith — this one doesn’t have a whole lot of vocals, so I like to use for my warm-up when I know I’m going to be doing a LOT of talking.
- Emotions, By Mariah Carey — I LOVE this song. Not everyone does, but worth a try in your next spinning class.
- Heartbreaker, By Pat Benatar — tempo is fast, and lyrics are addicting.
- I Like the Way You Move, By Outkast — I’m not sure if this really counts as a “throwback”, but nothing gets you bobbing to the beat quite like Outkast.
- Livin’ La Vida Loca, By Ricky Martin — this is the kind of song that will surprise your participants, but with an open mind it’s super fun to use for spinning.
- Lose Yourself, By Eminem — another one of those spinning songs on the border of a “throwback”, but I’ve had participants specifically ask for this song before.
- Only Wanna Be With You, By Hootie & The Blowfish — The pace for this is moderate, but it’s a fun song if people know it.
- Pour Some Sugar on Me, By Def Leppard — I was obsessed with this song last year, so I know I overplayed it in my spinning classes, but I promise it’s so good!
- Push It, By Salt-N-Pepa — if you want a change-up from the classic rock, this is a fun throwback for you.
- Survivor, By Destiny’s Child — this is a special one because you can tap into the lyrics for motivation.
I’ve heard other instructors suggest Madonna and Whitney Houston, but I haven’t found the perfect spinning song by either of them to get the group fitness studio rocking. If you have other spinning song suggestions, please send them my way!
For more workout song suggestions, check out the workout routines and playlists page.