Ever wonder what goes into making a playlist for a 45 minute cycle class? 

The short answer; A LOT!

Each coach has a unique method to their madness, but one thing that is true to each ride is that there is a ton of effort that goes into to every class. Here at RISE31, we really take into account that the music drives a large portion of the class and will set the tone from that very first song. So, what does it really take to link each song together to have the class flow so seamlessly?

Personally, I have been putting these playlists together for over a decade and it is one element to my classes that I take a lot of pride in. The biggest challenge I find is putting together 45 minutes of music that everyone can enjoy. It is impossible, but I give it my best shot with each ride. With all different age groups, with different tastes in music, who are motivated differently, finding that sweet spot where each individual can connect to something in those 45 minutes is the true battle. One thing that I’ve constantly tried to implement in my classes is an eclectic playlist that doesn’t lean in any one direction. However, if I can’t connect to it, it will be felt among my students and the delivery will be inauthentic. 

Fortunately, I love many styles of music. I grew up listening to what my parents listened to. My dad had a rule in the car that forced my brother and I to get acquainted with some oldies but goodies. I’d reach for the radio to change the station and my dad would quickly turn it back and say “My car, my radio.” At the time, I didn’t like it, but now I’m grateful that my dad opened my eyes and ears to a world of music that I wasn’t able to enjoy live. Both my parents have shared stories with me about seeing these timeless bands are artists live and what an experience it was to witness such greatness unfold. I truly believe that my generation missed out on some of the greatest music of all time. So now, I slip these one-hit wonders into my playlists from time to time and the energy is felt throughout the room. Nothing beats having a room full of riders attempting to find their breath while singing along to your playlist.

So, how do we do it? How do we come up with high-energy, motivating, inspiring and fun rides each week? Without boring you with the fine-tuned details, here are a few of my personal methods behind the music:

1.    I find my songs first. Spotify has been a game changer in the fitness industry. My brother actually convinced me to make the switch from iTunes and it was the best thing I ever did for myself regarding playlist making. Not only is it extremely inexpensive at just $10 a month for unlimited music, it is so easy to search for songs and put playlists together. Each Friday, Spotify releases new music and puts a playlist together unique to what I’m currently listening to. How genius! I use this playlist along with another Spotify playlist created weekly of new releases quite often, but there’s hundreds of different outlets to choose from.

2.    My playlists tend to lean in the direction of my emotions. It’s actually pretty funny that whatever is going on in my life at that moment tends to outline my ride. The best part about this is that if I’m feeling it, my students will too regardless of what they are going through. As previously stated, if I can connect to it, the delivery will 9 out of 10 times be relatable to everyone. The more authentic and real your coach is, the better off the all-around experience will be for the students regardless of their taste in music.

3.    Once I have a selection of songs I know I want to play, then I map out the ride. This for me is actually a much smoother process than the song selection. There is a structure here at RISE31 that we all use to put our rides together, but within those guidelines we are given a ton of freedom which is a beautiful gift as a coach. Without giving away all our secrets, I can tell you that there is a science behind what we do. It’s smart and safe for each participant to warm up properly, build up into some strenuous hills and sprints, connect to their why for showing up and finish off strong to feel that complete sense of accomplishment for their efforts.

There you have it in a nutshell and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the intimate process that each coach goes through to deliver that world class ride that you’ll remember forever. To all the coaches, we thank you for putting your heart out there so vulnerably each time you’re up on that podium. To our beloved students that show up week after week, thank you for trusting us and allowing us to share ourselves with you through our rides. At the end of the day, we are all here to connect and feel something that moves us. With the blend of banging beats and endorphins flying high, there’s no better way to start, end or take a break in your day.

Come clip in, rock out and ride with us! 7 days a week, morning, noon and night. We got you!

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