Non Sequitur Fridays

The Only Time I Like to Choose the Music

This post is part of our Non Sequitur Fridays series, which will feature a different Wistian's take on a non-Wistia-related topic each week. It's like our "employee of the month" but less "of the month"-y. Danielle Bushrow is a Designer at Wistia. Her last Non Sequitur was about yoga.

One of my most dreaded moments in car rides, casual hangs, or really any social situation is being asked to "just throw on some music." It's never just choosing music - it's asking me to dictate the mood of the moment! In most situations, this is entirely too much responsibility to handle. But, when I get ready to teach a spin class, making the playlist is my favorite part. Here's my formula:

The radio favorite

I like to start the class with a warm-up to something upbeat and familiar. A good radio hit eases you into the class, because most people know what's coming in the song. I use these sparingly because they get old quickly, but the best feeling is hearing a little "yes!" escape someone hearing their jam come on.

The remix to the overplayed song

To stretch my top hit allowance, I find remixes of popular songs for something that's familiar, but fresh. A lot of these also have great drops, which are awesome for hitting the lights and breaking into a blacklight-only sprint.

The new release that I just know is about to be a hit

One of the best things to be asked after a class is "what was the name of that song?" I love to keep up with new music, and if someone can get a good workout and find their new jam in my class, then my job here is done.

The under-appreciated throwback

There are three types of throwback songs: the one I'm happy faded out (anything Sean Paul), the default throwback in everyone's party playlist that I'm still happy to hear (This is How We Do It), and the one that I forgot existed then can't get over. My favorite are the last kind.

The niche-pleasing hip-hop song

Sometimes you end up bonding over Gang Starr; sometimes you end up rapping alone. It's a gamble I'm willing to take to give my class some of my personality.

The Beyoncé polyjuice potion

You know those songs that make you feel like hot stuff on the dance floor? Well, they also make you move on a bike. A workout that feels more like a dance is sure to put a little pep in your pedal.

The vibe shifter

After building the intensity for most of the class, I like to diffuse it a bit with a different genre before building it up again to the end.

The triumphant finish

I like the second-to-last song of class to feel like the end of a movie, when all of the problems get solved at once and everything in the world is perfect. We're almost at the finish line, and I want it to feel like it in the most dramatic way possible. This is usually the point in the class that I start ranting about being present in the moment and singing off-key about how we're still young and can fly. Lots of endorphin-induced feels.

The EDM song with the dirty drop

I save the longest sprints for the last song of class to really empty everyone's gas tanks. These go best with songs that really build in a way that fuses with your muscle fibers, then explode in a way that your legs can't help but sprint to.

The cooldown

The cooldown and stretch should feel mellow, but shouldn't put the class to sleep. I like something that still has a driving beat.

I update my class every week on Rdio. What songs are on your workout playlist?

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