I am extremely excited to have Jen Percival (a.k.a as “Jen P” in the Flywheel community) guest post today’s “Fitness Friday” post. The first few times I took Jen P’s class, I could sum it up by sweating more than I ever had before. I kept returning not only for a killer workout, but always because I couldn’t get enough of her music and her motivational pep talks as we’re climbing those hills.
A proud Brooklyn girl, Jen knew she found her workout of choice once she tried Flywheel, where she became addicted to achieving her personal best power numbers and gained focus and confidence in herself. She also loved the community of riders and instructors who were genuinely interested in helping her achieve her goals. Flywheel quickly became her “happy place” and since making the transition from avid rider to instructor two years ago, she hasn’t looked back! Jen hopes to inspire riders to set their goals and to find the joy in this type of workout. Off the bike, Jen is a musical theatre performer and has sung all over the world. She is also pursuing a career in speech-language pathology and expects to commence graduate studies in Fall 2016.
Take it away Jen:
After class, I get lots of questions from riders about the mechanics of a Flywheel ride, for example: “How do I get my RPMs up?” and “What in the world does that current power number mean? However most of the questions and conversations that I have with folks outside the stadium revolve around MUSIC – the songs you loved that I played in class, what particular tune got you motivated, what you’d like to hear more of. The music that each instructor chooses for a 45 or 60 minute playlist helps set the overall vibe of the class and allows us to fuse our personality with Flywheel’s challenging and highly effective indoor cycling technique. So I’ve shared some tips on how we build those killer playlists that you ride to in the stadium:
We are music junkies – The key to having great music is having LOTS of it. Flywheel instructors are always on the lookout for the newest releases and remixes and we use everything from iTunes to SoundCloud to music blogs to find great music. We also use each other – I have received so many great songs from fellow instructors. We LOVE mashups, which are remixes comprised of two (or more) songs, and can be a great way to play an old and a new tune at the same time. Finally, I am constantly challenging myself to expand my music library into different genres of music…right now I am discovering the world of country music and am enjoying all of the great songs that I’m finding!
Know thy time slot – Making a playlist is definitely not a “one size fits all” situation – I tailor my playlists to suit the time of day that I’m teaching (morning vs. evening) and also the demographic of my riders. I also make sure that my playlists include a song or two that, as one instructor described it, “if you played that song at a wedding, every guest, from age 5 to 95 would be on the dance floor”.
Mix it up – Unless I am doing a theme ride that focuses on a particular artist or genre, I need to make sure my playlists represent various styles of music. The music also has to be rhythmically diverse – you would kill me if every song was a 40 r.p.m. hill! Expect to hear hip-hop, pop, rock, alternative, singer-songwriters, dance, soul and yes, a little musical theatre from time to time in my class as we do hills, jogs and sprints.
Play music you LOVE – When I started teaching I made a promise to myself to only play music that I loved. If I don’t like it, I can’t play it. I need to be able to motivate my riders to give their very best every class, and part of how I do that is by choosing music that I genuinely connect to and that makes my riders not only work harder, but also smile and sing along to! I hope that this gives you some insight into how we make our playlists!
Speaking of which..I better run and make a playlist for tonight’s class! See you on a bike!