Spinning without music? For many die-hard indoor cyclists, that's hard to imagine. After all, the right beats can be a real support when you really have to grit your teeth in the saddle again.
Even spinning inventor Jonathan "Jonny G" Goldberg recognized the advantages of music during his first training sessions on the indoor bike: With the right sound in his ears, he and his training partners could pedal longer and more intensively, so that spinning and music were inseparable from then on.
As a rule of thumb, spinning songs should be in the 120 to 150 beats per minute (bpm) range to keep you pedaling to the beat. If you prefer to pedal to high resistance, songs with significantly less BpM are a good choice. (See the end of this article for a suggested playlist).
But does the music really motivate or is it all more imagination? And what criteria actually make up the perfect spinning sound?
Science attributes a motivating effect to background music during training. The sports physician Marcelo Bigliassi and his colleagues were able to prove that music has a positive effect even before the training session begins. In the case of the runners tested for the study, the perceived tiredness disappeared thanks to music, even before they had gone on the track.
This effect can be explained by the stimulating effect of the sounds on the entire human nervous system. Whereas the body was just resting and busy regenerating and digesting, the appropriate sound now accelerates the heart rate and increases the release of adrenaline.
If one transfers the results of the study published in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" to the fitness area, one can assume: It's the music that gets the endurance athlete ready for spinning.
Music also has a measurable effect on our performance during spinning. It has a stimulating effect, the performance curve rises. One of the causes is that our brain associates positive feelings with pleasant sounds, which results in an increased release of endorphins. These ensure that our pain tolerance increases and we perceive symptoms such as exhaustion and muscle pain less strongly. However, with increased exertion, the physical symptoms regain the upper hand.
The trainee therefore has no choice but to motivate himself again in order to endure the effort on the bike.
Basically, your favourite songs are the best way to really get going on the spinning bike. Our personal top songs create particularly positive associations in us, which gives us an extra charge of happy hormones.
But there are also a few other things to consider when choosing the right spinning music. For example, it depends on how you train: Long endurance rides for conditioning and heart health, crisp sprints for strength endurance, or varied interval training?
Not every beat is suitable for every method. However, as a rule of thumb, songs should be in the 120 to 150 beats per minute (BpM) range in order to pedal in time with the music. Songs with significantly less BpM are primarily suitable for particularly high resistance. To make your next round in the saddle a complete success, here's a short top spinning playlist for a varied interval workout.
Justin Bieber feat. Ludacris - "All Around the World" (130 BPM)
Swedish House Mafia & John Martin - "Don't You Worry Child" (128 BPM)
One Republic - "I Lived" (120 BPM)
Fritz Kalkbrenner - "Wes" (125 BpM)
LMFAO - "Party Rock Anthem" ( 130 BpM)
Empire of the Sun - "Half Mast" (127 BpM)
Faithless - "Insomnia" (132 BpM)
Also eligible: Skrillex & Sirah - "Bangarang" (109 BPM), Maroon 5 - "This Love" (95 BpM) and Alex Claire - "Treading Water" (180 BpM).