The Tour de France is an epic endurance event comprised of miles and miles of perseverance and dedication with a series of high-intensity breakaways, break-throughs and bursts of energy. Just like life, it can be a struggle but the one who can push the hardest and recover the quickest will win.
No matter your experience in the saddle, indoor cycling is a good and safe way to prep you for any outdoor route. When riding inside, you can focus on your form, teach your body proper alignment, and discover how to generate maximum power.
Inside, you make your engine (your legs, lungs and heart) stronger for the outside ride. The muscles that you recruit in your legs are your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Most people tend to be quad-dominant however it is most efficient and effective to balance all three equally. Meanwhile, the upper body should be relaxed and primarily used for balance (and steering outside).
Putting it all together — and getting comfortable pushing your body through the tough stretches — can be tough. But scientific studies have proven music to be performance enhancing in sports, and it’s extremely important in studio cycling for an extra boost of motivation.
“I am meticulous about finding songs that will pump you up as well as sync rhythmically to the RPM (revolutions per minute), says DailyBurn trainer Justin Rubin. [NOTE: BPM or beats per minute = 1/2 of the RPM] “When I teach I tell my class, ‘Don’t apologize for riding in rhythm, it’s the same workout either way, but this way is more fun…and with a little extra swagger!’”
Rubin notes that inspiring music is all around us. “I gather my music from every day life, in movies, commercials, the gym, Spotify, iTunes, social media, etc,” he says. “I like to have a balance of current and throw back, hip-hop and dance, house and rock. As a musician myself, (bass player raised in New Orleans) I listen to the beat and energy first and then notice the singer and lyrics second.” His playlists tend to gravitate towards positive energy, fun remixes and motivating beats that can create a moving meditation.
Here’s Justin’s playlist for this week, in honor of the final days of the Tour. “I hope it makes your cycling fun and effective,” he says.
Workout Playlist: Tour de France Cycling Mix
Good Life by One Republic
RPM: 95 (BPM is twice RPM), warm-up
Rebel Beat by The Goo Goo Dolls
RPM: 80-85, jog
Bailando by Enrique Inglesias
RPM: 85-90, we’re adding wind resistance
Something Bigger, Something Better by Amanda Blank
RPM: 70, begin climbing hill one, steady patient climb (song 1 of 3 for hill climb)
Radioactive- The Dirty Tees Mix by Imagine Dragons Mix
RPM: 65, continue on the hill, add a little resistance, 2 1-minute breakaways (pedal faster) (song 2 of 3 for hill climb)
This Is What It Feels Like by Armin van Buuren
RPM: 65, second half first hill, break away to the top for 60 seconds; therefore first hill has 3 1-minute breakaways (song 3 of 3 for hill climb)
Back That Thang Up by Juvenile
RPM: 100 in rhythm, active recovery at the top of the hill, “celebration station” —“Life is full of struggles and celebrations,” says Rubin. “We struggled to the top of that hill and now we celebrate.”
House Tabata by Tabata Songs
RPM: 95, 20-second intervals followed by 10-second recovery, wind sprints
When Love Takes Over by David Guetta
RPM: 65, start of next hill, steady patient climb, 3 minutes (song 1 of 2 for hill climb)
I Need Your Love by Calvin Harris
RPM: 65, 2 1-minute break away to the top (song 2 of 2 for hill climb)
Beautiful Pain by Eminem
RPM: 85, active recovery 30 seconds, 3-minute jog
Animals- Summer Remix by Hadon Sky
RPM: 65, final hill, game face on, climb for 3 minutes (song 1 of 2 for hill climb)
Summer by Calvin Harris
RPM: 65, final song, final climb, three 30-second breakaways to the top and the finish line (song 2 of 2 for hill climb)
Kings and Queens (acoustic version, unplugged) by Thirty Seconds to Mars
Easy pedaling with little to no resistance, recovery, bring heart rate down
Want to workout anytime, anyplace? Justin Rubin’s True Beginner program will help you start out or start over, no gym required.