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By Jennifer Sage On September 22, 2011 Under Music, Profiles

Today is a sad day for music lovers around the world – it is the end of the band as we know it: R.E.M. is calling it quits after 30 years of working together creating fantastic music. Here is their official announcement on their web site, released today, September 21, 2011. I can hardly blame them, thirty years of working together….wow! But still, it’s a sad day, because they’ve been so instrumental (pun intended) in shaping the music world since the 1980’s, all the while changing right along with it. However, I am sure Michael Stipes and company will continue to create wonderful music on their own.

There are probably few indoor cycling and Spinning® instructors who haven’t used an REM song at some point in their teaching lives.

So, in honor of this amazing group of musicians, I’ve decided to do an all R.E.M. Spinning® class, a profile I’m calling The End of the Band as We Know It! I’ve never done a class with only one group, so this will be interesting. (The closest I came was an almost-all-Michael Jackson class when he passed away. I did find it hard to get through my own class)! But, since R.E.M.’s vast amount of music is so varied, and since the BPM of their songs range from slow climbs to fast flats, I think you can easily get through an hour of R.E.M. without wishing it was over sooner! Top that with the fact that so many people are R.E.M. fans (well, maybe I should qualify that with people “over 40”!) I think you will have a winner of a class on your hands.

The hardest thing about this was to decide which of my favorites to use. I wanted to scan the decades and use some songs that weren’t necessarily their biggest hits yet were still recognizable. I still ended up being heavy on their earlier work, my preference. I invite you to add your own R.E.M. profile to the comments section. We can end up with a lot of fun R.E.M. profiles using a ton of their music!

This profile has two climbs, both start off at slower cadences (steeper) but get harder even though the steepness is reduced because we pick up the cadence on the second half of the climb. There is a 4-min downhill/flat in between. We finish with some flat road high cadence surges for 7 minutes before cooling down.

The End of the Band as We Know It, by Jennifer Sage

Driver 8, Eponymous, 3:24 (160bpm)
Warm-up at 80rpm

Finest Worksong (Mutual Drum Horn Mix), Eponymous, 3:51 (90bpm).
Flat road, approaching the first hill. Let the leg speed pick up to 90rpm, continuing to add little bits of resistance as you warm up.

First Climb:
The One I Love, Eponymous, 3:17 (188bpm)
Start the climb with moderate resistance, cadence at 64rpm. Add a little more each minute, staying seated.
Orange Crush, Green, 3:52 (122bpm)
Cadence slows to 61rpm. Add even more resistance.
All the Right Friends, In Time: The Best of R.E.M., 2:42 (146bpm)
Hill lessens a bit in steepness, but pick up the cadence to 73rpm. Add a little more the second minute, then at 2min, stand to the end.
Don’t go Back to Rockville, Eponymous, 4:32 (152bpm)
Sit and grab the new faster rhythm (76rpm). Sit 45sec, then stand for 15sec for the first 4 minutes.

Radio Free Europe, Eponymous, 3:49 (170bpm)
Remove the hill and let the legs spin downhill at 85rpm for one minute. At the “bottom” of the hill, add a little more resistance for a flat road, maintain at moderately easy pace until the next hill.

Second Climb
Losing My Religion, Out of Time, 4:28 (126bpm)

Like the first hill, it starts out fairly steep. Resistance load (seated) each minute.
Fall on Me, Eponymous, 2:52 (120bpm)
As cadence falls to 60rpm, increase R, stay seated the first minute, then sit/stand 30-sec each until the end of the song.
So. Central Rain, Eponymous, 3:15 (144bpm)
Steepness lessens, cadence rises to 72rpm, take off some resistance so you can load it back on the first few minutes (every 45 sec or so).
Can’t Get There From Here, Eponymous, 3:40 (144bpm)
Sit for 30sec, then stand for 15 sec.

Gardening at Night, Eponymous, 3:30, (164bpm)
Downhill, let the legs spin at 82rpm

The next two songs will be high cadence surges to the bpm of the song. This will raise the heart rate. Recover at whatever cadence desired (slower). Stand for a saddle break during the rests.
Bad Day, In Time: The Best of R.E.M., 4:06 (98bpm)
45 seconds at 98rpm, 15sec easy/slow. Make sure to find a resistance that allows good form seated, but is challenging.
Stand, Green, 3:11 (110bpm)
30 seconds at 110rpm, 30 seconds easy. Resistance will be a little less than the last song.

Half a World Away, Out of Time, 3:28
Everybody Hurts, In Time: The Best of R.E.M., 5:18
Cool down and Stretch


I decided not to use It’s the End of the World as We Know It, because I used that this past May when the world was supposed to end! 😉


2 Comments Add yours

  1. brenda
    October 18, 2011
    8:04 pm #comment-1

    What about man on the moon?

  2. Jennifer Sage
    October 18, 2011
    9:39 pm #comment-2

    That’s a great one too. It’s 60rpm if anyone wants to substitute it.
    Also, What’s the Frequency Kenneth (86bpm)

    There are many other great R.E.M. songs!

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