Best Spinning Climb Songs

When I’m planning out one of my spin classes, I put a lot of time and effort into music selection. Without a doubt the most common complaint I hear about spinning is that it’s “boring.” I totally get where people are coming from because riding on a bike that goes nowhere for 45 minutes or an hour does seem a bit redundant, but a good instructor can make a huge difference and make a class pass by in a flash by creating a solid workout that keeps you challenged and engaged and your body guessing.

Creating a safe, quality workout is my number one priority, but I also pour a lot of time into the playlists I create for my classes because I know a motivating workout playlist can make a huge difference in the level of enjoyment many people get out of a class. I love selecting upbeat music that makes you instantly want to hop off the bike and dance, but I also get a lot of joy out of choosing songs for the climbs I incorporate into my spin classes.

Best Spinning Climb Songs

For a climb, I like music that is slower and just a little more intense. I prefer music that makes you want to dig deep for climbs and below I am sharing some of my all-time favorite songs that I’ve used in my classes that seem to go over well with my class participants.

spinning bike

Best Spinning Climb Songs

Such a cool song! It’s a great one because there are a lot of moments where the music kicks out which oddly seems to help increase intensity and gives me the perfect moment to encourage class participants to push a little harder. The more I’ve used this song for climbs, the more I love it!

This is my all time favorite song to use for a climb! For this song, I guide the class through the first half of the climb in position one and have everyone come up out of the saddle when the beat drops at 3:40 and finish the climb in position three. It’s a slow song to start, but when the beat hits, I love seeing everyone dig deep to finish strong! My classes love this one!

It’s hard not to feel motivated when you’re climbing to a song with these lyrics:

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name

The original version of this song has some curse words, so be sure to look for the clean version if you use it to teach!

If you teach a class that always seems to get into music from the ‘90s, this one is a great one to include. It’s an easy one to get lost in and I’ve even had people scream, “What’s Going On!?” aloud along with the song a time or two which makes things a little more fun! At almost five minutes long, this song allows you to get a little creative and the last 20 seconds slow down significantly, transitioning perfectly into a cool down or active recovery.

This definitely is not a song everyone enjoys, so knowing your audience is important, but I’ll use “Cinema” for a crowd that seems to get into dubstep/EDM music. It’s gritty and intense!

  • Ella Henderson – Ghost

This song is just pretty. Though it’s a newer song, it’s a good one to use in classes where you get a wide variety of ages because it seems to appeal to most people. I’ve had a number of some of my older participants come up to me after class and request the name and artist of this one.

As a big-time fan of classic rock, I may be a little biased toward this song! About 30 seconds in, it really picks up but it continues to ebb and flow through the nearly four and a half minutes, which I love. It’s another one that tends to cross generations and appeals to a variety of class participants.

“Bring Me To Life” is another song that isn’t a hit with everyone. It’s slow and intense but those who enjoy this song really seem to get into it. I am a big-time fan!

More Spinning-Related Posts

Question of the Afternoon

  • Fellow indoor cycling lovers: What are some of your favorite songs to hear during a climb that always make you want to dig a little deeper?


  1. Briana says

    Another good one is “The Pretender” by Foo Fighters. It’s good for a mix for climbs at the slow times, and then it picks up so you can sort of ” shake out your legs” as well!


  2. Erica says

    Undiscovered – Laura Welsh (Fifty Shades of Grey Soundtrack)… a number of the instructors I have taken have used it.


  3. Rina says

    Thanks for the ideas, I always need ideas for climb songs. Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera have some good ones. Also, Jay-Z for a change of pace. And I love Ghost by Ella Henderson.


  4. Erja says

    Nice list Julie! Definitely some songs that are out of my comfort zone for spin, but then again, pushing our own as well as our participants’ boundaries is half the point, right?

    Some of my current and all time climb favorites are:
    Thunderstruck – AC/DC
    Crazy in Love – Beyonce
    Sexy and I know it – LMFAO (Haha, why not!)
    Hella Good – No Doubt
    Keep It Moving – Empire Cast
    Verge – Owl City
    Moan – Trentemoller


    • Ann Kelly says

      Thunderstruck is also great for jumps! Everytime they say thunder, you are out of the saddle.
      Other favourites of mine are
      Freedom (from Django unchained)
      zombie by the Cranberries
      And for a classical track Carl Orff – O Fortuna – Carmina Burana – great for resistance loading


  5. Kim from MN says

    Love this post, having trouble reading the comments (and typing this comment) because the IAMs video ad keeps forcing my scroll back to the ad’s location on this page. Not sure why that is, must be something in the ad’s programming, but just an FYI. It did that while I was trying to read your post too – no less than 6 times while typing these few sentences. I’m all for ad revenue, just don’t want it to impact the ability read your awesome posts


  6. Rachel Zuckman says

    I also LOVE LOVE LOVE “Code Name Vivaldi” by the Piano guys.

    I ALWAYS get asked about this song at the end of the class

    I do like Seven Nations Army by White Strips as well

    Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson

    If you’ve got a crowd that will get into the song “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey

    “not afraid” and “Lose yourself” by Eminem (just make sure you get the Clean versions;)


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