Best Music for Cycling Class

Updated on February 6, 2019
My Bell profile image

Marcelle has a degree in Journalism. She is also a certified spin instructor, where she shares her passion for fitness and music.

Tom Petty. Faengslet, Horsens, Denmark.
Tom Petty. Faengslet, Horsens, Denmark. | Source

I compile and update a list of inspiring songs every year for my annual "resolution" indoor cycling class. As a certified spin instructor, I choreograph challenging indoor cycling rides matched with inspiring and fun music. Below is a list of what I consider to be some of the best motivational songs. Songs from this playlist can help motivate you to meet your fitness goals and life goals!

Best Music for a Motivating Cycle Class

  1. "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
  2. "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
  3. "Dig In" by Lenny Kravitz
  4. "Hall of Fame" by The Script ft. Will.I.Am
  5. "I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  6. "Second Chance" by Shinedown
  7. "Dream On" by Aerosmith
  8. "Now We Are Free" by Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard
  9. "Dreams" by Van Halen
  10. "Roll With The Changes" by REO Speedwagon
  11. "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey
  12. "My Sacrifice" by Creed
  13. "Changes" by David Bowie
  14. "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi
  15. "Whip It" by Devo
  16. "Remember the Name" by Fort Minor ft. Styles of Beyond
  17. "Dare You To Move" by Switchfoot
  18. "Right Now" by Van Halen

1. "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor

Aside from the lyrics, the images of Rocky training for that big fight are motivation alone. This song from the Rocky soundtrack evokes the struggle and endurance needed to stick with it!

Risin' up, straight to the top,

Had the guts, got the glory,

Went the distance now I'm not gonna stop,

Just a man and his will to survive.

— Survivor, "Eye of the Tiger"

2. "Lose Yourself" by Eminem

This powerful and motivating song opens with a deep question. The lyrics then continue on to illustrate how we struggle through our fears in order to work toward a dream or goal. Always move forward toward that dream or goal. Do not let obstacles stand in your way. The song ends with a lyric that is simple, but truly powerful.

If you had one shot,

Or one opportunity,

To seize everything you ever wanted,

One moment,

Would you capture it or just let it slip . . .

You can do anything you set your mind to.

— Eminem, "Lose Yourself"

3. "Dig In" by Lenny Kravitz

It is not enough to just have a goal. You must dig in and persevere in order to attain it. The lyrics in this song inspire us to persevere and give it our all!

It’s time to face and come-on in and join the party,

Life has been waiting for you to care,

When the mountain is high,

Just look up to the sky,

Ask God to teach you,

Then persevere with a smile.

— Lenny Kravitz, "Dig In"

4. "Hall of Fame" by The Script ft. Will.I.Am

You can be anything or do anything you set your mind to. These lyrics challenge you to be a champion in your own hall of fame.

The lyrics then go on to pay tribute to individuals who have been champions in their professions or life roles, including students, teachers, preachers, astronauts, politicians, and leaders.

You can throw your hands up,

You can beat the clock (yeah),

You can move a mountain,

You can break rocks,

You can be a master,

Don't wait for luck,

Dedicate yourself and you gon' find yourself.

— The Script ft. Will.I.Am, "Hall of Fame"

5. "I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

This tune reminds us to stand up for what we believe in. The late Tom Petty and his band sang, “Hey baby, there’s no easy way out,” as they stand up to what life throws their way.

You could stand me up at the gates of hell,

But I won’t back down . . .

Well I know what’s right, I got just one life,

In a world that keeps pushin’ me around,

But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down.

— Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, "I Won't Back Down"

6. "Second Chance" by Shinedown

Everyone deserves a second chance. This song is about moving on, saying goodbye to an old life, saying goodbye to bad habits, and moving forward. It begins softly and builds nicely for a powerful finish.

Sometimes goodbye is a second chance,

Here’s my chance,

This is my chance . . .

— Shinedown, "Second Chance"

7. "Dream On" by Aerosmith

Even when life has passed you by, even if you’ve struggled, even if you’ve stalled in your life goals or dreams, keep on pursuing that dream. This classic tune delivers plenty of inspiration.

You’ve got to lose to know how to win . . .

Dream until your dream comes true.

— Aerosmith, "Dream On"

8. "Now We Are Free" by Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard

Australian born singer, Lisa Gerrard, collaborated with Hans Zimmer on the Gladiator film soundtrack for this song. This complex track gradually builds and is especially inspiring when Gerrard sings in her own “invented” language. The quote below is from her IMDB website profile.

I sing in the language of the Heart. It’s an invented language that I've had for a very long time. I believe I started singing in it when I was about 12. Roughly that time. And I believed that I was speaking to God when I sang in that language.

— Lisa Gerard

9. "Dreams" by Van Halen

Let adversity, whether it is in your workouts or your personal life, inspire you to move forward. The lyrics speak to this.

The music video features the Blue Angels, the United States Navy's flight demonstration squadron, whose mission is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps.

World turns black and white,

Pictures in an empty room,

Your love starts fallin' down,

Better change your tune,

Reach for the golden ring,

Reach for the sky,

Baby just spread your wings.

We'll get higher and higher straight up we'll climb,

We'll get higher and higher leave it all behind.

— Van Halen, "Dreams"

10. "Roll With The Changes" by REO Speedwagon

Rather than live with the same story that has kept you from moving forward, embrace change. You can always do something to better yourself. Change can be a catalyst for that.

I knew it had to happen, felt the tables turnin'

Got me through my darkest hour

I heard the thunder clappin', felt the desert burnin'

Until you poured on me like a sweet sunshower

— REO Speedwagon, "Roll With The Changes"

11. "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey

These are some of the most well-known song lyrics in the rock world. They tell the unassuming story of a couple of kids working towards their dreams. Their path is not easy and the competition is fierce, but the song reminds them to keep on believing in their dreams.

Some will win,

Some will lose,

Some are gonna sing the blues . . .

Don’t stop believin’,

Hold on to that feelin’.

— Journey, "Don't Stop Believin'"

12. "My Sacrifice" by Creed

This song builds and provides a wonderful track to get that heart pumping. The inspirational lyrics advise that you cannot do it all alone. By letting a friend or God into your heart, you will be free.

When you are with me, I’m free,

I’m careless, I believe,

Above all the others we’ll fly.

— Creed, "My Sacrifice"

13. "Changes" by David Bowie

Practice introspection and you'll see what changes you need to make. Life moves forward, but there is always time for changes.

I still don't know what I was waiting for,

And my time was running wild,

A million dead-end streets,

And every time I thought I'd got it made,

It seemed the taste was not so sweet,

So I turned myself to face me.

— David Bowie, "Changes"

14. "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi

There is no better time than today to mold your life into what you envision. You are in charge of your life and you must stand your ground, stick to your convictions, and move forward to a better you.

This is for the ones who stood their ground,

For Tommy and Gina, never backed down,

Tomorrow's getting hard make no mistake,

Luck ain't even lucky,

Got to make your owns breaks.

It's my life,

It's now or never,

I ain't gonna live forever,

I just want to live while I'm alive.

— Bon Jovi, "It's My Life"

15. "Whip It" by Devo

Motivational, but with a jolt of good humor, this song inspires us to just get with it. Its basic message is to just do it, to get going with that workout, that goal, or whatever it is you need to change in your life.

When a problem comes along,

You must whip it.

Before the cream sits out too long,

You must whip it.

When something's going wrong,

You must whip it.

Now whip it,

Into shape,

Shape it up,

Get straight,

Go forward,

Move ahead,

Try to detect it,

It's not too late,

To whip it,

Whip it good.

— Devo, "Whip It"

16. "Remember the Name" by Fort Minor ft. Styles of Beyond

These lyrics break down what it takes to achieve success. Its fighting beat will keep you moving!

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.

— Fort Minor ft. Styles of Beyond, "Remember the Name"

17. "Dare You to Move" by Switchfoot

An inspirational intervention challenges or dares you to pick up the pieces and move forward. Sometimes, life lets you down, but rather than just giving up, use that defeat as inspiration to move forward.

Welcome to the planet,

Welcome to existence,

Everyone’s here . . .

What happens next,

I dare you to move,

I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor.

— Switchfoot, "Dare You To Move"

18. "Right Now" by Van Halen

Van Halen makes an appearance again on this list. These powerful lyrics are paired with an award winning music video featuring social messages that are still relevant today. This song is filled with inspirational and motivational lyrics.

Don't wanna wait 'til tomorrow,

Why put it off another day,

One by one, little problems,

Build up and stand in our way (oh),

One step ahead, one step behind it,

Now ya gotta run to get even,

Make future plans, I'll dream about yesterday (hey),

Come on turn, turn this thing around,

Hey! It's your tomorrow (Right now),

Come on, it's everything (Right now),

Catch your magic moment,

Do it right here and now,

It means everything.

— Van Halen, "Right Now"

Sources

1 "Lisa Gerrard Biography." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2015. <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0314713/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm>.

Questions & Answers

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      • My Bell profile imageAUTHOR

        Marcelle Bell 

        4 years ago

        Thanks, Melissa! Try "Now We Are Free" by Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard that's listed above. It's sort of instrumental in that the words seem more like a chant and are not understandable at all, like they are part of the music. It is from the Gladiator soundtrack. It builds nicely and I find it very motivating just from the beat and build up.

      • melissae1963 profile image

        Melissa Reese Etheridge 

        4 years ago from Tennessee, United States

        Great selections. Thank you for such a thorough list. I really don't like lyrics when I work out, but I love a good steady beat. Any suggestions on music without lyrics?

      • My Bell profile imageAUTHOR

        Marcelle Bell 

        4 years ago

        You should give a spin class a try, Bill. If you love music, you might just find that you like those spin classes with the right instructor. Thanks for the kind comment and glad that I could get that song stuck in your head :).

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        4 years ago from Olympia, WA

        I know nothing about spin class, but I know something about music, and this is a great list of motivational music. Thanks...now I'll be singing "Eye of the Tiger" all morning long. :)

      • My Bell profile imageAUTHOR

        Marcelle Bell 

        4 years ago

        Thanks for your great comment, Word55! Glad you like my music taste - it's a little all over. I agree that every kind of music affects people uniquely. I can almost always place a memory or a time with a song.

      • My Bell profile imageAUTHOR

        Marcelle Bell 

        4 years ago

        Thank you Gia! You should definitely add some of these tunes to your workout time. They are great to listen too even taking a walk.

      • word55 profile image

        Al Wordlaw 

        4 years ago from Chicago

        Great hit selections here My Bell. I love greatly arranged music of all kinds. You presented them and videos here. I arrange music and I can appreciate your taste. Every kind of music affects people differently and majorly according to their experiences and exposures to it. Keep up the good working out. Love it!

      • Gia Moroe profile image

        Gia Moroe 

        4 years ago from Texas, USA

        Some good song choices here. I'll keep these in mind. This might help me get started. Thanks.

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