Songs To Spin To, From A Fitness Guru Justin Rubin teaches a cycling class in Los Angeles that always gets booked up in minutes. The key to his popularity? People love his music.
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We've been creating the Ultimate NPR Workout Mix, asking people what music helps them move. Today, we hear from someone who thinks about that for a living.

JUSTIN RUBIN: We have to get to the top of this hill, six breakaways to the top.

MONTAGNE: Justin Rubin teaches spin classes at Equinox Gyms in Los Angeles. Dozens of riders fill a dark room pedaling against varying resistance on stationary bikes.

RUBIN: Still on a hill, get ready to run.

MONTAGNE: Riders reserve their bikes online 26 hours before a class, and the bikes for Rubin's class are gone within minutes. The key to his popularity: People love his music.

RUBIN: It's extremely important to have music that moves you. I mean that in both ways. So that if you're trapped on this bike and you're spinning and you're visualizing your hill and you're going up, you need something that's going to take you away.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing) In the night...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (Rapping) Got to get, get, got to get, get...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing) Message in a bottle...

MONTAGNE: Rubin's first pick for our ultimate work out mix is "Heartless" by the San Francisco mash-up artist DJ Earworm.

RUBIN: You could use this as a close your eyes or riding through the middle of the desert in the middle of the night with just this rhythm and the person next to you.

MONTAGNE: Justin Rubin teaches all over L.A., and he says his playlist varies by location and by the time of the day.

RUBIN: I have a morning playlist, I call it my soccer mom spin. I take less chances. I'll play more, like, Britney Spears, Flo Rida. Whereas at the nighttime, I'm not afraid to play "Straight Outta Compton."


MONTAGNE: Still, every spin class ends in the same way. You're told to pedal as fast and as hard as you can because the finish line is right around the corner.

RUBIN: My epic finale: "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga. It's cheesy, but especially at the end of cycling class, the endorphins are going so big that you're allowed to be a little cheesy.


LADY GAGA: (Singing) I'm beautiful in my way, 'cause God makes no mistakes. I'm on the right track, baby. I was born this way.

MONTAGNE: You can listen to the other picks in the Ultimate NPR Workout Mix at, and if you're so moved, add your own.

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