Kala Markel, Instructor and Mainstream Music Contributor

kala_markel_headshotI’d been watching Kala for several years on one of the online indoor cycling forums and her passion for teaching has always been evident. I noticed she has something I don’t have—the ability to find mainstream music that is fun and exciting and that will meet the desires of her market, while still matching the message of her profile. I knew I needed a music contributor who had tastes in and knowledge of music where my own didn’t extend. In this way ICA can reach a much wider market of instructors who prefer, or who have students who demand a more mainstream musical repertoire. Kala couldn’t be a better choice, because she embodies everything I believe an indoor cycling coach should be yet does it with pop music—I could learn something from her! 😉 Teaching to a younger university crowd has forced her to keep the music current and exciting. I’m going to let Kala tell you a little bit about herself in her own words:

You know the uncoordinated kid that always gets chosen last for dodgeball because they are the first ones tagged out and they couldn’t hit a person with a ball if they were staring them square in the eye? That was me for most of my grade school and high school career. All that changed when I started college in 2003—I found a group fitness class called Spinning® and I fell in love. Finally, I could reap the benefits of working out in a group setting without the embarassment of not being able to move my hands and legs at the same time without failing all over the gym floor.

It wasn’t long before I got certified in 2008, and for the first time in my life I felt like I was an athlete. Since my initial certification, I’ve worked on bringing the best out of the riders that come to my classes at the local university. It’s been a beautiful blend of beneficial workouts set to mainstream music that has kept my passion for indoor cycling alive. In fact, it is this very passion that has led me to pursue a more health-oriented career in physical therapy, in which I have obtained my doctorate.


  1. I just discover CJ CATALIZER nice. and yes, thanks Jorg.

  2. I was just thinking about exactly this topic. It’s like ICA read my mind. Anyway thanks for the help and will certainly use these songs for my classes this week.

  3. I only have a few of those, gonna add them right away, thanks! I love love love this bpm. I’ll admit (as I’ve admitted before) that during most of my Spinning MI tenure, about 10 of the 12 years, I did not focus on bpm and rode higher cadence flats to songs that I later discovered were more like 140. So obviously, I didn’t ride to the beat. Now that I’ve discovered downtempo, my music world has changed. What a difference it makes. (I can thank Jorg for that!)

    But do you find it challenging to find songs in this range that have enough energy to use for a higher intensity push, like a field test or time trial? I have many more songs of this bpm, but many of them are better for an extended endurance profile than a higher intensity push, since the energy isn’t as fired up. More ambient type songs that have a fabulous mind-body focus, but not a pedal-to-the-metal-kick-butt feel.

  4. As this is one of my favorite cadence ranges my library lists “a ton” of tracks, I could go forever here 😉 A few examples:
    – how about “Springer (!K7)” from “Tosca” from album “No Hassle”
    – or tracks “Timeless” and “Sometimes” from “Nacho Sotomayor” from album “La Roca Antologia 1999-2009”
    – or “Mercury” from “Erot” from album “Solar System”
    – or “Above the clouds” from “Cell” from album “Live At Kumharas – Ibiza”

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