Throughout their lives and early careers, Peloton instructors Olivia Amato and Kendall Toole always had a love for fitness. Olivia started out working on Wall Street but quickly noticed that taking her clients out for exercise classes and green juices was her favorite part of the job. Kendall was in theater and tech in Los Angeles before becoming a boxing instructor and eventually moving east to New York for her role at Peloton. And they agree there’s one genre that’s perfect for getting in the zone and breaking a sweat: dance and electronic.
Starting today, Olivia and Kendall will be introducing two new Peloton classes to the sound of one of Spotify’s big dance playlists: Power Hour. Peloton members can stream Kendall’s Power Hour Ride on August 30 or Olivia’s Power Hour Run on August 31 for a guided musical fitness experience on the Peloton Tread, Bike or App. What’s more, electronic music producer deadmau5 will be joining the instructors and Spotify for a takeover of our Power Hour playlist, complete with a new single from the producer himself.
“It’s a cool track and was a total wild card of a collaboration,” says deadmau5 about his new single, “Pomegranate – Jay Robinson Remix.” “I’m glad people got to enjoy it this summer and I’m looking forward to having it be a part of people’s workouts. I think they are going to dig getting to experience it with Jay Robinson’s remix.”
We caught up with each instructor for a few minutes between classes to get to know them and learn how they incorporate music into their routines.
How do you pick the music that goes with your workouts? What elements do you take into consideration?
Olivia: It depends on what the workout is and what type of mood I’m in. If I’m going to do a HIIT run, I want to do 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, and then build from there. I’ll think back to songs I know with three drops that are 30 seconds each. That’s obviously not always possible, and it definitely takes longer to program that, but I think it’s worth being that specific, because music is the most important thing during a workout. It also depends on the cadence of the song, so the beats per minute, or BPM. A lot of electronic songs can be used while climbing up a hill or on a flat road because they’re usually around 128 BPM, which is good for sprints and pushes. And then you can use a different type of music to get a different vibe for cooldowns.
Kendall: When I am programming a class, I usually start with what’s inspiring me music-wise, what I feel would be energetic to ride to, or even down to something as simple as the energy and vibe of the song. If there are lyrics in a song that I know I can pick up on or use as a jumping-off point for motivation, it always helps. I think a proper ride and a wonderful workout should have a beginning, middle, and end. It should be no different than if you’re at an incredible concert or listening to an album where every piece of music, every moment, has its place, and it’s building into that story. When a beat drops and builds, I want riders to drop it and go into an effort.
Tell us about the experience of working with Spotify to create playlists for your class.
Olivia: I have worked with a couple of the people who work on Spotify’s mint playlist in the past. We went through the different songs and different playlists to collaborate on what we thought would mix well together and what would fit the vibe of the class. So similarly for Power Hour, we looked at high-energy, fun music that pushes you forward. So just making sure they all flow nicely into each other, that it tells a good story of starting out.
How did deadmau5’s curation of Power Hour inform the workout you put together?
Kendall: First off, there’s nothing better than seeing an artist that you admire put together a playlist. It’s almost like getting movie commentary from a director’s cut. Where you have someone who’s such a pro at what they do and has such a unique perspective, and is just so committed to their craft, almost giving you a behind-the-scenes piece of what they like and what they’re into and what connects to them. What he’s curated for Power Hour are suggestions for what gets him moving. Then we can put fitness into it. It’s cool because I feel like I get to bring my fitness expertise and marry it with his ability to create and craft incredible music.
How does music help bring the runners and riders together, especially when they’re all doing the workout on their separate treads, bikes, and screens?
Olivia: I think music is a global unifier, which is exactly what we need, especially right now. It evokes memories and creates memories. So it can create or evoke strength, passion, encouragement. And as it’s doing that, it’s bringing people from all around the world together. It’s a universal language that anybody can understand just based on feeling. For example, I don’t just use music for inspiration when working out. When I need courage or motivation, I put on music. It’s really for everything, and I think a lot of people feel that way.
Kendall: What I love about Peloton is transitioning that love of riding on beat with learning something new. That cadence, that BPM is so important in the way that I structure and program my classes because of this ability to be a unifying factor, especially when you’re teaching people from the comfort of their own home. At times, it’s challenging because you’re not present with them to be able to make corrections or adjustments, so you know you can always rely on that beat, on that BPM to be almost an assistant or an assistant coach, if you will, to what you’re creating and wanting to help people take through in a story of a ride.
Did you know you can connect your Spotify account to Peloton to save songs from class via the Track Love feature? Simply tap the heart icon on Peloton Bikes & Treads next to the song title, then look for your saved tracks under “My Peloton Music by OnePeloton.”
Check out our previous co-curated Peloton classes inspired by mint & Housewerk, available on demand via Peloton, and look forward to more rides inspired by Spotify’s owned and operated playlists coming soon.