Category Archives: Let’s talk about spinning

Spooky scary spin

Boo!

Did I scare you?

No.

Okay then. I’ll try harder next time.

Welp, it’s almost Halloween time. Do you have your costumes ready? We do! We are having a little Halloween shindig at our place on Saturday and our first Halloween costume (the one that required me to sew a new zipper) is pretty much ready to go. It’s a secret, so I can’t tell you what we are going as. Ah, the suspense!!!

I was so excited that I got to teach a Halloween class this year! Yesterday, I subbed for the official Y Halloween class. The class was bummed the regular instructor wasn’t there (they were excited for her costume), but they put up with me and my antics. I did dress up a bit. 80’s spinning instructor, anyone??? Let me tell you, wearing leggings during class get HOT, but I’ll take any chance I can get to wear my highlighter yellow leggings.

The class went well, although when I asked them “Who you gonna call”, they did not want to yell “Ghostbusters”. I mean….c’mon. I rarely ask for class participation, but how can you resist yelling out Ghostbusters??? Thunder stealers. Oh well, some classes are vocal and some are not. The class was fun, but it was hard work too. The perfect combo!

I did use some of the songs that I posted as ideas last year. I also had some music on before class started…Time Warp, MC Hammer’s Addams Family, and Hungry Like the Wolf. I’ve got some ideas for next year too! So what did the final playlist look like? Here you go….

Yes, Werewolf Barmitzvah made the cut! I think that song is hilarious. Not sure anyone else got it or recognized it, but oh well, we were stretching anyways.

I got super sweaty during this class (both times- I taught it last night and this morning…mama’s legs are tired). It was a good mix of intervals and hills. Bad Moon Rising was our little break halfway through class. It was really fun to put together this playlist. Some honorable mentions that will probably be on the playlist next year will be:

  • Long Road to Hell by Avicii
  • Howlin’ for You by The Black Keys
  • Last Night Daft Punk Saved my Life by Scott Melker

What do you guys think? What would you have put on your Halloween playlist?

I hope everyone has an awesome Halloween! Stay safe and warm! Especially if you live in Tennessee– they are forecasting snow for Saturday. Craaaazy!

 

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All kinds of fun

Ah, all kinds of fun has been had around these parts:

  • We took the little nugget to a pumpkin patch. He wasn’t thrilled. I don’t know why.
  • We’ve been getting ready for Halloween. This means sewing a new zipper on my costume. I haven’t had that “fun” yet, but it’s on the list. I bring out my sewing machine once every blue moon, so it should be interesting!
  • The little nugget has been teething real bad. Super fun.
  • The Giants have been playing in the World Series. Probably more stressful to watch than fun, but we’re glad they are up one game at this point.
  • Spinning has been happening, sometimes twice in one day. Always fun!
  • Blowing bubbles in the house for the little nugget. So much fun!
  • Passing my exercise physiology course to complete my CEC’s to renew my Spinning certificate. Not fun at all while taking it, but soooooo fun to pass and be done with CEC’s….for now.

So, I have a few new playlists/rides that I haven’t shared yet. This one I called “Weekday Fun” because let’s face it, sometimes you need a little weekday fun. Plus, I start running out of ride names when there is no real theme. As always, due to my mashuptastic/remix loving self, a few aren’t going to show up here, but I’ve mentioned them all before. I have a couple new songs that I am loving as of late. First up in my new song lust is “Shut up and Dance” by Walk the Moon and the other is “Fireball” by Pitbull. Now, I normally wouldn’t love Pitbull, but I do think he is great for spin and this song is just fun.

Here is the “Weekday Fun” playlist that I used a week ago. I hope it adds some fun in to the start of your week!

weekdayfun playlist

Here is what we did:

  1. Warmup- easy peasy.
  2. Alternating seated and standing flat, moderate pace between 85-90 BPMs.
  3. Hill to sprint x3- Start in 3rd in a medium hill, take one turn off & speed up legs, take off another turn & sit to sprint.
  4. Seated flat with varying resistance and speed
  5. Resistance loading hill. Start out seated on a small hill, add resistance every 45 seconds until you can’t keep pace and stand to 3rd. Keep loading on resistance until you are on a medium hill. Once you get there stay there.
  6. Reverse hill. Add one more turn, still up in 3rd, to take it to a heavy hill. Every minute take a good sized turn off (so you can feel a difference). End seated on a flat for the last minute.
  7. Power surges x3. Seated flat, add resistance to stand and surge.
  8. Seated and standing hills. Feels like rolling hill because resistance stays the same. Medium hill seated, feels easier when you stand.
  9. Tabatas- 8x. 20sec on/10sec off
  10. Easy flat to recover
  11. Stretch

Yeah! Fun! What kind of fun have you been having lately?

P.S. Speaking of fun rides, I actually get to do a Halloween ride this year. My playlist is ready, now to tweak the profile! Cannot wait for Thursday!

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It’s all about the shoes

Let me tell you a little somethin’…I love shoes. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. A woman that loves shoes…BIG surprise. I’ve been made to count my shoes before and I was somewhere in the 80+ range and that was after parting with some pairs.

Now that I’m not working, I don’t have the budget or the need to buy as many shoes. This makes me really sad. The last time I went to DSW, it just wasn’t the same. It was like being a kid in the candy store, except you aren’t allowed to have any candy because you have diabetes or are allergic to sugar. Sad. So very sad.

So why am I talking about shoes on a spinning blog? Well, I’m so glad you asked.

When people first start cycling, I eventually get asked about the shoes. Are cycling shoes worth it? Do you need them? Does it make a difference? Indoor cycling can be done without “special shoes”, but here’s a little secret…the shoes make the workout. Once you make the change from workout shoe to cycling shoe, you are forever changed.

I finally bought my first pair of SPD spin shoes when I lived in San Diego. I had been taking classes for years and decided it was time to bite the bullet. I had also planned on buying a rode bike in the near future, so I figured it was a smart purchase. I got my first pair used and on super sale. I loved these shoes. They were silver and really, not much to look at, but they changed spin for me. Kind of like the way a new pair of heels transforms an outfit that you have already worn.

I was unstoppable in my silver shoes. I could really activate my quads when pulling up. My feet felt way more comfortable–no more feet going numb from trying to keep the cages tight. I finally got what it felt like to be active throughout the pedal stroke. I felt stronger, more stable, more like a real cyclist.

Recently, I had to replace my silver spin shoes. I mean, I had had them for almost eight years. Yup, eight years. I have a hard time parting with shoes, but after countless class, outside rides, and a real soggy triathlon…it was time.

Many people hold off on buying cycling shoes because they want to make sure they are going to stick with the workout. I definitely recommend that! Make sure that you love cycling and then get the shoes. Once you know it’s a workout that motivates you, start shopping around. Cycling shoes do not have to be super expensive. Cycling stores, just like other stores have sales. Go in, try some on, ask about when they have a sale coming up. OR…after you try some on in person, you can always shop online (hello, Amazon!) and try to find a good deal. Also, know what kind of clips the bikes at your gym have. Most common are the SPD. Just be sure to double check!

If you are questioning buying cycling shoes, I say bite the bullet. As far as padded cycling shorts go….well, that’s totally up to you, but I’m not a fan!

Do you have cycling shoes? What did you think when you got your first pair?

 

 

 

 

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New playlist alert!!!

Whew! Finally…got a post in before the week was over.

Music inspiration has been coming from some various blogs (<–links to Chris Spins and Spinning Freak) and Spotify. If you teach spin, follow Julz Arney on Spotify, she’s got some great music!

This profile was all about hills and intervals and it was a good one! I heard some “oof’s” and “ugh’s” and “woo’s”and heavy breathing from participants, so you know it was a good workout. I did use a couple of Robin Skouteris’ mashups, which I posted about last week. Of course, those songs aren’t on Spotify, but be sure to check them out…if you’re in to that kind of thing.

Here is what we did:

  • Pumpin Blood- Warmup: nice and easy
  • Love Runs Out- Power surges in the saddle. 3 total surges
  • Tongue Tied: rolling hills- added resistance to go up to 3rd, took off resistance & added speed to go downhill in the saddle
  • Run Away Baby- Power surges- run in second, sit & surge. 3 total surges
  • Breaking a Sweat: Sprints. Start at :30, 30 on 30 off, 5 total
  • 25 Miles: Start of 10min hill. Started off easy (seated) and added tiny turns every 30 seconds till reach a medium hill (stand)
  • Rock This: staying on a medium hill (standing) with jumps
  • Run this Town: last stretch of hill, going from medium to heavy (standing). Transition to seated for the last 45 seconds.
  • Train in Vain: recover/flat road
  • Wings: Power surges. Start up in 3rd, add resistance and go a bit faster, add a bit more resistance and sit & surge
  • Girls Just Wanna Dance: Sprints.  30 on 40 off. Work hard to earn that extra 10 seconds of recovery, start at 1:00
  • Some Kind of Wonderful: start cooling down
  • You Shook Me All Night Long: stretch

Hope you all have a great weekend! Let me know if you try out this ride!

 

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On the level

Holy soreness! I am still recovering from Tuesday morning’s weight sesh. Not only have my arms been sore, but my hammies have a special kind of hate for me. When I woke up this morning, not only did I not know why the hell my alarm was going off, but I could barely walk. Deadlifts and squats have a way of doing that to me.

soreness

Thankfully, I wasn’t dead (even though I felt like I had zombie legs) and I did realize that the reason my alarm was going off was because I had a class to get to!

When I was making a plan of attack for today, I knew that I wanted a couple of tabatas mixed in with some hills and speedwork. I was looking for new tabata songs when I stumbled upon Beth Alexander’s blog. Thanks to her, today’s class came together very easily. I used her “Level your playing field” ride with a few tweaks. Also, thanks to Beth, I have a new way of putting together my ride profiles so it’s easier for you to understand and use. Big round of applause for Beth! Woo!

The idea behind this ride is that you go through four different levels:

  1. easy: just like it sounds…easy peasy
  2. moderate: still feeling comfortable, you could carry on a conversation with the rider next to you
  3. hard: getting uncomfortable, legs starting to burn, difficult to speak
  4. very hard: uncomfortable, breathless, no speaking possible

Typically I use a 1-10 scale for RPE (rate of perceived exertion). This is basically the same, but a bit more simplified. I liked the idea of having four easy levels to hit. This ride is 45 minutes and if you are hitting those levels, it’s a doozy with a great playlist. FYI- The “Wild Night” that I used was the Van Morrison version, but I can’t find it in Spotify, so John Mellencamp is in there. Also–I can’t find the AC/DC version of Thunderstruck on Spotify. 

On the level

You can download this handy PDF!

Now if you excuse me, I’ll be trying to stretch out these hamstrings! I see some downward dog and forward bends in my near future.

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Gettin’ Loopy

Last week was a bit loopy. I accidentally slept through my alarm for class Monday morning…not the best way to start the week. Had to go to the doctor again for my damn sinuses. I have a CAT scan scheduled this week and an appointment with an ENT, so I’m hoping to get to the bottom of all of it. Looking like I’ve been punched in the eyes is not the best of looks.

Luckily, I was able to get my act together later in the week and put a new class together. After not teaching for a week, I thought I might fall off the bike and need to be rescued by one of my students. That didn’t happen. Thank goodness!

This playlist went through three loops. First, we warmed up, then we got on a flat road for some endurance in first, second, and third position, then we moved to a hill, and then rounded it all out with sprints. We repeated that loop two more times and ended with a cooldown.

Here are the tunes:

Two of the mashups aren’t there. One of my all time fav’s “Call me on broken glass” (which was an endurance song) and “We found somebody that I used to know” (which was a sprint).

This week I have no clue what I’m doing for class on Thursday. Gotta make some magic happen. Any song suggestions?

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Makes me that much stronger

Strength. It can be defined in many ways. Merriam-Webster defines strength as:

strength- noun \ˈstreŋ(k)th, ˈstren(t)th\

: the quality or state of being physically strong

: the ability to resist being moved or broken by a force

: the quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way

We are all strong in different ways and some days we need to be stronger than others. Strength is just more than how much we can bench press or how ripped our abs look. Although, some ripped abs are always nice. Seriously though, whether it is keeping your composure while your child/boss/colleague is testing your every patience or learning to walk again after an accident, we show varying degrees of strength daily.

Our strengths and our weaknesses make us who we are, but I believe that they are true variables. Some days we are stronger and some we are weaker. We can be stronger than yesterday, but it takes work.  It also takes dedication and honesty. This applies to life and the gym. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have someone to help you along the way either. Asking for help does not make you weak.

I decided that strength was going to be the theme of my Thursday rides this week and I was going to help my classes push themselves a little harder in order to get stronger. We have been doing quite a bit of speedwork lately, but I believe that real change comes when there is resistance. (P.S. I always harp on having resistance on the wheel for sprints. Speed + resistance = crossing the finish line first.) Real change comes when you are uncomfortable. Real change comes when you change your mindset. I see a lot of riders being scared of adding resistance, but without it you can’t get stronger or faster. Same is true in life. You can’t get stronger without challenges and adversity.

This playlist came together very quickly. It actually surprised me at how fast I finished it. After listening to it twice while running and walking, I decided I was happy with it and didn’t tweak it at all. A lot of times I tinker a bit after listening to my playlists.

As always, a couple of songs, won’t show up.

Kygo’s remix of Sexual Healing:

Aaand Jimmy Fallon, The Roots & Meghan Trainor singing All About That Bass. I love the regular version of this song, which I think I already told you about, but this…… I HAD to use it. Cooling down to the smooth sounds of classroom instruments. Perfection.

Here is the profile:

  1. warmup- nice & easy (RPE 3-4) song: your easy lovin
  2. starting to work. add a bit of resistance, staying on a flat, speeding up, adding resistance taking it up to 2nd, speeding up, add a tiny bit more resistance, take it out to 3rd, speed up. (RPE 5-6) song: straight to memphis
  3. power surges. Think sprinting with medium resistance. Up in 2nd, sit and surge, up to 2nd again to recover and repeat. (RPE- 5-6 in 2nd, 7-8 on surges) /song: bad medicine
  4. recover if needed, then get on a medium hill in the saddle, take it up to 3rd after a minute, getting in a few jumps from 2nd to 3rd position. (RPE 6-7) /song: vivrant thing
  5. rolling hills  in the saddle (RPE 6-7) /song: sexual healing
  6. steepest climb of the ride. Start off on a medium hill, adding in resistance till it becomes heavy. Really dig in deep for the last minute and a half. (RPE- starting out at a 7, taking it up to a 9) /song: tops
  7. recover, then get back on a flat road, 2-3-sec sprints (RPE 6) /song: out of  my league
  8. add enough resistance to come up to 2nd, add a small turn when chorus starts, then another and add speed (RPE 7-8) /song: bang bang
  9. rolling hills in the saddle (RPE 6-7)  /song: bad blood
  10. sprints- 30 sec each (4x) (RPE 7-9- should be on higher end while sprinting) /song: na na na
  11. cool down and start stretching /song: all about that bass
  12. stretch and finish /song: c’est pour toi

Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger. Hopefully, my class really did try to push themselves a bit and left feeling stronger than when they entered. It’s easy to sit there and stick with the resistance you are comfortable with, but it takes courage to try to take it a bit further. I always try to remind classes that they can always add it on and if it’s too much, you just take it back a bit. That’s the beauty of the bike. I also always remind people that the pedal strokes should always remain smooth. If you ever get that sticky/jerky feeling when you are pedaling, you have too much resistance on. I’m a big fan of keeping those knees healthy (and strong)!

Exercise can mimic life. Sometimes letting it all out on the bike can be very cathartic.  I really like this strength ride because you have to push yourself. You have to find that fight in you to not give up.  It definitely takes work to be stronger than yesterday.  Hills (like obstacles in life) can test our physical and mental strength.  Sometimes we think they will never end, but thank goodness for  a good beat.

I hope you are all having a great day. Stay strong and find that beat that keeps you moving!

 

 

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