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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Filed under Class Profiles, Let's talk about spinning, Music

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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Filed under Class Profiles, Let's talk about spinning, Music

There HAD to be a Buzzfeed

Yup. Buzzfeed has finally tried it’s hand at understanding the mind of spinners. All I have to say is….TOALLY #7!!!!!!!! Oh…and #13. It’s entertaining, but these moves are NOT safe and would never truly be called “spin”. I don’t think this is the best Buzzfeed list I’ve ever seen, but #7 makes it all worth it.

Click here: 18 Things Only Spin Fans Will Understand

You guys. I know I owe you some new playlists. Things have been pretty busy around here, but they will be up soon. Get ready for a hills & intervals profile and an oldies vs hip hop playlist! When???? Hopefully soon. 🙂

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Mash it up!

You guuuuuuuuuuy’s!!!!

You said that in your best Oprah voice, right?!?!

oprah

You know that mashups makes my favorite things list like every.single.day right????

Well…I stumbled upon a new site today with some pretty fantastic stuff. I haven’t picked out an absolute favorite yet (One More Jump is up there), but there are a few that are tickling my fancy (Disco Boys & Girls, Girls Just Wanna Dance, ROCK This).

Head on over to Robin Skouteris’ site to check em out! Free downloads too! Now if that doesn’t make for one fantastic Friday, I don’t know what does.

You get a free song! And you get a free song! And you get a free song! (<—that’s Oprah again!)

 

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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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Sun’s Out, Guns Out

Ok, so maybe the sun wasn’t out this morning when I set out for the gym. Also, it’s starting to turn Fall-ish, so the guns don’t have much more time to be out. Nevertheless, it was arm day today. Maybe I should have titled this “armed and dangerous”….

Ahem.

I’ll take it as you were laughing with me and not at me.

So, yeah. Today I hit the weights. It’s been a while since I stepped in to the gym with a plan of attack, let alone stepped in to a gym to do anything besides teach spin. Since I was meeting up with my friend, I told her I would put a workout together for us. I was pretty excited to come up with an arm workout. Of course, I had to throw some legs/cardio in there to round it out. During the workout my friend told me that this workout was killing her. I responded that it was killing her with love. Lots of love.

The workout took about 60 minutes and it was goooooood. We took on supersets today. If you haven’t heard of supersets, Fitness Magazine describes them as:

Supersets! Cutting out downtime between sets, as with these alternating pairings of moves that work opposing muscles, “increases your metabolism not only because your heart rate stays higher throughout but also because the body works harder afterward to recover,” says Mark Schuenke, PhD.

Basically, supersets give you more bang for you buck! You won’t be left paying an arm and a leg for this workout…if you get my drift. Hardy har har. Ok. I’ll stop.

After we warmed up (10 minutes on the elliptical), we got down to business. Each superset was done 3 times. We started off with heavier weights and fewer reps, decreasing the weight and increasing reps as we went on. The key is to pick a challenging weight to start. Seriously, do not start off with a 5lb weight…unless you’ve never ever lifted a weight before. You know yourself, be smart. If the first weight you choose is WAAAAY to heavy and you can’t do 8 reps with proper form, go a bit lighter. Here is an example: Bicep Curls for 8 reps and 17.5lbs, immediately follow with 15 tricep dips, immediately follow with mountain climbers. Start over with 10 reps and 15lbs, repeat above. Finish with 15 reps and 10lbs. Confused? I hope not.

Lookie here- I made you something purdy!

downloadable purdy PDFsun's out 

After we finished this workout, the soreness immediately started to set in. The front and lateral arm raises were killer! I used 10lbs, 7.5lbs, and 5lbs for my three sets. The key is to really pause with those raises. No autopilot raises. I’m talking a good count of one-one thousand-kind-of-hold. Oh and guess what?!?! My friend gave me 30 more seconds of time for the AMRAP situps. I looked at her with hate in my eyes. She said it was out of love. Payback’s a biotch. I’ll let you know how my arms feel tomorrow. I’m guessing they will feel more like noodles than arms, but hey- a girl can dream of pain-free arms, right?!?!

Let me know if you try this workout out and what you think or if you have questions!

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Filed under Life off the bike, Work Outs