Tag Archives: spin class

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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I feel the need, the need for speed!


Ah, Top Gun. When Tom Cruise wasn’t jump-on-the-couch crazy. Although, he probably was…deep down. You can hide jump-on-the-couch crazy for a while, but sooner or later, it’s gonna find a way out. Luckily, most of us don’t expose our crazy on Oprah. Also, where has Katie Holmes gone???? Anyone? Bueller?

Back to the bike….

Since my last class was very hill heavy, I figured it was time to work on some intervals and speed. Let me tell you, I am not a sprint fan. I always prefer hills over speedwork, BUT….in order to get stronger and faster, you’ve got to work on that speed too.

I was trolling around some cycling blogs and I found a pretty cool drill from Spinning Freak. Basically, you pretend you are in a pace line and you work your way from the back to the front. 20 seconds at your base pace (you’re at the back of the line), then you increase your speed and resistance (make your way to the middle) for another 20 seconds, and then you increase your speed and resistance one final 20 seconds (you’re in the front and blocking wind for the others). For the final 20 seconds, I varied whether this was standing or in the saddle. I really enjoyed this drill! I definitely plan on using it again.

I ended up making the ride around these pace line drills. It was a great class, challenging and super sweaty! I usually don’t drip sweat during class and both times that I taught this ride, I had a good drip going.

Here is the ride profile:

  1. Warmup: Forget you by Ceelo
  2. Medium climb, switching between 3rd position & seated: Drumming Song by Florence + The Machine
  3. 40 seconds recovery, pace line drill 20/20/20 all in saddle repeated 3x: Going Out of My Head by Fat Boy Slim
  4. Around the world jumps: Is This Love Mashup- Bob Marley vs Soft Cell
  5. Pace line drill 20/20/20– last 20 up in 3rd, repeat 2x: Madonna, LMFAO, Britney Mashup
  6. R/L drill- on a medium flat road, switch between just using right leg and left leg. 20 seconds isolating each leg, then use both again for 10 seconds/repeat: Love Runs Out by OneRepublic
  7. Medium hill in 3rd, sit and surge: Don’t Cha by Pussycat Dolls
  8. Pace line drill 20/20/20 repeated 4x. First two in saddle, Last two coming up to 3rd for last 20 seconds: Chasing Summers by Tiesto
  9. Jumps moving from 2nd position to 3rd: Come Get it Bae by Pharrell
  10. Sprints- 20 on/20 off: Space Jam by Quad City DJs
  11. Cooldown/Stretch: What’s In It For by Avi Buffalo

BAM! There you have it.

Not only did I really like the flow of this class, I really loved the music too. A good mix! When Space Jam came on there were some “Oh yeah’s!” and “Woo’s”. Space Jam = Classic! I’ve never seen the movie, but any song on Jock Jams is A-OK by me.

Also, Come Get it Bae by Pharrell is my new jam! Can Pharrell do any wrong? Yes, he can. Happy. GAH. After hearing that song 15 million times, I can’t take it. It’s my kryptonite.

Anyhoo, I hope you all have an awesome Monday!



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All Things Jackson

I can’t believe that I haven’t posted about this yet! Sometimes your life just needs an awesome soundtrack. Last Thursday I was so excited to debut my All Things Jackson: Janet vs Michael playlist. I mean, Janet…Michael…it was gonna be epic.

The Jackson’s mean business and a lot of their songs have such a strong beat that the ride ended up being pretty darn hilly. Strength rides; I love ’em.

I taught this class twice in one day. My hamstrings, quads, and glutes were pretty toasted after the second class. I think people really liked the ride. They were all about the theme. I even got a couple “woo’s!” after I announced the theme. I mean, who doesn’t like some Jackson?!?! One person told me that the class was good training for riding the hills on the actual roads. All in all, this ride was a winner!


So….it was really hard to choose which songs to use. There are a lot of great songs that I just couldn’t fit in. I only have 45 minutes. So which ones did I choose? Take a look! P.S. This playlist says 50min, but it’s just because I added some extra music for when people were packing up.


Two songs that I found that I want to point out because they got my spinning mojo going:

1. Rhythm on the Dance Floor Mash-up– Janet & Michael combined!

2. ABC Remix- I’m down with OPP and ABC!

I know! You didn’t realize that Rhythm Nation and ABC could get better! You’re welcome! Seriously, this playlist just makes me so happy.

So yeah, this ride was a lot of hills and power surges. The only sprints were Bad and Beat It. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?!?!





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Interval Training

As I sit at my table writing this, I’m pretty sure I resemble Goldie Hawn in Overboard.

Buh buh buh buh buh is right. After 45 minutes, the tiny man is FINALLY asleep. In order to make this happen, I had to listen to 35 minutes of hysterical crying. Not all in a row mind you. I’m not a monster mom. This was AGONIZING for me. I did let him cry for 10 minutes at a time though. Each minute feels like an hour. Worst thing for a mom ever! My heart has never hurt so much. The hubs told me I need to set a timer because the tiny  man is starting to get smart. He is like a little tiny spy. Trying to figure out our weaknesses. Tricky little tiny man. We are bigger. We are smarter?

So, I let the tiny man cry in intervals: 10 minutes on, 5 minutes off. Kind of like my spin class this morning. Tabatas. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. I’d rather do tabatas for days then listen to that crying though. The crying is just him testing me. I have to stay strong. Just like getting through those 8 rounds of tabatas. Isn’t this a great analogy today?!?!? If you’re not a parent, it probably isn’t that great.

Let me just say, when the crying was finished and the sleep won out…I rejoiced. It felt as if I was a unicorn galloping on a rainbow! Reminds me of a Lisa Frank folder.


Ah, Lisa Frank. Yes, I am a child of the 90s. Anyhoo, I’m sure my class felt this way when the tabatas were over too. If you can’t tell, class today was HIIT. The spin had 3 tabatas. A sprint tabata, tabata on a medium road, and a strength tabata. Basically, each time we did a tabata, a bit more resistance was added. Say it with me ta-ba-ta.

The (you guessed it) tabatas are pretty killer. They definitely get you working in that anaerobic zone! In between each tabata was working recovery and a couple hills were in there too. Here is what class looked like today:

  1. Warmup
  2. Jumps on a medium hill, 2 resistance changes
  3. Recover 1 min, 8 rounds sprint tabata, recover 1 min
  4. Run w/resistance in 2nd  & 3rd position
  5. Recover 1 min, 8 rounds medium road tabata
  6. Working recovery in 2nd & 3rd
  7. Rolling hills
  8. Medium to heavy hill (3 resistance changes), seated to standing
  9. Working recovery in 1st
  10. Strength tabata- 4 rounds seated, 4 rounds in 3rd
  11. Recover
  12. Stretch

And here was the soundtrack to class:

tabata time

So, there you have it. Nothing like a little tabata to get your Monday started on the right foot!

Also, even though the tiny man was being a crank nugget, I still was able to bake banana bread, regular bread, and peanut butter cookies. Multi-tasking at its finest. Now, I’m off to enjoy this peace and quiet while it lasts. Hopefully I have at least another 5 minutes!




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

The Saturday Special

Saturday class is one of my favorite classes to teach. It’s later in the morning, so people are a bit more chipper, it’s an hour long, and it’s usually a larger class. Larger classes just have a different energy. I love it!

This past Saturday, I had put together a new ride. A little bit of everything– sprints, hills, flats, jumps. Some new songs and some old.

saturday special


Yes, “Classic” was my 14 year old girl choice. I don’t know…it just makes me smile. My friend posted about the Kongos song on FaceBook and when I checked it out, I thought it would be perfect for a standing climb. Have you heard it? I really like it!

I ended the class with “Shout”. My friend who takes my class says she has a love/hate relationship with that song in class. I guess that means I am doing something right.

I’m also loving “Fever” by The Black Keys. I used this as a medium flat road in the saddle, but I think you could do jumps or a climb with it too.

The other new song I used was “Dominos” by Classixx. The hubster found this song. Apparently, he had Shazamed this song on two separate occasions. It’s catchy, no? This was the other flat road on my playlist.

Speaking of Shazam…it’s one of the ways I remind myself of songs I’d like to play in class. If I’m driving along and I hear a song (even if I know who sings it), I Shazam it. Then when I go to create my class, I look at all my Shazam tags to give me inspiration.

So, that was Saturday on the bike.

After teaching, I went home and our little fam headed out to the International Biscuit Fest. Lots of people and lots of tasty biscuits!!! I was glad that the ride had burned over 500 calories, because I’m sure I ate most of those back with  my 5 biscuit tastings. So worth it!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!




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The Endurance Ride

So every month Mad Dogg Spinning sends out a ride profile email if you are a member. They give you 4 ride profiles in the email and tell you what music they used and give you cues. Usually I take a look at these rides, but am never impressed with the song selections. Last month I really liked two of their profiles and being short on time these days, I actually used their endurance ride profile. I did make a few song changes and I added a sprint at the end. Gotta put my stamp on it a bit!

I like endurance rides. It’s amazing how challenging keeping a pace and being in the saddle for a prolonged period can be! An endurance ride isn’t as sexy as an interval ride, but hey…you gotta work on that base fitness if you want to get faster or stronger.

So…here it is…The Endurance Ride (47min):

  • Warmup: seated, run in second for 45 seconds, back to saddle/ Pumpin Blood by NONONO
  • Flat road: stay within 80-110 RPMs/ Back in Time by Pitbull
  • First Incline: seated 60-80 RPMs/ Salty Sweet by Ms Mr
  • Flat road: two cadence changes, resistance stays the same, speed up 1/2-1 pedal stroke after each minute/ Pompeii by Bastille
  • Standing climb (60-80 RPM): change between 2nd & 3rd position/ Timber by Pitbull feat. Kesha
  • Flat road: 80-110 RPMs/ Lift Me Up by Moby (Mylo Mix)
  • Run with resistance: switch between 2nd & 3rd/ Troublemaker by Olly Murs feat Flo Rida
  • Standing climb: two resistance changes(60-80RPM)/ The Man by Aloe Blacc feat. Kid Ink (remix)
  • Flat road with 8 count jumps/ Rock Your Body by Justin Timberlake (Paul Oakenfold remix)
  • Flat road: cadence stays the same, add small turn of resistance after each minute/ Wake Me Up Down Under by Avicii VS Men at Work
  • Sprints: 30 on/30 off, 30 on/20 off, 30 on, recover/ 4 Minutes by Madonna (remix)
  • Cooldown & Stretch/ Runaround by Blues Travelers

The key to the flat roads is to stay within that 80-100 RPM range. It does work up quite the burn! With the RPMs, I did have my class check that they were in the correct range by counting every time their right knee came up for 15seconds. After 15 seconds, you take the number and multiply it by 4. I didn’t have them check for every flat hill or climb, but I did it during the first flat and hill so they knew where they should be for the other flats and hills. It would get pretty annoying to check this every single song.

So…what do you think? What are your favorite rides? Endurance…Strength…Intervals?

I’m working on a new playlist for Saturday! It’s got a little bit of everything. Also, I think I am still a 14 year old girl at heart…that song “Classic” by MKTO will be making a debut. Yeah…. Hopefully my “No Diggity/Thriftshop” mashup makes up for it!


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