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:
- warmup- nice & easy (RPE 3-4) song: your easy lovin
- 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
- 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
- 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
- rolling hills in the saddle (RPE 6-7) /song: sexual healing
- 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
- recover, then get back on a flat road, 2-3-sec sprints (RPE 6) /song: out of my league
- 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
- rolling hills in the saddle (RPE 6-7) /song: bad blood
- sprints- 30 sec each (4x) (RPE 7-9- should be on higher end while sprinting) /song: na na na
- cool down and start stretching /song: all about that bass
- 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!
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?!?!