BONUS! Spinning Playlist – July 31, 2012

I filled in for Alissa tonight, so bonus playlist this week! Here it is, straight from tonight’s class:



Drive By – Train


Building Block #1 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 8-8.5)

Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida

Firework  – Katy Perry

We Found Love – Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris

The Fighter – Gym Class Heroes ft. Ryan Tedder


Building Block #2 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 8.5-9)

Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5

What the Hell – Avril Lavigne

Feel So Close – Calvin Harris

Poker Face – Lady Gaga

Burn It Down – Linkin Park


Building Block #3 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 7)

Everybody Talks – Neon Trees

Touch Me – Smash Cast ft. Katherine McPhee

Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) –Kelly Clarkson

Desert Rose – Sting



Wide Awake – Katy Perry

The A Team – Ed Sheeran


If you’re still looking for a little inspiration, there should still be some Olympic cycling action coming our way – I watched some of both the men’s and women’s races over the weekend, and I was just in awe of the strength of these athletes! On a few occasions, I’ve taught two Spinning classes in a row (so maybe 30-35 miles) and gone home and taken a nap, and these people are riding for somewhere around six hours, covering 155 miles. Something to aspire to?

Two Bonus Cycling Opportunities This Week!

Hey everyone! If you’re in the Alexandria area, it’s your lucky week … you have two extra opportunities to cycle with me this week! I’m filling in for Alissa tonight at 6 p.m., and for Glenn on Saturday morning at … Continue reading

10 Fitness-Boosting Secrets from America’s Greatest Athletes

The Summer Olympics are  now underway (YAY!), and with the amazing displays of athleticism that are on display every day for the next two weeks, what better time is there to take a look at  your workout. Are you getting the results you are striving for? Or do you think you have a little room for improvement? (Here’s a tip: EVERYONE always has room for improvement. Fitness is a constant evolution!)

Here are some ideas for how to get the most of your workout, and to continue to push yourself as you continue to grow stronger and more fit. Check them out: 10 Fitness-Boosting Secrets from America’s Greatest Athletes | Fitbie.


Spinning Playlist – July 26, 2012

After last week’s vacation (and a whole lot of sitting in a beach chair and little else), it was great to get back onto the bike! Here’s tonight’s playlist:

1901 – Phoenix

Building Block #1 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 8+)
Animal – Ke$ha
Keeps Getting Better – Christina Aguilera
Titanium – David Guetta ft. Sia
Maneater – Nelly Furtado
Buttons – Pussycat Dolls

Building Block #2 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 9+)
Sex On Fire – Kings of Leon
Where Have You Been – Rihanna
If We Ever Meet Again – Timbaland ft. Katy Perry
Misery – Maroon 5
Find Your Love – Drake

Building Block #3 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 8-8.5)
Mr. Brightside – The Killers
Scream – Usher
Feel So Close – Calvin Harris
Rosa Parks – Outkast

Not Like the Movies – Katy Perry
Some Nights – fun.

Note on next week … I’m subbing for Alissa on Tuesday (July 31) at 6 p.m. Feel free to join me if you are in the Alexandria area (and if you’re not, look forward to a bonus playlist coming next Tuesday evening). Have a great weekend!

First Post-Vacation Run? It Was Not Pretty.

I ran for the first time in two weeks last night.

Most of my recent runs left me feeling something like this:

Last night’s run, however, left me feeling like this: 

As you may or may not know, I was on vacation last week. Which meant the most strenuous physical activity I engaged in all week was one of the following: daily walks along the coast, wrestling chairs and bags from the condo to the beach and back, or, in the case of our last two days on the beach, fighting against the wind to keep as I attempted to fold up my chair (which is essentially a yoga mat with a bar attached to the back of it … aka the best beach chair EVER … except when it’s windy).

I’ve been back in town for a few days, and Tuesday was my third post-vacation workout, so I had high aspirations for my run, as I’ve been steadily knocking off a few seconds from my mile average time. Granted, I’m well aware that the first week back from vacation usually gravitates somewhere between mediocre and awful. It’s the nature of the body. The fact is, it only takes a week for your body to start moving backward. Muscles start to atrophy. Your cardiac capacity lowers. You may start to feel a little more “squishy.” And what felt good a week ago makes you feel like you’re going to die.

Still don’t think one week (okay, it was really 9 days) makes a huge difference? Here’s the proof. My last run before I left was just under 7 miles in 60 minutes, no walking until cooldown time, heart rate averaging in the 82-88% range. My run last night? Just under 6.25 miles in 60 minutes, with four one-minute walk breaks … which I forced myself to take upon finding my heart rate in the 92-94% range.

Recovery weeks are great. We all need one once in a while. But don’t expect to see the gains from the full recovery and time off right away – give it a week or two, and then you’ll start to see improvements upon where you were before your time off.

Getting Started is NOT the Hardest Part!

In most situations, getting started is the hardest part. I wish I could say the same held true for exercise, but unfortunately, sticking with it is the biggest challenge most people face. Our lives our busy. We have jobs, friends, families, priorities – and for many people, exercise is not always at the top of that priority list.

That said, here are a few reasons to commit to your workouts, even when work, dinners, drinks, meetings, t-ball practice, or maybe even your bed, beg you to do otherwise:

  • You’ll feel better. Our muscles are meant to be stretched and strengthened! Think of your body like your favorite pair of jeans: the more you wear them, the better they feel.
  • You’ll live longer. Regular exercise extends your lifespan – and the quality of life you live as you get up there in years.
  • You’ll make more money. Studies have shown a correlation between fitter lifestyles and higher paychecks. You’ll feel a little better every day you take some time for you, and who wouldn’t want to make more money?
  • You’ll have less stress. Have a stressful job? The best thing to combat it is a little exercise. Once those endorphins start coursing through your veins, stress seems to melt away. And I’m a firm believer that the worst days always equate to the best workouts!
  • You’ll save yourself that getting started feeling! Sticking with it has always been easy for me, because I HATED the getting started part. I didn’t love exercise right away. It took a while – we’re talking months – before I started to enjoy it. Remember how much I hated it in the beginning is what keeps me going strong.

So there you go – plenty of reasons to stick with your fitness routine! With the numerous options that are out there, there is no reason not to find something you like (or maybe eventually love). And that is the key to sticking with exercise: feeling like your day isn’t complete without running, lifting, cycling, swimming, yoga … whatever becomes your exercise of choice.

Keep up the good work – it is always worth it!

Get the Most From Your Run: Fix Your Running Form

Running is one of the most accessible workouts out there. All you need is a good pair of running shoes, and you can run virtually anywhere – the road, the track, the treadmill …

But as any avid runner will tell you, and as is the case with any other workout you could choose to partake in, your form will play as big a part in your success as your commitment to take the time out of your day to do it. Which is why I was glad to come across this: Fix Your Running Form | Fitbie.

It’s amazing how a few small changes can make your run both safer and more effective. The article suggests you take a look at the lean of your body, the positioning of your hands and your footstrike and how  much you use your arms to help you push forward, and also engage in speed drills to help keep you on your toes (in more ways than one).

Running can be one of the most relaxing leisure activities you can engage in – I can often feel the stress of the day literally melt out of my upper back once I’ve found my stride. Make sure you are getting the most out of your run – check your form, find a breathing rhythm, and, most importantly, just relax and have fun!