BONUS! Spinning Playlist(s) – August 31, 2013

HAPPY GAME DAY, EVERYONE!! It feels like Christmas! I’m counting down the hours to kickoff (and hoping Kirk, Lee, Chris, Des, Samantha and the rest of the Game Day crew are enjoying Tiger Town … I wonder if I can find Game Day OnDemand??), and starting my day off right, with not one, but TWO Spinning classes this morning.

So, here they are:

8:30 a.m. class
Warm-up (Flat Road, Resistance 3-4 on a Scale of 10)
Out of My League – Fitz and the Tantrums

Building Block #1 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 9)
Untouched – The Veronicas
Still Into You – Paramore
Feel So Close – Calvin Harris
E.T. – Katy Perry

Building Block #2 (Start Resistance 4-5, Build to 9+)
Scream – Usher
Sex On Fire – Kings of Leon
Glowing – Nikki Williams
So What – Pink
Stronger – Kanye West

Building Block #3 (Start Resistance 4-5, Build to 7+)
Sweet Nothing – Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch
Toxic – Britney Spears
Forever – Chris Brown
Desert Rose – Sting

Cooldown
Mirrors – Justin Timberlake

9:45 a.m. class
Warm-up (Flat Road, Resistance 3-4 on a Scale of 10)
Wake Me Up – Avicii

Building Block #1 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 8)
Hot ‘n Cold – Katy Perry
Closer – Tegan and Sara
Forever Now – Ne-Yo
Funhouse – Pink

Building Block #2 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 8-9)
Endorphins – Sub Focus
Summertime Sadness – Lana Del Ray
Domino – Jessie J
Dirrty – Christina Aguilera ft. Redman
Uprising – Muse

Building Block #3 (Start Resistance , Build to )
Turn Me On – David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj
Clarity – Zedd ft. Foxes
Telephone – Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce
Rosa Parks – Outkast

Cooldown
Never Let Me Go – Florence + The Machine
Heartbeat Slowing Down – All-American Rejects

Thanks for a fun time this morning – now enjoy some football. I’m counting down the seconds until “the most exciting 25 seconds in college football”:

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GO TIGERS!!

Spinning Playlist – August 29, 2013

I know, I know … I apologize for a hiatus … then take a longer one. Well, a lot has definitely happened in the last week, and I’ll fill you in a little on that later. But for now, I’m celebrating the start of college football season (a.k.a. one of my three favorite days of the year – the others being Christmas and my birthday).

Anyway … getting down to business. Here’s tonight’s playlist, straight off the bike:

Warm-up (Flat Road; Resistance 3-4 on a Scale of 10)
Out of My League – Fitz and the Tantrums

Building Block #1 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 9)
Starstrukk – 3oh!3 ft. Katy Perry
Feel So Close – Calvin Harris
Safe and Sound – Capital Cities
Don’t Cha – Pussycat Dolls
Inside of You – Hoobastank

Building Block #2 (Start Resistance 4-5, Build to 8+)
Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera
Summertime Sadness – Lana Del Ray
Part of Me – Katy Perry
Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself) – Ne-yo
Dirrty – Christina Aguilera ft. Redman

Building Block #3 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 7+)
Endorphins – Sub Focus ft. Alex Clare
Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard
Still Into You – Paramore
Desert Rose – Sting

Cooldown
Catch My Breath – Kelly Clarkson
Lego House – Ed Sheeran

Have a great Labor Day weekend, everyone – see how much football you can fit in (you know I will). Here’s hoping my Tigers can pull off the win vs. Georgia on Saturday (kick-off is at 8 p.m. in Death Valley) – make sure you check out ESPN’s College Game Day, coming to you from Bowman Field in beautiful Clemson, South Carolina. GO TIGERS!!

Spinning Playlist – August 22, 2013

Couple new ones for you today – I’ve been feeling like I need to mix things up a bit more lately, so if you have any song recommendations, send them my way! That said, here’s tonight’s Spinning playlist, straight off the bike:

Warm-up (Flat Road; Resistance 3-4 on a Scale of 10)
Wake Me Up – Avicii

Building Block #1 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 8+)
Everybody Talks – Neon Trees
Wild Ones – Flo Rida ft. Sia
Still Into You – Paramore
Domino – Jessie J
My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up) – Fall Out Boy

Building Block #2 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 8+)
Bombs Over Baghdad – Outkast
Tommie Sunshine’s Megamix Smashup – Katy Perry
One More Night – Maroon 5

Building Block #3 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 9)
Turn Me On – David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj
Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ft. Ray Dalton
What the Hell – Avril Lavigne
Titanium – David Guetta ft. Sia
Burn it Down – Linkin Park

Cooldown
Never Let Me Go – Florence + The Machine
You Make it Real – James Morrison

Have a great weekend – I’m headed to Pittsburgh tomorrow morning for my cousin Jackie’s baby shower, so today is my Friday (yay)! Enjoy your second-to-last weekend of the summer, and we’ll see you next week … when I will be anxiously counting down the seconds to college football kickoff!

Believing Everything Happens for a Reason … and Who Were All These People in the Gym Tonight??

Hello again friends, I didn’t forget you! Apologies for my distance most of last week … it was a doozy. I’ve had a lot of my mind and a lot on my plate these last few weeks, and needless to say, it came to a bit of  head last week. I’m holding on to my faith that – as it always has before – once you know that you can’t take any  more is when your life takes a turn for the better. I compared it to a mountain range – there are peaks and valleys. This has been one heck of a valley, so I’m looking forward to climbing that huge hill toward happiness that has to lie ahead.

I guess you could say I gave myself a little therapy in the form of a good workout, a massage and a stroll around the shops in Old Town Alexandria on Saturday. I’ve been insanely busy these last few weekends – since I got back from vacation on month ago, actually – so it was really nice to take a little time for me. Decompress a little. Take a look at the things that haven’t been working, and try to figure out a way to either move past them, fix them, or let them go. I’d like to think I made a little progress. If nothing else, my head-space is a little better than it had been most of last week. I did have to finally let go of something I’d been holding on to, despite knowing that the timing was all wrong … but I do believe that should the timing end up right in the future, we’ll end up at the same place and the same time, and we’ll know it. But you know how it goes … when it rains, it pours!

But back to the stuff you come here to read about … I’d love to know what they were giving away at my gym tonight (I didn’t actually see anything, but who knows), because I could have sworn it was like January in that joint. The parking lot was pretty deceiving – it looked pretty average for this time of year – and even when I first walked in, it didn’t seem too out of the ordinary. As I typically do, I got to talking to my friend RJ before I headed upstairs to put in a few miles … and he informed me that he was going to run outside, because 1. the weather wasn’t too terrible today (at least by outdoor running standards), and 2. he couldn’t get a treadmill upstairs. I didn’t think much of it, because the man only likes four of the probably 50 treadmills upstairs. So the likelihood goes down a little when you’re so particular (trust me, I can pick out every machine directly under a fan and/or vent for this exact reason – you know I’m a sweater). So I found myself a treadmill, turned the channel to NCIS, and ran for 30 minutes.

When I made my way downstairs, apparently all the people who had forced him to run outside had converged onto the weight floor, because HOLY CRAP, WHERE DID ALL THESE PEOPLE COME FROM? Granted, I was doing legs today, so all I really needed was a corner somewhere, a BOSU and a couple weights and/or plates. But finding the space? Not as easy as you would expect it to be. It’s freaking August, don’t you people have something better to do? (Not that I’m encouraging people to give up on their healthy habits, because obviously I’m not, but whoa. For real, I thought for a moment I’d slept for 5 months and didn’t realize it was, in fact, resolution season or something).

But anyway … just another week of getting back to basics here. I’m working my way back up that mountain, keeping the faith that the old adage “it’s always darkest before the dawn” rings true, and continuing to work my booty off, cause let’s be honest … I think I’ve gained a stress pound or two that I don’t need in my life the last few weeks. So here’s to better days, better workouts, and the knowledge that the best if yet to come … you just have to believe it.

Spinning Playlist – August 15, 2013

It’s FINALLY Thursday! I don’t know about you guys, but I swear, this week has felt like it’s been about five weeks long. Whew … almost to the weekend. Here’s hoping we can make it!

Until then, great ride tonight! Brought back a couple oldies but goodies … hope you enjoyed. Here’s tonight’s Spinning playlist, straight off the saddle:

Warm-up (Flat Road; Resistance 3-4 on a Scale of 10)
Dog Days are Over – Florence + The Machine

Building Block #1 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 8+)
Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida
Clarity – Zedd ft. Foxes
I Don’t Want to be in Love – Good Charlotte
It’s Time – Imagine Dragons

Building Block #2 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 9+)
Best I Ever Had – Gavin DeGraw
Closer – Tegan and Sara
Forever Now – Ne-Yo
Repeat – David Guetta ft. Jessie J
Safe and Sound – Capital Cities
Find Your Love – Drake

Building Block #3 (Start Resistance 4-5, Build to 7+)
Born Too Slow – Crystal Method
Glowing – Nikki Williams
Firework – Katy Perry
Desert Rose – Sting

Cooldown
Not Over You – Gavin DeGraw
Careful – Guster

Have a good weekend – though the weather here is looking more like late September than August this weekend – and I’ll look forward to seeing you next week.

Thoraco-diaphragmatic Breathing

For all my Pilates enthusiasts – this is a GREAT overview and explanation on your Pilates breath. If you’ve ever taken a class with me, you know I’m huge on breath and form, so read on to find out part of WHY I’m so crazy about this stuff!

Amanda's COREner

Welcome! That’s a mouthful of a title on today’s post, isn’t it? I am so glad that after having read it, you’ve still decided to check out this post because “thoraco-diaphragmatic” breathing is just a fancy schmancy way of saying “Pilates Breathing.”

You breathe in. You breathe out. And then you repeat this phenomenon approximately 17,000 – 18,000 times per 24 hour period. And honestly, you probably don’t even give it too much thought, do ya?

Breathing usually operates at the edge of our awareness, but will and volition are always at our disposal.“–Coulter

Breathing is part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which functions primarily below the level of our conscious mind. Things like digestion, heart rate, salivation, perspiration, and sexual arousal are also controlled by the ANS. Breathing is kind of like the shining star, however, because we can consciously choose to control it. We…

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Keiser M3 Foundations Instructor Training

Roomful-of-Keiser-M3s

Since joining the Sport&Health team a few weeks back, I’ve had quite a few fitness-filled weekends. Two weeks ago, I went through a three-hour orientation, last Saturday, I attended the DCAC group fitness convention, and today, I added another cycle certification to my repertoire –Keiser M3 Foundations.

Sport&Health uses the Keiser M3 bikes for their cycle classes – and they are pretty different from the Spinners and Freemotion bikes I’ve used at XSport throughout the last three and a half years.  They are pretty cool bikes – the ride is really smooth, and they feature a training computer that lets you monitor your RPM, watts, heart rate (with a Polar strap).

I always like to gain a little more knowledge, and in many cases, get a refresher in the classes that I’ve been teaching for some time – and I did learn a few things today. More than anything, I was excited to take the training to get a little accustomed to these bikes before I have to start teaching on them. I can tell that I’ll have to adapt my teaching style a little in order to use these bikes the “correct” way – for instance, there is very little (to no) use of the second position, which I have a tendency to throw in during transitions or music bridges.

We spent some time on getting bike fit down, too, which was interesting. Remember how last week I was all excited about how my form was pristine? Turns out everyone can use a little adjustment. Riding a different type of bike did impact my positioning – it’s amazing how much of a difference a movable fore and aft (on the handlebars) can make. That’s one thing I really missed on these bikes, because me and my short arms need all the help we can get (and your distance from the handlebars definitely makes a difference as far as your posture is concerned).

One fun fact of the day? I hate to disappoint anyone who has been riding the Keiser cycles … but turns out that trip counter? It’s actually NOT the mileage you’ve covered! Apparently it is a maintenance feature with really no purpose for the sake of your ride.

Overall, it was good to take some time to get used to the bikes, since they are somewhat different than the “traditional” Spinning bikes that I’m used to. So hopefully I’ll be seeing how much more I can do with these bikes before too long!