Spinning Playlist – September 26, 2013

Happy Thursday everyone! It’s starting to feel like fall, huh? Guess that means the studio’s going to start getting a little more full from here on out – and I love it!

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+)
Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard
Numb – Usher
Meet Me Halfway – Black Eyed Peas
Misery – Maroon 5

Building Block #2 (Start Resistance 4-5, Build to 9)
Sweet Nothing – Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welsh
Starstrukk – 3oh!3 ft. Katy Perry
The Other Side – Jason DeRulo
Up in the Air – 30 Seconds to Mars
Burn it Down – Linkin Park

Building Block #3 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 7)
Best I Ever Had – Gavin DeGraw
Touch Me – SMASH Cast ft. Katherine McPhee
Blow Me (One Last Kiss) – Pink
Desert Rose – Sting

I Choose You – Sara Bareilles
Catch My Breath – Kelly Clarkson

Have a great weekend everyone – we’ll see you next week! Just a quick reminder – we move to 6 p.m. next week. So those of you who leave work early to come see me every week (I love that a few of you have actually admitted this), you have a few more minutes to make it on time 🙂

Sometimes Your Head Wins …

… but not in the way you anticipated.

I went into the gym tonight with every intention of running about three miles to start my workout. My body – and my brain – clearly had a different idea.

Let me back up a little bit here. As you may or may not have figured out, my life has been a little all over the place since I returned from vacation in July. Yes, the gym has, as always, been my one constant, and my sanity. But I’ve changed jobs (good move). Had my not-quite-relationship-but-sure-as-hell-felt-like-one end (again … and while it was right, it was still heartbreaking). Gained a new roommate (seriously good upgrade).

Through it all, you would think what has always been my solace, my me-time, my stress relief, (if I need to translate, it’s a nice, long run) would see me through. But since I got back from vacation two – yes, TWO – months ago, my runs have SUCKED. We’re talking, having to talk myself into finishing three miles. Feeling like I wanted to die every second of it.

So imagine my surprise when, tonight, as I dragged my exhausted butt into the gym (yes, the new job was a great move, but this working all day, five days a week is tiring!! The good news: sleeping like a baby for a change. Crap. It’s 45 minutes to bedtime. Please don’t let me have just jinxed myself), convinced that I could make it through three lousy miles before moving on to a little shoulder work … and kept going. For four miles. Then five. Then six. Then an extra half, just for good measure. And I felt like I could have kept going, if I really felt like it. For the first time in a long time, I stopped running because I’d gotten bored … not because my body or my heart rate or my breathing told me that I needed to stop. I felt good. I felt strong. I felt … like it was about dang time!

I guess my point here is that while I’m a huge believer that our heads are often what tells us to quit before our bodies really need to, sometimes we can surprise ourselves. I fully anticipated another sub-par run this evening, but when I found my groove, and just let myself go, my head started telling me today was the day I got back to form. Today is the day I forget about the chaos that has been my life throughout the last two months, even if it was only for an hour. Today was the day I ran like I was supposed to run.

The Evolution of the Football Helmet

If you’ve been reading this blog, taking classes with me, or checked out my Twitter feed (@StrongFitSarah), you know that if there is one thing I am as crazy about as I am fitness, it’s college football! With the season getting into full swing – and my Tigers still looking strong in the top five – I was thrilled to find this graphic, depicting the evolution of the football helmet.

Technology has truly come a long way, and with the increase in safety concerns, so has the football helmet. Hard hits, week after week – and for many players, throughout most of their lives – have made researchers more interested in the long-last effects of concussions … and what can be done to lessen any lasting damage. Today, helmets are being developed to provide feedback that not only keep players safe on the field, but provide doctors and researchers with data that can help reduce – and maybe someday even eliminate – the medical issues that could result from even one concussion.

Read on … there’s some interesting stuff in here. And GO TIGERS!

Get health and fitness tips at Greatist.com

Spinning Playlist – September 19, 2013

Happy Thursday … or should I say, HAPPY GAME DAY! Have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of the Thursday night games, but whatever brings in more of the ESPN dollars, right? Anyway, couple new ones for you tonight. That said, on to the real subject at hand …

Here’s tonight’s Spinning playlist, fresh out of the studio:

Warm-up (Flat Road; Start Resistance 3-4 on a Scale of 10)
1901 – Phoenix

Building Block #1 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 8+)
Animal – Neon Trees
Still Into You – Paramore
I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry
Poker Face – Lady Gaga

Building Block #2 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 9)
Hold it Against Me – Britney Spears
Closer to the Edge – 30 Seconds to Mars
Wild – Jessie J ft. Big Sean
Titanium – David Guetta ft. Sia
Come to Me – Diddy ft. Nicole Scherzinger
My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark – Fall Out Boy

Building Block #3 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 8)
Let’s Go – Calvin Harris ft. Ne-Yo
Stay the Night – Zedd ft. Haley Williams
Clumsy – Fergie
Uprising – Muse

Belief – Gavin DeGraw
Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine

Have a great rest of your week and a great weekend … and GO TIGERS! Time to go turn on the game.

I Tried a New Stepmill Tonight …

… and I didn’t love it. I was thinking earlier today – as I was climbing the 900 escalator steps that now take me from the Metro to my new job in D.C. – that it’s been a while since I’ve been on the stepmill. It’s always been one of my favorite machines, because not only do you start sweating in about 30 seconds (I know, coming from me this doesn’t mean much), but that thing will kick your butt. So, knowing I had a leg workout ahead of me this evening, I figured what better way to warm those legs up than with my old friend the stepmill.

So imagine my surprise when, as I walked across the gym to the back corner that the stepmills hide (if you can say hide … unless it’s early Sunday morning, those things always have people waiting to get on them), I came across five or six brand new gargantuan machines alongside four of the old ones. Part of me got super excited. The other part of me looked at the handrails and decided they had too much going on. Another part still was wondering why I had never heard of the brand of fitness equipment – Matrix – before.

Being me, of course I looked to see if any of the old ones were available – just because I was kind of tired and not really down for having to figure out how to work a new machine. Only one was open, but the television was broken (I wondered later why I cared, though, since I tend to spend my entire time on the stepmill either watching the clock to change my direction or watching my feet to ensure I don’t go flying off the back of that thing), so I decided to try out the new beast.

Like I said … I didn’t love it. There wasn’t anything fundamentally wrong with it – I mean, it’s literally a moving set of stairs – but it was the little things that made a difference. First, it didn’t have as much variance in speed as the ones I had gotten used to at XSport (I will admit, though, the older version was level 1-20 versus steps per minute, the latter of which I prefer). I felt almost if I was going between working a little too hard, and not hard enough. Also – and this goes back to the whole stepmills make you sweat profusely thing – the handlebars were metal, which made them difficult to grip (this would be a good time for me to make a point about stepmills and handlebars: they are there for you to keep your balance, not to throw your body on top of. Keep upright, and if you do need the handlebars for your balance, grip lightly – your back will feel better, and your body will work harder). What did I like? Tiny fan on the top of the console. That will always win points with me.

Have you encountered any new equipment lately? And if so, what was your first impression … and did it eventually grow on you if you were not at first a fan?

Spinning Playlist – September 12, 2013

Hey everyone! First week on the new job is going well … and even better news, looks like my class schedule should be fine as-is based on my new work schedule (insert applause here). One new one for you tonight – and another planned to hit the playlist next week, once I’ve had a chance to listen to it a few more times.

But what did we do tonight? Here’s tonight’s Spinning playlist, fresh out of the studio:

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

Building Block #1 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 9)
Closer – Tegan and Sara
Safe and Sound – Capital Cities
Misery – Maroon 5
E. T. – Katy Perry ft. Kanye West

Building Block #2 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 9)
Best I Ever Had – Gavin DeGraw
Sex on Fire – Kings of Leon
Glowing – Nikki Williams
Up in the Air – 30 Seconds to Mars
Burn It Down – Linkin Park

Building Block #3 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 7)
Endorphins – Sub Focus ft. Alex Clare
Clarity – Zedd
Good Girls Go Bad – Cobra Starshp
Desert Rose – Sting

Bittersweet Symphony – SMASH Cast ft. Megan Hilty
Read All About it Part III – Emeli Sande

Have a great weekend everyone … try to enjoy this fall-like weather (at least here in the DC area)! See you back here next week.