Spinning Playlist – November 12, 2014

Happy Wednesday everyone! Hope your week is off to a great start. Here’s tonight’s Spinning Playlist, fresh out of the studio:

Warm-up
Mr. Brightside – The Killers

Building Block #1
When I Grow Up – Pussycat Dolls
Red Lights – Tiesto
Forever – Chris Brown
Funhouse – Pink

Building Block #2
I Write Sins Not Tragedies – Panic at the Disco
Take Me on the Floor – The Veronicas
Blame – Calvin Harris ft. John Newman
Break the Fall – Laura Welsh
Hard – Rihanna ft. Young Jeezy

Building Block #3
Lucky Strike – Maroon 5
Break Free – Ariana Grande
How I Feel – Flo Rida
Hideaway – Kiesza
Chandelier – Sia

Cooldown
All of Me – John Legend
XO – Beyonce

Thanks for a great class tonight! It’s supposed to get chilly tomorrow (the return of the Polar Vortex. Awesome. Er…no), so try to stay warm!

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Spinning Playlist – May 1, 2014

Well, the good news is we made it through the week of never-ending rain … and the bad news is that class was a little light tonight (because, hopefully,  people were outside enjoying this gorgeous day!) … but we still had a great time tonight! We had a bit of a “Human” sandwich … which I promise wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounds.

That said, here’s tonight’s playlist, fresh out of the studio:

Warm-up (Flat Road; Resistance 3-4 on a Scale of 10)
Human – The Killers

Building Block #1 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 8+)
Good Feeling – Flo Rida
Titanium – David Guetta ft. Sia
Clumsy – Fergie
Paralyzer – Finger Eleven

Building Block #2 (Start Resistance 4-5, Build to 9)
Work Work – Britney Spears
I Believe – Timeflies
Find You – Zedd ft. Matthew Koma and Miriam Bryant
Airplanes – BoB ft. Hayley Williams
Miss Jackson – Panic at the Disco ft. Lolo

Building Block #3 (Start Resistance 4-5, Build to 8+)
Best I Ever Had – Gavin DeGraw
Take Me Home – Cash Cash
Dirty Little Secret – All American Rejects
Telephone – Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce
Uprising – Muse

Cooldown
Say Something – A Great Big World
Human – Christina Perri

Thanks for a great class tonight – enjoy your weekend! See you on Monday!

Let’s Talk About Effort (a.k.a. My Thoughts on Low Resistance)

I have a confession to make: I’m that creeper next to you on the treadmill/elliptical/stepmill/bike. The one who will slyly peek over at the display on your screen. Sometimes, I’m impressed. Sometimes, I want to make sure I’m “beating” you (no, I’m not proud of this insane competitive streak). Sometimes, I’m wondering why you don’t man up and actually push yourself a little. Tonight, I felt like I was doing a lot of the latter.

So, here’s the thing: when it comes to a machine with adjustable resistance (ellipticals and spin bikes), I’m definitely more of a resistance girl than a speed girl. I do think speed has its place, and depending on the song I’m listening to, I appreciate a quick pace. But I love some hard, heavy hills. As I tell my Spinning classes, heavy resistance is what gives you those pretty lines in your legs. I have a preference for the Precor elliptical, which has a resistance scale of 20. I usually hover somewhere between 11 and 18, depending on which machine I’m using (and what song is playing). Which is what motivated tonight’s post.

This evening, I did a little shoulder workout, and headed upstairs for an hour on the elliptical. I’m planning on a long run tomorrow, so I figured I better go about medium effort tonight, because if the weather is nice, there is no telling how far I’ll actually go before I get bored and stop (last week it was about 9.2 miles. I set out to do 7). I situated myself in the second on three rows, just off center, and got moving. Here’s the thing … though I’m one of those weird people who actually does like cardio – I swear, we exist! – I tend to get bored pretty quickly. Even with the music pumping, and the tv on, I’m still people watching. Which usually sinks me into people judging. And by that, I mean looking at the displays of the screen next to and in front of me. And wondering what these people think they are accomplishing by keeping the resistance on the elliptical at a 5. And still moving at a slow pace.

Now, before you go judging me for … well … judging, let me admit that I don’t know everyone’s goals, or injuries, or abilities. But I’m that person sweating buckets regardless of what I’m doing. I actually had a lady ask me walking into my Spinning class (before which I for some unknown reason had an itching desire to run 5k … I said I’m not right in the head) a few weeks back if it was raining outside. It was not. I was just determined to finish my 3.1 in the 26 minutes I had before I had to open up the studio. Anyway, back to my point – if you look gorgeous when you leave the gym, you probably didn’t get much of a workout. Yes, there are a lucky few out there who don’t sweat like it’s August in Louisiana. But I’m certainly not one of them. And neither are most people.

I guess my point is just this: if you are going to take the time to go to the gym, and do something good for yourself, give yourself something to be proud of. If you can’t feel your legs working, your heart rate raising, your blood pumping, then you are likely not living up to your full potential. Here’s a fact for you: below a certain resistance, you’re not really doing the work – momentum is (this is especially true the higher up the incline on an elliptical – momentum is dragging your feet along, making it challenging to keep the leg muscles engaged – and get the benefits of the exercise).

If you’re slogging along at a resistance of 1 – yes, I saw more than on person set at 1 – you’d be better off doing something else. Anything else. You’re probably bored anyway. Challenge yourself. It is, after all, the challenge that makes you stronger – and breeds the will to work harder, to be more, to ultimately help build the body you never thought you could have.

Spinning Playlist – March 6, 2014

Dear Spring, where are you?? We’re still waiting. At least we had a great class tonight to warm us up!

Here’s what we rode to this evening:

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

Building Block #1 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 9)
Take Me Home – Cash Cash
Let Me Love You – Ne-Yo
Miss Jackson – Panic! at the Disco

Building Block #2 (Start Resistance 4-5, Build 9+)
Work Work – Britney Spears
Tommie Sunshine Megamix Smashup – Katy Perry
Up in the Air – 30 Seconds to Mars
Stronger – Kanye West

Building Block #3 (Start Resistance 5, Build to 7+)
Bombs Over Baghdad – Outkast
Neon Lights – Demi Lovato
Animal – Ke$ha
How I Feel – Flo Rida
Desert Rose – Sting

Cooldown
Human – Christina Perri
Say Something – A Great Big World

Have a great weekend! Enjoy the (hopefully lasting) warmer weather!

Don’t Be a “Resolutioner” – Be a Lifer!

So, you’ve made the decision to get fit this year. You’ve told everyone about your resolution, bought some new workout gear, and you’re ready to go.

Or are you?

This is a good question to ponder as you go about starting your new routine. It’s easy to get excited, but for many, that enthusiasm  wears off as time goes on, and what was once your goal for 2014 is now your “eh, maybe next year.”

What can you do to make sure your commitment to get fit turns into a lifestyle, rather than just a passing phase? Here are a few tips to try on for size:

Make a plan. Know your schedule, know your body, and know what you want to accomplish. I’ll never be an early-morning, before work workout person – but I have the discipline to still get to the gym every night. Find the time and place that works for you. It can be a gym, a studio, or that old treadmill in your basement or DVD in your living room, whatever you know you’ll enjoy doing.

Hire a trainer. Or nutritionist. Or both. Depending on your goals, you may need to bring in the expert. Most people (myself included) don’t realize how much they don’t know until they hire a professional. I went to the gym for six years before I hired a trainer … and in six months I saw more results than I did in those six years going it alone.

Share your goal … and stick to it. Peer pressure doesn’t stop in high school. If you really want to change your life this year, don’t your food-pusher family talk you into a doughnut, or your social circle force you to skip a workout. It’s your life, and you decide what you make of it.

Have FUN! Remember when you were a kid and you used to run around the backyard? It was fun, right? It was also exercise. So whatever you choose to do, make it fun, and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.  Find a class, a running group, or a workout partner to look forward to seeing when it’s exercise time.

Diets don’t work. Sporadic exercise doesn’t work. What does? Keeping with your commitment, and embracing a healthy lifestyle. I’m not saying treats are forever off the table (I’ll admit to my own killer sweet tooth), or that you have to live in the gym – but like so many other areas of our lives, it’s a matter of maintaining balance. You get out what you put in. It will not be easy. Some days you may hurt. Some days that cake may not stop screaming your name. You will fall down. But you have to get back up. Hope to still be seeing you around the gym in March!