Cycle Workout & Playlist

Although it seems my life has been all Orangetheory lately, I have actually still been teaching cycle twice a week. Cycle was my first love and will always be one of my favorite group exercise formats to teach. After teaching for over 3 years, sometimes it seems like I have heard some of the same “workout” songs a million times (I am talking to you Sandstorm). The other day I made a point of picking artists that have a song I normally use in playlists. This time I looked for songs that aren’t as common or overplayed. I ended up not only finding new songs that have high energy and a strong beat but being reminded of songs that I had not heard in a while. Today I am sharing my latest cycle workout and playlist.

Cycle Workout & Playlist
Cycle Workout & Playlist

Warm- up / Hey Brother – Avicii 
Standing Climb / Hair – Little Mix
Jumps (up/down) / Heart Attack – Demi Lovato
Seated Climb / Kids – One Republic
Standing Sprints on the Chorus / I Cry – Flo Rida
Jumps (up/across the saddle) / A-YO – Lady Gaga
Across the Saddle Climb / Into You – Ariana Grande
Jumps (up/across the saddle/ down) / Bring It Back – Shy Carter
Seated Climb / Tightrope – Walk The Moon
Seated Sprints on the Chorus / Find You – Zedd
Jumps (up/down) – HandClap – Fitz and the Tantrums
Standing Sprints on the Chorus / Applause – Lady Gaga
Seated Climb –> Standing Climb / In My Head – Jason Derulo
Jumps (20 secs up/ 20 secs down) / Somebody Loves You – Betty Who
Cooldown on the Bike / Try Me – Jennifer Lopez & Jason Derulo
Cooldown off the Bike/ I Love You Always Forever – Betty Who

Tell me: What was your first love when you started working out? 

Triathlon Training

When I decided to take a break from running earlier this month to get my back fixed, I kept thinking about what I would do this summer as my workout plan. Most important this summer is to work with my doctors & physical therapists to eliminate my back pain which translates into workouts that strengthen my back, not aggravate it. Hence why running is out of the question for a while.

Last April I completed my first reverse sprint triathlon. I trained heavily on running and biking since the swim was so short. I am a decent swimmer but definitely could use improvement on longer swims. I placed 3rd in my age category and swore I would do another one that year. Here we are a year later and I have yet to even get back in the pool for swimming. Guess my mom wasn’t kidding when she said life flies by you when you are an adult! My physical therapist has highly recommended getting back into swimming as it is a workout that is not only great cardio but a workout that will not hurt my back.

All of this has led me to decide this summer it is time to get back into triathlon training. With the recommendation of swimming and the fact that I have to cycle 4x a week since I teach, there is no better time. That decision led me to take my first two steps into training: 1) I bought a road bike and 2) I got in the pool for the first time in over a year! While the road bike is nothing fancy, it will do the trick in  helping me train for the cycle portion. My swimming needs the most improvement. After my swim workout this past week I kept asking myself why did it take so long to get back in the pool? I am a water baby at heart. Swimming is not only great cardio but much easier on the body than most.  Triathlon

For May and June, I plan to stick to cycle and swim as my main workouts. I will supplement my workouts with yoga and weight training. Starting in July, I will follow a triathlon training plan to get me ready for a sprint triathlon. I am still looking into which plan I will follow but will narrow it down in June. Although a little nervous, I am extremely excited to get back into a training schedule and hopefully conquer the triathlon again!

If you’re looking for some sprint triathlon plans, here are some I have been  looking at:

Womens Health 12 Week Plan
Beginner Triathlete Plan
Mens Health 12 Week Plan

Have you done a triathlon before? Would you do one?

Power Songs and a Power Playlist

One of the many reasons I wanted to become a cycle instructor was because I love music. I don’t mean just love- my love of music means:

  • 90% of the songs I would listen to before I got certified would result in me making a note in my phone of what it could be used for in a cycle class
  • Now 100% of the songs I listen to get the “How could I use this in cycle” question
  • One time I added up my month purchases on Itunes in a month which added up to how much I pay for my electric bill
  • I have turned an hour workout into a two workout because I got to the gym without music so I went home, got the music and returned (thank goodness this was before the Iphone)

Music fuels me, music excites me and music pushes me through my workouts. I have never done a race without music even in a triathlon where music was not allowed. Yep, I am a rule breaker but I couldn’t even fathom running without music. I just love it all. My collection has everything from The Biebs to Disney soundtracks up to Eminem and Dr. Dre. To sum it up I need music in my life which makes creating playlists for my classes one of my favorite activities. I think a good playlist is a mix of upbeat music with a few throwback songs. There is nothing better as an instructor when someone is singing along to the music or shouts “I love this song.”

Over the years I have had some tried and true “power songs” that I make sure to put in the middle of my playlist when I need that extra push. These songs have a way of motivating me to run a little faster, cycle a little longer or finish just one more rep. Most people have at least one song that does it for them. Here are a few of my go-to:

  • Lose Yourself- Eminem
  • Eye of the Tiger- Survivor
  • Geronimo- Sheppard
  • I Lived- One Republic
  • Another One Bites the Dust- Queen
  • I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)- The Proclaimers

Due to my love of music, I usually have a power song of the week or month that I over play, over use and over sing until a new song pops on my radar. This week my “power song” is Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon. It definitely gets me going and is the perfect song to do jumps to. Here’s my Monday night spin playlist and workout. This song will be on the playlist for the next few weeks until I overplay it to death! :)


WARMUP:   Girls Just Wanna Have Fun- Miley Cyrus
CLIMB (SEATED):   Love Runs Out- One Republic
JUMPS (UP/DOWN) COUNTS OF 4:   Shut Up and Dance- Walk the Moon
CLIMB (YOUR CHOICE):   Hall of Fame- The Script
ISOLATIONS:   Right Round- Flo Rida
CLIMB (SEATED TO STANDING):   Lose My Breath- Destiny’s Child
JUMPS (UP/ HOVER) COUNTS OF 8:   Give Me Everything- Pitbull
CLIMB (STANDING):   Animals- Maroon 5
JUMPS (UP/DOWN/HOVER) COUNTS OF 4:   I Do Not Hook Up- Kelly Clarkson
COOLDOWN:   Stand By Me- Ben King
STRETCH:   Lego House- Ed Sheeran

Your turn: Tell me, do you have one power song you go to when you need that extra push or is it always changing depending on what is popular at the moment?

Group Fitness Classes: Yay or Nay?

Since I teach cycle and boot camp group fitness classes, I’m sure you can guess my stance on group fitness classes. But I guess it’s confession time… About 3 years ago, before I taught group fitness, I attended my first step class at the very gym I now teach my own classes at. I walked in with my best friend, excited and ready to bring back the 80s. In my head, step aerobics made me think of my favorite Saved by the Bell episode where the girls were dressed in leg warmers and spandex making a music video. Unfortunately, I did not get to live out my Kelly Kapowski dream because the step instructor started the class by saying “Hi, follow along as we start our first exercise.” Even before I became a certified instructor, I could tell this was a bad way to start a class. No warm welcome, no explanation for a newbie and definitely no calm for my nerves as a newbie. The peppy instructor immediately started on a routine that made me feel ridiculous. The step choreography was not only advanced but seemed like a memorized routine. I tried to stay positive, push through my embarrassment and discouragement but I couldn’t. After I turned left when I should have turned right, bumped into an older gentleman who shouted excuse me rudely, I gave the look to my friend. We both knew we couldn’t stay in the class. We quickly and quietly grabbed our steps, glad to have set up in the back and ran out of there.

Besides my own incident, I have heard horror stories of rude instructors, unsafe practices in class, high school status mean girls and on and on. These are the reasons people often say Nay to group fitness classes. As an instructor and fellow group fitness class attendee, these reasons break my heart.


Group fitness classes have so much to offer people of all ages. I think the key is finding the right class for you. If someone asked me what my favorite class to teach is I would have to say boot camp. Yet my favorite class to attend is definitely cycle. Why? Because each class has its own benefits. I like the encouragement I get from certain classes while another class offers a cardio workout. Depending on what I trying to accomplish I can find a class that will suit my workout needs for the day.

I think the #1 reason that group fitness is a Yay in my book is the camaraderie. People of all ages and athletic levels can and should be able to attend classes. The right instructor in a class will be able to modify or intensify any workout to better suit individual needs. One of my boot camp classes is the prime example of a diverse group that can be offered. Men, women, 18 year olds, 50 year olds, athletes, members wanting to lose weight, members trying to gain muscle, parents, students and couples. This mixed group of people are the prime example for group camaraderie as they cheer each other on through each circuit and exercise. They make sure to reach out to new people during class and help set up each week. It is no wonder this class has the highest retention rate. If I was not an instructor for the class I would be attending every week as a member.

Another advantage to group fitness classes is the consistency you get when attending. You are able to show up to the gym and have a pre made workout done for you. Whether Pilates, cycle or kickboxing, you show up to class with someone else doing the planning for you. Group fitness helps to take out the thought of your workout allowing you the chance to simply work. In addition, this helps to combat boredom with your workouts. Many fitness articles will tell you to change it up, try different workouts and keep your muscles guessing. You are allowing your workouts to do just this without having to plan it yourself.

Lastly, I think a benefit is the group fitness environment promotes a challenge. By having the camaraderie you are pushed and motivated to power through an exercise. With the consistency of the workout you are given a foundation to build and improve on. As a regular attendee of a class, you should be challenged in each workout, allowing you to improve- whether by adding more resistance, increasing your weights or improving your pace. Especially when combined with regular attendance, consistency helps to build the challenge of a class.

At the end of the day, group fitness classes may not be for everyone. Some may not like the pressure of having to be social while some may like their quiet time during their gym session. In addition, not all classes are for everyone. I have met many members who attend a different class every day while another member swears only by one type of class and one instructor who teaches it. Everyone must do what they love and enjoy.

So tell me: Group fitness classes- yay or nay?
If so what is your favorite group fitness class?

Inspire Yourself Workout & Playlist

Inspire Yourself

Here we are at another Monday! Before I give you today’s spin workout and playlist I wanted to discuss a topic that comes up often after spin class. Many times someone in spin will tell me after class that they were really pushing themselves but the don’t know why they cannot go as fast on sprints/ heavy on resistance/ long as distance as others. I always remind everyone that they cannot compare themselves to others. Not only are you not able to read what the other person’s bike states, everyone is at a different place in their fitness. Some have been going to spin class for years, some a week. Some struggle to sprint for a 10 second stretch while others are out of  breath half way through a hill.

You can compare yourself to others but at the end of the day where does it get you? We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and start being proud of what we have accomplished. Maybe you were able to lift a heavier dumbbell this week. Maybe you were able to run an extra mile. Maybe you simply got yourself to the gym after a stressful work day. Whatever it is, celebrate what YOU have done, not what others have done. While I love finding a motivating or inspiring quote on Pinterest or Instagram, you have to inspire yourself. Be proud of what you accomplished.


Spin Workout & Playlist

Today’s spin workout is all about climbing, climbing and more climbing. After missing spin class last week I wanted to make sure that everyone had a resistance heavy workout where they would leave with legs feeling like jello. Climbs are alternated between standing and seated with all starts at a low to moderate resistance. The playlist definitely went over well and become a fun sing along when we rocked our last climb to Queen!


These workouts and playlists are set to motivate and inspire you to get a good workout in but you are the one who has get yourself on the bike or to the gym. No one can force you to show up. Remember, at the end of the day, you are the only one who can motivate or push yourself. While others offer additional motivation, support, encouragement and inspiration, you are the one who has to set the first foot forward.

Inspire yourself. Motivate yourself. Show up for yourself. Be proud of yourself. 

Spin Workout with Playlist

Happy Tuesday! Lets get right to it with a spin workout and playlist for the week :

Spin Playlist

1) Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool- Magic  WARMUP  Start with stretching on the bike while picking up your RPMs. Increase your pace as you loosen up your legs and arms.

2) Honey I’m Good- Andy Grammer  SPRINTS  The first set of sprints should be standing with moderate resistance in 15 second increments with 15 second recovery.

3) Centuries- Fall Out Boy  CLIMB  The first climb should be standing from start to finish. Start with a low resistance and add resistance every 15-20 seconds until reaching the top of the hill.

4) Shake Ya Tailfeather- Nelly JUMPS  In counts of 4 seconds, start in a seated position with moderate resistance. On the chorus take it up (standing tall), back to a hover position as far across the saddle as you can and back down to the seated position. Repeat on the choruses staying seated on the verse.

5) Hall of Fame- The Script  CLIMB  Staying seated start at a moderate resistance adding resistance taking it to the max gear on the bike. When you reach the top, take up to half the resistance off and pick up the RPMs. Time for a downhill ride!

6) Bang Bang- Ariana Grande  SPRINTS  Heaviest sprints of the ride with moderate to heavy resistance. Alternate between 20 and 15 seconds taking 10 to 15 seconds recovery.

7) When You Were Young- The Killers  CLIMB  Start the climb seated but as you increase the resistance, alternate between sprinting up the hill and slowly pedaling through the resistance.

8) Yeah- Usher  JUMPS  In counts of 4 seconds, start in a seated position with heavy resistance. On the verse take it up (standing tall) and then back to a hover position as far across the saddle as you can. On the chorus, stay standing nice and tall and increase the pace on your legs.

9) On The Floor- Jennifer Lopez  SPRINTS  Starting with low to moderate resistance, increase resistance with each sprint until heavy resistance is reached. Sprints should alternate between standing and seated.

10) Really Don’t Care- Demi Lovato  JUMPS  In counts of 8 seconds, start in a standing position with moderate resistance. On the verse take it up (standing tall) and then back to a hover position as far across the saddle as you can. On the chorus, stay standing nice and tall and increase the pace on your legs.

11) Right Round- Flo Rida  SPRINTS  Last set of sprints should be standing with low to moderate resistance. With the lower resistance, increase the sprints to 20 second sprints with 10 seconds recovery.

12) Fancy- Iggy Azalea  CLIMB  Last ride should start at a moderate resistance adding until the top of the hill. When you reach the peak of the hill, reduce the resistance every 10 to 15 seconds until you reach your flat road.

13) Style- Taylor Swift  COOLDOWN  Slow RPMs and heart rate down as you begin to slowly decrease your pace. As you slow your legs, stretch the arms, shoulders and core before you stretch the legs.

14) Run- Matt Nathanson  STRETCH

Now lets get spinning…