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
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?
Happy Workout Wednesday! I can’t believe we only have 4 days until Christmas. Luckily, I am pretty much done with shopping and starting Friday I get to enjoy some time with family. One of the hardest things during the holidays is to continue eating healthy and getting workouts in. During the holidays, however is the time you should be working out to control your stress level. Today, for Workout Wednesday, I am sharing a workout that you can do in your home in between wrapping those presents and prepping for the season. You do not need anything more than a set of dumbbells to complete this holiday themed workout.
Equipment Needed: Dumbbells
Directions: Complete 2-3 rounds of the exercises, top to bottom
12 Days of Christmas
12 bicep curls
11 shoulder presses
10 tricep dips
9 dumbbell lunges
8 dumbbell squats
7 bent rows
6 reverse crunches
5 side dips (each side)
4 straight leg crunches
2 mountain climbers
Added challenge: Complete this challenge as a add-on workout. Starting at 1 burpee, complete 1 burpee. Then complete 1 burpee + 2 mountain climbers. Move on to 1 burpee + 2 mountain climbers + 3 pushups until you have worked through the workout.
Tell me: Have you completed all your Christmas shopping?
It may seem like an obvious statement but music is one of the most unique things in the world. You would never be able to grab two people’s music library and have the exact same music. Music is unique to each and every person. Different songs have different meanings. Different artists offer unique motivation. Different songs drive emotions. As an instructor I have learned I will never create a playlist that every student likes which is why I try as much as possible to create those that mix it up constantly whether it be genre, artist and the decade the song was popular. Even then my instructor music is different from my personal workout music. While I love me some Eminem, there are maybe two songs that you can find a clean version of. While this can create a small challenge at times, it also allows me to mix it up and expand my horizons when it comes to music.
Mix It Up Playlist
Sometimes I make a playlist for a class and think it will be one that students enjoy. Other times, I write a playlist that becomes the list I am obsessed with for weeks. Today I wanted to share my latest obession. It has what I love so much about playlists – a little bit of everything – 80’s, rock, pop and EDM. I originally used the playlist for a cycle strength day with two heavy, 5 min hills but found myself using the same playlist with running and it really motivated me!
Be sure to check out the fitness page for more playlists!
Last week, I shared a picture on Instagram of my empty, post cycle class. The picture was taken after a particularly rough month-end week which meant long, late hours which makes every day a challenge to leave the office to get to class. On Thursday, I had a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” (it wasn’t that bad, I just loved that book growing up). I left work in a frenzy, raced home to change and grab myself all while yelling at myself for not having brought my bag to work. By the time I
drove road-raged my way through traffic and a full parking lot, I made it to class with a few minutes to spare. I settled into “teaching mode” and left everything going on in my life at the door.
Over the past week weeks, with my 8-5 job providing a lot of stress, teaching has provided a few of it’s own headaches. Working at a new gym trying to create those connections, I have been reminded how hard it can to start somewhere new with people who have their opinions of what a class should or shouldn’t be. The stress of trying to expand as an instructor as well as figuring out how to balance teaching with my personal life has really provided good growing pains. All of those growing pains however were accepted and appreciated on Thursday after class with one interaction with a student. After the cool down portion of class I walked to the back of the class to say goodbye and have a good night to students. The last student to walk out of the class, I got exactly what I needed. A terminally sick student who goes to class as much as possible responded back with “I did have a great night thanks to this class.” Just like that, I was reminded of exactly how much I get from being a Group Fitness Instructor.
Group Fitness Instructors (GFIs) provide students a safe, effective and fun workout routine in all types of formats. Plain and simple – I love being an instructor and teaching. Being an instructor has nothing to do with money (sadly the money is not there to make it about money) and doing it because you enjoy it. Although the job is about giving to students, I actually get so many rewards from being a GFI.
- Happiness – Getting to have a positive impact on someone’s day makes me genuinely happy. As the example above showed you, my students have a great way of giving me perspective they did not even know they were giving me. A simple thank you can turn my day around while interactions with students constantly remind me how lucky I am that teaching has worked out for me.
- Friends – I have actually made some amazing friends from teaching. There were people I really connected with during class that when I left the gym I taught them at, we still kept in touch. I have gotten to know more of my family’s friends, student’s friends and family and coworkers from classes. This is probably the one reward I constantly receive from class to class.
- Confidence – In my sophomore English class, I actually took an F for a speech because I was so terrified that failing was better than having to get up in front of the class. 10 years later, I stand in front of hundreds of people a month teaching classes. I have gained a confidence in myself that I never knew I had in me. Being confident has not only been helpful to me personally, it has really carried into my teaching. I am more willing to take risks, to try new things and be more relaxed in class because I am confident in who I am as in an instructor.
- A thicker skin – Let me tell you, teaching a class can be brutal. As mentioned in my GFI confessions, I have been yelled at, dealt with really opinionated students and had to smile while teaching a student who told me 3 mins before class they hated the format of my class. Thankfully, this has also helped me in the professional world when dealing with people. I do not let comments get to me and try to take stuff less personally. In addition, I have learned to be strong in my beliefs, knowledge and opinions in class and outside.
- Appreciation – I have gained an appreciation for an endless amount of things from teaching: an appreciation for what my body can handle, my health, fitness professionals in the industry, friends and family, my supportive husband and most importantly my students. Especially on the weekends, I find myself driving home smiling, appreciative that 2 years later I still get to do what I love week after week.
Tell me: Have you gained friends from fitness?
Stopping in a little late on Wednesday but still Wednesday nonetheless. Last night after cycle class, I still wanted to burn a few more calories. I forced my two cousins to stay after and let me run a mini bootcamp session for them (my poor family who gets forced into these things). This workout was just how I like ’em: short and sweaty. All you need is an open space to run and if you have it, a device to track your sprints. If not, a 100 meter dash can be narrowed down to a 20 sec sprint.
Each 100 meter sprint is followed by a leg workout. Run this sequence 6x and you have a 30 minute, heart pumping workout done. I love these type of workouts because they focus on intervals and getting your heart rate up. The three workouts in-between the sprints are lunges, squats and burpees. I woke up this morning feeling sore in my hamstrings from the squats!
Enjoy your workout! Catch you back tomorrow for Travel Thursday!
It’s been a while since I’ve shared a new playlist despite creating spin playlists at least 3x a week. I rarely use an old playlist in classes since most of my cycle students only go to cycle. I couldn’t get away with using the same playlists for more than a couple of weeks. Plus keeping it fresh helps me to push harder as well which in turn pushes my students.
Favorite Songs of the Month
You can always tell my favorite song of the week because it makes it onto every playlist for a few weeks. I feel bad for any of students how hate the song I am obsessed with at the time. This past month I’ve had a few songs I’m obsessed with that keep popping up on my Spotify list and workout playlists:
“Cheyenne” by Jason Derulo (I love pretty much anything he does)
“What Do You Mean” by Justin Bieber (Don’t hate.. I am a Bieliber and think his latest songs have been great!)
“Girls Chase Boys” by Ingrid Michaelson (it’s just so catchy)
“Wind It Up” by Gwen Stefan (a definite throwback but it’s perfect for spin- climbing and jumps)
Last night I had a brick workout : run and swim on the training plan. As I warmed up on the elliptical I threw together a playlist with some of my high bass, fast pace songs for a 5K run. It was a great mix and helped me to push hard through my run.
I really love Spotify for both personal workout playlists and class playlists because their playlists are great for stumbling across songs I have forgotten about. I compile 95% of my playlists on the app and create my own before working out. In addition, I have found the playlists they have for workouts to be pretty diverse. I have also used their running app which picks up your running pace and creates a playlist with BPM’s to match your step.
Have a wonderful workout Wednesday, catch you tomorrow for Travel Thursday.
Tell me: what is your favorite song to work out to right now?
Halfway through the week is always when the excitement at work slowly starts coming back. You start to see the weekend on the horizon. This weekend is even better than most since we have a long weekend to look forward to with Labor Day. This week has been filled with some great personal workouts as my class load is lighter due to my work hours. It has been awhile since i did a “Workout Wednesday” and since my legs are getting to the point where sitting down is starting to hurt, I thought I’d share my leg workout from Monday night. This one is quick but effective. You just need an open space and possibly one set of weights.
I only used weights for this workout when doing the donkey kicks (held behind my knee as I kicked up) and sumo squats (holding in front of me as I lowered to the floor). You can increase the intensity by adding a bar behind your neck or weights at your side for squats or lunges as well as for sumo squats and calf raises. Here are the exercises with links:
Make sure to stretch after the workout to prevent soreness the next day. Enjoy the workout and your Wednesday!
Yesterday afternoon I had my (hopefully) last back procedure in an effort to control my pain. I am very hopeful that running and I will get back together very shortly. Unfortunately after the procedure, I still had my Tuesday night Bootcamp class. I needed to have a workout that would require me to simply monitor the exercises, not participate. I used a student as my model for exercises and was able to still attend. Shhh… don’t tell but I think we know who my favorite class is. 😉
I love workouts that make working out seem fun and not so tedious. Working out in the form of a game, makes it a bit more fun as the time passes much faster. Last night’s workout is great because you can do in a group fitness class but you can also complete it by yourself. All you need is a deck of cards, a set of weights and a mat. The # of reps = the # of your card + 10. (J,Q,K and A are 10) The max reps you would do is 20 reps. Complete each round once. Last night we did 10 mins of each round for a total of 30 minutes. Here are the exercises for each round:
Spades : Burpees Clubs : Push-ups
Hearts : Crunches Diamonds : Bicep Curl- Shoulder Press
Spades : Mountain Climbers Clubs : Squats
Hearts : Side Crunches Diamonds : Bent Row w/ Kickback
Spades : Plank Jacks Clubs : Walking Lunges
Hearts : Reverse Crunches Diamonds : Throw w/ Chest Fly
I have mentioned before that my ideal playlist is a mix of oldies and current songs you hear on the radio. On Monday I used a playlist at Cycle that went over very well as students commented that they liked the mix of music. When a playlist includes pop, country, 80’s and more, everyone is bound to like a song or two. Although I used this for Cycle, it is a great playlist for your workout. Listen to it while you complete the Deck of Cards workout!
Tell me: Do you like your workouts to be fun? Or are you all about being serious and straight forward?
A day late with Wednesday Workout but I had to celebrate National Running Day yesterday. Although it was running day, I was all about my cycling yesterday. With starting of triathlon training and getting my new bike, I finally broke down to get a new pair of cycle shoes. I currently have a pair of cycle shoes that have SPD-SL cleats. However, both gyms I teach at use standard SPD cleats. Unfortunately my first pair only fit the SL so it was time to get another pair. I am looking forward to not only using these in class but training with some new shoes!
This workout however was yesterday’s Wednesday Workout. I love workout sessions that leave me drenched in sweat and the feeling of a high intensity workout where you feel that salty sweaty dripping in your eye. This workout will result in a super sweaty session. Rounding out the abs, arms and legs workout, the final workout is all about cardio.
To complete this workout, finish each exercise for 30 seconds. Repeat the round for a total of 2x. The exercises are: Mountain Climbers, Ice Skaters, Burpees, Jumping Jacks, Jump Squats, High Knees, Jumping Rope, Plank Jacks
Happy Wednesday Workout! Enjoy!13:)