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? 

Workout Wednesday: 12 Days of Christmas

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
3 pushups
2 mountain climbers
1 burpee

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?

Weekly Workouts: Revel & OC Half Training

 

Happy Monday! This weekend was a nice weekend filled with some family traditions and plenty of working out. On Saturday, I taught cycle class before heading to the pumpkin patch with the husband, my mom and sister. We have a yearly tradition to visit a local pumpkin patch as well as go apple picking so we got both done in one day.

The weather was absolutely perfect with clear skies and warm weather. Although I would prefer to be wearing flannels and boots while doing fall activities, the warm Cali weather is a good second choice. The husband and I enjoyed a nice dinner at Brio (their grilled salmon is to die for) to finish off our Saturday. My Sunday started nice and early teaching 4 classes at Orangetheory. The rest of the day was low key with relaxing, packing and napping.

weekly-workouts

This upcoming week is going to be a rough one of workouts. It is Hell Week at Orangetheory this week. I got a glimpse into the workouts of the week and needless to say, it will be a week of intense workouts. This past week, my running really got skipped over. This next week, even with Hell Week workouts, I need to ensure I get plenty of mileage in with Run Revel only 2 weeks away.

Monday – Rest Day

Tuesday – 1 hour cycle class followed by arm workout

Wednesday – Orangetheory class

Thursday – Shoulder and back workout, 20 min elliptical workout

FridayAb workout, 3 mile run

Saturday – 1 hour cycle class

Sunday – Rest Day

Tell me: Have you been to a pumpkin patch or apple picking this year?

Staying Healthy in Sin City

You’ve worked out consistently for weeks, ate every green vegetable you could think of and drank water like crazy – all in preparation for your upcoming vacation. You go on vacation, eat whatever you want and forget about the gym the second you hit the pool. When you get home from vacation, you step on the scale to realize you have not only gained back what you lost but brought a few extra souvenir pounds with you. Who else has been there??

Sadly this used to be a regular occurrence when traveling. I have learned however that a vacation doesn’t have to be the end to a healthy lifestyle. Now when I travel, I want to be able to enjoy my travels but maintain the hard work I have put in. While it requires a little planning, staying healthy while traveling is important and something you will appreciate yourself for after the fact.

staying-healthy-in

But how do you stay healthy in a city that is known for buffets, alcohol and lounging by the pool? Well as you are planning your next trip to Sin City, check out some of the best deals for hotels on Vegas.com for hotels and activities in Las Vegas.

To ensure you keep up your lifestyle, here are 4 tips for staying healthy in Las Vegas, Nevada:

Set aside time for a workout

You don’t want to let your hard work go down the drain so start your day off on the right foot with a sweat session. Whether you visit the hotel gym or fitness studio in the area, make sure you set aside time to workout (I know I plan to visit the Orangetheory in Vegas the next time I’m there). Whether you love to workout at the barre or have a gym membership, find a workout that you love to do so you will stick with your workout routine through vacation. Better yet, set your next full or half marathon to be in Vegas (Rock “N” Roll Vegas was one of the best I have done) so you can enjoy a runcation. If all else fails, dance some calories off by hitting up one of the night clubs! Even if you don’t want to leave the hotel room (and may have enjoyed your night out a little too much) use a no equipment needed workout to get your heart pumping and burn some calories.

Use your feet to explore

I can’t tell you how many times I have walked up and down the strip. With traffic and congestion on the Strip, walking to your destination is the way to go! This has led to also finding great bars, restaurants and casinos along the way. A great way to get your steps in while exploring Sin City is walking around the city. Another fun activity? Walking to get a bird’s eye view of Vegas on the stairs to the top of the Stratosphere! Remember walking may not get you sweaty but you are burning calories to prepare you for the time you will spend sitting at the tables or next to the pool.

Allow yourself one cheat meal

Like I mentioned, Vegas is known for delicious food. Vegas has some of the most amazing restaurants (now my mouth is watering for some Grand Lux Cafe!!!) but they could also pack your daily calories into one meal! This is why people gain back the weight they lost if not more when on vacation. They simply take in more calories than they are burning. Allow yourself one meal, drink or dessert that you will indulge in (I got through my half marathon telling myself I would get a Sprinkles cupcake after). It is all about balance so make sure to keep your 80/20 rule so you are only indulging 20% of the time. The 80% of the time when you are not eating a cheat meal, utilize some of the healthier food options that Vegas does have like Skinny Fats, Canyon Ranch Grill and Protein House.

Take an active day trip

Vegas really is the center location from a lot of national parks. You are a fairly short drive to Red Rock (the closest), Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon. Why not take a day trip to enjoy nature? Hiking in some of the most beautiful parks around the US is a great way to further expand your trip and get your heart pumping. In addition, Vegas is close to Lake Mead, Laughlin and Havasu where you can enjoy water activities like wake boarding, water skiing, boating and kayaking. Especially during the warmer months, you get to burn some calories and cool off in the water! Even if you do not want to drive, you can set up a tour (Vegas.com) to get you to one of the nearby destinations to do some exploring!


Tell me: Do you work out when you go on vacation?

Why you should change up your workouts

It is no secret, I love many types of workouts. I am a lover of running, Orangetheory, cycling, yoga – just to name a few. Although I love a lot of different types of workouts now, this was not always the case. When I started working out many years ago, I would go to the gym 5x a week. I started every workout with a 15 minute warm up on the stair-master which would be followed with some ab and light weight exercises. I would finish my workout with 30 minutes on the elliptical. I did the same thing every single workout and as you can imagine I got very sick of my workout after awhile. In addition, I saw very little results. My weight stayed the same and my muscles were non existent. As I began studying fitness, I really started to understand why it is necessary to change up your workouts. Besides just the simple concept of how boring it is to do the same thing everyday, there are actually benefits to keeping your workout routine changing. My workout routine now a days is a healthy mix of cardio, strength training and daily active living. I am never bored to workout and do it because I want to, not because I feel that I ‘have to.” This has made all the difference for my workouts and fitness level.

why-you-should-change-up-your-workouts

Today, I am sharing my top three reasons for “Why You Should Change Up Your Workouts” whether you are new to fitness or a seasoned athlete.

  1. Keeps your muscles guessing : This has been one of the things I have been most surprised about when constantly changing my workouts. I still get sore from workouts and still find myself thinking “Oh I didn’t realize how much those muscles are underused.” By changing your workouts up, you are preventing your muscles from forming muscle memory. When you are doing the same workout, your muscles get used to the movement therefore reducing the work they have to do. There is a reason that cross training can be seen in almost any workout plan whether it be marathon training or weight training. Cross training is beneficial to build strength and flexibility in muscles that are not being utilized in your main training.
  2. Help to break through plateaus / increase results : This goes hand in hand with keeping your muscles guessing. Whether your desired result is to lose weight, tone up, increase muscle mass, increase stamina, etc. if you are working towards a goal, you want to see that goal come to fruition. Doing the same workout will increase quality of life and contribute to healthier living but will not produce strong results. When I used to “lift” weights, I would use light weights and do very few reps. I never thought about what I was trying to achieve. Currently, I am working towards increasing muscle and decreasing body fat %. Since adding heavier weight resistance to my workouts, I have actually started to see my muscles pop up in the places I want them. By adding variety to my workout, I allow my muscles to repair when I am not strength training, shed body fat when I am completing cardio and provide the results I am looking for. In addition, by changing your workouts you help break through plateaus by increasing more calories with new exercises, challenge your body with new movements and help push you to the next level.
  3. Beat workout boredom : How boring would life be if you were required to do the same thing every single day? The same concept goes for working out. If you do the same thing every time you workout, you will get bored real quick. This often results in new gym members stopping a new workout routine because they get tired of the same workout quickly. Part of the reason I love Orangetheory  is that you never get the same workout every day. I thrive on different formats, exercises and points of focus from each workout. In addition, I use my apartment gym, the cycle studio I teach at, the streets to run and any workout outside I can when time and weather permit. I still love all the workouts I have been doing for 2+ years because they are a portion of my workout, not the only way to improve my fitness. Finding the things that you like to do for fitness will help you want to workout and beat that workout boredom.

Tell me: Do you follow a workout schedule or do whatever workout you feel for the day? 

Mix It Up Playlist

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!

Mix It Up Playlist

Be sure to check out the fitness page for more playlists!

What I Have Gained As A Group Fitness Instructor

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. 

WHAT I HAVE GAINED AS 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? 

 

A Runner’s Nightmare: Injury

As I’ve been getting more and more excited for the OC Half Marathon, I’ve really been hitting my stride in my work. Then two weeks before the race, the thing that all runner’s dread… an injury.

I taught my usual cycle class on Saturday morning and spent the rest of the day doing errands and relaxing. On Saturday night, we started out on a sunset run but a few miles in, I felt that pull in my knee that made me worry. I was so worried, I stopped and stretched my legs out. I knew better than to keep pushing it so I slowed my pace down significantly as well as stopping to stretch every half mile. When I finished, I felt better and chalked it up to the double workout. When I got home, I iced my knee, threw on the compression socks and rolled it out before bed.

IMG_3886

When I woke up on Sunday morning, I woke up to the runner’s nightmare, despite being awake. My knee seemed to be more than just sore muscles but an injury. I taught cycle class at an easier pace than usual and made sure to stretch that night but the pain kept coming back. After googling my symptoms like crazy, I am fairly certain the problem is my IT band. Thank goodness, the middle of this week was supposed to start tapering off my mileage. I will just have to take it easier than planned. I think as an athlete and runner, it is hard to accept an injury. Even harder is having to actually rest in the RICE method. Icing, compression and elevation is easy but the R should stand for rough because resting is the hardest part. I know that in the long run, this is necessary and prevents the injury from getting even worse. Looks like a lot of yoga and swimming will be filling my next two weeks.

Weekly Workouts: Half Training

Before the injury, my workouts were filled with the start of reducing my mileage, increasing strength training and rest. Although next’s week workouts will look a lot different, this is a great lead up to the half marathon and I am happy with the training I did leading up to the race.

weekly-workouts

Thursday – 4 miles

Wednesday – 5 miles

Thursday – 30 mins elliptical & arm/ab workout

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 1 hour cycle class in the morning, 6 miles

Sunday – 1 hour cycle class & leg workout

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 1 hour cycle class

Here’s to an easy rest week before the half marathon! 

“Quickie” HIIT Workout

My weekend was extremely relaxing, productive and active. Unfortunately, the husband and I had to be “adults” by doing our taxes seeing as the deadline was approaching. Now if only we could claim Emma as a dependant, we would be in a much better spot. Anyways, the rest of the weekend was filled with lots of studying, cycling and movie watching. We were in much need of a low-key weekend as we have commitments for pretty much every weekend from now until Greece.

Quickie HIIT Workout

Sometimes it is hard to get my workout clothes on, let alone get to the gym. I used to think a workout only counted if it was an hour long session. However, I have learned that HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions don’t require an hour at the gym. A 30(ish) minute quickie workout filled with an all over body workout is just the ticket. I completed this workout at the gym last week and was left sore for a couple of days. Enjoy!

bonnie & Carole-2

Wondering how to do these exercises? Here are the exercises in the workout with links:

Round 1: Bent Rows, Squats, Shoulder Press, Hip Dips
Round 2 & 4: Mountain Climbers, Football Shuffle, High Knees, Jumping Jacks
Round 3: Push-ups, Sit-ups, Standing Crunch, Chest Fly

Enjoy!

 

You Ate It, Negate It – Easter Candy

I’ll be back later today to share the recap of my weekend, including a day at the LA Arboretum but first one of the highlights of my weekend – Easter candy! I LOVE Easter candy more than any other holiday. Give me some Peeps or Reese’s Pieces Eggs and I’m a happy girl. However, a few Reese’s Pieces Eggs can easily become 20 in a matter of minutes. When I look at the calorie count of candy, it is surprising how much a small piece of candy can be. It definitely makes me try to limit how much I am eating or follow my candy consumption with a workout. Today I have a “You Ate It, Negate It” workout for some of the popular Easter candy that was probably consumed this weekend.

Easter Candy Workout

YOU ATE IT…
5 JELLY BEANS- 30 calories
10 JELLY BEANS- 60 calories
NEGATE IT…
5 JELLY BEANS- 15 pushups
10 JELLY BEANS- 6 running laps

YOU ATE IT…
1 PEEP- 28 calories
3 PEEPS- 98 calories
NEGATE IT…
1 PEEP-  20 Bicep Curls
3 PEEPS- 20 Squats, 20 Burpees and 25 Straight Leg Crunches

YOU ATE IT…
½ CADBURY EGG- 75 calories
1 CADBURY EGG- 150 calories
NEGATE IT…
½ CADBURY EGG- 3 Running Laps, 25 V-Ups
1 CADBURY EGG- 25 Jump Squats, 25 Mountain Climbers, 25 Jumping Jacks, 25 Burpees, 25 Crunches, 25 Tricep Dips and 25 Reverse Crunches

YOU ATE IT…
1 ROBIN EGG- 28 calories
4 ROBIN EGGS – 105 calories
NEGATE IT…
1 ROBIN EGG – 12 Bent Rows and 12 Iron Crosses
4 ROBIN EGGS – 20 Bicep Curls, 20 Hammer Curls and 20 Windshield Wipers

YOU ATE IT…
½ REESES PEANUT BUTTER EGG- 85 calories
1 REESES PEANUT BUTTER EGG – 170 calories
NEGATE IT…
½ REESES PEANUT BUTTER EGG – 3 Running Laps, 15 Shoulder Presses and 15 Chest Flys
1 REESES PEANUT BUTTER EGG – 25 Jump Ropes, 25 Ice Skaters, 25 Mountain Climbers, 25 Jumping Jacks, 25 Lunges, 25 Sumo Squats, 25 Diamond Pushups,  25 Bicycle Crunches and 1 Running Lap

Tell me: What holiday has your favorite candy? What is your favorite Easter candy?

Disclaimer: Although I am a fitness professional, I am not necessarily your personal trainer or instructor. The workouts and calorie burns are not only estimates but they might not be the right type of exercises for you. Please be sure to consult a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routine.