Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tuesday Night Spin - NYE Take II

To say I was a little miffed that no one showed to last week's class would be a bit of an understatement, but this week I had a good turnout and am no longer fearing that I'll have to give up my Tuesday night time slot. The task at hand now becomes to rope in the newbies and get them to try, love and become addicted to spin class.

I had a couple girls come in last week just to ask me a few questions about why indoor cycling is something they should do as part of their routine.

Short answer: Your heart is your most important muscle!

In more detail: I see a lot of people working out to look good. They develop "mirror syndrome" - only working the muscles they see in their reflections - or they spot train the areas they want to try to improve by doing hundreds of crunches or sitting on those stupid thigh master machines for hours.

Now I'm not saying everyone has to be beet-red and dripping sweat to be getting a legitimate workout. I understand that not everyone has time to get down and dirty and then clean themselves up to go back to work or other commitments. With that said, however, your heart really DOES need to be a priority. If you're not at least getting a little winded during your workout, then you're not truly working everything you need to in order to improve your fitness and health.

Last night's playlist is a play on the class I got to go to while visiting my old gym and spin instructor a few weeks ago. The songs are broken up into 4 cycles of 3 songs that each include a drill, a hill, and sprints. Drills work different muscles and often involve alternating riding positions (isolations, hovers, jumps), and hills and sprints are self-explanatory. The idea of working in cycles is to get that heart rate to really spike and then to bring it back down for a recovery while still working those legs. Each cycle will feel harder than the previous one - just keep pedaling! The great thing about this particular workout is that it can be cut down to be included as a part of your overall routine if you are pressed for time. If you are only in the gym for an hour and don't have time for a class, still find a bike, elliptical, or treadmill (if it has an incline function) and try to do a couple "cycles" before hitting the weights.

The other fun thing about this playlist - it's all 2011 songs. I know! I dug my head out of the 90's for a second and actually found some songs that I LIKE!

New Year, New You Spin

1. Warm up - flat road, alternate positions 1,2, and 3 every 30s. add a gear for the last 1:30 of the song. "Good Feeling" Flo Rida
2. Hill with standing bursts - add another 2-3 gears, sit and climb, stand and pick up the pace on the chorus. "Rolling in the Deep" Adele
3. Sprint intervals - flat road, starting at 30s. run with equal time recovery 15s/30s/45s/60s (last sprint takes you to the end). "Party Rock Anthem" LMFAO
4. Jumps- 8 count 1st verse, 4 count chorus. Repeat. Reduce to a 4 count and 2 count for the bridge and last chorus. "Under Cover of Darkeness" The Strokes
5. Hill- medium to heavy resistance, sit and ride it out (optional standing burst on the chorus) "Pumped Up Kicks" Foster the People
6. Runs with resistance - stand and climb at medium resistance (slow it down and recover), sit and sprint on a flat road for the chorus. "Lonely Boy" The Black Keys
7. Standing isolation- Stand and jog in position 2 (standing upright on bike), take out the "bounce" on the chorus (pretend you have a glass of water on your head) and keep your hands light on the handlebars. "Forget You" Cee Lo Green
8. Hill- heavy resistance, position 3 for the verses, take just 2 gears off and sit and try to climb faster on the chorus. "Shake it Out" Florence and the Machine
9. Standing runs- dial it back to light to medium resistance, pos. 1 verse, pos. 2 bridge, run in pos. 3 for the chorus. "Raise Your Glass" Pink
10. Hovers (glute isolation)- medium resistance, position 3 at an easy pace for the verse, slide it back and hover just over the sadle on the chorus, focusing more on pulling up on the pedals rather than pushing down. "Sunset in July" 311
11. Mega hill- OK, I lied about never playing Lady Gaga. But this one is pretty damn good. Add a gear every minute starting from medium resistance until you can no longer pedal smoothly, then stand and see if you can add at least one more gear. "You and I" Lady Gaga
12. Run it home- flat road, recover from your hill for the first minute of this song, then as the music picks up start to wind up your pace and get ready for a sprint on the chorus. Remember control is better than speed, so no bouncing or add a gear back in. "Walk" Foo Fighters
13. Cool down- flat road, slowly winding down to no resistance. "Beyond" Baligomingo

I know I'm pooling like, 1.2 readers when I post questions but I'll put them out there anyway. Feedback is always welcome and appreciated! Also, if you like my workouts and playlists, please feel free to share them! I wouldn't have half of my workout ideas if it weren't for other instructors sharing theirs.

What's your favorite workout song of 2011? I gotta say I really LOVE "Shake it Out" by Florence and the Machine. It's such a cathartic song and I feel like when I run or spin to it, I'm literally shaking anything that's weighing me down so that I'm a new person when I'm done working out.

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