State I’m In & Figure It Out Cycling Mixes

20 Sep

Happy weekend everyone! Hope it’s going great so far!! Are you up for a challenge?  In case you haven’t heard, fellow blogger Lean Lena is teaming up with ICI/PRO to bring us this Indoor Cycling Instructor 28 Day Challenge.  If you haven’t already signed up, you definitely should.  Because, well, who DOESN’T love a good challenge.  I have to admit, I am a little nervous going into it without much information, but I’m up for it. Check out Lena’s post and sign up on her blog!  I’ll be posting my progress as I go through the challenge, so stay tuned. And did I mention there will be amazing prizes?  Like a 6 month subscription to ICI-PRO and a VACATION??  So cool!  The challenge begins tomorrow (9/21). Good luck instructors! (Click on the pic to go to the FB page!)

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In my last blog post, I shared a few new playlists and I’ve been asked by several of you to post my teaching notes for one of them. Here’s the playlist one more time and check out the (brief) teaching notes just below. Just a reminder that my teaching notes are just kind of a thumbnail sketch of what I do in class. I don’t go into great detail, but hopefully you get the idea of how you can use the music as is, or how you can ride to individual songs. :)

Sinner: Warm up

All About That Bass: Warm up continued, bring it out of the saddle for a standing climb

Come Get It Bae: alternate seated/standing climb

Best I Ever Had: seated accelerations on the chorus (:36 seconds, 1:40 and 2:44)

Ecstasy: Seated climb, coming out of the saddle for 20 second intervals every minute

State I’m In: Seated climb

Into the Night: standing climb

Roll Away Your Stone: Seated climb with pick ups

Wonder What You’re Doing For the Rest Of Your Life: Standing climb with Jumps

Masai: seated flat road

Blast The Speakers:Rider’s choice

Count It:recovery

Zorba’s Dance: seated flat road-at 1:00 pick up cadence and continue to pick up to 100-110 RPM, sprinting the last 15-20 seconds

Timeless:Cool down

Let Your Hair Down: stretch

The next playlist I’ll be sharing is just 45 minutes. In case you didn’t hear, I’m teaching a 90 minute class which is a combination of cycle/toning. 45 minutes on the bike, and 45 minutes off. So far it’s going great! I typically create two separate 45 minute playlists, one for the cycling portion and the other for toning. I’m not planning on posting my toning playlists, but if you want to check them out, you can find them on my Spotify profile. Here’s the 45 minute cycling playlist with teaching notes:

Let My Love Open the Door: Warm up

Cadillac, Cadillac: Continue warm up and bring it out of saddle for a standing climb.

Fire: Seated flat

Safe: Alternating seated/standing climb

Figure it Out: standing climb, picking up the pace at 2:34 to the finish

Hit It: Seated flat road with accelerations on the chorus

Sleeping With A Friend: Standing climb

The Lion The Beast The Beat: Seated climb, picking up the pace @ 1:44

What a Difference Your Love Makes: Alternating seated/standing climbs with Jumps

Who Won? Recovery

Tabata: seated accelerations 8×20 with 10 second recoveries

Hey Now: Cool Down

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a fantastic week!

My 22nd First Day of Kindergarten

4 Sep

Hey Folks! Just wanted to write a quick post to let you all know that I’m still here! I’ve been super-busy with the whole school starting thing. Today was our first day of classes and my 22nd first day as a teacher! I’ve actually been teaching kindergarten for 18 years (I taught first grade for the first four years). It sure doesn’t get any easier, but I love my job. I made 24 new, adorable friends today and we are going to have a great year together, I just know it!

My second love is indoor cycling and sharing playlists with you guys, and I know I haven’t been great at that lately, but I promise to get going again very soon! In the meantime, here are a few things to share:

I recorded a new podcast with John at ICI/PRO recently. The profile we recorded is called ‘Adirondack Climbs’ and you can check it out here! You should definitely consider a membership to ICI/PRO if you don’t already have one. There is some great stuff available there for free and amazing stuff for ICI/PRO members. Totally worth the small monthly fee. :)

I will be starting my Total Body Cycle class tomorrow, so I will be sure to keep you updated on how that’s going.

I made a new playlist to fit my Pyramid Profile and it rocked:

I also created this playlist recently:( and yes, I used All About the Bass- they loved it, but that’s my group. There’s not much they don’t like, and I’ve played it all.)

And speaking of Spotify, the word on the street is that it is now available in Canada! I know some of my Canadian followers have been waiting for this to happen for a long time, so welcome Canada to the wonderful world of Spotify! We are so glad to have you join us!!!!

*Has anyone else noticed that the new music is less than exciting lately? Other than the new Maroon 5 album of course. And speaking of Maroon 5, did you see this video of Jimmy Fallon and Adam Levine? These guys are beyond adorable.

Have a great week, and I promise to update soon!

Summer Ladders Profile

18 Aug


Happy Monday!!! With the end of my summer vacation quickly closing in, I will only be able to say that a few more times! :) Just kidding, I really do love getting back to school. Fall is my favorite season and one of the reasons is that I get to start fresh with a brand new school year.

Thanks to everyone that wrote comments about the ‘Total Body Cycle‘. Many of you are doing the same format (45 cycling/45 toning-and this seems to be the most convenient way to do the class). Some of you are doing 30 cycling, 30 toning, but don’t feel that’s enough time- I agree. And others are doing a few minutes on the bike, jumping off and doing floor work, then back on the bike, etc. That one would definitely not work for me. Many of my riders wear bike shoes and I’m sure they wouldn’t want to keep changing in and out of them. I also like my rides to simulate really riding on the road, so jumping off every few minutes wouldn’t make much sense. Also, making a playlist for a class like that would be a nightmare! Can you tell how I feel about that particular format? I promise to update you once the class gets underway and let you know how it’s going. :)

Today I’m teaching two classes, so I thought they’d really like this ‘Summer Ladder Profile’ I’ve prepared for them. I’ve done this one a few times already and it’s always a hit. You can see ride notes and playlists for this profile here and here.

Here is the playlist that I used today (NOTE: First two songs are the warm up, The Will Of Man is a recovery and Zorba’s Dance is a fast flat road—->faster!!!—–>faster!!!—–>faster—–>and sprint out the last 20 seconds!!!! So fun! My class LOVES ending on this one!):

Enjoy your week!

Total Body Cycle

13 Aug

I’m so excited to be switching out one of my classes this fall with a new format! I know that many of you are already teaching similar classes, but this is a first for me and for my gym. It’s will be 45 minutes of cycling followed by 45 minutes of toning (including stretch) off the bike. I can’t wait to start! Other than body weight, we will be using the equipment available to us: balls, bands, hand weights and weighted bars. If you are teaching a class like this, I would love your input in the comments. :)

In preparation for this class, I thought I would attend a similar class in another gym about thirty minutes up the road. I don’t know about you, but I love going to new places and checking out their classes. It’s just fun to see other facilities and instructors, and it definitely gives you some perspective. In this case, it also helped me to see how this type of class is run. I have been to this gym before, but they recently got all new Keiser bikes, so I was kind of in heaven.

So I rounded up a friend or two (other instructors) and we headed out for some good, sweaty fun. And that is just what we got!

Let me start by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed the 45/45 class and got an amazing, full body workout. I’m totally sore today from the toning. (The instructor polled the class at the beginning to see if we wanted to do body weight, dumbbells, etc. My friend chose body weight and that’s what we went with. It was killer!)

The best thing I took away from the cycling portion of this workout was the amazing energy and positivity of this instructor. It’s sort of how I feel about my kindergarten kids every day. You know how we always say, “I’d like to bottle up some of that energy!” Well, that’s pretty much how I felt about this instructor. She was pretty, fit and if I were to guess, quite a few years older than me. She started the class by making sure that each and every one of us was smiling and she frequently checked to make sure that even through the hard work and pain, we were still smiling. **Note to self: smile more**

Energizer Bunny

While I was working hard and breathing heavy, she continued to talk,smile, motivate and generally spread good cheer. The class seemed to love this. While talking this much is not at all my style (I like to think I say just the right amount at just the right times), I appreciated her enthusiasm and it did make me want to work harder. At times, I felt the need to tune her out, and it was often difficult to understand her over the music (she was using a mic, but still, it was kind of muffled). **Note to self: Speak clearly and check for understanding (that’s teacher speak for ‘make sure they know what the hell you are saying’).

Other than a few contraindications-isolations, super slow RPM’s and tap backs (which I passed on), the class was great. I love the computers on these bikes! Watts!! RPM’s!!! Heart Rate!!! Gear #’s!!! We don’t have bike computers, so I love, love, love going places that have them! If you are able to teach with them, just know that I am totally jealous of you. :)

My point here is that if it’s available to you, you should definitely consider taking other instructor’s classes. Good or bad or in between, you WILL take something away from it! As for me, I’m going to go practice my smiling :) .


Fireball and Summer Mile Repeats Cycling Mixes

11 Aug

Hey-happy Monday everyone! I hope it’s been great so far! Today I’m sharing two of my latest playlists with you along with teaching notes. Hopefully you’ll find something you can use. :)

The first is a new playlist for an old profile called Mile Repeats. You can see the notes for this profile here. It’s a good one. Definitely a ride where you get out what you put in. And let me tell you, my guys put in a in A LOT for this one. Here’s the playlist that I used: (The first two songs are warm up. The ‘mile repeats’ end after Work Work with a short recovery song and then Fireball is rider’s choice, then another small recovery before Tabata, cool down and stretch. Also, in case this one doesn’t show on the player, song #10 is called Dacw ‘Nghariad I Lawr Yn Y Berlain by 4 Yn Y Bar.)

The second playlist I’m sharing today again features Pitbull’s Fireball as a climb. I can’t get enough of this one lately. :)

Life is Beautiful: Warm up

The Other Side: warm up, coming out of the saddle

Fireball: Seated/standing climb

Drumbone: Seated accelerations 20 seconds x 3

Mansion: Standing climb

CHocolate:Seated flat

She Came to Give it To You: Alternate seated/standing climb

Best of You: Seated climb

Big Love-Live: seated accelerations @ :20 (20 seconds), 1:00 (25 seconds) and 2:18 (30 seconds)

You Are My Sunshine: Standing climb with jumps @ 1:07 (8 count), 2:08 (4 ct) and 4:00 ( 8 count—> 4 count)

Breathe Me: Standing climb

Freak: Riders’ choice *I usually give my riders this second to last song to ride either in the saddle, out of the saddle, or alternate. Once we get started, I ask them to think about why they chose to ride the way they did. Was it because it is easy for them, or a challenge? If they decide that they chose to ride a certain way because it’s easier for them, I ask them to try most of the song in the more challenging position. Then I ask them at some point during the song to take at least 20-30 seconds to really push themselves beyond their comfort level-go breathless. It might be by adding gear, adding cadence, or a combination of both. And they get to choose when the want that challenge to happen (obviously I’m giving them timing cues the entire time, so they know how much time they have remaining). I find that this makes them work a little harder on this song that sometimes we take just a little bit easier than we should. Give it a try with your classes. I’m sure they’ll work hard for you.

Mailot Vert: Recovery

House Tabata: Seated accelerations, 8×20 seconds with 10 second recoveries.

You Can Rely on Me: Cool down

Safe With Me: Stretch

On a workout related note, I tried PIYO the other day. I was excited to give it a try, since there’s very little jumping involved, I thought it would be ok on my knees. The verdict? I’m going to definitely have to go back and give it another try, since this was a very beginner ‘sneak peek’ kind of class. There were quite a few squats and lunges, which I always need to modify for my knees, so I wasn’t excited about that. If you’re expecting it to be like Pilates or Yoga, you’ll be disappointed. It’s definitely unique, although it has a lot of traditional Yoga poses, you are not holding them for any length of time. If I only had time for one class and I had to choose between PIYO and Yoga, I would definitely choose Yoga. If you’re looking for more strength building with a group x feel, choose PIYO.

This was actually me when I first started Yoga (and kind of how I felt at my first PIYO class):


I’m definitely going back when it comes to my gym in the fall, so I will keep you updated.

Anyone else tried PIYO? What did you think?

Return of The Songs of Summer-2014

30 Jul

Hey there! Happy Wednesday!. Can I tell you how much I love summer vacation?


Aside from the obvious increase in blog posting, I am able to take fitness classes that I otherwise wouldn’t have time for. My knees have been giving me some trouble lately, so I have been trying some new (to me) workouts and I have to say I’m really enjoying them! One of them is of course Yoga, which I think I’ve mentioned before. I’ve been ‘practicing’ since about November and although I can usually only go once a week with my teaching (both kindergarten and cycling) schedule, I really am loving it. It helps that I have a wonderful instructor. :) I’ve been able to up my yoga classes to two per week over the summer which has been great. If you are a cycling instructor that has never tried yoga, I highly recommend it as a compliment to cycling.


I guess it depends on the type of yoga that you are participating in. Mine involves slow movements and poses with a lot of stretching, breathing and relaxation. It is a form of Hatha Yoga. I honestly don’t know much about it, except that I feel like a million bucks when I’ve leave that place!

Another class that I thought my knees might really enjoy this summer is Deep Water Jogging.


Again, if you haven’t tried this one, you definitely should. I have to be honest, when I entered the water for the first time and saw that every other participant was at least 20 years older than I was, I figured this was going to be a piece of cake. I couldn’t have been more wrong! That s**t is hard!!! Wow! What a total body workout and really fun too. And you get to wear these sassy little belts around your waist:


:) I will definitely miss this one when I go back to work in the fall.

Anyway, enough about my summer. Hope yours is going great!!! Last week I put together a collaborative Spotify playlist of the Songs of Summer 2014. Many of my amazing instructor friends helped out with this one so thanks again for the entries!

I know that several of you are already creating playlists using these songs, but I thought I’d share what I came up with and how I used them in my Saturday class last week. The group loved all the songs-even ‘Happy’-which I used as a warm up. I know it’s waaaaay overplayed, but I dare you not to smile or sing along when you hear it.

Before I show you the playlist, here’s the link for song #2, which is a remix of Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me':
(click on the picture for the free download)

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Teaching notes:

Happy (3:53): Warm up in the saddle

Stay With Me (4:08) Continue to warm up in the saddle and then bring it out of the saddle for a light, standing climb.

Maps (3:10) Alternate seated and standing climb

Turn Down For What (3:34) Seated acceleration @ :19 (20 seconds), 1:16 (20 seconds) and 2:12 (30 seconds)

Am I Wrong (4:08) :00-:48 Standing climb :48-1:52 Seated climb; 1:52-2:56 Standing climb, 2:56-3:28 Seated climb

A SKy Full of Stars (4:28) Seated climb

Sing (3:35) Jumps on a hill @ 1:11 (8 ct.), 2:32 (4 ct.), 3:35 (4 ct.)

Love Runs Out (3:44) Standing climb

Love Don’t Die (3:03) Seated flat

Arcadia (3:53) Seated accelerations @ :49 (30 seconds) 2:39 (30 seconds) *I think we squeezed another 20 second surge for the last 20 seconds of this songs.

Lovers on the Sun (3:24) Riders choice

The Grind : Recovery

Tabata: Seated accelerations 8×20 with 10 second recoveries (Not a ‘Song of the Summer’ for sure, but Tabata songs are never go out of style, do they?

Rude:Cool Down

Stay With Me: Stretch

Have fun singing along to this playlist!! We sure did!

Modified Figure 8 Profile (AKA-Figure 5)

26 Jul

Happy weekend everyone! Hope it’s going great so far!


Yesterday, I had to shorten my normal 60 minute class to 45 minutes. I had just received a question from Sherri here on the blog about how I might modify the Figure 8 profile for a 45 minute class, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I was able to use some of the same music, but definitely did some major tweaking to the playlist. First I’ll explain the modified profile, which I called “Figure 5″ because instead of 8 movements, I only used 5. That’s how I cut about 15 minutes from the profile.

Here it is:

The five moves (in order) are: Seated Flat (SEF), Seated Fast Flat (FF), Standing Flat (STF), Seated Climb (SEC) and Standing climb (STC).

We went through the five moves in order 4 times. The first time through, each movement was 3 minutes long, the second time through, each movement was 2 minutes long, the third time through, each movement was 1 minute long, and the last time through, each movement was 30 seconds long.

Because I used some pretty basic moves, I added in accelerations and jumps through the profile, which you can do at your discretion.

I had a little bit of time to fill, so I finished with David Garrett’s ‘Zorba’s Dance’. This is one of my favorite finishers. It’s only 2:33, but the cadence and intensity builds as the song goes along and we end up full on sprinting the last 20 seconds!

Even though it was only 45 minutes, it was an awesome workout! Definitely one to put in your back pocket for shorter classes.

If you are looking for another way to modify figure 8’s keeping the eight movements, Sherri tried omitting the 2 minute interval and just going through the 8 moves three times (3 minutes, 1 minute and then 30 seconds). She got great reviews for this 45 minute class as well.

Here is the playlist that I used:

And basically, here’s how the songs matched up:

Shambala (such a cool song, btw) Warm up

3 minute intervals:

Kiss You: Seated Flat
Fiesty: Fast Seated Flat
Fresh:Standing Flat
I Can Love:Seated Climb
Back to The Pump:Standing Climb

2 minute intervals:

Gold, Guns, Girls: Seated Flat and Seated Fast Flat
Ra: Standing Flat
One Love: Seated Climb and Standing Climb

1 minute intervals:


:30 Second intervals:

Hoochie Coochie

*See notes above for how to ride to Zorba’s Dance

Cool Down and Stretch.

Have fun with this short and sweet modified Figure 8! :)

Hope you have a great weekend!!


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