Today is a ‘Get Sh*t Done’ day. Monday.
On the list: Laundry, get roast chicken in crock pot, do obedience work with both pups, update the wedding budget spreadsheet, get cactus soil for the succulents I’m attempting to propogate, meal plan for the rest of the week, concoct a ‘blog-worthy’ recipe to post, research music editing software, and write a knee friendly workout plan (a Spinning class, & strength exercises) for a friend.
Lots to do… and my legs are still shot from Spinning class yesterday. I’ve been trying to incorporate more standing runs for endurance and conditioning into my classes instead of strength building heavy load climbs, and holy smokes… you feel it. You may be thinking, ‘Standing runs? Those are easy… lighter resistance, but quick speed… Piece. Of. Cake.’ If that’s what you think, I challenge you to do one of my classes. I’m not looking to bulk up, just tone and condition, while maintaining proper form, so that’s what I’ll be providing to my classes- toning and conditioning with visualizations and explanations of proper form-as all Spinning instructors should be doing. My first Spinning instructor made sure to explain the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ of each movement and position. He was also a great motivator and got everyone pumped up for class. There was a saying around the gym he taught at- “No Ben, no SPIN’ –his classes were ALWAYS at full capacity and the atmosphere of a packed out class was awesome. He helped me with some suggestions for my first solo class, how to practice teaching, and the oh so crucial task of finding killer tracks for the ride. Ben is the reason I decided to become a certified Spinning instructor, and he’s been an awesome mentor!
Lately, I’ve come to really enjoy active recovery and have been incorporating that into my class profile development. My favorite is Jumps at your pace for an entire song. I give my students the option of following along with me, or picking their own pace for jumps- 4 count, 6 count, or 8 count, but not higher than 8 counts. I remind them that it is most important to focus on smooth transitions from seated to standing while maintaining awareness of their body movements- thinking about the movements of their legs and keeping knees/elbows drawn towards their mid-line, with shoulders down and back to keep the ribcage open, allowing for ease of breathing. So, why Jumps? Before, I had a lighter side of moderate resistance seated climb for this recovery drill, and when reviewing my heart rate data after class, my HR was dipping too low and then when we started the next drill, this caused a pretty big high spike. After these classes I usually felt dizzy, so there was a change that needed to be made. So, to keep it elevated (and based solely on my HR data), but also allowing for slight rest—Jumps it is!
Side note: I’m a big advocate of wearing heart rate monitors while working out, no matter what your level of fitness. Understanding the stress and strain you’re putting on your heart during your workout is very important. Also, if you are aware of what your normal resting heart rate is, any deviations from the norm could indicate infection or a pending illness, which could allow you to nip it in the bud before it escalates into something more severe. I’m all about body awareness. It’s your body, you’re with it all day every day. From a personal standpoint, having a heart rate monitor has allowed me to realize when I need to back off of certain drills to avoid over working my heart. Doing this and being more aware of what heart rate zone I was working out in has allowed me to lower my resting heart rate from a high 91 to 72 BPM. Granted, this happened over a long course of time and included a change in how I worked out as well as nutritional changes and lifestyle change. But my [Polar Loop] heart rate monitor showed me that these changes worked and I’m now living a healthier life!
Back to Spinning stuff: I also really like isolations. (FULL DISCLAIMER: Isolations are NOT a Spinning brand drill) My favorite song to do these to is Ellie Goulding’s ‘Burn’. Crank up the resistance (our bikes go from 1-20 resistance and for this drill we start at 14 and for the last repetition we crank it up to 16), take it out of the saddle to 2, lock it in (freeze your torso and hips), and crank those legs slowly. Then when she says ‘cuz we’ve got the fire fire fire’ you speed up the isolation, and when she says ‘and we’re gonna let it burn burn burn’ you take it to 3 and push! Repeat sequence listening for the verbal cues in the song. When we did this in class yesterday, after the second repetition, I thought my quads were going to shake off my legs… so this definitely gets those muscles fired up!
After we did this drill in class, I could feel the surge of endorphins and happiness coming on… Which made me think of Elle Woods and Legally Blonde…
I had a laugh with myself in my head. Yes, if you haven’t noticed, I’m strange. Get used to it. 🙂
If anyone’s interested, I can see about posting a class profile or two on the blog.
Well, I should probably get started on my to do list for today. If you haven’t worked out yet today, get to it! Cuz remember, exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. And happy people spread the sunshine!!!