Another Year.

Well, I’m another year older and probably at least a little wiser πŸ˜‰ Saturday was my 26th birthday and while it poured rain all weekend, I got to spend the weekend with my mom and my mom’s boyfriends daughter Amanda. I picked them up at Port Authority late Friday night and we went to grab food at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. I have always wanted to go to this place and if you aren’t familiar with it it’s a diner where all the staff are aspiring actors/actresses/performers, so they sing and dance on the tables! It was way cooler than I expected! photo 3(2)

We tried to ignore the rain as we walked around all day on Saturday and shopped our butts off! My poor John was so, so sick all weekend and his birthday was yesterday. He couldn’t even get out of bed let alone walk around in the rain all day. I was supposed to meet Brenda around 6:30 AM for a long run but I was actually scared to leave him alone he was coughing so terribly and in so much pain, so I stayed in bed with him until later in the morning. My heart rate monitor at least made me a cake!Β  photo 5(1)

Around noon we headed to brunch with Brenda and Eddie to the place we went to after the NYC half a few weekends ago, Philip Marie. I was so obsessed with our service and the atmosphere that I wanted to celebrate my birthday here! The food is also amazing but I think even if it weren’t I would still go there! I got eggs with toast and potatoes, super basic but delicious. That butter was NOT eaten.photo 1(1)Β  After brunch my mom, Amanda and I headed downtown to check out the 9/11 memorial. I was so glad they wanted to go because of course I’ve wanted to but it’s one of those things that when you live here you just keep putting it off because you take all of the things to do for granted. It was so beautiful and also sad to be there.Β  photo 3(1)Β  photo 2Β  We made our way back up to Times Square to hit up the gigantic Forever 21 and H&M. Let’s just say they have no idea how much I love them for me going to Times Square on a Saturday πŸ˜‰ It actually was really fun to be a tourist for the day and we ended up getting some great things. I treated myself way too much this whole month, always telling myself it was a birthday present. I have more birthday presents from myself this year than ever in my life combined, haha! shop

Shopping was followed by a ton of pizza at Patsy’s and froyo afterwards. My perfect birthday dinner!

Amanda, mom, and me!
Amanda, mom, and me!

Once we got back to my apartment, we had our own karaoke session of singing old school Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, which was inspiration for this week’s spin playlist. I had one of the most amazing classes ever yesterday morning! Everyone was feelin’ every song and a woman came up to me after class and told me my classes and music gets her higher than heroin! haha Flattered yet also concerned πŸ˜‰ Sorry I haven’t shared a playlist in awhile, but this one is too good to pass up.Β  photoΒ  After I taught my Sunday morning class, I came back home with bagels and donuts for John and we napped and watched Arrested Development all day and night. Not the worst way to spend a birthday, but certainly not fun when you are super sick! We are going to have a re-do on our birthdays sometime this week.

How was your last birthday spent?

DR OZ!

Hi!! This week has been insane for me and to top it off I have been so, so sick. This is the worst cold I’ve had in a couple years and has knocked me on my ass. I’ll do a quick re-cap starting with last weekend and bring you up to speed with what will be on today and/or Monday! πŸ˜‰

Last Saturday night:

My usual pre-long run dinner (cheese-less chicken and onion Domino’s pizza), except I ate the WHOLE thing because on top of my long runs I now teach 3 spin classes on Sunday’s.

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Brenda and I ran a great 8 miles Sunday morning and they felt pretty effortless for how little I’ve been running. Thank you, 1099 spin classes a week.

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Followed up with my hour spin class that we had a ton of fun in. I used the same playlist that I posted here because I hadn’t used it in this class yet.

I started to feel sick this day and by Monday it was full throttle terrible sore throat. I stayed home from work but had to teach my 6:30 AM spin class because guess what? No one wants to sub at that hour haha I pushed through and came home to rest all day. My throat got worse and worse but it was my first night teaching at NuYu so I had to go. I drank a couple Emergen-C’s throughout the day and it at least took away the achy feeling and gave me a bit of energy. This was a 45 minute ride and more of a beginner’s class so I took it super easy and it was a great vibe! Here’s the playlist for that.

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My throat was on.fire. after teaching even though the room at this gym is small and I didn’t have to scream, so I stopped at 16 Handles for froyo to soothe my throat. Great excuse, right?

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Just a little bit to tide me over until I got home and made a healthy dinner full of vitamins to help me out!

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I was off from work Tuesday but had to teach at 7:30 AM and I was feeling worse. I ended up feeling better for awhile after my class but that was just the momentary endorphins because by the afternoon I was dead again. I NEVER lose my appetite, and this week I have had to force myself to eat to have enough energy for my classes and to get better. I was in bed all day and night Tuesday with the hopes of feeling better for Wednesday morning because I had VIP tickets to…

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Last week I was contacted by one of the producers of the show asking if I could film a few videos of myself saying some scripted lines, one of me working out and either stepping on a scale looking really happy or looking in the mirror proudly! I chose the mirror shot to keep it real since I don’t believe in the scale making you happy! πŸ™‚

We got to sit right in the front row and it was awesome! Despite my coughing fits, it was a really great experience and Dr. Oz is a smart man. He mingled with the crowd more than I expected and I’m in a group shot with him that will be up on the Facebook page next week so I will post it then! So, my videos will either be on TODAY’S 4 PM SHOW (EST) or MONDAY’S. They were unsure of the schedule of shows yesterday and I have not heard back from them. Hopefully they still use me! haha

After the show (we were there for almost 4 hours and hadn’t eaten before) we ran to brunch because we were about to eat our hands. French toast at our favorite little french cafe, Le Grainne Cafe, that we have celebrated great things at!

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This is the best french toast IN THE WORLD. It’s made with baguettes so it’s crispy on the outside and has an orange zest to it, topped with almonds and served with thin sliced ham, a couple little potatoes and fruit. I also had a soy iced latte that was so strong and so needed.

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Latte = happy Jen. If you watch the show today or Monday, I am in the front row and this is what I wore! The shirt isn’t as dark as this pic shows and John had a red flannel shirt on.

After brunch, I went home to rest and had to head back out to sub the 7:00 PM class. I was the most sick at this point and losing my voice, but ended up having an amazing class. It’s funny how that works! I took it as easy as I could, which really means I was still working too hard. It’s hard to slack off when you have 20 people looking at you for motivation! You know how they say go ahead and workout if your cold is in your head, but don’t if it’s in your chest? Well it’s true. Working out Wednesday night made me feel 100x worse almost immediately after stopping, so I grabbed some Mucinex at CVS on my way home.

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Definitely has helped a ton. For $27, it better. I REALLY hate taking medicine and almost never do since there isn’t a cure for the common cold but now that some of my income depends on me being healthy and able to workout I wasn’t playin’ around.

I made it through about 7 hours of work yesterday before I had to call it quits and go home. I was sweating through my clothes and feeling super weak so I molded myself back in my bed and today I’m feeling better. Still sneezing my brains out and coughing, but not as weak. Progress.

So yes, amazing news that I will be on the Dr. Oz show!! I’m sure I will be able to get the clip and post it here as soon as I can! Beware that it’s corny but I’m actually a pretty corny person haha

Have you had a really bad cold this winter?

Do you watch Dr. Oz? My grandma would be sooo excited, she loved him!

Playlist + Coconut Bagel

As promised in my last post, lemme give you the playlist of the week. It was a gooooood one. We jammed out really hard and I can’t wait to play it for my Sunday class! By the way, I was offered another permanent class at The Fitness Guru! I will now be adding a 6:30 AM Monday morning class to my schedule. So, so excited and really hope I’ll get a following at that time slot.

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Let me know if you guys want me to post the actual workout too, not sure if that’s boring or useful!

So after my class Tuesday morning, I stopped by Brooklyn Bagel to get a bagel and go straight home to bed. I left upstate with a cold and felt REALLY crappy before my class so I knew I needed to spend the rest of the day just resting and didn’t have much food at home. I got a – wait for it- TOASTED COCONUT BAGEL. With raisin walnut tofu spread, but that doesn’t even matter. I’ve never seen a coconut bagel anywhere in my life! It was so freaking good… especially enjoyed in my bed, right Erika? πŸ˜€

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By the way, if you go to a bagel shop and they offer tofu spread you should try it. Even if you aren’t lactose intolerant. It’s basically impossible to tell the difference yet the tofu is better. I’ve never had straight up plain tofu spread because I don’t like plain cream cheese, but the flavored ones are so great!

My body is craving veggies a lot this week so I’ve delivered. Last night I made a nice little vegan dinner for no reason other than this is all I had and was too hungry to wait for eggs to cook to put on this. Just diced up sweet potato cooked in coconut oil with broccoli, onion and some broccoli slaw stir-fry. Hot sauce and Cattleman’s honey mustard on it.

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Oh that sauce is probably not vegan somehow but anyways this was so good and wasn’t missing meat at all!

And this morning, I FINALLY RAN OUTSIDE!!!!!!! Like, got out of bed and ran. This is a miracle, ya’ll. I’ve ran outside a total of 5 times this year and am soooo out of running shape. I’m not going to believe my GPS when it said I was running 10:05 miles this morning because it felt like I was MAYBE running 11:30’s. Either way, I ran for 42 minutes and it wasn’t freezing and I was REALLY happy to be out there. Central Park looked gorgeous, and the sun just felt ridiculously amazing. Stopped after 2 miles to pee because I literallyΒ always have to pee 2 miles in, bad enough that I really do have to stop.

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The glorious bathrooms of Central Park. That winter running hoodie I have on is SO comfortable and sooo fluffy; it adds probably a good 10 pounds to me. Not that it’s heavy, but it is so unflattering haha It has a zipper on the left side where you can stuff a lot in it and it just kinda sits on your lower stomach. Not ideal, but it’s warm and was $15 at TJ Maxx. ‘Nuf said.

I’m just praying it will stay in the 30’s for the remainder of the winter. 30’s I can handle, and no more snow. PLEASE.

What is the best thing you ate this week?

WHO IS SO EXCITED FOR SPRING TO ALMOST BE HERE???? Worst winter of my life.

 

 

Don’t End, Weekend.

I get really sad on Sunday’s because I just don’t want the weekend to end, even when I have to work. I have felt pretty under the weather this weekend but had to push through and teach 2 spin classes and finally get my ass in gear with a long run to prepare for my spring half marathons. That of course takes lots of food to fuel so here’s a look at what I’ve been chowing down on since Friday!

We saw on Scout Mob that this italian restaurant called Three of Cups on the Lower East Side had a 50% off deal up to $25 off, so we went down on Friday night to eat up. I had the grilled calamari to start and it came with a really spicy marinara sauce which was great.

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I also had a panzanella salad which is one of my favorite types of salads, but it was pretty bad so I only had a few bites of it. The pizza was DELICIOUS though. It had a really smoky taste to it almost like it was grilled.

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Lots of iced soy lattes were had. Also, a homemade poptart at Birch Coffee. 100000 times better than a real PopTart, I swear!

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Fantastic 6 mile run with Brenda. Of course because it was with her the 6 miles literally flew by and felt like we were running for maybe 20 minutes at the most. Looooove that!

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Followed by one of the most awesome spin classes I’ve taught thus far. I was endorphin high from the run and just had a ton of energy even though my legs were toasted. I felt like my ques were perfect (still learning!) and everything just flowed really well. Let me share with you the playlist since I haven’t in awhile!

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There is some repeats from other playlists because the songs are just too good. I was also wearing my new favorite sports bra and top that I got from Victoria’s Secret big sale.

This is me forgetting that my flash is on. Let it be known I am NOT a selfie expert.
This is me forgetting that my flash is on. Let it be known I am NOT a selfie expert.

I had to go right into work after my class but this morning on my way to the gym I stopped at Dunkin Donuts and grabbed a donut that I have been wanting to try as my reward after my 2+ hour workout. I burned almost 1,200 calories during it so a 400 calorie donut as a treat is just right. It’s the cookie dough donut and I BEG you to try it. I am NOT a donut person at all, like they just don’t do anything for me but this is life changing.

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I balanced that out with a nice big veggie filled salad. I was actually totally craving a crunchy cold salad so this is not for penance πŸ˜‰

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That about wraps it up.

Oh, I also am so sorry I lied to you guys and didn’t end up posting my thoughts on The Biggest Loser finale. I am actually still working on it and will post it soon, just be warned that I decided to get really personal in it and that’s why I want to keep working on it in hopes that it will help someone going through what I went through.

What did your weekend look like?Β 

Do you like donuts? If yes, favorite flavor or shop to get them at? The big debate in upstate New York is Dunkin Donuts vs. Tim Hortons. I LOVE Timmy Ho’s for their iced caps but I’d say DD’s takes the cake for donuts. Er, takes the donut for… the donut. Ha πŸ™‚

Lose The Fluff

Howdy! Hope your weekend was fantastic and that you ate delicious foods and got in some workouts! I did the eating part but failed on the workout part for Saturday and Sunday. D’oh! But I did teach 2 VERY intense spin classes on Friday so I was completely toasted by Saturday. Here’s the playlist and what we did for Friday’s classes.

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Where Have You Been: Warm-Up

Safe & Sound: run with resistance/moderate hill with 3 seated pickups (at 0:58 for 15 sec/ 1:31 for 30 sec/ 2:36 for 30 sec)

We Can’t Stop: add more resistance to start climbing a 2-part hill. Add resistance after each chorus and push on the legs for the final 25 seconds of the song

Diamonds remix: continue on the hill & make it a heavy one; start off with a faster pace from 0:10-1:35 then back off & climb in position 3 for 2 minutes. Back to the saddle at 3:50 and pick up the pace for the last 45 sec.

Scream & Shout: light resistance fast legs- 15 sec sprints in position 3 at 1:14 and 2:57 (back to saddle in between keeping up a fast pace)Β 

Wild Ones: run with resistance w/ 3 seated pickups for 30 sec (0:30), 60 sec (1:31) and 30 sec (3:04)

End Of Time: jumps on a moderate hill; 4 count jumps at 0:53, 8 count jumps at 1:42, 4 count jumps at 2:31, and 8 count jumps at 3:24. Easy to stay on the beat!

Applause: take off resistance for faster jumps: 2 count jumps on all 3 choruses. Keep a fast pace in between sets.

Video Phone: heavy hill, starting a rolling hill. Once the beat starts, alternate 15 seconds of climb with 15 seconds of fast for entire song!

She Wants To Move: lighten resistance but keep a moderate hill, 3 seated pickups for 20 seconds (0:51), 25 seconds (1:41), and 30 seconds (2:27)

Love On Top: back to heavy-ish climb but stay on the beat of the song. 40 seconds in position 3 at 1:01, back to saddle then up in 3 at 2:23 for rest of the song

I Love It- light resistance going right into 3 fast sprints at 0:23 (30 sec), 1:09 (35 sec) and 2:10 (20 sec)

Sweet Nothing- 3 more sprints to the finish! Class choice of doing sprints in the saddle or position 3. 2 15 second sprints and 1 30 second to finish.

Forrest Gump- cooldown, reusing this song because it is SO perfect for a serene cooldown!Β 

Suffice to say after teaching 2 of those and a quick mile on the treadmill, I was sore, exhausted and famished. Cheeseless chicken and onion pizza from Domino’s with a side of marinara saved me.

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I swear to you this was the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. It was cooked so perfectly and from how hungry I was, I was ready to cry at how thankful I was for this pizza. Is that sad or awesome? This was eaten in bed (yeah, you probably wouldn’t want to sleep in our bed) with Johnny while we watched Weeds. We needed a new show to binge watch since we finished Breaking Bad and I am LOVING Weeds so far! It’s so much more light-hearted compared to Breaking Bad. Any Weeds fans out there?

Saturday night after work all day, we went to 5 Napkin Burger for date night. I know I’ve posted about this place a billion times but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I got the veggie burger with mushrooms and blue cheese and sweet potato fries.

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The burger was so good and I actually only ate about 3 fries. Trying to get back to listening to my body and not overeating since that’s been the theme of the last 2 months. Ugh!

We stopped in Victoria’s Secret so I could use my gift card from Christmas and since Orange Leaf was around the corner, I had to stop in.

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I took my cup home and ate that in bed, too. There is nothing more comforting than eating in bed for me. I am not a neat freak, therefore crumbs in my bed don’t bother me πŸ˜‰

Yesterday I wasn’t feeling too hot so we just lounged around all day and eventually went to the diner.

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Considering this was basically my only meal of the day, just let the pancakes and bacon slide okay? πŸ˜‰ After the diner we did laundry and I meal prepped for the week which is the first time in months. I’m just very ready to get back on track and lose the fluff. This is a super hard winter for everyone. I know the weather shouldn’t be an excuse to eat junk (but yet it’s so easy to blame it on) but it’s definitely an excuse to be running less. I can only run 1 mile on the treadmill before my foot feels like it’s breaking off, so the treadmill isn’t an option. It’s been too icy and slushy so I haven’t been able to do a long run and my next half marathon is on the 26th! I’m not sure if I’ll be doing it just yet but if I can get in at least 3 longer runs before then, I’ll give it a go.

I’ll share my “losing the fluff” meals throughout the week for accountability! Goal is to get to Friday nice and healthy, then have a little treat Friday night as fuel for my long run Saturday. I have to switch it to Saturday because I’m going to a dinner party Saturday night and planning on drinking a LOT of wine for the first time in months. πŸ˜€

How was your weekend?

Do you treat yourself on weekends? Yes but I need to reel it in and scale down the treats.

My First 2 Spin Classes!!!

WOOOOO HOOOOOOO! As I write this, I am so sore in just about every inch of my body which has never happened to me from spin class! After being really sick after Thanksgiving, a.k.a my 2nd cold already and it wasn’t even December, I didn’t work out all weekend and was getting really nervous with my first spin classes looming over me Tuesday. I was still really sick Monday so I stayed home from work, went to the urgent care clinic and got some medicine for a minor sinus infection and also left with a prescription for an inhaler and medicated nasal spray. According to the doctor after I described my symptoms that have been on-going for a year now plus years before that seasonally, I have extreme allergies that need to be treated with more than just the occasional Zyrtec. Anyways, I had listened to my planned playlist over and over and over and wrote down the ques but of course 3 days without being on the actual bike and I needed my fix. I went down to the 24 Hour Fitness in Soho and took the 6:00 PM spin class, mostly for peace of mind that I hadn’t lost all fitness in 3 days πŸ˜‰ You know that you know that feeling.

It hurt. It was so hard and even extra hard because I was sick. But as usual, I felt amazing afterwards!

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(I also ran a 1 mile warm-up on the treadmill before class)

Usually when I’m sick my appetite is insane, this time it’s been absent and my stomach had been hurting. All from nerves, I’m sure. I made sure to refuel and also fuel for the next day’s intense classes!

italian roll w/ avocado, 3 egg whites w/ jalapenos, small sweet potato w/ goat cheese, smoked paprika, garlic powder + dijon mustard! TRY THIS COMBO!
italian roll w/ avocado, 3 egg whites w/ jalapenos, small sweet potato w/ goat cheese, smoked paprika, garlic powder + dijon mustard! TRY THIS COMBO!

Oops I also forgot to add turkey bacon in that description. I love bacon.

I got a good night of sleep and woke up yesterday ready to rock. I listened to my playlist and yelled out my ques in my room (my neighbors now think I am hosting a spin class in my room I’m sure) while drinking coffee. Lots of coffee. I choked down some oatmeal and got down to the gym almost an hour early to make sure EVERYTHING was going to run smoothly! I can’t get over how friendly and welcoming everyone at 24 Hour Fitness is. I love it there already!

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Rumor had it I was subbing for a VERY popular instructor, and I loved how everyone came in kinda upset that he wasn’t there. I assured them I would make them sweat and groove, no worries πŸ˜‰ And I did just that. I felt 100% natural up there and LOOOOOOVED watching people sweat, sing along, and look so determined! The 12:30 class had amazing energy and is a time slot I would really love to teach regularly. I forgot to snap a picture of my heart rate monitor for my first class, but thanks to nerves and trying to keep up intensity with the class, I burned a record 679 CALORIES in 57 minutes total of class! My best friend in the universe, you know her by now ;-),Brenda was amazing enough to schedule her clients around coming to my first class! I could not ask for a better friend. It made me a lot less nervous having her there! Afterwards we went to Subway to refuel. Yes.

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I ended up having just enough time to get back to my apartment, take a quick shower, and make this yogurt bowl to eat on the train back to the gym. This is right about when exhaustion hit me first. Good exhaustion, though!

strawberry Chobani, Kashi Go Lean twigs, sliced banana + PB
strawberry Chobani, Kashi Go Lean twigs, sliced banana + PB

I arrived 25 minutes early which is seriously ideal. I hope I am never rushing to classes but I know that will happen sometime! I foam rolled the crap out of my quads that were on fire from Monday nights class + my previous class, and was greeted with some of the members telling me I better be as good as the guy I was subbing for! Haha talk about pressure! I loved it though and was confident I would give them a great workout with music they would love.

And an hour later, I did just that. Just like my first class, everyone said they loved my music and got a great workout in! I saw lots of people dropping like flies after back-to-back jumps and sprints. So proud!

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I. Was. Fried. In the best way possible! πŸ™‚

Famished and exhausted, John scooped me up and took me to get celebratory pizza because when isn’t eating pizza a good idea?! Knowing we wanted to get custard at Shake Shack after, we tried a new-to-us pizza place in Hell’s Kitchen right near SS, called Don Giovanni’s. The pizza was fantastic, and I don’t even think it was just because I was in a 1,275 calorie deficit! It came out cheesier than I expected, but I ate it anyway. YOLO.

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Eggnog custard with little crispies on top.

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Insert me collapsing into bed and not even making it through 1 episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Best sleep I’ve gotten in a LONG time!

My entire body, even my upper body, is so sore today and I am physically drained. It feels so, so good to do something that has meaning to it and that brings other people happiness and endorphins!

Here is the playlist I used for both classes and will use for my 6:00 class on Friday night. I’m not sure when my next class will be after that but I will have a new playlist for whenever that is! Also, computer savvy people- how do you post a playlist from Spotify? I tried to print screen it, crop it in Paint, copy it to Word, then email it to myself and it didn’t work. I am not good with computer programs apparently even after using them for the last almost 15 years.

Britney Spears- Work Bitch (warm-up)

Jennifer Lopez- Get Right (moderate hill, climb in saddle then climb in position 3 for each chorus)

Drake- Hold On, We’re Going Home (stay in position 3 from previous song, work up to heavy hill sitting in the saddle for each chorus. Push the pace on the hill the last chorus)

Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams- Get Lucky (seated flat, 4 count jumps on each chorus)

Rihanna- Jump (add on resistance, run in position 2 and sprint in position 3 for each chorus which will be 25 seconds x 3)

Macklemore- Can’t Hold Us (seated FAST flat pyramid- first 1:20, then 40 seconds, then 25), run/recover in position 2 for each chorus)

Rihanna feat. Jay-Z- Talk That Talk (stay in saddle for whole song for heavy climb. Add on resistance at the beginning of each chorus)

MGMT- Kids (take off some resistance to pick up the pace, push on each chorus 80% of your maximum which ends up being 30 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds last push)

Usher- Scream- (seated FAST flat, 3 x 25 second sprints on each chorus) My favorite song to sprint to!!!

Black Eyed Peas- Pump It (add a bit of resistance to run to the beat, then tapbacks on each chorus. You come up to position 3 and stick your hips back for 1 count, then stand up for 1 count, repeat)

Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake- Holy Grail (moderate to heavy hill depending on where your legs are at, climb to Justin’s part and run as fast as you can with resistance during Jay-Z’s parts. Use Justin’s parts as recovery!)

Miley Cyrus- Wrecking Ball (heavy, heavy climb in position 3 until last chorus- sit in saddle and push with all the effort you have left!)

Drake feat. Rihanna- Take Care (cool-down)

 

 

Let me know what you think of that playlist! πŸ™‚