Workout Wednesdays: Triple Play Spin Class

Hey guys – happy Wednesday!  Remember to check me out over on FB today for #AskAmanda (where you can ask me anything about health, wellness, and nutrition – and if I don’t know myself I will find you the answer!).

For now, I just finished putting together my weekly Spin class playlist – and it’s a triple play!  I like to segment my classes into manageable parts so my students feel like they’re going on a journey – and making progress throughout the class.

Before I go further, check this week’s song list:

TriplePlayWhat I’m doing here is building sets of three songs (after the warmup) that start with rolling hills, go into the “flats” (double time pace), and then build back up into a hill climb (third song in each set). 

At the end of the ride, I offer a 3-minute (get it? triple play?) riders’ choice sprint where students can choose whether they want to work on tempo or resistance for three bursts of 40-second maximal efforts – heart rate bonanza!

I can’t wait to ride this one out with my class on Friday and next week!

What are your fave workout songs right now?  Anything you’re Spinning to?

TFB’s Ultimate LA Marathon Playlist

ultimateI am always nervous to put up a race-day playlist because to some extent, it is deeply personal.  The music that drives one person is complete rubbish to another; I know people that run to podcasts (!) whereas that would make me crumble and die of boredom.  I know others that never run to music and find listening to tunes while running abhorrent; still others that run to classical or wordless music or trance-like mixes that last 13 minutes.

I, on the other hand, need music that is inspirational (I actually listen to the lyrics), motivational (I actually move to the beats), site-appropriate (I will always try to sneak in songs that speak to the location, season, or other descriptor of the race), and familiar (I rarely go for brand-new, un-listened-to tunes unless they’re by a familiar artist).

But I respect whatever gets – and keeps – you running.

That said, in my last post about the LA Marathon, I mentioned a few of the songs that got me through the hard miles – so I wanted to post my (extensive) playlist from the race to give you an idea of what’s going through my earbuds when I tackle a long-distance run.

I have a superstition of sorts where I make my playlist and then commit to setting it on “shuffle” – meaning I don’t allow myself to get caught up in the specific order nor do I allow myself to skip any songs, so they all have to be winners (again, winners in my book – I know my eclectic taste is not for everyone).

So without further ado – my marathon playlist, in four parts with short commentary:

playlist1Highlights from this segment?  For sure “Work B*tch” by Britney Spears (possibly my most-used workout song if you consider both running and teaching group exercise), but “Far Alone” by G-Eazy always makes me feel like a pimp, and “Booty” by J-Lo & Iggy Azalea makes tackling hills feel like no big.


My standouts here are the kickass “L.A. Woman” remix by The Doors & Paul Oakenfold, “Cinderella Man” by Eminem (works great during a tough, broken-down mile for pacing), and “Blessed” by Tom Hangs feat. Avicii – tell me you can’t stay positive with that gospel-inspired song caressing your eardrums.  Moving on:

playlist3Ah, another embarrassment of hip-hop and dance riches brings us to “You Be Killin ‘Em” by Xavier (brush your shoulders off and KICK IT to this one), “I Don’t Get Tired” by Kevin Gates (the name alone hearkens to its endurance-themed powers), and “Not Butter” by Dillion Francis, which is the only song to make me laugh out loud while actually running.  And for the finish line:

playlist4Don’t hate on “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder; that song is an oldie but goodie.  And “City of Dreams” by Dirty South & Alesso has come with me through three marathons; it always brings tears to my eyes when I’m running somewhere with which I feel a deep connection.  Finally, gotta hand it to “Turn Down for What” by Lil’ Jon for the ultimate mid-mile boost – I am almost positive I PR’d the mile that song accompanied.

What do you listen to when you’re workout out?  What are your must-have tunes for long races?

Workout Review: RockSweat

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An L.A. icon

When a friend of mine invited me to RockSweat, I was immediately on board.  The idea is this: you go to an iconic L.A. concert venue (The Roxy) at 9am (not that early, all things considered) and hit a high-intensity interval workout set to high-energy rock music.  So I grabbed my friend Carrie from Steps2Nutrition and headed out to the Sunset Strip on a sunny Saturday morning.

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Post-sweat glow

What I didn’t expect was how truly music-focused the entire workout was.  When we got there, the tunes were already pumping over the amazing Roxy sound system, and a screen onstage was playing images to match the music.  As soon as you walked in, it felt like a night club – but without the alcohol stink and sticky floors (they clean it up really well for this event!).

The workout kicked off with Guerrilla Radio and I was already hooked – the 1-minute HIIT intervals were killer (think burpees, mountain climbers, push-ups, and squat-kicks, all back to back), but it was all balanced out by a (still tough) core segment (during which we learned about music history at The Roxy, which was cool) and a relaxing yoga segment to end it all.

Even cooler?  During one of the cardio segments I was able to get up on stage and actually “demo” the workout with the instructors, which I of course loved – and will be doing again soon!  After talking to the (awesome!) co-founders, Evan and Diane, and finding out about their concept, I wondered if what I do (group fitness instruction) would help them out – and they said YES!

So guys, if this workout sounds like something you can’t miss – and if you live in L.A. or are visiting – come ROCK on Saturday, November 22nd at 9am.  I’ll be teaching a segment, the music will be pumping, and we will SWEAT it up in style.

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Just two girls in a bar…working out

The gang's all here!

The gang’s all here!

How important is music to your workouts?  What’s your favorite fitness class?