Give It a Chance

I was a one machine girl. I was dedicated to my elliptical routine. Through college and my first year of real adulthood I hit the elliptical like clockwork everyday. As I worked up to a steady pace at a relatively comfortable resistance of eight, I went into cruise mode. Friends, or The Ellen Show, or even better Teen Mom would entertain me as I went through the motions. I felt I was doing both my workout duty for the day, boosting my endorphins and getting my standard TV time.

It was not challenging.

Its wonderful when working out is so engrained in my day that I literally don’t even think about skipping the gym. I am proud of myself for that dedication, for staying the course. But how much can you really get out of a workout that never changes. Frankly the pace wasn’t even hard.

I tried spinning/cycling.. whatever you call it.

I was a bike hater. The seats are uncomfortable, the outfits are dorky, and people always looked so SWEATY after they came out of the class. Gross. After my elliptical workout I was only “dewy” or “glistening”… it was a very cute sweaty. But my best friend is very persuasive and knows how to convince me to suck it up and do something. Plus I love her and will usually play along as long as she’s with me 🙂

So into the cycling studio I went. Week after week I went back for me, more of a challenge, more sweaty struggling… I loved it. Give it a chance I say. Challenge yourself. Try something new. Go sweat more, breath harder, and leave feeling like you gave 100% to a workout. It will make you feel like you’ve conquered the world.

Here is a spin mix and class outline that I did in the last week. It’s up to you how hard you make the bike’s resistance, and its up to you to keep challenging yourself. Try a spin class and see what you’re capable of!

“I Gotta Feeling” (4:40) Black Eyed Peas– Warm up with low tension on the bike. Try standing up and jogging, out in a sprint position (channel your inner Lance Armstrong) and do some light stretches for arms, shoulders, and lower back.

“E-Pro” (3:28) Beck– First hill climb of the day. Start the tension at a 7 on a scale of 1-10 (a 6 should feel like a flat road, a 4 is zero resistance and your legs just follow the pedals.. got it?). Every 30-45s try and increase the tension by a quarter turn. By the last 30 seconds of the song you should be slogging through the hill… really pushing the pedals to keep going

“Forget You” (3:44) Cee Lo– Cadence track. This song is all about keeping a fast strong pace. Put the tension at about a 6.5-7.. enough tension that with a quick pace you feel in control and you’re not bouncing around in the bike seat. Push yourself to keep up, quick, fast legs. You would only want to keep this pace for about 3 mins… then hold on for that last 45s. You can do!

“Poker Face” (3:57) Lady Gaga– Another hill but this time you’re going to alternate between sitting  aggressive standing climb (in cycling its called position three where you have you hands the farthest out on the handle bars, low body position, and you’re attacking the hill). Again start at the 7 resistance and turn it up every 30s, quarter turns. At 2 minutes go to a standing jog for a 20 second break.. then go back at it. Every time you turn up the resistance switch from seated to standing or vice versa.

“California Girls” (3:56) Katy Perry– Sprints!! Pick a strong pace that will be your home base pace, then when you hit the sprints turn up the tension a smidge and really go for it. All out power! Three sprints for about 35s each. Sprint :50-1:25, back to base pace, Sprint 1:55-2:30, base pace, Sprint 3:20-3:56! Give it all you got and sprint it through the entire interval!

Put Your Hands Up” (2:28)- Circuit climb. 20s in each position; seated, jogging, attacking. Turn it up after each go round.

“Chelsea Dagger” (3:23)– Jumps. Go from seated to standing for 8 counts, then 4 counts, then up/down quickly for 2 counts. Make sure you have enough tension on to be safe and in control.

“Love Lockdown” (4:30) Kanye West- Hill Climb. It’s a slow, slow beat so turn up the tension and get in your groove with the song. When the music picks up try and pick up your pace. Shoot for a 8-8.5 tension on the bike and leave it there. Focus on our pace and really pushing and pulling the pedals.

“Hollaback Girl” (3:20) Gwen Stefani- Surges, unlike sprints, are not all out speed. Shoot instead for a bout 80-90% effort, still nice and fast but not everything you’ve got. On this song you have 15s surges, so pick it up and stay focused only one song left. :22-:38,  base pace, 1:15-1:30, base pace, 2:05-2:20, base pace, 2:58-3:15

“This is How a Heart Breaks” (3:51) Rob Thomas– Sprints! Time to go all out and cross the finish line: Sprints :45-1:01, base pace, Sprint 1:32-1:53, base pace in a standing jog, last sprint you should be in the attack position, nice and low like Lance Armstrong 2:35-3:30… LONG last sprint, hang on as long as you can and sprint it out!!

“Someone Like You” Adele– Cool down. Slow your pace, take the resistance off and spin for a minute or two to let your heart rate come down. Recover and then stretch out!


4 thoughts on “Give It a Chance

  1. I wish you could create this playlist for us with the appropriate time lengths and then we could just go buy it on iTunes or something… wouldn’t that be a great concept 🙂

    • I can actually.. I’ll get into iTunes Ping, and then you can buy the tracks you don’t have. The intervals are based on the iTunes version!

      Just posted it: in iTunes go to the Ping section. Under people you can search: Jenn Boswell… there is my first post of this playlist 🙂 Yay!

  2. If a 4 is “zero” resistance, then what is a 1, 2 or 3?? There should always always always be some resistance on an indoor bike. Never zero, even in warmup (cuz then you’re not really warming up). A cyclist outside never rides with “zero” – she would be pedaling like a hamster on crack but a child on a tricycle would pass her by.

    • In my class we never go below a 5-6 because your legs aren’t really working… If they turn the resistance so low that they are wobbling and no longer working that’s where it’s unsafe to me. A 6 is a flat road in my class and its this resistance that we return to when off loading.

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