Mercy & Rope

iTunes (Mercy) (Not working on Ping. I’ll never understand ya, iTunes)

Spotify (Mercy) 

iTunes (Rope)

Spotify (Rope)

Only a few more days until Christmas! I can’t believe it. WHERE is the snow? Please! Someone! Dump, already. I’ve got snowboarding plans for New Years Eve weekend, and I will not settle for this 50 degree weather anymore (false, I’ll take this anyday).

I saw lots of friends from college over the weekend, took my almost 5 year old niece to the Nutcracker in Boston with my sister, taught yesterday morning, and then had a serious bake-a-thon with my roomates.  It consisted of Bethany using the electric mixer in a wide open bowl, screaming when dough was flying everywhere in the kitchen, Dayna being her efficient and motherly self busting out recipes left and right, me unwrapping 100 hershey kisses, offering and pretending to be Bethany’s assistant.  In reality though, I had my MacBook in the kitchen and I was reading spin blogs, downloading new music, drinking wine with Ira, making playlists, and trying to avoid the flying cookie dough. And obviously taste testing the dough when it did fly in my direction. Oh, what’s this have to do with spinning? Nope, nothing.

I baked all of these myself! All of these! And this is only about 1/3 of them!

I met with the group fitness director Saturday morning at Gold’s Gym in my area, and have been put on the sub list! I am psyched. I also found out I’ll be teaching a class on Christmas morning at Spynergy which I’m super excited about!

One more thing before the playlists: I have purchased a heart rate monitor thanks to the most handsome man I know, John, who also happens to work at City Sports. I borrowed a friends during the certification course and haven’t used one since. I have used it twice so far and I love it! I’m finding it interesting learning at what heart rate range I’m really working in.  It seems like I am mostly working in the 80-89% MHR range during almost the entire class, which I am a little surprised about.  I am pretty happy to be learning that I have become efficient enough to be working for most of the class throughout that range, while being able to feel like I can push others to their limits and continue cueing for an hour. Do you other instructors use a HRM while teaching? I’d like to hear experiences! (By the way, thanks for the input about how to deal with riders talking during a class. You guys crack me up). 

Lastly, this is a “guilty pleasures” themed playlist that Bethany, Dayna and Ira helped me put together. All female artists, and some we might be embarrased to admit that we love (at least I am embarrased because I am a music snob).

1. Duffy, Mercy (3:48): Warmup! 

2. Britney Spears, Ooh Ooh Baby (3:28): Secondary warmup, switching positions throughout and adding a little resistance. 

3. Katy Perry, The One That Got Away (3:47): We added some resistance and stayed just a little ahead of the beat during the chorus. 

4. Selena Gomez, Love You Like A Love Song (3:09): 4 count jumps during the chorus. 

5. Christina Aguleria, Lady Marmalade (4:13): Admit it, you love this song. Climb.

6. Lady Gaga, Heavy Metal Lover (4:13): Thanks to Dayna for this suggestion! Jumps on our own here with resistance heavy!

7. Lauryn Hill, Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You (3:42): Straight climbing for this one. Love this song so much (Heath Ledger reference, anyone?) 

8. Bloc Party v. Fergie, Blocalicious (3:03): I can’t seem to find a good link for this song, and the one above is not what I used. I apologize. A couple sprints during this song, if you really want it, leave a comment with your e-mail and I’ll tell you how to find it.

9. Rihanna, Where Have You Been (4:03): A few sprints when the beat drops.  Off her new album, and it’s hot. 

10. Ellie Goulding, Lights (Bassnectar Remix) (4:41): Favorite. Song. Ever. Climb. 

11. Florence and the Machine, Shake It Out (Benny Benassi Remix) (5:36): Can’t really find a good link for this version either! A few sprints again when the beat drops.

12. Adele, Cold Shoulder (Basement Jaxx Remix) (2:53): MORE sprints! Crazy. First chorus is 15 seconds, 2nd is 30 seconds, and 3rd is 15 seconds.

13. Madonna, Hung Up (3:24): Jumps on our own, light resistance.

14. Taylor Swift, You Belong With Me (3:50): Never thought I’d see the day when I used a Taylor Swift song.  However, I can admit there has been countless times I’ve belted out to this in my car by myself, when my windows start to shake from the max volume. Sprints with resistance during the chorus. 

15. Nicki Minaj, Super Bass (4:05): Some sprints during the chorus. So over this song. Sorry, girlfran.

16. Cat Power, Sea of Love (2:20): Cooldown with Cat Power. 

Sunday’s playlist (no new songs here!)

1. Linkin Park and Jay-Z, Numb/Encore (3:32): Warmup

2. Van Morrison, Wild Night (3:34): Switching positions with some resistance.

3. The Temper Trap, Sweet Disposition (3:55): Moderate resistance, picking up pace during chorus.

4. David Guetta, Memories (3:31): Standing Running during chorus with moderate/heavy resistance.

5. Lauryn Hill, Doo Wop (That Thing) (5:20): Climb.

6. Big Gigantic, High & Rising (5:52): Climbing until 2:40 or so and then taking resistance off slowly and getting faster.

7. Scissor Sisters, I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ (4:09): Recovery.

8. Deadmau5, Raise Your Weapon (8:23): Killer Hill.

9. Mumford and Sons, Roll Away Your Stone (4:24): Efforts during the chorus.

10. Coldplay, Every Teardrop is a Waterfall (4:03): Heavy resistance. (Every single teardrop is a WATERFALL? Sorry Coldplay, but you are just so emo sometimes).

11. Florence and the Machine, Hurricane Drunk (3:13): Position 2 during the chorus, heavy resistance.

12. Foo Fighters, Rope (4:19): 30 second sprints with heavy resistance during chorus. This happens twice, then one long 55-60 second sprint during the bridge into the last chorus. HEAVY!

13. Pretty Lights, The Time Has Come (6:04): Cool down!

Enjoy, and as always, thanks for coming by.  Have a fabulous week, vacation (for all you teachers out there) and holiday season!


6 thoughts on “Mercy & Rope

  1. Yay for getting on the sub list! I’m subbing tomorrow morning. Two in a row…eek!

    Love “Rope”. Perfect big hill song isn’t it?

    I think I musta missed your post on talkers? I better go back and read! Sounds like you got some good advice!

  2. Two in a row! Let me know how that goes – I haven’t done that before, and to be honest, I can’t really imagine what it’s like. Good luck!

    Rope is ssssssooo good. I still want to use that deadmau5 version you told me about too.

    Hahah, and yes, the post before this one, I said I had a few talkers in one class, and asked for help on what to do. Some great responses from the peanut gallery 🙂

  3. Hey Amanda, a couple of quick thoughts on your use of a heart rate monitor. If you are really training at 80 – 90% of your MHR, then you are pushing it pretty heard. That’s is pretty close to a race pace – right at the top of the Strength and well into the Interval Zones. If you are teaching a lot of classes a week at that level, you run the risk of over training and getting burned out.

    Are you figuring your zones on a straight percentage of MHR or are you using your Heart Rate Reserve which takes into account your fitness level? Also, how are you figuring your MHR? If you are using the old standard 220 minus your age formula, you may be well under your actual MHR and a straight percentage of that number will not take into account how fit you are by incorporating your resting heart rate (RHR).

    For example, I am 48 and my real MHR is 190. If I used the standard age formula it would be 172. A big difference when figuring my zones. Also, I use the Karvonen formula – taking into account my resting hear rate and figuring in my Heart Rate Reserve – which pushes the values for all the zones down.

    Here’s an example. Let’s use me and figure 85% of MHR; the % right on the edge between the Strength and Interval zones – using the two different methods.

    Straight % method:
    Using 220 – 48 (my age) = 172 for a Max Heart Rate
    85% of 172 = 146bpm

    Karvonen Formula: HHR X Target % + RHR
    First we figure my Heart Rate Reserve (HHR) using my actual observed Resting Heart Rate of 50bpm and Max Heart Rate of 190bpm
    190 – 50 = 140 – my Heart Rate Reserve

    Using the Karvonen Formula or HHR x Target % + RHR we get:
    140 X .85 + 50 = 169bpm

    146 and 169 as values for 85% of MHR are two very different numbers!

    If we were to continue to use me as an example and look at zones – 146bpm would put me right in the middle of the Endurance Zone at 70% of my MHR – not in the Strength Zone and nowhere near the Interval Zone.

    Well, I hope that all makes sense. My next blog entry will be going over this very subject with charts and graphs and stuff to make it a little easier to follow – but you get the gist. 🙂

  4. Drew, thank you SO much for this information. I’m intrigued by what you say, mostly because I was just as shocked as you to see my numbers for most of the class reflecting what would be a pretty high HR.

    I was using the Straight %, 220-24=201 and then figuring out what 85, 80, 75, 75% MHR is off of that number. And for example, 150 is my 75% HR for that method which seems pretty low to me.

    I googled the Karvonen Formula and found this: and typed in my age (24) and I did my resting heart rate, which I did 3 times (but I did just have a cup of coffee after lunch 🙂 ) which averaged out to 64 BPM. It tells me my MHR is 196, and 75% of that would actually be 163 – completely different from the 150 using the method above.

    This makes me feel a lot better, because I was thinking originally “wow – I guess it’s a good thing I’m working that hard (in the 80%’s) for most of the class, but I’m a little shocked” because I certainly felt tired but never exahusted. I think using the method you described above is more accurate, and I am so glad you pointed this out to me. Why do you think that the 225-age = MHR is still taught for the Spinning certification process if this seems to be a better representation?

    I look forward to part II of your heart rate monitor post! Thanks, Drew!

    • Well, and this is just my option, the 220 for men and 225 for women thing is a good way for us super fit instructors to guide our presumably out of shape students. But once you really get into it – and want a “real” MHR # you have to do some testing – like multiple intervals, or a stress test and things start to get complicated and of course risky – particularly from a liability standpoint. Imagine telling a student to do 5 x 1 minute hill climbing intervals – at maximum effort – checking heart rate throughout so you can then averaging the last 3 efforts for their MHR. It’s a good way to find their real MHR – but pretty scary if you ask me. I’m not interested in using the AED unit for real any time in the near future – no what I mean?

      Another thought – if you tested your resting heart rate in the afternoon after coffee – you got a number that is way too high. I like to use the term waking heart rate – meaning the second you open your eyes in the morning. It’s a pain in the but – but if you really want that number, you should wear your monitor to bed and check it right when you wake up – do that for 3 days and then average the three. Plug that into the Karvonen formula and see what you come up with. I bet you are in a lot better shape than you think. 🙂

      Remember MHR is constant – it doesn’t change. R (or waking) HR goes down as you get more fit. That’s why the Karvonen formula is more relevant to athletes like you. 🙂

      , s

  5. Now you can’t give me anymore dirty looks when I tell you that I’ve had many of workouts listening to a compilation of Tay Tay’s finest. You ARE a music snob. and a terrible cookie assistant. 143 darth maul.

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