Happy Sunday – I hope this posting finds you joyous and well! Today was a personal accomplishment because I officially became a certified indoor cycling instructor – woop woop! That said, I learned a lot of useful info about spin classes and calorie burn in general, so I just wanted to share some of these nuggets of wisdom with you guys. Hopefully, these facts will help you get the MOST out of your spin classes in the future 🙂
Turn up the resistance – speed DOES NOT equal calorie burn! In an effective cycle class, your legs should spin between 60-90 rotations per minute. If you are cycling way above this, turn your resistance up! When your legs are flying and your booty is bouncing around in the saddle, the bike is just propelling you and you are getting short changed on calorie burn…not a good look!
Don’t always trust the heart rate monitor. Several factors affect our heart rate including hydration, stress, diet, room temperature, etc. Therefore, just because your heart rate is in a certain zone, doesn’t necessarily mean you are working that hard. In many cases, heart rate monitors over count calories burned and you are deceived : (
Use a breath test. The bottom line is this, the harder you work, the more calories you burn. Therefore, use the breath test to quickly and effectively measure your exertion. Below are the 4 levels you should think about. If you are trying to burn as many calories as possible, strive to spend at least 20-30 minutes of your class in zones 3 and/or 4. You should never be back at Level 1 (breathing regularly) after the warm up.
L1 – Breathing regularly
L2 – Breathing fast, but comfortable
L3 – Breathing heavy, uncomfortable
L4 – Breathing very heavy, very uncomfortable – sucking air!
What is Body Pump?: A total body weight lifting class using a bar with weighted plates on each side. There are about 8-10 music tracks and each one has a choreographed weight lifting routine to work a specific muscle group (i.e. legs, chest, back, biceps, triceps, etc.). You can also buy the DVDs and equipment to do the class at home.
Commentary: I try to go to Body Pump at least once a week and when I do, I always feel tight and toned.The music is okay, def not amazing, but the workout is sick – it’ll get you right. I like this class because it’s an efficient TOTAL body strength workout. I appreciate that I don’t have go searching for a weight lifting routine for each body part, I can get it all at once – 1 hour and done. Also, you do a ton of reps for each muscle group so bulking up is not an issue. Instead, your muscles gain endurance and you even get a good sweat!
The Facts: Building lean muscle mass is not only great for your overall health and fitness, it’s also a great way to speed up your metabolism aka BURN FAT! Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the rate that your body burns calories while at rest. RMR is directly related to your ratio of lean body mass. This means, the more lean body mass you build, the more calories and fat you burn while at rest. So get your PUMP ON and get the FAT OFF 🙂
Resistance training has been perhaps the most under emphasized component of the comprehensive weight loss program. – Paula Besson MEd
Commentary: Given my extensive experience evaluating celebrities walk the red carpet in sleeveless dresses, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are 3 keys to sexy toned arms:
Reduce Body FAT – The reality is, the only way to look lean and sculpted is to get rid of excess body fat. You know what that means – eat LESS and move MORE! You can’t show off your sexy arms if excess fat is covering them.
Sculpt Shoulders – The shoulders are the first part of the arms that people usually notice so it’s key to do several exercises that target the front, side and rear shoulder muscles.
Tighten Triceps – The back of your arms are the areas that tend to look the flabbiest. So, always make sure that your arm workouts make your triceps feel strong and tight!
Below is my complete “Sexy Arms Circuit.” I made this workout to tone my arms WITHOUT bulking them up. You need to use light weights during the workout (1-2 pounds in each hand) – soup cans are great for this 😉
Make sure to stand up with your back straight, feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent. Do each exercise in the order below WITHOUT resting between exercises. Repeat the entire circuit 3X, take a about 1-2 minutes of rest in between each circuit. ENJOY and get ready to rock your sleeveless sundress!
For the past year, I’ve committed my Saturday mornings to detoxing my body and catching up on missed workouts. My personal detox routine = 1 hour TurboKick class + 1 hour weight lifting class (Barbell, Body Pump, Power Sculpt, etc.) I like doing my detox in group fitness classes because of the music and positive vibe of working out with other people. However, you can do your detox routine however you like. For example, go running outside for an hour and follow it with a 1 hour weights circuit.
Here are the details of my 2-Hour Saturday Detox Workout Regimen:
Duration: 2 hours
Formula: 1 hour of high intensity cardio (breathing heavy) + 1 hour of total body resistance training (lifting weights)
Location: Preferably a gym or fitness club with Group exercise classes
The Facts: The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 times per week and 30 minutes of muscular strength training 2-3 times per week. Check this, if you do a 2 hour cardio + weights detox routine, you’ve knocked out over 50% of your weekly exercise needs. So, try the 2 hour detox and your Saturday’s suddenly get sweeter 🙂
Focus:Moderate/high intensity cardio, max calorie burn
Calories Burned: 600 – 800
Location: Any gym with cardio machines
Commentary: I made this workout for my friend/colleague who’s just starting to get back into the gym. We did it on Tuesday and our booties were burning on Wednesday morning! I like it because it provides a TON of cardiovascular training by incorporating basic cardio machines and body weight drills. You can easily do it at the gym with a good play list going on your iPod. If you’re trying to drop a few pounds for summer, throw this workout into your routine and you’ll be turning heads…or at least losing water weight 🙂