THE WEEKEND.

Happy Friday everyone! I cannot tell you how happy I am that in about 5 hours it will be the weekend. I have had such a stressful week. I realize how much I hate being the new girl at work. I am awkward, sensitive and have been exhausted. When you are learning new skills and meeting new people, by the time 5pm rolls around I honestly have nothing else to give. I took this week off from spin and I am so glad I did. I have only worked out twice and I realized how much my body craves the exertion. I get so stuck in my head and sweating it all out is so cathartic for me. It helps me sleep better, it helps clear my mind and I just feel more confident. Needless to say, I admit I am going through a little bit of a rough patch, however, I have been trying to keep to a really simple routine and try to take care of myself. Below I have a few essentials for you all to sift through that help me relax and totally keep me sane.

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I’ve only worked out twice this week. I went for a run one day which felt so friggen good and the other day I did a strength workout with a few bursts of cardio. One of the moves I did a couple of sets of was this pike on a stability ball. I typically don’t go into a pike but rather keep my shins on the ball in a plank position and roll my legs into my chest for a killer ab workout. I pull into a pike every once in awhile and on Wednesday I thought I would just go for it. Once in pike, I lifted one leg into the air and then switched legs followed by 12 reps of bringing my legs into my chest while in a regular plank. It is so challenging to bring yourself into pike since its a lot on your wrists and you really have to brace your core to bring your bum up into the air. It’s a great movement for those who are working towards their handstands or want to ramp up their ab series. I decided to for this move because it’s a real confidence builder and you need total concentration.

Next item is my lavender salts from CVS. These are so great. I totally relax and I put about a cup in the bath. They’re so cheap and you get such great volume. If you have trouble sleeping I would highly recommend a bath with lavender anything to help your body get into sleep mode. I always have a bag of these laying around the house. I have really tight feet (probably because of my tight calves) and this concoction in the bath helps melt away a lot of the tightness and stress.

My third savior is Odesza! I just love every song and every remix by this group. I listen to them in the morning when I get ready, in the car on the way home, when I workout and in the bathtub. It’s very ethereal electronic. When I teach barre I always do a savasana and play a full song. One of my favorite songs is White Lies, just speaks to me for some reason. When I used to take public transportation to work I used to listen to their stuff to relax while dealing with commuting stress. Since I literally just explained so many scenarios of when I listen to Odesza, it is literally no surprise that I have been listening to them every chance that I get this week.

Because I have been training at work, I have had a lot of downtime in between shadowing, independent work and meetings. Of course I log onto The Coveteur every day to read the latest article about a designer, new face oil or current workout trend. I just get lost in the pictures and the stories. It’s a girl’s heaven and I highly recommend the site if you love anything about fashion, beauty, working out, etc.

Lastly – of course a corny quote. I don’t normally like these sort of cheesy sayings but I saw this on instagram and was like…. TRUE DAT. SO this is my mantra. I gotta be tough and just stop being like “poor me… help me” but rather “come on, girl put on your big girl panties and work it out”…sometimes its hard to walk that walk but it’s rewarding when you get to the other side. I have a tendency to get really wrapped up in my own head and stay there for awhile. NOT GOOD but I am most certainly working on it.

Well – hey, you made it to the end of the blog. I hope everyone has a great weekend and thank you for reading my melancholy posts. I will hopefully return back to normal this coming week (after I finally get paid).

Thank you for reading,

Hill XO

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Fitness Fridays

So glad its Friday! My day has barely begun and I am already craving a dirty martini and sushi. I know you guys know the feeling. I thought I would jump start your weekends by just updating you all on some of my go to moves and fitness inspirations of the moment.

I completed another week of my spin classes. Some weeks are easier than others. But teaching every night, three nights in a row is a blessing and a curse. Because I teach on Mondays I tend to dread that class the most. I always take awhile to get into the groove of things however, after my Monday night class I feel the best. I don’t feel as foggy, I feel strong and much calmer. Here is the playlist I used all week.

Song of the moment: The Knocks – Kiss the Sky. I do not know why this speaks to me so much but it does. I think I like the fast beat and then how it slows down and then the chorus just makes me want  to be on a dance floor on a tropical island. An honorable mention goes out to Kelhani – Did I. This song is literally my girl anthem. Great beat. Good lyrics. It’s all about goin’ out and gettin’ it.

Favorite move/exercise of the moment: I have ALWAYS loved planks. I have worked so hard over the years to develop this strength. I love it because of the variations and because it hits so many muscle groups. I currently am loving plans that require your ‘under’ leg if you will to pass through. Here is a picture of one of the moves I  have been doing. It is so hard to do but I love how deep the soreness goes. My love handles and low back are a popular spot for me to put on weight and I just love the effect of these. I also enjoy lifting one leg (the top leg if I am in a side plank or just one leg at a time if I have both hands on the floor). If you go on to Pinterest there is an overwhelming amount of information on there and great for inspiration.

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My favorite yoga pose of the moment: Hands down this would be Bow pose. It is so beautiful. I work on this one to open up my chest and promote good posture. Having a large chest I really gravitate towards posture perfecting poses that help open up the chest cavity and create space. I also recently read an article in an old Yoga Journal about how having a flexible spine is so important. When I taught my first barre class last weekend we did Bow pose. We did three rounds of and held the pose for about 10 seconds each. For a lot of the people this was a new sensation…they knew they were working hard and strengthening but it was also a great stretch. The dichotomy of the work vs. stretch opens people’s eyes to yoga. I had a student say “That class was so different. It was nice to not do the same moves all the time”. That was because we did a great strength and stretch routine without weights (we did weights earlier on and finished with yoga strength). So at the end of class you knew you worked hard and felt like you exerted yourself but also felt open and lengthened. That is a very important thing for me in my daily practice and I was glad it manifested in the class.

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Favorite healthy snack: OMG I have been going cookoo over sweet potatoes lately. I didn’t go grocery shopping this week I know, I know  but had about three sweet potatoes and as long as I have an option for a decent carb for dinner I am good.  So I have been heating one of these bad boys up every night in the microwave for about 5 minutes and then I go to town with the seasonings. I sprinkle on some cayenne pepper, garlic pepper, onion powder, then pour distilled vinegar on top  (this is a true Rhode Island thing) with some ketchup. HEAVEN.

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That is it everyone! Thank you all for reading!

Hill XO

The BEST Ride of My Life

 

For those of you that enjoy indoor cycling classes, I just have to boast about my playlist from this week. When you teach there are times when making a playlist takes about five minutes and other times when it takes what feels like forever. Once I start thinking about it too much,  I lose my mojo. This week there were some new releases on iTunes that made my playlist making a cinch. This week we climbed at the beginning for quite a bit and then took it down, added in some speed, jumps, MORE speed,  medium hills and then ended with SPEED AGAIN to top it off.

Here is a peak at the playlist with choreography…

  1. LunchMoney Lewis – Ain’t Too Cool ~ This is the Uptown Funk of 2015. Warmup.
  2. Audien – Rooms ~ 5,6,7 with an aggressive pace
  3. Justin Bieber – Children ~ Standing climb out in 3rd. 7 for resistance. Saddle during the verse, out in 3rd for the chorus
  4. Halsey – Hold Me Down ~ 9 to 7.5 in the saddle the whole time. No pace really, just get through the maximum resistance and then during the chorus release it for about 30
  5. David Guetta – Rise ~ MY JAM FOR JUMPS. 4 counts – fast counts during the verse, slow counts during the chorus
  6. David Guetta – Lift Me Up ~ Transitions. 3rd at 6.5 (just enough to get rid of the bounce) and then explode with speed in the saddle at 70% on a 5, 2x
  7. Kiiara – Gold ~ Isolations with tap backs! THIS SONG MAKES ME WANT TO GO TO A TROPICAL ISLAND AND SNORKLE
  8. Flo Rida – Dirty Mind ~ Anything Flo makes me move. Small resistance increases, Saddle, Standing, 3rd with quarter turn adds, 3 rounds
  9. David Guetta – Night of Your Life ~ I mean we all know Jennifer Hudson takes this to a smash hit. Get on a 5, then to 65%, 75%, 85% of cadence max, 15 seconds at each interval, 45 seconds total, 3x!!!! If they ain’t dog tired – they ain’t workin’
  10. The Weeknd – In the Night ~ I am so glad this is his new single. It is the best song on the album. Very MJ. Jumps during the chorus on a 7. add resistance after every chorus.
  11. Christina Aguilera and CeeLo – Make the World Move ~ WOOOOOOHOOOOOO. I thought with all the negative things going on right now I needed an uplifting song. Three sprints, 25 each.

Thanks for reading everyone!!!

Hill xoIMG_0286.PNG

Fitness Fridays

Hello party people!

It’s Friyay! I hope all of you have something  great planned but also make time for rest and relaxation.

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I thought for this Friday, I would include some of my favorite fitness-y things of the moment! ENJOY!

The song(s) that currently makes me want to turn up 

Major Lazer (f. MOTi, Ty Dolla $ign, Wizkid & Kranium) – Boom ~ I have been using this in my spin classes for jumps  while adding resistance as we go. This song along with the rest of his new album is quite good. I like the slight Latin vibe mixed with house undertones.

Chris Brown – Fine By Me ~ This one is sort of a different sound from Breezy but I love it. He just keeps getting better and better. Who would have thought he would have stuck around this long? But then again ‘Run It’ was such a high school jam and always will be.

Current snack obsession 

Since I have been trying to A) lose a little bit of weight and B) save some money during this holiday season I have been trying to curtail my snacking but also make it as healthy as possible. The other day before spin I needed something with some good protein and fat so I made a mix of blueberries, roasted cashews and a handful of semi-sweet morsels. GENIUS. Trail Mix on a budget.

A comfy but stylish top 

Athleta’s Spotlight Top ~ If you need a new long sleeve shirt for either working out or to/from, this is an awesome option. I ordered this a couple of weeks and already washed it twice. It looks super cute even with skinny jeans. There is a pocket down the side which is perfect for my phone to fit into without the armband. This is not as tight as something from Lululemon so its forgiving but flattering with the side paneling. CURRENTLY ON SALE

WIPE ME DOWN 

Wipes are essential for us girls on the go, whether you need them for the commute home or dinner with friends post sweat sesh. Simple’s Micellar Wipes are lifesavers. Wipes can be very irritating but these are hydrating and gentle. If you are almost out of your current, crinkly package – pick up these bad boys. I sometimes use these after a night of one-too-many and am too lazy.

I hope you guys enjoyed these little tid bits! Love to share!

Hill XO

SPIN TRAX

Hello everyone! I have been a little MIA this week… This cold has held me hostage and today is the first day in about 8 days that I feel decent. I did teach my normal class on Monday and it was a struggle cardio wise but it was very rewarding. I did something a little different. I put all of the heavy climbing at the end. I did a two song ascend and then a descending climb with sprints for the end. I could hear all of the heavy breathing and loved all the “Woo-Hoo’s”. Not only did everyone come to work, but people came to work hard and it was one for the books. With fall in full swing, my classes pick up with newbies and the outdoor riders and runners come indoors for their workouts. I love the energy I feel during my fall classes. So tonight I will be teaching the same format with a few different jams thrown in there. Here are the honorable mentions below…

First up is Kiesza’s ‘Give it to the Moment’. I was driving in my car and this came on in my iTunes. The choreography for this came to and had a great amount of work with rest. Start on a low hill, right at the base. When the music starts to pick up a bit, bring it up into standing and then at the break – PICK THAT PACE UP then bring it down to the saddle to regroup. I’ts a quick song, and you move around so you keep your mind off how heavy you are breathing

Another is ‘Booty Call’ by Timeflies. A student/friend in one of my classes recommended their new album and I found this  gem on there. Great song for isolations. We spend the whole song out in 3rd…Isolate for the verse and let it go for the chorus. 3 rounds!

Mako’s ‘Children of the Night’ for me just screams SPEED. So I used this a descending climb and as the last song before the cooldown. So before we start our 2, 30 second sprints we take down the resistance from a 7 to 5 by taking it off in quarter turn increments. Obviously a quarter turn is different for everyone, therefore I tell people “Quarter turn is a guideline, but take a little off into you feel a change and that means its enough”. I’m all about honesty here. Since the song is placed here after heavy ascend, by the time you start your first sprint on a 5 (enough resistance to engage those quads and hamstrings while pushing against something strong not HEAVY) you are almost craving it.

Miguel’s ‘Simple Things Remix’ featuring BREEZY AND FUTURE!! love love love THIS for my cool down. I JUST WANT YOUUUU OH YA YA YA YA YA… I have a small obsession with all things Miguel.

Well here is the official playlist! I’ll be back soon!

Thanks for reading.

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Hill XO

Spin Updates & Playlist

I have been subbing a lot lately and yesterday was the end to the madness. When I first started teaching I was subbing whenever I could and would teach sometimes 6 times a week. Now that I have been teaching for about 3.5 years I don’t jump at every chance to sub but when that perfect situation presents itself I do take it. By perfect I mean…where is the gym…what time…can I get there with no traffic…do I have to do work for grad school…do I like that specific location…should I take the T home…etc. It all has to align for me and if I sense that it is too much of a hassle or if I will be spread too thin by taking it on, then I don’t do it. It’s important to say ‘No’ when you are active. Your body is literally your temple (I KNOW I KNOW CORNY, but we only have ONE bod) and if I am not 100% comfortable with adding to my current load, then I just don’t commit.

Yesterday I taught at 6am at my gym in Southie and then taught at 6pm at Government Center. My manager at my Southie gym was in a serious bind for her 6am class so I said I would just do it. Teaching twice a day is NOT my preference but I would rather teach at two different times of day than to teach a double. Whenever I teach in the morning I cannot sleep the night before…my adrenaline pumps all night long thinking about class and my counts and how many people will be there… what if my alarm doesn’t go off? I drive myself mad, so yesterday I was running on fumes! Plus my boyfriend’s mom was in a horrible car accident and I rushed out of work to help her (she’s ok) but it was a long day. By the time 6pm came around I was dog tired but was so happy to get on a bike and teach again!!

It was a steamy class…speed…hills…hills with jumps. Sometimes when I am tired, I care less about what I throw on the playlist and its usually harder than ever with a big finish. Here is the lineup below. Roses and Sugar are my current loves for hills. Roses just speaks to me for some reason and I used all parts of the bike for it. We started in the saddle, came up to standing and then moved to 3rd for some slow, two count jumps all while on a heavy hill. Sugar is a remake of Baby Bash’s hit and I used this as a medium sized hill out in 3rd and then as pickups in the saddle during the chorus. My motto is: if you can get a decently high cadence in the saddle with a sizable amount of resistance and keep your pace for 30 seconds…you have made it in the spin world. That was one of the HARDEST things for me to master as a teacher and a student. New sprint jam is A1…this is a workout playlist must. Whenever it comes on, I instantly feel the need to ramp it up.

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Thanks for reading!

XO Hill

The Climb Out In 3rd

For those of us that adore indoor cycling class, we all have a movement or a transition that speaks to​ us. When I first started going to classes, I loathed being in a standing run with low resistance, with my hands in 2nd, h​owever, I was hooked when we were summoned to walk our hands out into 3rd and push our pace on a medium sized hill. That movement of getting your body positioned, bracing for​yourself for that change of energy ​while in the saddle or standing is one of the most addictive and motivating movements (obviously in my opinion). I love nothing more than a song with a simple beat but one that speaks to you as if it was composed just for a climb with your hands in 3rd position. The combination of the beat and your ​own rhythm adaptation yields a great focus to never want to ​fall out of sync and to ​continue creating your own music ​on the edge of those handlebars ​while enjoying the music.

For this particular class I did this past Wednesday I wanted to ​do ​standing climbs but I didn’t want to do anything t​o​o drawn out. I didn’t want to climb for a long time in the saddle and then move it out and pick the pace up. I wanted something that we could do multiple times without losing gusto every time we did it. So, what I opted for was a patterned and repeated ride.
We started warming up to ​the JT song, which​ was perfect because its 7 minutes. We did about 5-6 quick little picks up on a flat road to get the blood flowing and then during the latter part we added a low hill and built it up to a medium hill. The first hill we did was right after when we rode to Rhythm by MNEK. We picked our pace up three times in 3rd position for 30 seconds to get that heart rate up and set the pace for our ride. The next song was isolations. Good For You by Selena Gomez I thought would be a good one for this. We held the isolations during the verse and did slow 4-count jumps from the saddle to standing during the chorus. Next was speed work. We did sprints to Lucky Strike by Maroon5. We did two for 15 seconds and then the third was 30. When we reached Can’t Feel My Face, that was the beginning of the second time through. So the pattern here is a hill out in ​3rd (for the second and third times we were out in third, we didn’t pick the pace up, we just added resistance as the song progressed), some sort of jumps/isolations and then speed (the first and second time through we were up in standing during the verse and then either sprinted or hit 75% of max cadence. Then for the third speed song we sprinted. Started with 75% then hit 100%. 30 seconds total x3)!
When we hit that cool down and looked ​back on what we ​did, it was a lot of work but so rewarding. I find that these types of rides are great for people who are goal oriented. The goal was to do three rounds of a hill, a jump/iso and then speed. You just tick one song off at a time. There are no real surprises…you know what to expect so no matter how tired you are, you want to keep working towards completing all of the songs in the pattern. Also, I wanted to be out in 3rd and enjoy being out of the saddle while adding resistance. I believe 3rd position is not only fun but one of the best for mental health. See the playlist below!
The ride of the week

The ride of the week