IT’S FRIYAY, GOTTA GET DOWN ON FRIYAYYY

This week went by so friggen fast. I love it! Tonight I’m going out for a HUGE Italian dinner in Rhode Island for my brother’s birthday and I am honestly just fantasizing about the bread and its only 10:30AM here.

Today I am presenting you with an update on my fitness life – particularly my spin classes. I haven’t posted my playlists or talked about my classes in quite some time!

So – in my spin classes lately I have been loving patterned rides as well as a lot of speed. Usually I am a quality over quality girl with the sprints and speed themed songs, but this past week we hit it it hard. Don’t get me wrong I love my jumps, my tapbacks and my isolations but being in the saddle and grinding out a hill and sprinting to the finish line are the meat and potates of my ride.

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Here is the ride I did all last week. We ended the ride with three speed songs…

We started with Kiesza’s “Give it to the Moment” for some pick ups in standing on a low hill. 30 seconds each. When students come up into standing, I always tell them to use their legs. The handle bars are there for support; not a crutch and they should float up and float down. For speed cues, I tell them I want you to run – but it’s not a sprint and sure as hell ain’t a jog…this helps people find their groove in standing without the pressure of going too fast… if they feel the pressure then they don’t put the right resistance on. You  gotta play with them a little bit.

The second speed song we did was Christina Aguilera’s “Let There Be Love”…banger. I have been playing this since I started teaching. It’s a PC song and has the quickest and most motivating beat. After we did standing accelerations, we did this song in the saddle on a 5 (which is beneath a low hill where you take off like a bat out of hell but you are not on a flat at all). For this we stayed in the saddle and did 75% of max. This way they are movin’ and groovin’ without sprinting JUST yet.

Last song – the finale! Ferry Corsten “Feel It”. This will put it all together. What I love about this song is that at the beginning the beat picks up within the first 5 seconds and I use that as an opportunity for the first full sprint. This way students don’t even think about the sprint and they just go for it. Of course, I warn them so when I hit play they are ready. The second sprint is a ladder – 65%-75%-sprint. 45 seconds total with  little increases in speed every 15 seconds. They should be doggin’ it after the second round. And third round is a full out 20 second sprint. Usually for my students’ very last sprint I really pep them up. I saw things like “You came here to work tonight. This is your FINAL push, don’t let yourself down” or “I want you to look back and know that you kicked your own ass tonight”. With the right crew, this gets them amped. After I count them down, I turn the volume louder and I don’t say anything…I let the beat take over with the motivation. I usually get goosebumps because they are working it so hard!

Hopefully for some you speedsters or instructors out there that are looking how to spice up your playlists that this could be a little nugget for you! I have been really enjoying thinking out of the box with my playlists.I have been re-purposing songs and using them at different points in my ride to just try new things. I go through phases where I feel more motivated by songs and other times where I’m way more into the thrill of making the perfect choreography sequences.

Thanks for reading! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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Marathon Monday!

What a beautiful day! Today is Marathon Monday here in Boston. I have a handful of friends that are running and the energy here is just crazy! Of course I am at work because I’m a newbie but I am there in spirit. Last year I went to the finish line and it was so moving. Where I used to previously work (a main Boston hospital) we had so many employees run for our institution and I just cried when I saw some of them cross the finish line. So if any of you are running today or are runners or even avid exercises – send some good vibes to our runners. A few years ago, this day was ALMOST ruined but we have showed how strong we are and how we believe so much in the sanctity of this race and our city!

Friday’s Fitness Faves

Good afternoon, everybody. Thank the Lord it is Friday. I got my nails done at lunch and have a whole new perspective on life afterwards…funny how that happens after a little pamper session at the end of the week. I figured I would share with all of you some fitness favorites and send you all off with maybe a couple of inspiring moves, tunes and ideas!

Thanks for reading!!

Hill XO

Forearm Stand

I have been working on getting myself into a forearm handstand for quite some time. It is frustrating that every time I get up I get into the pose for less than half a second, I fall. However, yoga is about exploring that fall and welcoming it. I recently came upon this article by Pop Sugar with great poses to help you get ready for a forearm stand. I plan on working on this this weekend a little bit. Here is the article if anyone is interested. I love being upside down and I do enjoy working for it.

Early Morning Workouts 

I go through phases with early morning workouts…There are stretches of months where I can’t even fathom getting out of bed before the scheduled time and then there are weeks where getting up 1-2 days a week to work out is no problem. The past two weeks I have gotten up early either on Thursday or Friday to do my own workout – no spin. I find that sometimes when I am at work I get too excited to work out and rush off as soon as the clock strikes 5 and I sort of enjoy the quietness in the morning. In the morning I do feel slightly rushed but then I make sure that I really push it or cut down on the rest time. I am trying to work on going before work because I would like to run a 10 mile road race this summer and getting over and complete in the AM is my preference since getting a glass of wine after work on a hot day is a TOP priority for me!

Favorite Workout Move/s

When I was in Portland I woke up and went to the gym on Saturday morning. The hotel had a pretty decent workout room and so I thought I would sneak in a workout since I knew we were going to be eating all day long. There was a TRX  there which was PERFECT because I have been hitting that shit up for abs! GIRLLLLL, I am always so sore afterwards. My lower abs in particular always feel like they got a good ass whoopin’. These exercises ramp up your typical plank and put some STANK AWN ON IT. I found this little cheat sheet on Pinterest for just some ideas!

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Current Favorite Song 

Alex Midi – In the Air Tonight (f. Delacey) Since this is a modern day remake of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” I just automatically loved this. I love the original for a heavy climb and this as well for the same choreography but with a little more beat. I also love the female vocalist. It may not suit everyone but it most certainly gets my blood pumpin’

Favorite Lippy For The Gym

Does anyone remember Revlon’s Colorbursts? Well…when they came out I bought them in almost every single color. The color I have on in this photo is Pink Lemonade. Talk about the most perfect peach/light pink. I have been grabbing this after my spin classes just for some hydration and color. I tend to look very washed out and dead with no makeup on so this light lip adds a little bit of vibrance to my face. Today in the car I found it in my jacket instead of my gym bag and I applied it right away.I was at a stop light and just had to get a selfie in real quick with this color!  I love this stuff!

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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

Current Wishlist

Good morning,

I have a wishlist. I need to share it. There are a lot of things out there right now that are calling my name and I think I need to share them with all of you not because this is a safe place to communicate wants and desires but because I need some feedback.

Some of these things I have tried and will be purchasing, but others I need help on…

HERE GOES

NOW, I recently received samples of the Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm and I am obsessed. I used it once and I just know it is my favorite cleansing balm of all time. That is high up on the priorities of my wishlist. It smells like  Lipsmacker and is so hydrating.

The other thing I have tried is the Laura Mercier Candeglow Soft Luminous Foundation…I had a really hard time finding my color match. In Sephora I picked up Ecru which seemed to work for my paler winter skin however online it said that it was for light skins with cool undertones? HUH? I am a little bit cool but I have quite olivey skin. Has anyone tried this? I loved the formulation but am wondering if I could go a shade or two darker…I am a little afraid of my local Sephora lady so I have confided in you all.

Jaclyn Hill recently discussed this new Becca foundation. I feel like it is literally the foundation form of the Backlight primer. This looks like it will give a really dewy finish and help glow everything up. I am highly interested in this and would probably purchase this over the LM if it is better. I want both but know that life does not work that way, or does it?

Moving on with this Makeup For Ever Ultra HD concealer. NOW, since I turned 25 I swear I all of a sudden see these fine lines under my eyes and my skin is just crap right now. I look ruddy, feel ruddy and flat. I currently have an outbreak of milia on the tops of my cheekbones that look GOD AWFUL when I have highlighter on. I know these are first world problems here but WHAT-EVER. Every time I use my under eye concealer my circles look more pronounced. I know this can be because my concealer is too light…so I am sort of looking into this MUFE one. They have this concealer in correcting shades and concealing shades and I am most interested in the correcting ones. This is $27 vs. the Bobbi Brown Correctors which are $40. Does anyone have both and have an opinion? I use a super hydrating eye cream and think I just need a better concealer…any thoughts or insight would be helpful.

Lastly – LuLuLemon sports tops. I will preface this that my cannons are a humble size of 32F. Yes. You best believe when I work out I go all in with back and shoulder exercises to keep my posture looking like Lisa Kudrow from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (come on the magnet scene is so hilarious but oh so mean). So, my question is – do you girls find that these tops are supportive? I do have other LuLu tops that have a built in bra but I always wear another sorts bra under them. Do you think that if I wore another sports bra under this it would just become a bulge-y, back fat issue? HELP! I’m desperate for something hip and airy. I am leaning more towards the one on the left because I think there could be more natural support…however, I think my additional sports bra on the right could look less out of place. Just to preface this for you all – I am 5ft tall, I weight 13o lbs and I wear a size 4 in the tops and the pants.

FEEDBACK. PLEASE. GO.

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Monday Blues

My thoughts exactly above.

Today is just so painful. I have been noticing that Mondays are worse for me when my weekend was less than eventful. Yesterday’s weather was just so ANNOYING. It was 60 degrees and it poured all day long. I opened the windows to my apartment and it was so humid and uncomfortable. I was also really looking forward to the Golden Globes last night but was SOOOOO bored….The whole event is like one big inside joke that no one understands if you aren’t famous. I watched the first half hour and then just decided to call it a night. I will say I did enjoy seeing a lot of women winners. GIRL POWA. Side note: what the hell was J. Lo wearing?

Anyways – I just hope this week comes and goes. I miss my family and my boyfriend. Wah.

Here are few pics. Sorry for the lame Monday post but ya know what? THAT’S LIFE. It ain’t always awesome but I am thankful that I am in good health, have a nice roof over my head and have a great family.

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When I studied abroad in Barcelona these were my weakness. Barcelona in the South End has just the best vibe and the best food. 

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The only productive thing I did yesterday was head out to the gym. It was sticky walk home.

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On Friday night, my mom and stepdad came up to Boston and I met them out at the Salty Pig right next to Back Bay. My roomie met us there after work. If you love cured meats and awesome pizza- this is your joint.

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My current favorite eyeshadow combo. African Violet by Laura Mercier and Satin Taupe by MAC. Satin Taupe looks nothing like how it does in the pan… its quite purpely/taupey… nothing like below! That’s why it is so amazing. 

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I recently found this awesome instagram account called “alwaysssleep” and its just pictures of beds from wherever. This new bed set was a Chrismtas present from my mom and its just so cozy. 

Fitness Fridays

Hello everyone!

I apologize for being slightly MIA this week. I really hit the ground running…I taught spin A LOT and have just been dead! My cold (really just my cough) has been driving me insane. Mucinex is a godsend but kind of is not great for my tummy. 😦  Hopefully you all can forgive me.

So now that January 2016 is in full swing I know that our group exercise classes are probably overflowing and your usual treadmill has been occupied all week by some newbie who just texts the whole time and is walking at a semi-glacial place. I do have a few tips and tricks to work around this small issue!

TIP #1: Try going at a different time. SHAKE THINGS UP.

I know this sounds crazy…us gym people are creatures of habit! Why should we have to go at a different time in order to work around the Resolutioners? Sometimes its good to try a different time. Who knows – you might actually like it. Perhaps a small change could be made. If you normally hit the gym at 5:45PM…maybe head there an hour later. You can maybe catch up on some work or go home and clean those damn dishes AND then burn those calories. This week I opted for an AM session vs. a PM workout. It was great because after work I just went home to relax. Of course it was a total BIATCH to get up but after breaking a sweat I didn’t want to stop.

TIP #2: So what if that new person took your spot or your bike. GROW UP.

Seriously. We are not children. I remember at the first gym I ever taught at the women that were in their 40’s – 50’s were BRUTAL about their bikes. Hey – you snooze, you lose. Bikes (at the gyms I have taught at anyways) are first come, first served. If your name (or towel, water bottle) ain’t on it…IT AIN’T YOURS. I think we need to remember that we are not children and it is good to move around the room – get a new perspective. The ride is about you…I get it…every bike is different so your settings may vary, but who knows maybe you will sit next to a super motivational person or maybe the music is a bit louder so you feel like you’re one with the beat.

TIP #3: Harder spurts to get in and get out

Ok. You get to the gym and all of a sudden you sense there are WAY more people there than when you walked in and started your work out. People are starting to have loud conversations, the mirrors are fogging up – you feel distracted but you still have 20 minutes left on the elliptical…ahhh what do you do? Start some intervals. Crank up the resistance or the speed. Bring that heart rate up and push, push, push and then give yourself double the time for rest. You can do whatever time intervals work for you. I am personally a huge fan of 30 seconds on and 60 seconds off. You’ll burn more calories, possibly have a cardiovascular breakthrough, get that metabolism revved and you’ll be out the door.

It is important during these times to find the positive and obviously to make things work for you!

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND

Thanks 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