New blog, same content

We have MOVED!  Since we completed some rearranging on how we are currently structured with the roll out of our brand new website, we have a new blog and everything from the Northern Grrrls blog has been moved over to the new site.  We VALUE our blog followers and if you want to keep receiving information from Northern Grrrls, spin playlists, and boot camp workouts… head on over to  grrrlyblog.wordpress.com and follow us!  Thank you!

 

Oh and our new fancy schmancy website can be found at northerngrrrls.com!

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Bob Dylan Themed Spin Playlist

Bob Dylan Themed Spin Playlist

A few weeks ago it was Bob Dylan’s birthday.  If you follow this blog you know I love me a good themed playlist so I decided to see if it would work.  This playlist worked surprisingly well for a nice chill endurance and hill based ride.  I threw in a few Dylan covers too to keep it fun!

The Skinny on Training for a Triathlon / Duathlon with Spin Classes

Wondering if triathletes and duathletes should use spin bikes, or if spin bikes give you as good (or better) a workout as riding your bike outdoors? Here’s the skinny…

Spin Bikes Are Different6ef16836dbebce7096bf3f7c0de89862

The majority of spin bikes are different than normal road, mountain or triathlon bikes because they have a “fly wheel”, which is a 30-40 pound wheel that provides the resistance as you pedal (and which is also the reason that the pedals on a spin bike keep moving after you stop pedaling). Because of this fly wheel, your hamstrings work harder to slow the pedals as they come around. But when you’re outdoors, you’re pedaling against the friction of road resistance and wind resistance, and this motion requires more work from your hip flexors and quadriceps. That fly wheel keeps the pedals spinning after you get the pedals moving, so it’s also very easy to let a spin bike do the majority of the work for you, which is why many people in a spin class appear to be pedaling very fast when they’re actually not doing much work at all.

So, now that you understand the difference between spin bikes and regular bikes, let’s look at whether triathletes/ duathletes will get a bang for their buck actually use spin bikes.

Spinning vs. Cycling – Overall Fitness

Spinning: A study by the American Council On Exercise (ACE) found that indoor spinning on a regular spin bike can keep you at around 75-95% of your maximum heart rate, which is more than adequate for a triathlete to build cardiovascular fitness. Of course, a big part of this heart rate boost could be the heat of an indoor spin room, the peer pressure of spinning classmates, and the motivation of an instructor barking orders in your face. However, as you’ve just learned, spinning tends to use primarily your hamstring muscles because of that fly-wheel, which A) means more help from the spin bike and fewer overall calories burned or muscles strengthened and B) you using far different muscle groups in a different way compared to what you’d experience with outdoor cycling.

Cycling: As you know if you’re a serious triathlete or cyclist, you can easily get your heart rate as high and higher as those in a spin class. But if you’re new to the sport and have a hard time pedaling that fast while balancing the bike, navigating, and not having the motivation of a crowd and an instructor, you may find it easier to build skills on the bike, and then build your cardiovascular fitness in a spin class. But in contrast to a spin bike, you use your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, shins and calves more when you’re on a bike outside – so your muscular fitness will likely be higher (as long as you don’t spend much of your time “cruising”). But once again, you need to be working hard enough to hit those muscles with adequate force to make them stronger and to burn significant calories, and some people just have a hard time riding a bike that hard unless they’re racing.

Fitness Summary: The average triathlete, and especially the beginner triathlete, can get pretty fit in a spin class. But they shouldn’t neglect outdoor riding skills, and if you can get your heart rate high with outdoor rides, you’ll be better served keeping things on the road, or throwing your tri or road bike on an indoor trainer (which doesn’t have a fly wheel like a spin bike does).

Spinning vs. Cycling – Perceived Difficulty
Spinning: When you’re riding a bike indoors, spinning can get boring (this does not apply to Ashland’s fun spin instructors), and it can also use the same muscles over and over again (no ascents and no descents). This can certainly make spinning seem more difficult than cycling. But the pounding music and group/instructor motivation can help with this. Plus, note that a spin class can make time go by much faster compared to just throwing your bike on an indoor trainer.

Cycling: Unless you’re in a race or training with a fast group, cycling goes by much faster and generally feels much easier from an effort standpoint compared to a spin class. But as you take your cycling to the next level, there are technical skills required that can quickly make cycling become more difficult than spinning.

Summing it UP! :

You’re going to get a great workout with both spinning and cycling. But if you’re a triathlete, you’re going to want to be primarily training the muscles you’ll be using during the race, and also getting used to handling your road bike. Especially if you’re a beginner triathlete/duathlete, a spin class is going to give you great motivation and improve your fitness – but unless you’re just doing spin classes because you enjoy the heck out of them (and really WHO DOESN’T?!) – you’ll get more bang for your triathlete buck by riding your bike outdoors the 3 months a year that you are able to in northern Wisconsin!

Thanks to http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com for most of the above information!

Erin go ‘sports’ bragh! St. Patty’s Spin Playlist

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This week we celebrated a belated St. Patrick’s Day by spinning our through the Emerald Isle. This trip across the Atlantic was made possible with a multimedia extravaganza that included projecting a larger-than-life first person perspective movie of a bike trip across Ireland onto the big screen!  We pedaled and sweated ourselves through Ireland using the playlist below!

“You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind.” – Irish Saying

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90’s Spin Playlist

Grab your slap bracelet, peg your pants, rat your bangs… it’s 90’s spin night this week at class (yes i realize a few late 80s songs are thrown in there too). What a fun class- I love when the entire class smiles and sings along!

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Valentine’s Day Spin Playlist

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A little CHEEKY! – no pun intended!

As I have mentioned before numerous times that I “heart” a good themed holiday spin playlist.  I’m sharing the LOVE so here is this week’s Valentine’s Day playlist.  Something for everybody with little bit of romance, some sarcasm, and a bit of personal reflection 🙂

If you would like the workout details for this playlist- contact me :)

If you would like the workout details for this playlist- contact me 🙂

Mash-Up It Up! This Playlist Gets Em’ Moving!

I love mash-ups. It is probably the only reason I still watch Glee from time to time…?

This week’s playlist incorporated some great new songs by The White Panda. I was personally pretty jazzed about this week’s music since I incorporated Thrift Shop into the playlist and it was completely worth the endless singing of the catchy bridge for the next 6 hours…

I wear your granddad’s clothes
I look incredible
I’m in this big ass coat
From that thrift shop down the road

You can’t help but bounce along to the infectious beat!

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Sub-zero temps got you down? Jump on Spin Airways for an affordable escape!

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The weather in Northern Wisconsin is positively miserable. It’s been below zero (think -27, not -5… my gosh we live in NORTHERN WI, it takes arctic chill before we flinch much) for a few days now. I decided my Thursday night class needed a tropical ESCAPE to warmer climates!

Here is the playlist we used to spin our way through the Caribbean and Mexico! Add in an inflatable palm tree, fun disco lighting, and some frozen “drinks” (Crystal Light Mocktails) post workout and it was just the vacation we all needed!

Here’s the playlist! This was probably one of my favorite classes so far!

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