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How do you measure your process and success in your workout?

June 4th, 2012 No Comments

For the last 4 months, my trainer Cederick (see my workouts here) has been working to max out his bench press at 400 pounds by his 50th birthday – a weight he used to press daily when he was younger.  Holy cow, that’s intense!  I honestly have the same reaction when people tell me they are training for an Iron Man (read Reilly’s tumblr here) or even a marathon (like Rebecca).

Everyone has a different motivation  to exercise.  The friends I mention above have very clear goals.  In the past decade, my goals have included:

  1. Maintaining my strength and wellness.
  2. Staying lean and fitting into my clothes.
  3. Carving out an hour a day at least 5 days a week.

When I was younger my goals were in the sports areas of volleyball and basketball.  Sports gave me an means to see my progress in endurance and accuracy that general exercise has not.

So, what am I really working towards now??

As I’ve told you, over the last month I’ve been wearing a heart rate monitor so I can track how my heart performs and how many calories I’m burning each workout session.  I started out with my max heart rate being 187 and my caloric goal of 580 (see how I figured that out).  While the calories are important, I have been focusing more on my heart rate zones in my cardio workouts to see how hard I push myself even though I want to stop.  When I teach spin I push people to their max, but it’s hard to do that for myself, which is obviously why group fitness is so popular.

Last week in my Blast900 class, Missi pushed me to a heart rate high of 193!   Without any thought to do so, I just kept going and my heart rate continued to climb. Now that I know I can get to that level, I try to hit it in my other cardio workouts.  It’s tough!  But my attempts are valuable for my physical and mental progress in my exercise.

When I look back at Cederick and the Iron Men, I see they are striving for their maximum effort.  It’s not achievable everyday, but it’s a goal to set, and knowing you can achieve it motivates you to TRY for more on a daily basis.

What goals have you set these days and how do you measure them?  One of the most important part about challenging yourself and seeing progress in your workout is taking on something different to change up your routine.  If we all share our perspectives, we’ll have many new goals we can take on!


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How to set up your spin bike

January 9th, 2012 No Comments

Anyone decide to take up spinning for the new year??

Whether or not your a beginner or a seasoned rider, you should know how to set up your indoor spinning bike so that you can utilize it safely and efficiently.

In this video I give you the basics on how to maximize an INDOOR bike.  You’ll notice I don’t set Becky up to train for an outdoor ride.  My philosophy is that you can maneuver on an indoor bike in so many ways to strengthen your muscles and condition your body that you cannot on an outdoor bike.  TAKE ADVANTAGE.  Use a full range of motion to stand tall to isolate your quads, ride long and low to turn on your guts and hamstrings, and keep your chest high to keep your core engaged.  Video on this to come.  For now, just set yourself up comfortably!

Beginners read more here on how to get started.

Once you realize how much you enjoy riding, please invest the $100 in pair of cycling shoes. It makes a world of difference in the ride, your efficiency and strength, and most importantly on your body mechanics.

As you may or may not know, I’ve been teaching “spinning” (indoor cycling is more appropriate as I don’t teach Jonny G) for 5 years and riding for 10.  My style is that of Soul Cycle in NYC, where I taught for 3 as a means to earn much needed cash while living on the little island.  The problem is when I left New York and LA, I was left without a group of riders who have the same energy and enthusiasm (and rhythm) so I continue to teach in Houston to carry on my coastal style.

I’m not going to lie, finding a good teaching is probably the hardest part about spinning.  Hopefully you’ll find someone you click with and gives you more than just a means to burn calories. The catharsis in the exercise is so much more rewarding.

If you’re in NYC or LA, try to ride with one of these instructors.  Worth every penny for the physical and mental challenge!

  • Stacy, Laurie, Melanie at Soul Cycle in NYC (multiple locations)
  • Colin Kim teaches at both Equinox Weho and Updog Fitness
  • Reilly (above with a huge smile after kicking my butt) is at both locations as well
  • Keith Irace and Eileen O’Connell only teach at Equinox Weho

** Equinox classes require advance sign up online

*** I am LOVING the super soft sweat pants I bought at Updog last time I was there.

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Don’t let money stand in the way of Reilly’s dream!!! Let’s support him.

September 19th, 2011 No Comments

Reilly Smith is one of the most admirable people I have the pleasure of calling a friend.  Help me support him to achieve his dream!

What to know why?

I’ve watched his extreme efforts to become not only an Ironman competitor, but also a screenwriter.  Honestly I’m not sure which is more competitive these days.  As a passionate man, he’s attacked both with his whole heart and seen small successes along the way.  Enough to keep him going.

Finally, after 4 years of training, he’s almost reached his goal of “Professional” Triathlete and the only thing standing in his way is money!

Can you imagine?!  He’s completed countless marathons, triathlons, Ironman competitions, spent hours alone on the road, tailored his life to a rigorous training schedule, given up the crazy indulgences we take for granted (all of which you can see on his blog)….

And now so close to the top and the price of entry is $15,000!  That just doesn’t seem right does it?

Whatever our feelings about the cost, that’s life.

So help me by donating to get him in the Pro game.  He deserves the chance to compete.  He’s unbelievably strong physically and mentally. I wish I had a fraction of his mental strength that not only fuels his ambition, but has made him an introspective and well-rounded person.


Or go to your paypal account and send funds to winburnsmith@mac.com.

Any and all amounts are greatly appreciated.

I would love you to give $15, just the price of one lunch.


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Reilly’s Spin Classes This Week – A MUST if you’re in LA

February 22nd, 2010 No Comments

I’m sure you recognize these abs from my life experiment episode a couple weeks ago.  They belong to my fabulously fit and talented friend Reilly who rocks out spin in Los Angeles.  And until he gives me a better picture, I’m going with this one.

So if you’re in LA, give your body a belated valentine and go spin with my man Reilly.  He will kick your tuchis to next Tuesday no matter which studio you visit!  Here is his schedule along with locations and deals you’ll find at each place.

Monday February 22nd

  • 5:45 AM – Spin UpDog West Hollywood
  • 1015 AM – Spin Revolution Santa Monica


  • 7:15 PM – Spin Equinox West Hollywood


  • 6:30 AM – Spin Equinox West Hollywood


  • 8:00 AM – Spin Revolution Santa Monica


  • 5:45 PM – Spin UpDog West Hollywood


  • 8:00 AM – Spin Revolution Santa Monica


  • 10:30 AM Kettlebell & Abs Equinox Westwood – see his class on my LifeExperiment episode here


  • 9 AM Spin Equinox West Hollywood


Equinox West Hollywood: 8590 Sunset (just west of La Cienega) 310-289-1900.

Must be a member and you should reserve a bike online 26 hours ahead of time.  Or you can wait in line 30 minutes prior to the class (I would get there 45 min early. He’s that popular!)  Guest fee is $25 and he’s worth every penny (but they might let you in to try the class if you say you want a membership.)

Revolution Fitness: 1211 Montana Ave in Santa Monica 310-393-6399

YOUR FIRST CLASS IS FREE. Bring a friend to the second class and both of your classes are free.

STEAL: Unlimited Spin for 2 Weeks for 30!

Up Dog Fitness West Hollywood: 8599 Santa Monica (across from Trader Joe’s). 310-360-7200

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December 5th, 2009 No Comments

Scenes from Reilly’s new tumblr.

Ummm…..yeah.  I do yoga next to this man.  We’re just friends, but holy sheez.

He is single, btw.  Just sayin.



Mark it and move on. 8 minutes better than the effort in San Francisco, and a tougher course. Progress.

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Reilly started a fitness tumblr! Welcome Reills!!!

December 5th, 2009 No Comments

Link: Reilly started a fitness tumblr! Welcome Reills!!!

On MTM, Reilly has shared his marathon training and race experiences.  I hype him up constantly because he’s truly an inspiration to get my butt into the gym.  His spin classes have evolved to be stellar in only a year.  There really isn’t anything fitness this man can’t do.

So if you love being active, click the link and follow my main man Reilly.  You’ll start sweating just reading about his workouts.

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October 22nd, 2009 No Comments

Come Ride With Reilly.

On November 8th you don’t need to be a member of Equinox to experience one of Reilly’s  kick-ass spinning classes.  And now he’s taking it up a notch!

Our man Reilly is one of the selected few to be featured in Ride The Event’s inaugural indoor virtual ride.

It sounds pretty crazy: 100 bikes in The Avalon Hollywood with music pumping and outdoor images projected on the walls floor to ceiling. Rainforests, mountains, beaches, oh my.  The energy is going to be out of hand.

Andy, Colin, and a few others from our group will be there riding with Reilly at 3pm (even though the site says 2pm).

The cost is $30, but type in RILY at checkout and get $3 off.  You will have to enter a shipping address because they’re sending paper tickets (I know, don’t ask).

Sign up ends on Friday so reserve your bike now!

Bonus, all of those in attendance can touch his abs, it’s an MTM special ;)

August 30th, 2009 No Comments

At Katy Perry with Reilly and Colin (from spin) dancing our asses off in the back. So hot never cold back here!