Step 2: Exercise Theory.

I am currently getting certified as a spin instructor because I love it so much. There are a few steps required and this weekend I booked time off of work to get one of the courses done. Step 1 was a CPR course that I took a few weeks ago and Step 2 I did this weekend – a 20-hour Exercise Theory class. It was great! Spending a weekend with like-minded people who have similar mindsets towards fitness and health and learning and reviewing information on the body and exercise was unreal!

I started mornings at my course like this… not bad.


A lot of the anatomy and physiology information was review for me as I have attained quite an extensive science background doing my Bachelor of Science degree and considering I am currently taking an anatomy class, but some of the exercise information and terminology was new to me. It was really great to be learning tons about such a big part of my life – fitness!


One of the most trivial but valuable things that I learned was 99 ways to say “Very Good!” I tend to get stuck on a single word or a single phrase so it was helpful to have a list of phrases to use to change it up and keep class participants interested!


Another great thing I learned was the recommended “Fluids and Foods BEFORE Training/Competition.” I have been experimenting a lot with this in the past month as certain foods and the timing of them play a HUGE role in how my workout/run/training/event goes. I am not someone who can eat right before they exercise and I definitely need at least an hour to digest before I start my workout. Everyone is different.

Some of my go-to pre-exercise snacks are fruit and yogurt, nuts or trail mix, cheese and crackers, dried fruit, or dry cereal!


I have never tried this but I think I should… weighing yourself before and after a run, race, event, or intense exercise. This can give you a general idea of how much fluid you lose while exercising. Everyone sweats at different rates and finding out how much water and fluid replacement YOU need is important for proper training. 


We did a lot of activities and games to break up the monotonous tone of some of the anatomy and cardiovascular units. One of these exercises was placing the names of muscles on the part of the body that they are located!


The woman lying in front is the instructor and she was a blast! She has run competitively for over thirty years and done triathalons, ironmans, cross country skiing, coaching, and has worked in the area of fitness and exercise for her whole life!

Reviewing the muscles is important for knowing which muscles you are using in a fitness class and then properly stretching them after class. Apparently stretching is important. Who knew. I keep saying I am going to work on this aspect of my fitness but I usually don’t walk the walk and just jump in the shower without a proper stretch. There are a few different types of stretching such as dynamic, static, ballistic, and PNF. All of these are essential at different times in your workout or training and will help with flexibility, recovery, and overall training.


One of the coolest charts in my Exercise Theory textbook is the comparison of various exercises and how many calories they burn per pound of body weight per minute. Guess what form of exercise trumps all… RUNNING! Heck yes.


Many of the topics we covered were review for me but it is always good to have a reminder of important things like the beauty and adaptability of the human body, the importance of an equal balance of exercise, healthy eating, and rest and recovery, the importance of moderation in every aspect of life, AND the fact that EVERYONE is different and living a healthy life means a different thing to each individual with a few guiding scientific principles.

Today’s class was especially awesome because we did a sample of our instructor’s workout class. We did a 45-minute tabata interval training class and it was great! I have only done tabata in the form of sprint intervals in spin class but I love it. 20 seconds of intense exercise (sprints, jumping squats, bicycle crunches, whatever!) and then 10 second recovery. Aaaaaaand repeat a bunch of times until you are sweaty and tired but yet feel so alive!

It was a bonus workout for me because I got up early before class to get a morning run in. 8.0 miles at 7:49 min/mile pace… IN THE SNOW. 


It didn’t feel or look that beautiful at 5:00 am this morning. It was snowing/raining/sleeting and really windy. Luckily it wasn’t slippery and it felt good when I was running one way, but then I turned around and the wind was in my face and it wasn’t as pleasant but still an awesome run! I had mile splits of 8:07, 7:52, 7:58, 7:51, 7:49, 7:45, 7:38, and 7:33. 


SO CLOSE to a progression run… stupid mile 3! Haha! Looks like I will be perma-wearing pants on my outdoor runs now! A high of -2 tomorrow? Yikes!

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