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How to Start a Fitness Blog (7 Steps)

In order to share your passion for health and wellness with the world, it’s important to understand the technical side of how to start a fitness blog or website. In talking with other fitness bloggers, we can agree that the technical side is the most daunting — I waited years to start this fitness blog because I was overwhelmed by the idea of setting one up. To be honest, setting up the back-end of the blog is a challenge, but once you get a few key elements in place, the blog can work seamlessly in the background, so you can focus on the fun stuff, like posts and photos!

I want to share my experience setting up a fitness blog, so you can avoid the obstacles I encountered, and take advantage of the tricks I learned along the way. Here’s an in-depth guide for how to start a fitness blog.

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 1: Research, Prep, Plan

Before you dive into building the back-end of the blog, do some research to see what other fitness bloggers are doing to make sure your blog name and URL will be original. Brainstorm what makes your passion for fitness unique, and use that to set your fitness blog apart from the rest. Enter the URL in your browser’s address bar, and also search it on Google and Bing to make sure nobody is using it already.

I’ll also add that once you’ve done your research, pick a blog name and URL and run with it. I spent a lot of time being indecisive, feeling like these were imperative to get right, and I’m realizing that they’re not as important as they seem to the overall success of your blog. It’s more important to just start posting consistently.

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 2: Choose Your Blogging Platform

You’ll want to do some research on the different blogging platforms out there before getting much further. Blogging platforms are the software or service you use to publish your content online. Popular ones are WordPress.com, WordPress.org (yes, there are two WordPress options), Blogger and Squarespace. Here’s a helpful link comparing some of the most popular platforms. I’ve chosen WordPress.org, because I can use a custom domain name (URL) and all the plugins, plus I have experience using it in my day job.

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 3: Choose Your Hosting Platform

Websites are “hosted”, or stored, on servers around the world in order for them to be viewed on the internet. Many of the blogging platform options have hosting included. If you decide to go with WordPress.org like I did, you’ll need to select a hosting platform.

This was one of the biggest decisions I had to make, because there are a ton of hosting platforms out there to choose from. When I first started, I went with Hostgator’s WordPress starter package. At first, I did not know what I was doing, so I didn’t know I was missing out on so many capabilities. The biggest issue was that their starter package did not come with cPanel. I learned that cPanel is super important for managing the backend of your blog.

For example, there’s no way to create backups of your site without cPanel, unless you spend hours chatting with tech support to work around it (like I did). When I wanted to switch hosting platforms, not having cPanel made it more challenging.

Now, I use SiteGround web hosting services. I’ve selected the GrowBig package for three years based on my site’s needs. Even the StartUp package comes with cPanel, which is great. I switched to SiteGround to get access to cPanel, and also because reviews online were really positive. SiteGround typically gets less spammy bot traffic than Hostgator, and is fast and reliable. I’ve really enjoyed my experience with SiteGround, and would recommend to anyone interested in setting up their own fitness blog.

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 4: Purchase Your Domain

Once you’ve picked your blogging platform and hosting service, you’ll want to purchase your domain. Some services like SquareSpace will include the domain with your package. When I signed up for the SiteGround hosting, I was able to purchase my domain right in the setup process, this makes it easy to manage the domain and hosting all in one place. However, you can also purchase domains separately from a site like GoDaddy.com (Note: I’ve never used GoDaddy.com, so not sure what the user experience is like).

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 5: Point Your DNS Servers to Your Blog

When I first was learning how to start a fitness blog, I was able to successfully fumble my way through all of the steps above. When I completed all of those steps, I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t type in my domain name (URL) and see the site.

Here’s the reason: I needed to point my DNS (domain name servers) to the blog address. What this means is that I have the servers that I’m using with my hosting package, but they are not automatically connected to any websites. So, I need to go in and tell my URL to go to those servers so my content will show up.

I know that sounds complicated, so here’s a step-by-step guide with pictures for how to point your DNS using SiteGround.

First, go to your hosting site and find your DNS. If you’re using SiteGround, go to My Accounts and click on cPanel.

How to Start a Fitness Blog and Point Your DNS to the site (Part 1)

Once you’re in cPanel, on the left column, you’ll see account information. In that box, find name servers.

How to Start a Fitness Blog and Point Your DNS to the site (Part 2)

Leave that tab open, and open up another tab to manage your domain. Go to the site that’s managing your domain, if it’s SiteGround, go to My Accounts, and click “Manage” under the domain section.

How to Start a Fitness Blog and Point Your DNS to the site (Part 3)

Then, enter in each DNS in the “Your Domain DNS” and click “Update”.

How to Start a Fitness Blog and Point Your DNS to the site (Part 4)

It can take a few days for the DNS servers to be updated, so hang out, write a few blog posts, and then check back in the next few days to confirm that it works.

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 6: Select a Theme & Customize the Layout

Next you’ll want to select and install a theme to personalize your fitness blog. There are a bunch of free themes out there you can download and add to your site. SiteGround has a helpful article listing each step to setting up a theme on your blog.

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 7: Post!

Now, you are ready to post. Especially when first starting out, you may want to spend time up front creating pages, like an “About Me” page and “Contact” page. Then, you can jump in to posting blogs as often as you’d like.

Check out my other posts on how to start a fitness blog here. Also, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich.

 

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March 2017 Links I Love for Group Fitness Instructors

One of the group fitness instructors leading a class

March was a month to remember, with the SCW Fitness convention in Burlingame and family trips to San Francisco. Once again, it feels like we’re flying right into the next month. I’m pretty excited about April. This next month will kick off the six-month countdown to my wedding in October, and it’s the one-year anniversary of starting this fitness blog with you all, my fellow group fitness instructors!

Before we dive into April, I want to take a minute to share my favorite article links from the past month that group fitness instructors should check out. This is a round-up of the top fitness and health studies, tips, exercises and stories. For anyone that had a busy month, now is your chance to catch up on all the major news happenings in the industry. For example, a recent study was published revealing the benefits of strength training (see bullet 4).

Here are my favorite March 2017 links I love for group fitness instructors.

If you liked this roundup, you’ll also like my “Links I Love” roundup from February and January. You can also check out the group exercise ideas and tips page for more posts.

And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich.

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This “Best of 2016” Indoor Cycling Playlist Rocks the House

Indoor cycling instructor Michelle

Since last year was monumental for the music industry, I couldn’t get too far into 2017 without creating a “Best of 2016” indoor cycling playlist. First and foremost, we said goodbye to quite a few celebrities with significant contributions to music, like George Michael, David Bowie and Prince. 2016 also saw new Top 40s hits that are great for a spin class. So, I combined some of the chart-toppers with classics from those that passed last year to create the ultimate indoor cycling playlist of 2016.

I’ve done this one a bunch in my spinning classes, and it is a huge hit with participants. They always finish this ride out of breath and wiped. Now, whenever I’m in a pinch and need a go-to indoor cycling playlist, I’ll pull this one out.

Here is my member-approved “Best of 2016” indoor cycling playlist.

As you know, I like to teach my spinning classes in a series of exercises that we do twice or three times through, depending on the series. So, I pick a couple exercises to make up my series, and we stick to it throughout the class. That way, participants know what to expect, so they can go big when they’re supposed to and not hold back for fear of another interval around the corner.

Here’s the series — do it three times through. The first two songs are “climbs”, which means you add resistance throughout both songs. In addition, you can add some fun variations to the ride. Like if your bikes have monitors, you can ask participants to increase their RPMs or leg speed on the chorus, or go in and out of the saddle as you go, as long as everyone is increasing resistance throughout. Then, the last song is for intervals. I ask participants to track their distance for a 2-minute breathless interval in the first song.

Then in the second series, we use that distance as our guide. So, I’ll ask participants to do half the distance in half the time. Divide that original distance by two, and time the class for one minute. Finally, in the third series, we’ll again do half the distance in half the time, so divide the number by two and go that distance in thirty seconds. You choose how many intervals you’ll do for each song. I like to do the first one once. Then, series two has two 1-minute intervals. And, series three has three or four 30-second intervals.

The “Best of 2016” Indoor Cycling Playlist

  1. Cake By the Ocean, by DNCE [Warm-up]
  2. Let Me Love You, by DJ Snake feat. Justin Bieber [Song 1]
  3. Faith, by George Michael [Song 2]
  4. 24K Magic (Workout Remix), by Bruno Mars [Song 3] *Make sure to get the edited version of this song!*
  5. Just Hold On, by Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson [Song 1]
  6. Under Pressure, by Queen & David Bowie [Song 2]
  7. HandClap, by Fitz & The Tantrums [Song 3]
  8. Can’t Stop This Feeling, by Justin Timberlake [Song 1]
  9. Just Like Fire, by P!nk [Song2]
  10. 1999, by Price [Song 3]
  11. Take it to the Limit, by The Eagles [Cool Down]

Hope you enjoy! If you’re looking for more spinning songs and playlists, check out the workout routines and playlists page.

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My Favorite Group Fitness Motivational Cues from SCW Mania

Group Fitness Motivational Cues from Mindy Mylrea

Tired, depleted and inspired. That’s how we all want our group fitness participants to feel when they leave our cardio classes. And, that’s how I feel today as I head home from the SCW Mania convention in Burlingame, Calif. this weekend. I spent the last three days in lectures, workouts, surrounded by non-stop energy and enthusiasm. I learned so much, and I encourage you all to consider attending if it comes to a city near you.

One of my favorite parts of the convention is the part of the workshops when presenters would lead us through a sample workout, because you could see them put in action everything they just taught us. On top of that, you get to also experience their group fitness motivational cues firsthand, and think through how you respond to each cue. Does it make you work harder or give more effort? If so, you can consider weaving in some of those cues into your own arsenal.

Here are some of the most memorable group fitness motivational cues from SCW California Mania.

  • “Not because I’m telling you, but because you CAN.” – Jeffrey Scott, Schwinn Cycling, Session: There’s an App for That
  • “Get to the wall of breathless, and just give it a kiss.” – Alex Mclean, Schwinn Cycling, Session: The “HARD” Conversation
  • “If you’re looking for that one person to change your life, look in the mirror.” – Irene Lewis-McCormick, Keynote presentation
  • “I don’t have a PhD, but I arm myself with information and education.” – Jeffrey Scott, Schwinn Cycling, Session: Teaching Tips from TED®
  • “Flexbility is a byproduct of flexibility of your mind and flexibility of your approach” – Manuel Velasquez, PT/Small Group, Session: No Equipment, No Problem
  • “With change, you get change.” – Jeff Howard, HIIT/Group Training, Session: Don’t Step on It
  • “It is now. Create this moment.” – Mindy Mylrea, Session: Tabata Bootcamp Express Workout
  • “If I told you that you have 30 more seconds, would you be happy?” – Doris Thews, Schwinn Cycling, Session: C3 Content, Connection and Charisma

Can’t wait to go back next year! For more tips, check out my fitness motivation and cueing page.

And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich!

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April Fool’s Day Spinning Music Playlist & Routine

April Fool's Day Spinning Music Playlist and Routine

My spin class participants have become obsessed with wacky themed playlists, so I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to create an April Fool’s Day spinning music playlist and routine, knowing the silly song selection I’ll have to choose from. Themed spin playlists are a great way to mix up the typical Group X class and energize folks to focus and work hard. Personally, I like to push the edges of my themed playlists, and add songs that don’t quite fit into the theme. That’s because those are the songs that end up being great ice breakers, comedic relief and, frankly, the most fun.

I thought I’d really try to push the envelope with my April Fool’s Day spinning playlist and routine. Not in a way that would put people off, but it a way that would make them chuckle or do a mental double take. Because, that’s why participants show up to my class: to get a different, more challenging workout than they would on their own.

Without further ado, here is my April Fool’s Day spinning music playlist and routine.

As you know, I like to teach my spinning classes in a series of exercises that we do twice or three times through, depending on the series. So, I pick a couple exercises to make up my series, and we stick to it throughout the class. That way, participants know what to expect, so they can go big when they’re supposed to and not hold back for fear of another interval around the corner.

Here’s the series — do it three times through. Each song in the series increases resistance, so participants will continue to add resistance throughout and maintain it as they go from Song 1 to Song 3. At the end of Song 3, that’s when folks will go back to their flat road baseline and start over.

  • Song 1: “45 second drill”. Every 45 seconds, ask participants to increase intensity, either by going faster or adding resistance. Participants will start in moderate intensity, transitioning to hard intensity, then harder, and finally breathless intensity. That’s four segments of work in the song. Then, participants can recover with the remaining time and heading into the next song, while keeping the resistance on the bike.
  • Song 2: Feet slow just a bit to keep up with the pace of the song. You’ll add resistance throughout the song to increase the intensity, starting seated and working your way to standing once resistance is heavy enough. You’ll start in a high moderate intensity level, and will end at a hard intensity level standing.
  • Song 3: Stay standing. For the first minute or so, ask participants to add resistance to get the resistance super heavy. Then, you’ll do what I call “Reverse Tabata”. It’s 10 seconds of breathless work, and 20 seconds of recovery. We do it 4 times through. I like to start the sprint with a countdown. On 3, participants stay standing and start to sprint. On 1, participants will keep that breathless, sprint pace and have a seat, keeping the pace for the next 7 seconds seated, totaling 10 seconds of work. Then, we stand and recover for 20 seconds, and do it again. Starting the sprint standing helps participants to set the pace before having a seat, otherwise it’s nearly impossible to sit and pick up the pace at the same time.

The April Fool’s Day Spinning Music Playlist:

  1. It’s Tricky, by Run-DMC [Warm-up]
  2. Fools Gold, by Fitz & The Tantrums [Song 1]
  3. Everybody’s Fool, by Evanescence [Song 2]
  4. Foolin’, by Def Leppard [Song 3]
  5. Foolish, by TOKiMONSTA [Song 1]
  6. Chain of Fools, by Aretha Franklin [Song 2]
  7. Fools, by The Dodos [Song 3]
  8. Taken for a Fool, by The Strokes [Song 1]
  9. Some Kind of Joke, by AWOLNATION [Song 2]
  10. Fools, by Van Halen [Song 3]
  11. Foolish Games, by Jewel [Cool Down #1]
  12. Don’t be a Fool, by Shawn Mendes [Cool Down #2]

Hope you enjoy! If you’re looking for more spinning songs and playlists, check out the workout routines and playlists page.

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Teaching a Spin Class with the Schwinn Cycling App “Class Tamer”

When I first started to teach a spin class, I wrote my lesson plan and notes in my notebook, then created the playlist for it in iTunes. At the time, iTunes would automatically add up the time of each song and share how long the entire playlist would last. This is critical in order to properly teach a spin class, because if a playlist is an hour and five minutes but the class is only an hour, you’re going to have problems.

But then, one of Apple’s software updates removed that feature, so it no longer automatically calculated the time length of the entire playlist. For a couple weeks, I would manually add up each song to estimate if the playlist would end on time. It was time consuming and inaccurate. After the class ran (slightly!) late one too many times, I decided to find a new way to do my spin class playlists.

I remembered my Schwinn certification instructor recommending the Schwinn cycling app, so I decided to give it a try.

Here’s my review of using the Schwinn Cycling App to teach a spin class.

The Pros

  1. The app will calculate the total time length of the playlist to help make sure you end the class on time. Schwinn Cycling app tracks total time for spin class playlist
  2. It shows how much time has passed and is left for each song in big numbers. This is nice, because I don’t have to squint to read the numbers. However, be careful to not confuse the two numbers — I’ve learned that the hard way!
  3. There’s a space to add notes for each song. This is nice when there’s no place to set your notebook, like in spin rooms that use Bluetooth stereos. I normally put my water bottle and notebook on top of the stereo next to me, but if it’s on the other side of the room, everything gets placed on my bike’s handlebars.

Add Notes to Schwinn Cycling App to Teach the Spin Class

The Cons

  1. It’s difficult to press the “next song” if you decide to skip a song during class. This can be good, since there are no accidental song changes, but it also means I’m stuck pressing the button a bunch of times in front of a class full of waiting spinners.
  2. You have to start at the beginning of your playlist, so you can’t jump to the middle very easily without clicking through each song.

Overall, I would recommend the Schwinn cycling to anyone teaching a spin class. It’s never let me down in the year I’ve used it. And, I love that it calculates the total ride time for me. Since I don’t have to press buttons all that often, it doesn’t bother me that it’s difficult. If you’re someone who bounces around your playlist, this may not be the right app for you.

For more tips and tricks, check out the group exercise ideas page. And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich.

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Top Presenters Return for the 2017 SCW Fitness Pro Convention

The California SCW Fitness Pro Convention is around the corner! I was a staff assistant in 2015, but last year the convention didn’t make a stop in San Francisco, so I had to watch from afar. Now, I’m a staff assistant again this year, and can’t wait for some non-stop fitness fun. Although it has been a while, I can still remember most of my favorite sessions of the weekend. And, many of those presenters are coming back to SF for the 2017 convention. As I started planning out my schedule this year, I’ve noted the returning presenters I’d like to check out again this year.

These SCW Fitness presenters have contagious, through-the-roof energy and lots of great ideas to bring back to your fitness classes. If this is your first year at the convention, you’ll want to attend some of the sessions taught by these experts.

Abbie Appel

Abbie Appel

Abbie is an international fitness expert and educator who has written the SCW Barre Certification and updated the SCW Pilates Matwork Certification. She is a Rykä® Ambassador and a Master Trainer and Consultant for Activmotion Bar™, Body Bar® and Schwinn®.

I took one of Abbie’s Barre presentations in 2015, and loved her down-to-earth approach to teaching. Her presentation was genuine and had a bunch of new moves I’d never done before.

Mindy Mylrea

Mindy Mylrea

Mindy is the 2015 PFP Trainer of the Year, 2013 CanFitPro Specialty Presenter of the Year, 2008 Fitness Presenter of the Year, 2004 Can Fit Pro International Presenter of the Year, 1999 International Fitness Instructor of the Year, a National and World Aerobic Champion, and a five star presenter. Mindy is an advisory board member for Oxygen Magazine, an international presenter, author, motivational speaker, video personality, and CEC provider for SCW, ACE and AFAA.

Mindy led the very first presentation I attended back in 2015, and it was such a great way to kick off the weekend. She has so much energy and enthusiasm, plus a one-of-a-kind presentation style. I was inspired by the way she entertained and motivated the participants — something you’ll want to emulate yourself once you take her session.

Jeffrey Scott

Jeffrey Scott

Jeffrey is an International Fitness Presenter, Schwinn® Lead Master Trainer, Reebok Master Trainer and an Area Group Fitness Manager for Equinox Fitness Clubs. With more than 20 years of experience in the Health and Fitness industry, Jeffrey has conducted training workshops in over 15 countries around the world and is recognized as a top fitness educator, instructor and personal trainer who is known for his creative choreography and motivational teaching.

I attended the, “Schwinn Cycling: Rock Stars, Preachers and Party People,” session two years ago with Jeffrey, Doris Thews and Skip Jennings, and it was one of my favorite of the entire weekend. Unfortunately, Skip Jennings won’t be at the convention this year, but I’m thrilled I’ll get to take another session (or two :)) from Jeffrey and Doris.

Doris Thews

Doris Thews

Doris has 30+ years in the fitness industry. She started as a college athlete, worked as a Divisional Director for a large club chain and now owns a fitness consulting business. Doris represents several International fitness brands including her role as Program Director for Indo-Row® and ShockWave, Senior Master Trainer and Global Mentor for Schwinn®, International Development Master Trainer team member for BOSU® and Hedstrom® Fitness, Power Music® Advisory Board Member and Lead RYKA® Fit-Pro Ambassador.

Manuel Velazquez

Manuel Velazquez

Manuel is a proud faculty member for SCW Fitness Education, while being a valued trainer for Hydro-Fit, Bosu, Tabata Bootcamp and Barre Above. He is a WATERinMOTION® National Trainer and a recipient ECA-NYC OBOW All-Around International Presenter of the Year award and has been presenting at fitness conferences worldwide for over two decades. Manuel is a continuing education faculty for SCW, ACE, AFAA, ACSM, AEA, and WATERinMOTION®, and stars in over 50 Fitness Instructor Training Videos.

I was part of the staff assistant team for Manuel, and he was so nice! He has a really unique teaching and fitness style that I can only describes as “flowing”. If you’re looking to mix up your workout routines and add something different, I’d recommend checking out one of Manuel’s sessions.

This is only a partial list – there are many great presenters from 2015 that won’t be back this year, and a bunch of new faces I’m excited to meet. If there are other presenters you’re excited about, please let me know.

To see the complete list of presenters, click here. If you’re interested in attending other fitness conventions this year, check out my 2017 events list.

And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich!

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Victoria’s Secret Sport Review: Knockout Tights

For any group fitness instructor who has had to go through the agony of wearing saggy, see-through workout pants, this Victoria’s Secret Sport review is for you. I’ve had my fair share of terrible workout bottoms, and I know I’m not alone. There are so many pants out there that will stretch out after a couple washes, and start to fall at the waist during yoga or strength training.

It’s also mortifying to have your underwear or skin show through the pants because the fabric is too thin. I experienced this first hand a few years ago in one of my 6 a.m. weekday strength classes. One of my participants was courteous enough to tell me after class that when i bent into child’s pose to stretch my pants got really thin —talk about mortifying.

After that experience, I thought my search for the perfect workout pants would never end. But then I stumbled upon Victoria’s Secret Sport, and now I finally have a go-to pair of workout bottoms. The Victoria’s Secret Sport Knockout Tight, Crop or Capri will become a staple in your fitness wardrobe.

Victoria's Secret Sport Review

Victoria’s Secret Sport Review: The Fit

What I love about the workout tight, capri and crop is that they’re high rise, so you can squat and twist without worrying that the pants are going to sag too low. They’re also 23 percent Lycra, and I’ve washed mine a bunch of times and they’re still holding up good.

The one thing to remember when it comes to fit is that these run pretty small. I wear a size small, and they sometimes feel like they are suctioned to my body. When I’m teaching group exercises classes, it’s great because that fit helps to make sure the pants stay up and support me throughout the class. But, they’re not the type of pants you’d wear to lounge around the house or get cozy. Once you shimmy into these bad boys, you’ll feel inspired to work out. They’re those types of pants.

Victoria’s Secret Sport Review: The Material

The fabric is super thick — it feels like a scuba material. The fabric does not show through no matter how you twist and turn. Some of the fabrics do have a sheen to them, which makes it seem like you can see through it, but it really is thick. If you prefer lightweight, breathable fabrics, this may not be for you. I personally love the sturdiness and thickness of the fabric.

Victoria’s Secret Sport Review: The Prints

So far, I’ve gone pretty simple in my pant selection. I have two pairs of tights — one all black and the other black with some pink details. I also have a pair of black crop pants with a rainbow side detail. I did buy my mom a pair of purple capri pants for Christmas that she liked. But, when looking online, they had a lot of fun options to choose from. There are bold prints, more simple ones like the ones I have and then solid colors, as well.

Victoria’s Secret Sport Review: The Price

At full price, the knockout crop, capri and tight options are costly. I just can’t bring myself to shell out $60+ on a pair of workout pants. But, the good news is that these go on sale all the time, since the company is really pushing their new Victoria Sport brand. You’ll definitely want to wait for a sale, and you’ll likely be able to get them for around $30.

If you’ve read this far into my Victoria’s Secret Sport review, it should come as no surprise that I’m a huge fan of these workout bottoms. They give me peace of mind that my clothes will hold up against my workout, so I can focus on giving my members the best fitness class possible.

For more group exercise posts, check out the group exercise ideas and tips page.

And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich!

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Fitness Blog Post Ideas to Wow Readers

Group fitness instructor reading fitness blog post ideas

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about starting a fitness blog. I’m happy to see many fitness instructors interested in creating a professional website, blog or social media profile, because these will help strengthen relationships with existing members and provide a way to meet potential new clients. I have a lot of experience with blogs. In my day job, I launch and grow company blogs in a wide range of industries. Couple that with my experience writing for you here at GroupXFitnessTips.com, and I have many tips, tricks and fitness blog post ideas to share for anyone looking to start a blog.

So, I’ve decided to pull back the veil and add a new category to the site on starting a fitness blog. I’m going to be writing advice posts and lessons I’ve learned along the way. So, buckle up — fitness blogging is truly a wild ride!

For my first post, I thought I’d share fitness blog post ideas to wow readers, because oftentimes brainstorming topics is the hardest part. I like to plan ahead, and map out the posts I’ll write each month. Of course, the schedule almost always changes, but it’s helpful to plan ahead and adapt, as needed.

Before we dive into fitness blog post ideas, I want to share a few general tips for writing engaging blog posts people will actually want to read. No matter what topic you choose, you’ll want to make sure you follow these tips for Grade A quality blog content.

  • Share the bad stuff — obstacles, challenges, mess ups. People want to hear about the times where you overcame difficult times in order to succeed, or the times where you screwed up and learned from it. If you stick with just the good stuff, nobody will care enough to read it. When you think about the stories you read or movies you watched growing up, they revolve around a conflict. There’s always a whole lot of stuff that happens before the fairy tale ending, and that’s the stuff people want to hear.
  • Only post things you would actually read. This one seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes we have to take a step back to ask ourselves if we would actually read this stuff. If not, why would you expect anyone else to read it? Think about what you’re clicking on throughout the day. You may notice some themes about the types of stories and articles you like. Are there ways you can mimic those stories? That’s a good place to start.
  • Make sure the topic aligns with your passions. Do not try to start a blog or write a post about a topic just because you think people will click on it. Click-bait doesn’t work, and these posts come off as inauthentic. When you enjoy writing about the topic, your content turns out much better. And besides, blogging can be grueling. It’s better to blog on a topic you love.
  • Proofread your work. Now I don’t mean just read the post through one last time at the end before you post. Write up your post, let it sit for a while, then come back to it with fresh eyes to review another time before you post it. This will take your writing up a notch, and will help prevent ramblings, errors, confusion, etc.

Without further ado, here are 5 fitness blog post ideas to wow readers.

  1. The NSFW songs you secretly play when you work out. Whether it’s Kanye or Eminem, we all have that song we love but would never be caught dead playing it in a Group X class. Although we can’t play songs with foul language or bad lyrics in class, that doesn’t stop us from having that jam we like to throw on when we’re working out on our own. Share those songs with your readers, and you’ll likely be surprised you’re not alone.
  2. What you do when you don’t feel like working out (or other common challenges in the fitness industry). There are a handful of issues a lot of people face in fitness: finding time to work out, finding motivation to work out, building confidence to step foot in a gym, learning the exercises, etc. Think of unique solutions to these problems you can share. Keep in mind we’ve all heard the cookie cutter answers to most of these, so you’ll need to find a way to bring new advice to the table.
  3. Your 5 most embarrassing gym moments, and how you survived them. Have you ever ripped your pants while teaching and wanted to sink into the floor? Everyone has had their own mortifying moments at the gym. Share the ones you’re able to laugh about now, and ask readers to chime in with some of their own.
  4. That one exercise that’s always been a challenge for you. Sometimes we look at fitness bloggers and it seems like they have it all together. It’s nice to see that they’re just like us, and also have things they’re working on themselves.
  5. Your No. 1 guilty pleasure food and five healthy alternatives. Here’s a chance for you to show your human side. Give readers a peek into your own honest food regimen, and share advice for health options.

Again, you have to ask yourself: would you read a blog post on these topics? I certainly would, but you need to make sure you would too before setting up to write one of these fitness blog post ideas. I’ll be posting more advice soon on how to start a fitness blog. In the meantime, check out more group exercise tips here.

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St. Patrick’s Day Spinning Music Playlist & Routine (45 minutes)

St. Patrick's Day Spinning Music Playlist and Routine

It’s fun to make a themed spinning music playlist and routine for St. Patrick’s Day, since there’s a lot more room for creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. When it comes to Christmas and Halloween, you’re often stuck playing the chart topping hits, because that’s what participants expect. For St. Patrick’s Day, you can throw in a bunch of quirky songs loosely related to the holiday and get away with it.

I’m a big fan of tying together songs around a very broad theme, because then I can play the songs I want, and my participants get a kick out of the wackiness. This year, I’m adding a handful of Irish artists and songs about luck, gold and the color green to my St. Patrick’s Day spinning playlist and routine. Because, why not?

If you’re putting together a spin playlist of your own, I encourage you to have fun with it! If you think a song will be awesome for spinning, but doesn’t fit perfectly into a theme, that’s okay.

Here’s my St. Patrick’s Day spinning music playlist and routine.

As you know, I like to teach my spinning classes in a series of exercises that we do twice or three times through, depending on the series. So, I pick a couple exercises to make up my series, and we stick to it throughout the class. That way, participants know what to expect, so they can go big when they’re supposed to and not hold back for fear of another interval around the corner.

Since it is a St. Patrick’s Day spin playlist, the series is three songs long and the resistance on the bike mimics the shape of the rainbow. So, the resistance will get heavier for the first two songs and then dial down for the last song.

Here’s the series — do it three times through.

  • Song 1: Climb (Part 1). Start seated at a flat road resistance and moderate intensity. Add resistance periodically during the song to increase intensity, ending the song at hard intensity. If you do have monitors, try to stick to roughly the same RPM the whole song.
  • Song 2: Climb (Part 2). Keep the resistance on the bike and continue the climb. This time, every 30 seconds we’ll go from seated to standing (and vice versa). Each time you stand, add more resistance to continue to increase intensity, starting in hard intensity and ending at breathless intensity.
    • Please note: when you stand, the intensity of the ride will not be as challenging, so participants will get some reprieve during these times. Students will monitor what their intensity is like in the saddle (seated) going from hard to breathless.
  • Song 3: Bring the resistance back down so that it’s just a touch above flat road and you’re working at a high-moderate intensity. When the chorus comes, students will go faster, finding a breathless intensity. If you have monitors, encourage folks to increase their revolutions per minute (RPMs) by 10-20. At the end of the chorus, go back to that initial resistance and intensity.
    • Please note: if students need a longer recovery period, feel free to recover a bit longer at the beginning of the climb in Song 1.

The St. Patrick’s Day Spinning Music Playlist:

  1. Green Light, by John Legend [Warm up]
  2. The Other Side, by Bruno Mars (feat. Cee Lo Green and B.o.B.) [Song 1]
  3. Holiday, by Green Day [Song 2]
  4. Get Lucky, by Daft Punk (feat. Pharrell Williams) [Song 3]
  5. Pot of Gold, by The Game (feat. Chris Brown) [Song 1]
  6. California (There is No End to Love), by U2 (they’re Irish! :)) [Song 2]
  7. Lucky Strike, by Maroon 5 [Song 3]
  8. Gold Digger, by Kanye West (feat. Jamie Foxx; “clean” version) [Song 1]
  9. Brown Eyed Girl, by Van Morrison (also Irish!) [Song 2]
  10. Rainbow in the Dark, by Dio [Song 3]
  11. Lucky, by Jason Mraz (feat. Colbie Caillat) [Cool Down Pt. 1]
  12. Lucky, by Britney Spears [Cool Down Pt.2]

Hope you enjoy! If you’re looking for more spinning songs and playlists, check out the workout routines and playlists page.