Tasty Tuesday Linkup #49 and Exciting Tasty News

Hey guys! Happy Tasty Tuesday Linkup day to you! How was your weekend?

Mine just flew by. Seriously, before I knew it – it was Sunday night 🙁

This Saturday we (just out of the blue) decided it was Christmas – Take #2 at our house, at least food wise.

Hubby made an incredibly delicious leg of lamb! (I have no idea what’s gotten into him, I was afraid I’d spook him if I asked).

tasty tuesday linkup Continue Reading

Interview for ICI/PRO Podcast and Other Awesomeness

Hey-hey! Happy Tuesday, you guys!

Is your week off to a good start? Mine is pretty darn awesome so far.

Today we’re interrupting out regular broadcasting for some breaking news 🙂Continue Reading

Latest Playlists for Indoor Cycling Classes and a Couple Learning Moments

Hi friends! Happy Hump Day!


Today I’m packing for FitBloggin’ 2014 and sharing my latest playlists for indoor cycling classes with you!

FitBloggin’ starts tomorrow, so I fly out tomorrow morning and get to Savannah around 2:00 pm.

I have SO many people I am excited to meet in person there that I had to make the list! Not kidding you. I did totally just make a list.

Don’t want to rank my list – I will be equally happy to meet everyone on it, and whoever is not on it, but here are a few people I am particularly excited about meeting:

A Hungry Runner

The Lean Green Bean

Manifest Yourself

Fit and Free with Emily and many-many-many other wonderful bloggers!

I am pretty sure I won’t have time to blog while I’m there – it is my very first blogging and fitness conference, so I will probably walk around with my mouth open most of the time 🙂

I will sure tell you all about the adventures in Savannah when I get back on Monday!

Now back to our regular broadcasting 🙂 It is workout Wednesday after all!

So after the previous post I took a couple yoga classes as part of my stretching/recovery/rest day routine (that was on Saturday and Wednesday).

On Saturday I taught one of those super exciting cycling classes where you don’t know whatcha gonna get 🙂 Meaning the crowd is changing from week to week and there are a few regulars.

indoor cycling

This past Saturday I had a wonderful group of people! Most of them experienced cyclists (either indoor or outdoor). It was easy and super rewarding to teach them!

I got a thousand compliments on the playlist – one from one of my regular students (“Good sounds, kid”), another one from another fairly regular attendee of Saturday classes (“You were born too late! Love your music!”), another one from a teenage girl (“I LOVED your soundtrack”) and more. 🙂

SO nice to hear that people are happy about the music in the class. It is hard to please everyone. So, may be those who didn’t say anything didn’t like it all that much. But everybody was sweating 🙂 That’s for sure.

This time the class was a lot quieter that the Saturday before – it was a gloomy rainy day, 8 AM…I guess it took my students a while to wake up and stop asking themselves the “what the heck am I doing up and on a bike so early” question 🙂

Anyway, here’s the playlist everybody liked on Saturday in case you need song ideas to incorporate into the playlists for your next indoor cycling classes.

On Monday I suddenly found myself teaching my regular class to 8 (!!!) people instead of my regular 3-4 summer indoor riders 🙂 That was exciting!

indoor cycling

Here’s what we rode to:

Couple of people in my class were indoor riders getting back on tack after a couple years of break, so I had to set up their bikes and remind them how the Pilots work. Thankfully they came in with enough time before the class so I could do that.

But here’s a tip and note to self: GET THERE EARLY. Make sure you’re the first one in the room and greet your students when they come in. ASK them if they have ever done indoor cycling before. If they say “Yes” and you see them struggling with the bike set up – GO HELP. A lot of people feel embarrassed to admit they’re new thinking “It’s just a bike. I can figure it out myself”.

No, they can’t.

You need to help them.

It’s like being a doctor – you can’t walk by someone who needs medical help. You simply MUST NOT or you’re in the wrong job.

Anyway 🙂

The Monday class also got me thinking about something else…

Every time we’d get out of the saddle to a standing flat, there would be this one person leaning forward onto the handlebars and isolating the upper body.

I kept saying “Light grip on the handlebars, just to keep you balanced. Don’t lean forward. Relax your shoulders”.

Nothing helped.

I tried getting frustrated but I’m too kind 🙂

Just kidding.

He stopped by after the class and said his back really hurt whenever he was out of the saddle, and that’s why he was leaning forward carrying a lot of weight on his arms on standing flats.

I told him to just stay in the saddle next time if getting out of it bothers his back.

But here’s the thought: next time you see that stubborn rider in your class who just wouldn’t do the right thing despite your instructions – think twice before getting frustrated or thinking they are just another “know-it-all” and “know-it-better”. I’m glad this person told me after the class what his issue was and let me help him out the best way I know how. Think how many of them will never talk to you about their health issues and why they can’t do certain things. Think about how many of them will never admit it even to themselves.

Talk to them. Offer help. Ask questions. Be discreet and polite. Find the key to every one of them.

That’s what this job is about for me: building your own community of like-minded people and making everybody feel welcome and “at home”.

There you have it – a couple playlist ideas and a couple pieces of valuable advice 🙂 🙂 🙂

Ready to start this Wednesday now!

Question of the day: What’s the worst case of a “know-it-all” student you’ve ever witnessed in your/somebody else’s class?

Take care, friends, and talk to you soon.

Lean Lena


This post has been shared on Workout Wednesdays Linkup.

Cycling Instructor: Students Teach Us Too

Hey guys! How is it Wednesday already? My week is just flying by (it’s a busy one, too). How is yours going?

So I went to a cycling class this Saturday – as a student. It felt super nice to not be teaching 🙂 Besides, I decided to hold off the stress for now and go to my YMCA where I know the instructors are highly professional, so I can relax and just spin that wheel. So I did!

indoor cycling

It was a great class with Tara – challenging, difficult and very satisfying! 9:00 AM on Saturday – we only had 2 people in the class not counting the instructor. And it was part of the fun too!

Since we went camping last weekend, I didn’t get a chance to practice my profile for the Monday class. I put together the Movie Ride – with songs that were part of or specifically written for movies. Here is what it looked like:

I thought the fanfare of the 20th Century Fox in the beginning was a nice touch 🙂 Anyway, my students loved the music and the class. My husband, who took it too said it was my best yet.

I really tried to focus on my “problem areas” this time – I moved my bike closer to the class and away from the speakers so I could have a better judgment of the volume of my voice projection vs. music.

In my previous classes, since I didn’t have a mic (still don’t), I felt like I was failing to motivate my class by verbal coaching, so I worked out more myself – motivating them by sweating my butt off (that’s what they are used to and that I thought was extra motivation for them). Moving my bike closer to the students (hub’s idea), turning the music down a little, and limiting my “moves” to demonstration only really allowed me to coach more. And I think my class definitely benefited from it – I was able to give them more guidance, watch them closer and adjust my cueing accordingly. It was great seeing them react to my guidance and cues.

It is mentally hard to not work out while teaching. Please, don’t get me wrong – it doesn’t come from the desire to get your own workout in. It comes from lack of confidence. I have the knowledge – I need to be more vocal and share it. You can’t be vocal while out of breath…not so much as you should anyway 🙂 I felt a major shift in my priorities as an instructor during the Movie Ride – all thanks to my students letting me feel the difference between instructing “by example” and coaching.

I am learning to be a better instructor for them – one step at a time.

indoor cycling

Still got my burn though. No idea how that happened.

Look, they have my name on the board in the cycling room 🙂 How nice is that!

cycling instructor

What else is up this week: I am subbing for another instructor today at lunch time (if I don’t have the same students in the class that I had on Monday, I am planning to do my Movie Ride again).

I am also teaching two Saturday morning classes this month before I head out to Fit Bloggin’ 2014!

indoor cycling

On an unrelated subject: I’ve been invited for an interview by Adam and Devon Bate over at the Lifestyle Accountability Show!

life style accountability

We are recording it tonight, and I will make sure to let you know when it is out! I am so honored and stoked to be given this opportunity!

Super happy and excited to chat with these guys tonight! Thank you, Adam, for reaching out to me!

Now do share:

What was your “Workout of the Workouts” this week?

Have you ever been interviewed?

Does it inspire you to see your cycling instructor getting a workout in the class?

Take care, boys and girls 🙂

Lean Lena

This post has been shared on Femme Fitale Fit Club as part of their Workout Wednesdays series.

Five on Friday – Shoes, Bling, Bikes and More

Hey guys! It’s Friday! I am so happy about it!

I had a horrid week at work. I really hope you did better than me 🙂

Anyway, it’s time for the traditional Five on Friday post to show you five things I’m loving lately. Here we go!

{ONE} Vibram FiveFingers – Seeya



I just got these in the mail a couple days ago. They are much lighter than the Traksport Sandals I got before and I am absolutely loving them!


I’ve been wearing them to work every day of the week since I got them…Yeah, it is a bit of a dress code violation but really, I don’t have customers visiting me and spend most of the day commuting between the printer and my desk. I don’t think anybody cares about the shoes I wear (if any).

Buy Seeya’s here if I got you interested.

{TWO} Mantra Bands – One Day at a Time

I now have two in my collection, and check out how well they go together!


Looking at them is an inspiration and a reminder that it is a journey, not the destination that matters. And of course I love me some bling, too 🙂

{THREE} Entry Level Road Bikes

The subject of road bikes has been of interest in my house for a long time 🙂 I have never owned a road bike in my life. I have a $50 Walmart “no brander” right now 🙂

So one day I just said I wanted a road bike. It kind of frustrated my husband a little… I quote: “You can’t just say you want a road bike! That’s not enough information! What kind of bike? What brand? Components?…” Anyway, turns out he thought that would be a great surprise gift for me. But since I started bugging him about why he’d gotten so frustrated, he confessed and there will be no surprise (don’t bug your husbands, ladies) So! My wonderful husband started doing some research and stumbled upon this great article here, which is called “Top 5 Entry Level Road Bikes”.

And I am totally drooling over this Schwinn!


Totally looking into buying one on Amazon – women’s version, of course 🙂

{FOUR} FitBloggin’ 2014


So here’s the story. Last week my blogging friend Jen over at A Hungry Runner threw a question at me on Facebook:

Are you going to the Fitbloggin’ conference? I want to go so badly!

I was not planning on going. Well, of course I know what FitBloggin’ is and how awesome it would be to go, but I didn’t think me and my blog were quite there yet.

But it is a whole different story when you have a buddy by your side 🙂

Anywho, within 24 hours from that question on Facebook Jen and I had our attendee registrations done and hotel booked.


To say that I am excited is a HUGE understatement. I am SO looking forward to meeting the fellow fitness bloggers and learning more about fitness blogging by attending sessions, as well as working out with a bunch of awesome people, exploring the beautiful Savannah, GA and so much more!!!

Jen, you’re the best for throwing that idea out there and taking me along on this adventure with you 🙂



{FIVE} Spinning® App

Did you know there was an app for that? 🙂 I didn’t!


Image source and app download link.

Anyway, I have downloaded it and hubby and I went on a quick bike ride on Thursday to try it out.

The app is pretty awesome, my friends. Check out the summary of our ride:

Speed graph

Speed graph

Elevation graph

Elevation graph




Ride summary

Loved this app! So easy to set up and use and so much useful information about your ride.

And that’s my Five on Friday, guys! Hope you have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

Do share: do you or have you ever owned a road bike? If yes, what brand and model is it?

Blog Improvements

Hey guys! Happy Thursday!

Sharing some blog news with you today. I’ve been getting busy lately trying to improve my blog and add a couple of new features for you to enjoy. Here’s what I got done so far:

1. Grab a button.

Always wanted to do that 🙂 I made a “cartoonized” image of myself (or at least I think it looks like me) into a Lean Lena blog button that you can see on the right side bar. If you want to add my button to your blog:

  • Copy the code underneath the button.
  • Add to a text widget on your website/blog.
  • Place it wherever you want on your blog.

You will see this cute button that links to my blog:

Cartoon Me-1

If you do that, head over to the new page on the blog (see details below) and sign up for your button to be placed on my blog so I could return the favor!

2. New blog page – Sponsorship.

I created a new page – Sponsorship. For now it has the option for bloggers to get a free spot on my blog to advertise theirs. The ad gallery will be displayed on the right sidebar under “Blog Love!” section.

If you are interested, you will need to head over to the Sponsorship page, click the “add to cart” button (the total due will be $0), and follow the prompts. You will need a 125×125 px button representing your blog. Once you’re done, the button will be displayed in the Blog Love section of my blog for 30 days. You can then renew your subscription (free as well).

3. Amazon widget.

I get a lot of “Where did you get that???” questions on social media…So. I put this widget together with my favorite products that I either use, or would like to use in the future.

The links are affiliate: that means if you click on the widget and order from Amazon – I get paid a commission for that. However, it does not affect the price of the item you buy.

4. Top posts and pages

This section is now added to the right sidebar as well – for you to see what’s hot! 🙂

5. Conscious box banners.

As you know, I ordered my first conscious box a while ago and loved it! I am now part of their affiliate program, which means if you click on those banners and order, I get paid and you get a wonderful box of eco-friendly and conscious products to enjoy!

That’s it so far! Let me know what you think of the new additions to the blog!

Stay fit and warm.