30 minute cardio playlist

Hi guys! How’s the morning going? Hope you’re having a great day so far!

Last night I taught spin, which was a lot of fun. It also felt like an ideal amount of time, because it was the first half of a spin/TRX combo class. (Not able to teach the TRX portion right now.) The 30 minutes FLEW by, and I especially love the stadium seating and black lights. The energy was fantastic.

Spin bikes

Here’s the playlist I put together for the 30 minute portion:


(The Fallout Boy song on my playlist is a Tabata version I made in Garage Band, so the music is loud for the intervals and quiet for the rest. The “500 miles” song is actually the Pitch Perfect mashup of Titanium)

RPE scale:

5-6 flat road. Easy resistance, you could go all day

6-7: start to feel challenged. More difficult to maintain.

8: very challenging. Breathless work.

9: your most challenging, short intervals. As hard as you can go.

Here’s what we did, which could be easily adapted to many cardio modes (Stairmill, treadmill, elliptical)

1) Warm up. Keep a nice easy pace and focus on setting up solid form. (RPE 5-6)

2) Jumps: up and down for 8 counts (about 8 sets), 4 counts (about 16 sets), 2 counts (16 sets). On a treadmill, this would be a fun quick tempo song. Pick a quicker pace that you can maintain.

3) Climb with tempo work. Increase the resistance during the verses (up to RPE 7-8)  and pick up your pace during the chorus. 

4) Tabata interval set. 20 seconds as fast as you can go, 10 seconds easy recover x 8 rounds (4 minutes total). RPE 9 for speed portions.

5) Rolling hills. Keep a steady pace as you increase the resistance (up to RPE 7-8). Spend about 2 minutes increasing it to a challenging point, then decrease (RPE 6-7)  and pick up your speed. Repeat.

6) Tempo with resistance. Add in some resistance and try to keep the beat of the music. Hit your RPE 7-8. For the mashup version of the song, we did sprints for the “Titanium” chorus.

7) Heavy climb. Add in resistance every 30 seconds until you hit your RPE 8-9. On the spin bike, stand it up (position 2, eventually out to 3) and increase again to hit your new level 9. (On a treadmill or elliptical, slow down your pace and add more resistance.) Climb until the end of the song.

8) Cool down, shake out your legs, stretch.

Dinner: pasta with homemade alfredo, chicken and arugula 

Pasta  1 of 1

artichokes (boiled with seasonings instead of grilled)

Artichokes  1 of 1


and wine. 🙂

Hope you have a great day! LOVE reading your comments on this post. Not only are some of them absolutely hilarious, but there are some awesome tips for fellow fitness instructors, too.



Any songs you especially love for spin or other workouts right now? This is my current fave Zumba song!

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  1. Erin (Running Tall) on August 6, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I’ve used Watch Out For This in my zumba classes before and it’s AWESOME! Right now I’m really liking Wasted by Tiesto.

  2. haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine.com on August 6, 2014 at 11:59 am

    this is awesome. can’t wait to try it out!

  3. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on August 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I did spin this morning. I so love it and my legs are so sore right now. Where and how did you get the iTunes widget?

  4. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on August 6, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I’m loving working out to All About that Bass and You Can Go Hard or You Can Go Home. They’re super pump up!

  5. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on August 6, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    grilled artichokes, SO GOOD!

  6. kristin on August 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    the stadium spinning arrangement is so cool!

  7. april on August 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    i’m loving ‘summer’ by calvin harris right now!

  8. Rachel @ Blonde with a Chanse on August 6, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Amazing playlist! I have been looking for some new running tunes 🙂

  9. Lucie@FitSwissChick on August 7, 2014 at 3:24 am

    Yay, Playlist, I love it, thank you!
    That might be stupid, but I have no idea how to prepare artichokes. Do you have a recipe or maybe can do a post about it? I’d love to eat them more, but I am scared I will fail at preparing them.

  10. Kelly on August 7, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Where did you find the mashup from Pitch Perfect? I’ve been dying to add it to my work out playlist!

    • Fitnessista on August 7, 2014 at 10:41 am

      i googled around and found one to download 🙂

  11. Angela on August 7, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    How do you put your itunes song on your blog for people to play?

    • Fitnessista on August 7, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      i just make a widget through iTunes! super easy. just google “iTunes widget builder” and it takes you to the page

      • Angela on August 7, 2014 at 6:54 pm

        Awesome! Thanks so much.

    • Fitnessista on August 7, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      also just checked out your blog. for the spotify playlists, you create the playlist in spotify, and then go to share, embed code. it will give you a code to put in the html of your post

      • Angela on August 7, 2014 at 6:55 pm

        Cool! Yeah, I just need to get some time to re-create my playlists in there!

  12. Kelly on August 7, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    This is an awesome playlist and I have been looking for new songs to add to mine!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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