Schwinn Instructor certification + snack IDEAs

Hi friends! How’s the day going? Hope you’re enjoying the afternoon! New post up on the Family page and don’t forget to enter the White Plum giveaway!

Helloooo from IDEA aka the Superbowl of Fitness. I look forward to it every year, and always walk away armed with new teaching strategies and inspiration. I highly recommend it if you’re a fellow fitness professional.

Since I have to leave the conference a little early this year -my yoga teacher training graduation and party are on Saturday!- I browsed through some pre-conference sessions to see if there was something I could add in. A Schwinn indoor cycling certification with Amy Dixon and Jeffrey Scott? Done and done. I was excited to brush up on my spinning knowledge. I’ve been teaching since 2008, but cycling-specific continuing education has been few and far between (mostly at fitness conferences).

W jeffrey

Last year, I had the pleasure of attending one of Jeffrey’s classes (Pimp My Playlist) and as blown away by his charisma and energy. If I could, I would take a class from him all the time. To me, he’s the ideal type of instructor: leads a safe and effective class, makes you work HARD, and transforms it into a fun/party atmosphere. To me, this is the trifecta of group fitness magic.   

Jeffrey scott

The initial portion of the certification went over critical instructor knowledge: the components of a bike, how to properly set up a participant on the bike, and anatomy. Next, we moved onto my favorite part: coaching! I’m ALWAYS looking for new coaching strategies and skills, so this was particularly helpful. Usually when I learn a great tip or technique, it translates across all of the modalities that I teach, and this was no different. We learned how to coach through context, clarity and content, while using mind and body cueing, motivation, and awesome music. I’m so excited to take this knowledge and implement it into my classes. 

Next, we had our first ride of the day! Jeffrey led us through an energetic class with 3 stages. Each stage consisted of interval training and a 3-part climb. You know it’s a great class when you’re finishing up, and had no idea that 55 minutes had passed. So, so good.

We took a lunch break and walked around -the ESPYs are here, so it was fun to get a peek at the red carpet fanfare- and headed back for more coaching tips and structuring our own classes. Since I love musical cardio, I’m guilty of leading my classes song by song, and we do whatever the music *tells* us to do. For example, a Muse song would be a heavy climb, while a Fallout Boy song would likely be a sprint. I’m going to start using more stage-based training in my classes. Not only does it give a solid purpose to the ride, but it also creates a sense of consistency, instead of switching song by song by song. (I’ll still totally do musical cardio for my own workouts!)

Soup and studyNext, we got the chance to ride with Amy, who is a fireball of energy. She had a energizing playlist and lead us through a combination of sprints, hills, and 3-minute distance drills. I was dripping in sweat when we were finished.  

Amy dixon

Next, we got our certifications, a CD, DVD and these snazzy T-shirts. 

W jess at idea

 (with Jess)

Then, all the food! I was definitely thankful for my snack arsenal today. 🙂

Before I hit the road to LA, I put together some snacks that will travel well and also last in my backpack to enjoy in between sessions. i’ve learned the hard way with fitness conferences that if you don’t bring your own fuel, things can get hangry really fast. For my first fitness conference ever, I’m pretty sure I hardly took any snacks with me even though I was taking classes all day. The worst part? There were hardly any food vendors. We got to PF Chang’s for dinner and I almost started eating my napkin. Fail all the way. Live and learn, right??

Thankfully the IDEA Expo is packed with snacks and new foods to try, but I like to have my own stash with me to enjoy on quick walk to my next class or lecture. I also like to share with friends, so if you are at BlogFest and want an amazeball, I’m your girl haha. 

Here are some of the goods!

Paleo bread, yogurt, berries, amazeballs

Idea snacks  1 of 1

Oats and chia seeds, gum, bars, coconut water, almond milks and protein powder

Idea snacks  1 of 1 5

(For overnight oats, breakfast cookie cereal and chia pudding)

Fruit stash

Idea snacks  1 of 1 4

Turkey jerky (they have this brand at Whole Foods, but I usually pick it up for way less at Target)

Almond butter packs, almonds,

Idea snacks  1 of 1 3

and some tea and chocolate. Always necessary.

Idea snacks  1 of 1 2

What are some of your favorite grab-and-go snacks? Is there something you always take with you when you travel? What cardio song are you loving right now?

Also, please let me know if you have any suggestions for restaurants or close dining options to Downtown LA! You always have the best suggestions. 🙂

Have a wonderful morning! I’ll be Instagramming and Snapchatting while I’m here if you want to follow along (@fitnessista).



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  1. RachelG on July 16, 2015 at 7:17 am

    omg did you see caitlin jenner? lol. that chick had me crying like a baby last night during her speech at the espys.

    so glad you’re having a good time! spinning intimidates me solely because whenever i’ve gone my butt has hurt so bad from the seats! i know there are cushions you can buy but i just don’t go often enough to justify getting one. maybe i need to clench my butt muscles more throughout the day. 😛

  2. Katie on July 16, 2015 at 7:38 am

    The conference looks awesome! Safe travels 🙂 Two of my fav snacks are yogurt and berries or nut butter and fruit, like an apple smeared with peanut butter. They fill me up, give me energy, and the protein /carb combo satisfies me until my next meal!

  3. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on July 16, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Have so much fun at IDEA! I tried to add you on Snapchat but it wouldn’t let me. Are your settings maybe locked down? My snapchat username is @erin.fairchild 🙂

  4. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on July 16, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Sounds like you’re having an amazing time so far!! While I don’t have a freestyle spin cert (I teach Les Mills RPM), I would be really interested on brushing up on my coaching skills for an indoor cycling class. Sometimes I feel like I say the same things over and over again, particularly in my RPM classes. It’s something I’m always working on improving!

  5. Amanda on July 16, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Gina look how cute you are with that little belly! I love how active you still are- such an inspiration!

  6. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on July 16, 2015 at 7:59 am

    I so wanted to take that class! I’m so bummed I’m missing IDEA. I planned to go but was in a car accident a few days ago that has injured my leg and I can hardly walk.

  7. Mary on July 16, 2015 at 8:05 am

    I work in DTLA! There’s a great healthy place on Main and 7th, right next to the hotel cecil (where the girl mysteriously died in the water tank). AND my friends’ opened a filipino restaurant, called RiceBar, it’s on 7th between Olive and Hill. ALSO a crepe place on 6th between Grand and Olive.

  8. masala girl on July 16, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Ah idea would be my dream! And wow, that’s a long day of spinning! No wonder you were dripping. Did you not get to go to the expo then? And CONGRATS of graduating YTT <3 can't wait to hear about it!

  9. Bridget on July 16, 2015 at 8:40 am

    There’s a really good small Italian place called Colori Kitchen that has delicious handmade pasta in downtown LA.

  10. Lisa on July 16, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Adding on snapchat didn’t work for me either

  11. Talia Tonti on July 16, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I work in DTLA! My faves are Bottega Louie for macarons and their amazing pizza/pastas/salads and more. For a cheaper option, I LOVEEEEEEEE Panini Cafe — best chicken kabobs, salad and hummus!

  12. Catherine Cormier on July 16, 2015 at 9:15 am

    I have a subscription to Fitnessglo and Jeffrey Scott and Amy Dixon are both instructors on the website and I absolutely LOVE taking their classes so I’m uber jealous that you got to meet them and take a class from them in person!! I love their teaching style and find that the time flies by when they’re leading me through a (virtual) class. I think that Amy is based in San Diego so you should try to look into taking a class from her sometime.

    Enjoy the rest of your time in LA.

  13. Britt@MyOwnBalance on July 16, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Nice! I’m heading to IDEA later today. See you there! 🙂

  14. Jessie R on July 16, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Looks like a blast!! I love that TJ’s dark chocolate, it is my favorite! My go to snack is 1/2 a banana and some peanut butter or toast with peanut butter and honey. I’d love to hear more about the stages in cycling, sounds interesting! Have fun 🙂

  15. Cathy on July 16, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    IDEA sounds so like so much fun. Congrats on the upcoming yoga instructor graduation! I got to take one of Jeffrey Scott’s classes – he led a session in Chicago for a charity event called Cycle for Survival. Really enjoyed his style and energy. My gym has those Schwinn bikes – I am absolutely obsessed with the monitors and my watts. When I travel I always have a stash of kind and Lara bars, or some almonds, and squares of dark chocolate. I’ve been massively delayed at the airport a few times, and its nice to have something on hand to avoid getting really hangry! A little dried fruit is nice too. Have a great time at IDEA.

    • Fitnessista on July 17, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      thank you, cathy! and yes, jeffrey is SO good- so cool you’ve taken a class with him, too!

  16. Deanna on July 16, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    i second a trip to Botegga Louie, and I absolutely adore Border Grill for amazing Mexican food.

  17. Becky on July 16, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Not able to add you on Snapchat either. You should post your Snapcode (ghost icon)

  18. Jillian on July 16, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Oh how I miss my old Downtown food spots. Gingergrass is hands down the best Pho I’ve ever had. If you’re not concerned about calories try Masa for the best deep dish pizza if your life.

  19. NIcole Frediani on July 16, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Yes, Bottega Louie for sure!!

    • Fitnessista on July 17, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      i can’t wait to try it!

  20. Cheri @ Overactive Blogger on July 16, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I did Schwinn a few years ago, but I’m going to refresh when I go to DCAC this year!

  21. Elle on July 16, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    I’m traveling right now! I brought tea, bagels, sea salt popcorn and Kind bars. It has been such a lifesaver to have healthy snacks around, because there are not a lot of healthy options available here.

  22. Maggie [Eat Pray Lift] on July 16, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Man, this makes me want to go take a spin class asap! Your snack-packing-skills are on point, too…got me all inspired to start doing a better job packing meals when I work all day.

    Also, off topic, buuuuut Ben Z. from this season of The Bachelorette is at IDEA, so if you run into him you should DEF snag a photo and tell him Maggie said hi! 😉 Fangirl for me and I’ll live vicariously haha

    • Fitnessista on July 17, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      I SAW HIM TODAY. omggggggggggggggggggggggggg (not enough gs). i would have said hi for you, but i couldn’t talk for a second haha

      • Maggie [Eat Pray Lift] on July 17, 2015 at 5:39 pm

        Ahhhhhhh omgggg sdflknewoifnlkndfjosind <— my awkward speechless drooling.

  23. Alyssa on July 16, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    You have to try Perch in DTLA! It’s a rooftop restaurant (bar at night) with an incredible menu – so many fresh, delicious options. The view is great it’s a cool vibe inside. They have live music there pretty often too.

    • Fitnessista on July 17, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      awesome, i will definitely check it out!

  24. Laura B @ FitMamaLove on July 16, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    I’d hunt you down for some amazeballs if I were there this year! I got my cycling certification a couple months ago, but don’t feel ready to teach yet! Very likely because I’ve only taken a few classes ever. I need to take more before I feel comfortable enough to teach!

  25. Sagan on July 17, 2015 at 6:30 am

    So fun! Really interesting to hear about what it’s like on the *other side* of a fitness class 😀

    Those snacks all look SO tasty.

  26. Kayla on July 18, 2015 at 7:47 am

    I couldn’t add you on snapchat – it said you aren’t available or that username doesn’t exist. are you sure you’ve opened your permissions? have so much fun!

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