Monday, June 22, 2009

The purpose of my last post - to reach beyond the choir!

As you have discovered from my last post, I am on a mission!

Sometimes we as Master Instructors feel like we're preaching to the choir when we are teaching our Continuing Education sessions or presenting at conferences on the proper, safest and most effective way to create and teach Spinning profiles. Often the instructors that need the education the most are not the ones who are willing to pay for or take the time to attend CED or conferences, or even read books on physiology or coaching.

I am quite sure that the Master Trainers in the other indoor cycling programs (Schwinn, RPM, etc.) feel exactly the same way. I've even heard from some of them who support this effort 100%. I include any "brand" of indoor cycling when referring to safe and effective classes. There is no philosophy difference when it comes to employing proper training principles, having a good knowledge of biomechanics, and understanding the mechanics of pedaling a bicycle, especially a fixed-gear bicycle with a heavy flywheel that impacts the way we ride indoors.

My last post is an effort to reach beyond the choir, get past the converted, and access the universe of indoor cycling instructors of every ilk.

I read on the forums, in emails I receive, or hear it in direct conversations with instructors how they are some of the only ones at their facilities not doing unsafe aerobics-type classes and CI moves, yet they don't want to challenge their peers. Or perhaps their program director also does hovers, pushups and high-speed cadences with low resistance and doesn't support them in their plea to clean things up.

I also know that often the safest, most effective and best taught classes are not the highest attended. How many of you teach at facilities where the fullest classes are the ones where the instructor employs the most CI moves? (This is where the students also need to be educated).

I can totally understand why you don't want to make waves! You just want to teach your class and leave, hoping to make an impact on your small group of followers.

This is where I come in. Use me. Let me be the 'bad guy'. Send them (instructors, directors, students) the link*, and let me teach them (or at least, try to) the reasons why it's so important to not resort to aerobics-on-a-bike to be 'popular'.

Others have started to write similar blog posts and linking to this post, so this grassroots movement is gaining momentum (I'll share with you the bloggers who have done so later in the week). My blog hits were up by 68% the past few days according to Google Analytics, so it's starting to work, but I don't want to reach hundreds; I want to reach thousands of instructors out there who can learn from this blog, from these posts, from these profiles, from guest bloggers/instructors who have had an impact on their students, and from the resources provided (most of them free) such as the other blogs, podcasts and forums I've linked to.

There is sooooo much information for the taking, so much learning to be had, so much great stuff to share, if we can get it into the right hands!

And I can only do that with your help. Continue to spread the word and to leave your comments. As usual, I am very grateful for all my blog readers!

* I suggest sending the permalink to the last post ("Just Don't Do It") by clicking on the post title and copying and pasting the entire URL that has the blog post title included.


Jeff said...

Mission On Jennifer!

Shannon said...

Consider it done!


Stephen Grady said...


I like the phrase you used about instructors not wanting to challenge their peers.

Maybe these instructors don't have the qualifications (on paper) or years of experience of other instructors - or even their directors. But they know what is right. It is preaching to the converted. We need to empower the converted to stand by their convictions and stand up for what they believe (know) is right.

Giving them access to the resources such as your site and your knowledge hopefully will give these instructors the weapon they need to feel strong enough, confident enough, to stand up and challenge other instructors.

lamspin said...

We are right behind you with the LOA to make the change!

Charles said...

My fitness director has asked me to lead a meeting on this very subject. She called it the "do's and dont's of IDC. She has my back but there is so much ground to make up. Thanks for inspiring and equipping us to action. Let's do it!

Steve said...

ROCK ON Jennifer! I think this is already having a impact. I had a student last week talk to me about other instructors "bad habits." He stopped taking classes from these people and wanted me to teach more or be the "cycling police!" Hopefully this will empower others to be the "cycling police." Thanks again!

velogirl said...

This behavior is not just isolated to "non-cyclists". Here in NJ at Lifetime fitness Berkeley Heights there is an instructor who is actually an excellent cyclist, but he still does all of these absurd and ridiculous movements. He does it because he wants to be "unique" and because it makes him popular. Completely irresponsible and makes spin instructors who are also cyclists look bad!