Monday, August 10, 2009

Point to ponder

When you hear the following terms, what comes to mind:

  • "cycling-oriented" Spinning class
  • cycling specific
  • Indoor cycling for cyclists
  • Indoor cycling for roadies
Or even, "this class keeps it real"!

I'm just curious. I have a pending discussion on this, but I'd like to see what either you, or your students, or what you think the general population (of indoor cycling students or potential students) might think when they hear these terms.

  • Does it attract you/them?
  • Does it turn you/them off, or away?
  • Do you think it's going to be boring?
  • Do you think it's going to be too easy?
  • Do you think it's going to be too hard?

Just click on comment and leave your impression, or what you have heard, in the comments section. Then come back in a few days for an interesting post.

Thanks for your input!

33 comments:

Tim said...

it turns me off to be honest.

the thing is; if i want an authentic experience of riding outdoors, then I can go ride outdoors, join a club whatever.

Indoor cycling (I think) should be embraced and enjoyed in it's own right, rather than as an imitation of something else.

Anonymous said...

My point of vieuw:
-more realistic, no yo yo or cherleader workout;
-boring ? what is boring ? Is life boring that is your choise;
-easy ? no it is real, I think personnaly IDC classes not oriented to cycling are harder because of the lack of warm-up and they always go go go at 200miles per hour;
-too hard you controle the load so if you want to make it hard it is your choise.
What my regulars riders think:
-they know that they would have something prepared and realistic;
-they researche it because 1st) see above 2nd they want to travel sometime 3nd periodization;
-too easy or hard if you want too they take a road a journey but they control how they do it.
General fitness junkies:
-they do not like it ... why ? it is new for them so they are affraid.
-yes unless a friend bring them;
-too easy yes for some who think they always have to be at 200miles per hour;
-too hard yes for some who prefere a magic pill than working out ... .

Pascal

Jennifer Sage said...

Great, keep em coming!

Varinka said...

I think it will turn people off.
The outdoors cyclist already experiences the outdoor, they know how it feels. They do indoor just to keep training when is raining or too cold. But the people at a gym, I think, will feel intimidated by the term "cyclist, roadies" and less willing to try. Most people that take a Spinning class don't see themselves as cyclists, they see Spinning as a workout, a class where they are going to burn a lot of calories. Like a step class. One they are sitting on the bike, then you can introduce them to what will be like to ride outside. But I think if they hear those terms, they would be more unwilling to try. and that is my humble opinion! :)

Anonymous said...

Few feedback I recieved on IDC class I made like outdoor ride.
-first this lady in the late 40, it was her 3rd IDC class, the ride was the Tour de France time trial; she was affarid that I asked her to take another bike, I have done 3 team of 4 riders they were working toguether. Her reaction after the class she was proud of what she have done and was pleased to do something out of habit.
-2nd , it was a ride where I describe the country side, odor, people, party, ... the reaction of one, she was pleased to travel and have something to see other than the uggly building and pour weather outside.
-3rd: stage 19 of the Tour de France with Mont Ventoux, theyr were really happy to ride like pro.

Now why "make it real"
-we have to bring people outdoor on a bike, I do not know how many indoor fitness anthousiaste I have bring outside. This is really important now a day with all the transport problem.
-when people ride outside they know what is riding and know that what they do inside will help them being better.
-you can bring the cycling "camaderie" inside, cycling is a team work.

For the outdoor rider:
-1st it will help them to become more effective, fluid and powerfull thanks to the fix gear.
-2nd you are an outdoor rider living in a big city not bike friendly you can experiment it.
-Spinning "philosophy" will help you grow as a cyclist. The day the road warrior will ride like real cyclist they would become better.

Pascal

MarkDalrymple said...

Guess it depends on your target audience.

Being a Cycling Fusion kool-aid drinker, I have no problem with being a roadie, and doing stuff inside. I know that I can do targeted training on weak spots more efficiently than I can on the road. Plus there are some days I just don't want to face climbing hills, and I've got nothing but hills in this part of western pennsyvania. As far as I'm concerned, the indoor stuff is there to support the outdoor.

Boring, not necessarily, at least from what I've experienced. Interesting / fun teachers, with interesting music / videos / stories, keep the monotony at bay.

So if you're targeting roadies, you'd have to make the case that indoor stuff, even during regular season, can be a boon. If you're targeting Ordinary People who just want to get a workout, then it might be off-putting.

(climbs out of the stream of consciousness)

Maccan said...

People (cyclists) tell me that I teach cycling oriented spinning classes, which is fun to hear since I never do any cycling outdoors.

I strongly believe in making the workout feel "real cycling" as far as possible (the obvious limits imposed by the differences between the indoor and outdoor contexts considered). I teach at a larger gym chain so people do get a choice of which instructor they want to choose. But my classes have excellent attendance, non-roadies are interested and get back week after week. A so-called "boring" class profile can be matched up with well selected music and good motivational input by the instructor... Also I feel that (most/many/a lot/enough) people are quite happy to try something new if you really can explain why they should do it, which difference will it make in their non-roadie life. It takes a knowledgable instructor at times but it works...

Greetings from Sweden!

William said...

cycling oriented classes is what I like, what I want and what I do. To do cycling oriented classes for a period of time you need to have a plan and be prepared. In the long run you will benefit more from cycling oriented than other types of classes. At least that's my experience.

In the past I've attended and participated in way too many IDC classes that are not cycling oriented. Everything is high intensity, all the time. It's like the adrenaline junkies ball.

Far too many people come into IDC not knowing the difference between a workout and training, and many don't want to or care to know. So they think that having their heart ripped out of their chest every class is great.

Too easy/too hard. I've been in jump up and down classes that were very hard, however ineffective. I've been in cycling classes that didn't seem too hard but the effects lingered on for awhile. Most people do figure out how to use the resistance knob, so easy/hard isn't much of an issue.

I need to go back the the adrenaline junkies. This group seems to want, no demand, that everything is high intensity all the time. Age also appears to be a factor. These folks are mostly young.

Boring - it's all in the presentation. If you get anybody and sit them on a bike, with a level of resistance that resembles a 6% or 8% grade, add in a steady cadence (70-75 RPM's), now sit there 20 minutes. Keep going.

If you get anybody and sit them on a bike, with a level of resistance that resembles a 6% or 8% grade, add in a steady cadence (70-75 RPM's), now sit there 20 minutes.
As we climb this mountain we see the valley below, higher and higher we ascend. Rounding the bend we begin to see the first fans of the day, some waving flags others cheering for the favorite rider. They are cheering for you. The higher we go, the more the fans thicken, the more the aura of excitement grows. You feel the burn in your legs, it hurts. You can't let up, you can't give up. Some of these people camped here 3 days to see you. Victory is just around the bend, keep going.

I've been in some really boring jump up and down classes as well as some very exhilarating ones. I've been in some really boring cycling oriented classes as well as some very exhilarating ones.

There are very few people at our gym whom participate in the IDC program that are outdoor cyclists. The classes are for the most part not cycling specific. The instructors are not cyclists so they don't know, the class participants are not cyclists so they don't know.

I have found that a pretty good number of cyclists that do IDC classes all go to a specific gym where the instructors are all road cyclists. One even did 2008 RAAM. For myself, I have sought out and found a training program, run by a USA cycling licensed coach, that runs during the winter months.

Anonymous said...

I'd have to agree.. Its like building any fitness base - IDC is one component of that. I love that thru spinning it turns more people on to the idea of getting on a bike and taking the indoor experience outdoors! They are different as many here have mentioned,but I think they can go hand-in-hand and the same class can represent a cardio workout to one, a mental challenge, and something to someonelse - all in the representation. I would hope if the instructor is a roadie they bring that enthusiasm in to the spin room and can see how all aspects of fitness training, on a bike or on a spinner are useful! I love spinning - its a great component to indoor/outdoor training!

zsuzsanna said...

There is a few who really think Spinning need to be cleared before mess will be to much... we all see those way to creative and pointless classes, clients like it? Yes! Why? Because they’re don’t know what they are missing, it's not the clients fault, it's the instructor(s) and someone(s) who not controlling them.
I truly believe if there is a few ppl. then there is more... just need to be united and be ‘ real’.

I think there is –something big—missing in our educate system, as i mentioned would be nice to see being responsible as STAR 2, and 3, --being involved with community life, marketing, promo, build spin family etc..-- higher level, more commitment and caring those things as part of the certification!
I can’t see what is the benefit reaching certain levels –yes there is knowledge, but with question mark— as clubs usually does not care. No matter star levels, salary is the same, even more if there is a well known instructor –who let’s say involved with local pubs-- who bring in dozen ppl. might get get job, as GM cares heads per classes only...No one cares and controls if teaching level questionable, fully contraindicated etc...
Measurements, the music, how loud the Instructor able to scream, amount of sweats on floor. Personally i miss recovery and endurance comments! Often Instructors misunderstanding “motivation” and “push the hell out of client”, i truly believe it’s not the same. Finally just find out that to be M.I. there is some criteria like degree level of Exercise Sciences. There is a huge gap between Star3 and M.I. also does not make sense M.I.s criteria, if we let the biggest group –level 1—do what ever they like, poisoning and creating fake clients!

I hope some will come out of this...

Thanks for your time.
ToM Boros

Charles said...

I would be worried if the class was known for anything other than being "cycling oriented" or "geared for cyclist". Although only about 1/3(if that) of my class ride outdoors, by it's origin, Spinning class is a "cycling" class period. The problem I see is that people try to make it something it's not. If people want aerobics, they should go to that type class. If they want upper body training, lift weights. I don't necessarily hear those terms at my gym, although I think I am known as one of the few instructors that actually ride on the road. No matter if you ride outdoors or not, it takes time. As an instructor, you have to earn the respect of your class through certain skillsets that provide a safe, fun and challenging workout on a bike that doesn't go anywhere ;)

As far as it being too challenging or too boring depends on the instructor and how much time is invested preparing a class or maybe training and experience. IMO, it's very easy have a super intense class. Most classes around here are intervals. Very few instructors even know how to properly coach an endurance or lower intensity ride for fear of not being liked or perceived as being boring. IMO, this is far from the truth. It takes a good instructor to be able to pull this type class off. Intervals are easy to teach. It's normally go, go, go, recover without a real purpose. I think people are starving for purpose, motivation, and encouragement. They want to know "How Big Their Why Is".

I have a nice mix of pure IDC workouts, but I also throw in some simulated road rides as well. Regardless of the type class, each one has to have purpose and clear objectives in order for it to engage and challenge people. I tell my class everyday that the great thing about Spinning class is that it is an individual workout in a group setting. I give them parameters to work within and then it's up to them to do do it or not. That's what's so good about Spinning!

Not sure if this answered any of the questions you were looking for but I wanted to share these thoughts based on the other comments.

Mike said...

I tell new Spinners that come into my studio "that our classes are lead by cyclists...and that doesn't mean the class is super hard, or that it's super boring. It means that we take Spinning seriously, that we'll make sure that you are properly set up on the bike and that you'll get a good, real work out on the bike. The same kind that we use to train ourselves." I've only had positive responses from people after that.

-Mike Peshko

Kala Marie said...

I think when presented in the correct way you can most definitely have a road-like or "real" IDC class... However, I do think that (at least with the age group I deal with 18-26) when it's presented that way first it turns people off. I have been able to give lots of real rides, but not by announcing "This is a real ride! I am going to make you feel like you are outside!" (hopefully no one would say it like that, but you get the idea ;) )

I think presentation is much more important than labeling. :)

Janet Lyn said...

I'm someone who rode outdoors before spinning so I'll go with that view first.

Personally, I enjoy spinning that's a bit more like road riding in challenge, tempo, uphills, etc. (as long as the music's good! ha!) But for me, spinning is usually a supplement to outdoor riding, not a regular alternative except in winter/bad weather or when traveling. (Some of that, though, is because of lack of enough spinning classes at good schedules here right now.)

And to be honest, I'm not always into the whole group dynamic of spinning vs. road riding out in the open on my own. I love them both for different reasons, though both are about my love of cycling.

However, I think for those who mostly spin and rarely if ever ride outdoors, they can be intimidated sometimes unless the "real riding" approach is introduced carefully, with lots of encouragement. Let them have some fun while introducing some challenges; let them gain confidence.

I've been in spinning class where there were road riders, beginners, and all in between. Good instructor encouraged us all to push to our best, even at different levels. It was great for regular spinners/riders to see everyone have fun, be proud of accomplishments. Balance!

Jennifer Sage said...

Wow, there's some really great responses here! Thanks everyone. Kala, very good point.

Mike, I like the way you introduce your classes - you guys also have a solid cycling base as your target market, right? Hey, I'll be at Can Fit Pro again - you going this time?

I'm loving all these responses. Keep em coming!

Anonymous said...

I have outdoor riders cycling to and from the classes. They come to work on technique, pedal stroke, breathing - things they say they cannot always practice outside due to traffic, weather, lack of time...

But I have a good mix of clients who don't ride outside. I've never run into an issue of them being intimidated by "real" cycling approach.

I think if you present your program well, utilize visualization techniques, and connect with your clients - you won't have to "sell" them on the real thing.

In fact, I've had a few clients who got on the road this summer for the first time in their lives after taking Spinning classes, and loving it!

Traci K. said...

Personally, it's right up my alley so I'd be thrilled to see a class like this. Back in the day, I used to attend live "Spinervals" classes where we'd set up our bikes on trainers and do an indoor class. At that time, the tri coach I was working with only wanted riders in their own set-up...no Spinning bikes.

While I now appreciate indoor cycling as it's own entity, I think a lot of outdoor riders would certainly benefit from classes that focuses on needs specific to that population. I think depending on the time of season, it might be "easier" than your average IDC class (base building) while more intense at other times (build, peak, etc.)

I took Josh's "Technical Training" this past weekend at DCAC which touched on some real-life cycling stuff within the context of IDC. I think there's a whole lot of potential there.

Can't wait to hear what you come up with...and if it's going to be a new CEC, sign me up!!

Johnnyspinning said...

As an instructor I feel a personal commitment to translate indoors all the joy and the fun I have riding outdoors to my riders.

Therefore in my mind indoor cycling classes should help you to be a better cyclist, of course this is not for everybody, many people coming to IDC sessions simply don't care about cycling, and many more are turned off because find it harder than an dance class for example.

From what I had seen, working in my gyms since I got MDA certified, attendance numbers for dance/aerobics sessions are always bigger than spinning/indoor cycling classes it doesn't matter who's the instructor.

We all know most gym managers only think with their wallets, I keep trying to pack my classes and equal dance/tae bo/aerobics numbers, keeping it real at the same time, but it has not been any easy at all.

lamspin said...

Pondering time is over, it's time to share my thoughts :>)

As for an instructor/a coach, the names of classes don't affect or change my teaching much for many reasons:
-The fitness director has the final decision on names anyway.
-The class' type & time of the day dictate the # of attendants. An instructor should have the ability to make the last minute change according to the majority (cyclist vs.non cyclist)...
-The purpose of teaching in the first place: Sharing knowledge/experience? Making an impact with effectiveness, safety, health benefits, challenge, fun in mind? Or simply wanting to be the most popular instructor and everything else is secondary?

One popular instructor told me once: "I just give them what the want..." Myself, I did the opposite that participants always asked me: "What are we doing today...?" I always have a plan as close to the scope of the assigned class as possible--respect club's rules of class levels...
I also read something on Spintastic blog that I could resonate with it (sorry if I don't quote the exact words): "...when you give people what they want that means you tell them that's what they SHOULD want; but when you give what they don't want then evolve to make them want it again...that's an effective coaching..." So I will stay true to my teaching from what I was trained from SPINNING; and with passion in IDC, I believe I can make a difference, and even only to one person at a time, I am doing OK.
As for a student/participant, everyone has CHOICES. They can read class description before taking the class. I don't take it personal if they never come back.
I have learned alot from reading other comments. Can't wait to read you next post on this topic.
Thank you all,
Le

Jennifer Sage said...

You guys have given me great fodder to feed on! But I'd like more from the side that thinks cycling oriented classes will be boring (because I know they're out there)! Tim was the most blunt, the first comment, and I appreciate that. Most of us are on the same page, though you all have added to my understanding. Of course, everyone's input is welcome and appreciated, no matter what side.

I definitely have a "target market" of blog readers who are probably more likely to embrace "cycling specific" classes; if you know anyone who thinks otherwise, have them comment as well. I've put this on Facebook and Twitter and the ICI podcast to get as many differing viewpoints as possible.

Oh, I see some great discussion coming up! I might even write another ebook! Or just an article to publish online! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Mark (MI UK) said...
Ove rthe past 12 or so years I have taught in many facilities and all under different banners... Spinning, Cycle, Indoor Cycling etc... Each facility is different in a sense that each members first time to classes perception is different.
At one facility they advertised the classes on a timetable that simply said Spinning' or 'Cycle' etc... no mention of what type of training session that class time would be. This is one area where many make their own minds to what to expect for the first time.
Other facilities (where I work now), we advertise what exactly we are going to teach (endurance, aerobic intervals, strength, extensive intervals, race day etc...). This lets then know what the class is about.

Take away the thinking and let members or future members coming in for the first time know exactly what the class is about.
Also go a step further by having a description about each class and the objectives on the advertising and on the timetable.

I found advertising the classes as cycle specific works tremendously well, and also not advertising as specific cycle classes works just the same.
So I feel once you have the right instructors that get the members in week after week regardless of what the class is advertised as, you won't really notice the change.

It's ALL about the instructor... and not what you advertise!

Every class I do say 'What we do today we can use and utilise on the road outside on your road, tri, MTB or leisure bike. So if we cannot do the exercises on the bike outside, we do not do them in my classes".

So.. in summary. Call it your classes whatever you want... will it turn some away calling it 'real cycling', sure. Will it open the door to others, most definately. The most important thing is not what we label our classes as, but how we teach them and our own unique styles, persoanlities and passion... that is what will keep the members coming back for more week after week... even through the quiet summer months!

"Keep your teaching real!"

Anonymous said...

Hello Jennifer,
I have always taught cycling specific classes, but isn't that what the Spinning Programme is all about? i.e. teaching structured periodisation and heart rate training with no contraindicated, unsafe movements etc etc!
I think the main point here is what has happened over the years since 'other' IDC programmes have been introduced. The 'original' idea of Spinning has become related to these other programmes, indeed everything is 'spinning'. But those of us who take our Orientation know the roots of Spinning and it's relationship with cycling outdoors, hence the saying 'keep it real'.
Everyone has the right to choose, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. My classes are always full, and at least 80% are non-cyclists. They simply appreciate and understand the 'training'.
Some people will just not 'get' the Spinning Programme. These are those people who want the 'cheer-leading' the shouting, yeehawing and whooping. That's fine if that’s what they think is getting them fitter. At the end of the day, we just want to get people moving, and getting fit in a safe and healthy way in a friendly environment.
Michelle Colvin
Master Spinning Instructor UK

Anonymous said...

revised...

Mark (MI UK) said...
Over the past 12 or so years, I have taught in many facilities and all under different banners... Spinning, Cycle, Indoor Cycling etc... Each facility is different, in a sense that each member first time to classes’ perception is different.
At one facility they advertised the classes on a timetable that simply said Spinning' or 'Cycle' etc... And no mention of what type of training session that class time would be. This is one area where many make their own minds to what to expect for the first time.
Other facilities (where I work now), we advertise what exactly we are going to teach (endurance, aerobic intervals, strength, extensive intervals, race day etc...). This lets then know what the class is about.

Take away the thinking and let members or future members coming in for the first time know exactly what the class is about.
Also go a step further by having a description about each class and the objectives on the advertising and on the timetable.

I found advertising the classes as cycle specific works tremendously well, and also, NOT advertising as specific cycle classes works just the same.
Once you have the right instructors that get the members in week after week regardless of what the class is advertised as, you won't really notice the change.

It's ALL about the instructor... and not what you advertise!

Every class I do say “What we do today we can use and utilise on the road outside on your road, tri, MTB or leisure bike. So if we cannot do the exercises on the bike outside, we do not do them in my classes".

In summary… call your classes whatever you want... will it turn some away calling it 'real cycling', sure. Will it open the door to others, most definitely!
The most important thing is not what we label our classes as, but how we teach them in our own unique style, personality and passion. This is what will keep the members coming back for more week after week... even through the quiet summer months!

"Keep your teaching real!"

t said...

I started as a student then became an instructor and finally a road cyclist, a little backwards. I was no exception as a new instructor to give those students what they wanted… no bounce, ab work, flat out sprints, you name it, I did it. As time went on, I became more of a student of road cycling and trying to keep it real, but popular too. My schedule switched to 6AM, twice a week. I decided for this 6AM I would do a regular class and then my second class would be a “cycling” endurance class. I told the students that fast sprints, jumps, no bounce was not going to happen in the “cycling class” Yes, I lost a few students, but as the idea caught on and I began to educate students the cycling class grew to be full every week. Now, one year later, all I teach is “real” cycling classes. I believe students want a good workout and that they can see improvement over time. Benchmarking our progress is one of the cornerstones of my classes. There are other instructors to go faster, and jump with, so in the end, the student wins with more choices. By the way, it doesn’t mean we don’t have fun, today we replicated the YouTube JK wedding and danced through the gym.

DP said...

Just found your blog after listening to you on a Pod Cast. I have been teaching for nearly 10 years. Although I am not a big time cyclist myself, I do try to incorporate methods that will help serious cyclists improve physically.

For some of the other instructors at our club, the serious cyclist became their primary focus. Across time, attendance dropped in those classes. As a smaller club, I don't think we had enough serious cyclists to support that.

Being in a Northern climate, we still see an influx of the hardcore biker in the winter but they are long gone once the snow melts.

Result, I have targeted my classes more to the average rider who thinks his/her butt is to big for his/her swimsuit. My classes have thrived while others have faded away!

Cool blog, by the way.

Simon said...

When I describe a Spinning class, I tell them that if they came for a road ride with me then we would be doing the same in a class. But always make sure they understand
that it is their ride and they are in control.

I must be doing something right because I have 3 classes a week in my gym (Fitness First, I'm
the Health and Fitness Manager) and members are asking me to put on another 4 for them.

David said...

The gyms I work at don't advertise their classes as "cycling classes." We list them as "Spinning," period. But I think that if I saw a class listed as "focused on cycling," I would wonder, "isn't a Spinning class already focused on cycling?" I think that's because of my personal experience with the Spinning program. Living in the vertically-challenged city of Chicago, I first started in the Spinning program because I was preparing for my first century bike ride, the Hilly Hundred in Bloomington, Indiana. All I've ever learned from the Spinning program is how to be a stronger, better cyclist. Last September, I rode in the North Shore century with very little outside training, but lots of Spinning classes, and had no trouble completing the 100 mile ride.

To answer your specific questions:

1. Does it attract you/them?

I would find it more puzzling than anything else.

2. Does it turn you/them off, or away?

It doesn't light a fire for me. :-)

3. Do you think it's going to be boring?

Don't know.

4. Do you think it's going to be too easy?

I doubt that.

5. Do you think it's going to be too hard?

I hope not.

Anonymous said...

I think those descriptions are condesending to the average spinning class attendee. It's like "well, you're not in the club, but this is how the REAL cyclists do it."

Some people are unable to/not interested in the financial and time investment into outdoor cycling and are simply looking for an effective workout.

Gary said...

A few comments about your post.I am the director of the Spinning program here at Saco Sport and Fitness, Saco Maine. We have always had a very strong Spinning program here in the fall and winter months. I think only a few years ago our program was cycling based members who rode only when the weather in Maine turns cold and ugly. Looking to improve our numbers in the Spinning room, we looked to our general fitness population. We began holding intro to Spinning classes. Our goal was to show that the Spinning program was not just for cyclists as is often operceived. We wanted our members to know that we had the means to educate them in ways that would improve their general fitness even if they didn't ride a bike. Our feeling was that many of our members feared the Spinning room for the same reasons that some of our riders loved it. Our thoughts worked. We now hold 15 active classes a week in the summer months. Most of those who ride this time of year don't even own a bike. Do they ride with passion and desire. You bet. Do they feel the road as they ride. You bet they do. Does the bike dissappear from beneath them. Well most of the time :) We walk a fine line when we try to promote our program to the general membership. I think you are correct when you imply that we have to think of how our riders perceive our class. When we can meet them there we will become successful in the Spinning room. That's also when we need more bikes in the Spinning room to make room for those returning clclists.Thanks for listening and all that you are doing to promote our passion to ride(indoors our out on the real road)
Gary Tito

Anonymous said...

I've been giving Spinning class for about 4 years in Montreal but have only switched to a cycling-oriented class for the last 2 years now. I think my class has evovled from simply just any other ordinary spinning class to a more real and worth while training. I took one training from another instructor in town whoi openned my eyes to this style and I haven't looked back since. And ever since I've subscribed to this newsletter a few weeks back, my trainings have actually gotten more effective.

Unfortunately, despite my admiration for this method, it is not an easy sell. Some clients find it too difficult despite the fact I try to make them realize the importance of respecting their limits. Some clients need to push their max all the time, and burn out to fast. Some clients get bored because we're not doing a thousand different things on the bike (but this is where I need to get better to keep them focused and motivated). And finally, I've found it difficult get clients to move away from the pre-conceived notion that spinning classes have to be done at 200 mph for it to be a good class; as a matter a fact, it's also a tough sell to trainers and staff at the gyms that I work at.

There was a point where I became increasingly frustrated because I did not have the big participation in my classes like I used to, and there were other instructors giving classes doing things on the bike that shouldn't be done with client participation much higher. However, I stay focus on the fact that this method produces results, and the clients who follow me regularly get results. So I will continue to try "to keep it real"; I will continue trying to keep getting better; I will try to share the knowledge here and hopefully spread the good word.

Finally, I'd just like to say how much I appreciate your posts each wee. I look forward to them each Monday and it always gives me something to think about for my next class.

Thanks,


Sam

SpinWizard said...

I model many of my classes after rides I have ridden myself. I add comments about the route we are riding and even stop at a few stop signs (and look both directions!). Now, a student or two always ask "Where are we going today?" When I try to sneak in some Energy Zone specific classes I get enough flack that I have to hide them in a "ride."

Anonymous said...

I'v learned the bottom line is the market in which you are living/teaching. In Virignia, most of the instructors were Spinning certified and taught cyling-oriented classes. Our members were a mix of cyclists, triathletes, and average joes attending for a great workout/training session. Members were open minded and looked to the instructor as the "trainer". I've recently moved to an area in the deep south where obesity runs rampant, as well as smoking and heavy drinking. Instructors are not certified, not required to have CPR, etc. The program is a complete and total joke. Although I am trying to "set things straight", attendees are accustomed to being entertained. I've already had several comments that my classes are "different" and not as much "fun" as the other instructors. I will not waiver and change my class to meet their low expectations, rather I am trying to encourage them to embrace a different (for them), yet better way. At any rate, if gym II work at advertised the class as cycle-oriented, they'd probably all show up on their Harleys.

Anonymous said...

First time on your blog, heard you on John's podcast. I teach at a chain club, we have to refer to the class as indoor cycling only, not spinning, no class descriptions, no instructor names.

I would agree with many of the posts here, 80% of the participants are not cyclists and do not particularly care about "training" or the cycling experience. But cycling classes are enormously popular at our club. We have several instructors that ride and compete all the time and teach very "real" classes and they are well attended.

But oh how I remember the first indoor cycling class I ever took and it was at a serious club for indoor cycling only called Blazing Saddles...cute eh? I was hooked immediately and seriously challenged (and somewhat intimidated) by the focus in the room. And a few years later,and hundreds of classes and some serious time spent in the saddle, I became a cycling instructor. (I had taught various style aerobic classes for many, many years, so I had a teaching background and had several certifications that I have kept current, but was not teaching at the time I took this class).


My goal as an instructor is to keep getting more "real". I'll admit, sometimes I feel like a class will get boring if there isn't alot going on.
Cyling classes too easy, no. Definitely don't find that perception out there.

Being prepared, planning your ride, sharing what the ride is about at the start of class, them how long you will be doing a hill, or a flat etc..creating visuals with cueing, downhills, flats, moderate inclines, switchbacks, final sprint through finish line, working as a team with the group or small groups, take them on a local ride with you...all important and good stuff!

I love that I found the podcasts and blogs by "real" pros willing to share. As an instructor for many years now, I think it is very important to stay current, search for ways to improve your instructing style, and I love that other instructors are willing to share their knowledge, profile ide, music, visual and verbal cue ideas, etc with other instructors, not just your participants. Keep sharing!