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As a spin class instructor what is my job?-ColnagoFEinspired(10 posts)

As a spin class instructor what is my job?-ColnagoFEinspiredPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Feb 18, 2003 8:16 PM
So ColnagoFE inspired me to make this post after he basically said the people in the class don't know what they need... they are under the general idea that harder is better. But as a spin class instructor theres a couple examples that make it darn hard to have a class taken well if I don't just put together a hard workout to challenge them on the spot. Here are some examples:

1) Weekdays at 9 am - most of the women are in their late 30's-early 40's. They just want the crap kicked out of them to burn calories and relieve stress.
2) New people - if a workout doesn't feel hard they may not want to come back and its impossible to pound in that harder is not better in the space of one class.
3) Weightloss - people trying for weight loss just want the hardest program you can throw at them.

So as a spin clas instructor what is my job? I can try to teach people all about zones but someones 90% effort is another persons 60%. So short of having HRM's for all the bikes (which I wish I did) it makes it really difficult. And Colnago is right... its not hard to put together a hard program... its not something all grandma's could do but its just a matter of knowing how to motivate people through pain.

Any advice, tips, ideas would be greatly appreciated.

hammer 'emFrith
Feb 18, 2003 8:39 PM
They're getting the most bang for their buck that way. Chances are they get a maximum of 3 workouts a week and can't stand doing it for anything even approaching an hour. These people aren't working for enough time to get the kind of benefit that you or I can from a longer workout at a lower hr.
If someone who is actually in an endurance or cycling specific program approaches you let them know that there is a more efficient way to reach their goals.
Chances are the type of crowd your getting will get the most benefit from a hammerfest given the amount of time they're willing to put in.
re: As a spin class instructor what is my job?-ColnagoFEinspiredPEDDLEFOOT
Feb 19, 2003 6:07 AM
I am also a Spinning instructor and have also wondered about this.I have found that in my years of experience you need to asses the students and there fitness levels .Most of my classes are with my regular crowd so I know how far and hard I can work them .When you get a few newbies you need to keep reminding them that they need to work within their HR zones.

It is the easiest thing in the world to just "hammer em'" as the previous reply had said.This would be the least challenging way for you as an instructor could conduct your class.I have classes that would like nothing more than to do a hammerfest every time we do a class.I don't think that this would benefit them in the long run.You need to balance it out.Especially if you get the same people coming in.
Remember that most people that are posting here are dedicated cyclists and racers.They train at a different level and intensity than most of your students.Stay true to the HR zones and limits that you program into your profiles. Thay will benefit the most from a balanced program rather than continually burning them out.

Your job as an instructor is not only as a ride leader but as an educator.Let them know what the objective of every ride will be and the benefits they will get from it.It may be a hard sell for some but I think they will appreciate the thought and effort that you would demonstrate from the extra effort.

Good luck and make it fun.
my 2c...educate 'emColnagoFE
Feb 19, 2003 7:24 AM
of course there are going to be some you just can't reach and some who know more than you already but i think the value add in Spinning is education...always be a coach to your class. Find where they are at and what they want to get out of the class and help them get there. Get to know who they are and why they work out. What are their goals?They might think that had and fast is the only way, but after you show them results from a well balanced periodized program they will realize they didn't know what they needed. Give your class plenty of options as well. If you're doing intervals, make sure that the class knows they can just spin if they aren't due for a interval class that day or are not in very good shape. Try to make everyone feel welcome. Make sure they know it's not a competition with anyone else in class. I like to say that someone like Lance Armstrong and a grandmother should both be able to get the workouts they need in any given class. Explain to those who want to lose weight (especially really deconditioned people) why going super hard all the time is not usually the best strategy. Talk about cross training. Also remember that the original Spin program is based on mind-bosy awareness. Use imagery and such to convey the proper pedal stroke and form. Don't overdo it though unless your class is really into the new agey stuff. I personally believe that many people are turned off by too much of that kind of thing, but it has been proven in high level athletes that you must train the mind as well as the body if you want to perform at the highest levels.
My 2 cents - put enthusiasm and enjoyment on top of the list.dzrider
Feb 19, 2003 10:24 AM
People work out for many different reasons and no one program will fit everybody. You may also have people joining classes in the middle of a program which makes the routine of the day make little sense in terms of long range goals. I'd suggest the following, taken from my very good experience with spin classes at my lbs.

1. Post the routine of the day on a white board. Include the target zones for people who want to use them as well as the intervals and durations. Lead the people who want to follow the routine to reinforce what's on the board already.

2. Talk with newcomers about how and why the long range program works and the advantages of following one. Listen to their goals to see if they are likely to respond to teaching and encouragement.

3. Let people do what they want. It's their workout, not yours. I ride to and from the shop for my warm up and cool down. Some days I leave my bike in one gear and do intervals by jackin up my cadence. Some days I shift as closely to the program as my 6sp freewheel allows. It's okay for me.

4. Make everybody feel welcome and do what you can to see that folks have a good time. Even if you see teaching as your primary responsibility, you can't teach somebody who has left because it was boring. Talk to people about stuff other than the workout. I can ride a trainer and follow a program at home. I go to the lbs because friends are their. Encourage those kind of connections.
cleavage in a lycra halter top works. nmSpunout
Feb 19, 2003 11:19 AM
Argh... I knew I shoulda been doing more pec workPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Feb 19, 2003 2:00 PM
Then a halter top would look mighty fine on me. I'd have to have my arms crossed to squeeze my chest together for the entire class but hey one more excuse to have time off the bike.
Churn out cycling addicted, lycra loving, hotties for us single guys.js5280
Feb 19, 2003 11:39 AM
You Canadians seem to do a pretty good job of that up there, you should expand your program to the States.
Intervals--hammer emwillin
Feb 19, 2003 4:43 PM
Sometimes I go to a spinning class because I want a hard fast anerobic workout for 45 minutes, nice thing about class is that you can control your exertion better trhan on a bike. No wind, no bumps, no flats. And the music and atmosphere usually allows you to push harder.

Also is a good place to try to hit a max heart rate if the room isnt too hot.

Less fit folks end up sitting up anyway so they find their level.

Then again, I am not going to the old lady class, but rather asking at my old club who the hardest instructor is.

Just my two cents...
make sure they come back nmcyclopathic
Feb 19, 2003 5:05 PM