Over the past four months I've been able to read bits and pieces about the indoor cycling world...during nap times and early morning feedings (got to love my iPhone!). Shannon Fable recently wrote a great review of what it takes to be an indoor cycling instructor.
Take a peek at her blog post on the American Council of Exercise's Fitnovatives Blog.
To summarize, she highlights three main areas where to put your time and energy. Here's my brief input on each point.
Fitness leadership certification is essential to pursue when wanting to lead an indoor cycling class. In Alberta, the AFLCA is the leading certifying agency that top indoor cycling instructors go to for training. Also, the YMCA (a 'sister' to the AFLCA) provides quality education
which can complement the certification requirements of the AFLCA designation. For additional certification and education, many of the indoor bike manufacturers/suppliers provide courses on how to teach indoor cycling classes such as Spinning™, Keiser, and Schwinn®. Most courses are offered outside of Canada but the rare one is available to take locally.
2. Slumdog Millionaire Vs Grease
The focus of a good lesson plan (yes, I highly encourage a new lesson plan for each class!) is the HOW and the WHY. How are you leading participants in your class? Can you describe succinctly but with detail
that you want participants to do? And then describe in basic terms why you want them to perform these certain drills? Shannon emphasizes the importance of content (i.e., drills and skills) rather than flashy, content poor "bells and whistles".
3. Success for Everyone
Indoor cycling classes are appropriate for beginners, older adults, and athletes alike. The challenge is for the leader to adapt their planned workout for all those in attendance. How do you assess your participants and make sure their workout is appropriate? Shannon highlights the importance of coaching. Hands down - good coaching is essential to leading a group and having each individual participant be successful.
Take some time to ponder Shannon's suggestions. They are key to hitting the mark as an indoor cycling instructor.
Workman's Cycle Drills & Skills
Enjoy some of my favorite cycle workout drills either in a cycle class or on your own bike at home!