A must see infographic about women and cycling! Share these statistics with your next indoor cycling class. And count how many women are sitting on the bikes in front of you!
As we start back to classes this Fall, this video not only gives me a giddy belly laugh but it also reinforces how as indoor cycling leaders, we need to expect the unexpected in our classes!
I can’t say I ever had an extreme a case as Dwight but I have had some opinionated participants. As leaders, how do we handle these participants? Are they providing friendly, non-threatening suggestions and enthusiasm or are they trying to sabotage your class? It’s those individuals who are positively engaging with you and others in class that you need to take a second look at!
In some cases, I think these types of eager participants want to actually be leaders themselves. How do you identify, encourage and foster a new leader? Can you think of a potential new leader? And don’t feel intimidated to suggest they get certified. If I’ve learned anything over ten plus years in this role, is that there are always way more people wanting to get moving than there are leaders and we need each and everyone we can get to lead group exercise. When you’ve found a promising candidate don’t feel intimidated to suggest they get certified. Who knows? Maybe one day they would be a great sub for your class!
As a certified leader, is it not also our role to promote our certifications? I challenge you to find at least one participant this session/term to encourage to become certified, but don’t stop there, act as their mentor! The next time a Dwight arrives in our class we embrace him/her and see what he/she can bring to the role of an indoor cycling leader.
Let me know when you find your mentee and how it goes!
If they are looking to get certified with the AFLCA, I’m facilitating the cycle designation on October 20, 2012 and would love to have them attend!
Enjoy the first couple weeks back in the saddle!
As I noted in a previous blog post about the Provincial Fitness Unit`s Fit Rendezvous conference, I attended an excellent session on leadership. Laurel Vespi, personal life coach, presented to the AFLCA Trainers of Leaders on
“what it takes to be a great leader”. She utilized the book, The Leadership Challenge* as her platform for our discussions and led the session with great enthusiasm to help us move forward as fitness leaders and the AFLCA forward
as an organization. Interestingly, she touched on the top four characteristics of what people look for and admire in leaders. Any guess what they
I wait every two years for the AFLCA's Fit Rendezvous in Edmonton. Nothing beats the energy of over 500 fitness leaders and trainers getting together to share their love and passion for group fitness. My conference started on the Friday night with the AFLCA trainers’ session on leadership. A future blog post will focus on some of its content but for this post I'd like to reflect on the indoor cycling sessions I attended. To save my legs and let's be honest, my backside, I didn't attend all the indoor cycling sessions, but I'd like to share with you what wisdom I took from the best of the best in indoor cycling instruction!
Effective Pedaling - Suzette O'Byrne
The Competitive Team Ride: Indoor Team Training - Krista Popowych
Ride One, Get One Free - Helen Vanderburg
The Cyclist’s Toolbox: Tools and Techniques to Enhance the Indoor Ride - Suzette O'Byrne
Over the 40 weeks of my pregnancy, I diligently read about what was happening to my body and my baby week to week. As in all the books I read, pregnancy was always defined through the three trimesters. The first trimester is full of excitement and anticipation for what's to come (e.g., is it a boy or a girl?, when will I begin to show?). Sounds similar to a warm-up in an indoor cycling class? Your mind and body are preparing for the big task ahead! As the second trimester rolls around, you begin to do the 'heavy lifting'. The baby is growing and it soon becomes evident that your body is doing a lot of work. It is in high gear preparing for the baby who is rapidly growing. The second trimester can be seen as the bulk of the cardiovascular workout. Blood, sweat and tears. By the third trimester, you start to slow down (maybe even waddle a bit!) as you prepare for the end of your pregnancy. Just like the cool-down period of an indoor cycling class. Cue the relaxing music. It sure is needed in the last couple of weeks and minutes.
Here are my top six lessons learned:
1. NAUSEA IS ALMOST CERTAIN.
The majority of my girlfriends who are pregnant or have been pregnant can attest that nausea is almost certain. I was lucky...well, not really. I didn't realize that morning sickness isn't just in the morning. I had it most days, all day of weeks 7-15 of my pregnancy. It slowly declined as I grew bigger and bigger but some poor moms-to-be have it their whole pregnancy. What we put up with in pregnancy is also a common occurrence in an indoor cycling class. Start working in the anaerobic zone and you'd be sure to run into a bit of nausea. And in that situation too, we buckle down and pedal through it! Embrace your nausea! The reward at the end is worth it!
2. YOUR BODY IS AMAZING!
As you are well aware, your body pushes the limits physiologically in an indoor cycling class. Pregnancy is no different except its working to make a healthy baby. Who knew I could teach indoor cycling classes to 36 weeks pregnant and ride my road bike on an indoor trainer a day before giving birth! And even more amazing is that after nine months of nesting in my body there is a healthy baby boy!
Your body is amazing...and brilliant. Be kind to it. Listen to its cues (your body gives them!). Know your physiological limits and work within them.
3. GLOW AND SHINE.
I like to think I glow when I ride. Have you ever heard of the saying - women glow, men perspire and horses sweat! This saying is thought to have originated from Victorian etiquette guides. And I am sure you've heard that pregnant women glow. Enjoy the glow! Even if you don't physically feel good, know that your glow (sweat) is apparent.
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!