One of the hottest trends in fitness today is indoor cycling. Even though group cycling has been around for almost two-decades, it has seen a resurgence with high tech bikes and trendy studios popping up in neighborhoods all over North America. So what is the appeal? According to participant Elie Smythe, "it is the perfect way to fit in a good sweat, without the impact. And the great tunes and motivating instructors add to the overall positive experience." Smythe is not alone in her observations or feedback. Indoor cycling is an effective workout and ticks off many of the boxes when it comes to exercise individualization.
If you are interested in becoming an instructor, here are a few tips for a successful integration into the riding world.
First, make sure you try out a few different classes. Determine what style of indoor riding resonates with you. You may love road or mountain biking, or the only bike you ride is the one in the gym. Matching your ride philosophy with your teaching style will make for a better overall experience for yourself and you participants.
Next, sign up for an indoor cycling certification. Becoming certified will give you the tools, techniques and information necessary to lead a safe and effective workout. Courses vary in cost, content and duration. Do your homework.
Once certified, try to find an indoor cycling instructor mentor. Someone you both admire for his or her skills and who is willing to assist you until you feel comfortable and confident teaching a class on your own. Ask if you can prepare and instruct a portion of a class that they regularly teach. Afterwards, solicit their feedback. Both the experience of teaching and any pointers that they can offer will build your skills and your confidence.
Next, practice, practice, practice. Spending time in the saddle instructing to a make-believe group of rider, will leave you better prepared for the real thing. And, last but not least, just do it - even if you aren't perfect. Jumping in and getting your feet wet in a real life class setting is the best way, and only way to get better.
Whether you are a personal trainer or already teaching fitness, adding 'indoor cycling instructor' to your dossier is an excellent way to add to your professional toolbox of skills. Who knows, you may find your newest calling or at the very least, unearth a few new training clients with the added exposure you will receive.
Krista Popowych, Keiser® Global Director of Group Education
If you're interested in becoming an indoor cycling instructor, the Keiser® Indoor Cycling Foundations course will be offered as a Preconference Session at ACSM's Health and Fitness summit in Washington D.C. To learn more about the course, click here. To register, click here.