Sometimes, mapping out a plan for a group exercise class is a workout in itself. When it comes to indoor cycling classes, countless factors play a role in its success. Once you purchase spin bikes and decide where in your facility you wish to hold your classes, you’ll need to figure how to make the class fun!
In my career, I’ve found that it doesn’t matter if you have 5 or 50 attendees each session, it matters if they are enjoying themselves and getting a good workout.
I compiled a list of three important factors that can make or break the quality of a spin class:
1) Uplifting, energizing music
What’s worse than depressing music playing while you’re trying to exercise? Uplifting, fast-paced music can make a huge difference in getting your attendees to work hard and keep returning. I’ve worked it out so sometimes in songs, changing hand positions can tie along with the words. For example, changing a position on a bike anytime Elvis Presley sings the word “sister” in the song “Little Sister” can get people up and out of the saddle a lot and having fun following along to the words. I also guarantee that by the end of the song, their heart rate will be up and they will be feeling the burn throughout their body.
Some instructors spend hours creating the perfect playlist while others might throw a series of songs together more quickly. No matter your method for choosing the music, be sure you know which songs are best suited for a flat road, which are for more moderate paces and which are reserved for heavy hills. It’s smart to work recovery times into your playlists, if applicable, and make one song a “free for all” where participants can choose their own speed, intensity and whether they’d like to be sitting or standing. It’ll also give you 3-4 minutes to regroup if needed and ensure you are hitting the mark with the class’ goals.
Don’t forget to tell regular attendees you’re open to song suggestions. After all, they might have a song suggestion that’s new to you and absolutely perfect for the class.
2) Be an enthusiastic and energized instructor
Maybe you’ve seen instructors who prefer to teach more high-impact workouts tackle a spin class and it just doesn’t seem to work. Or maybe, you work with someone just can’t get enthused about teaching 40 minutes to an hour of cardio on a stationary bicycle. Either way, finding a rhythm and getting excited will only transfer positivity and excitement for health and wellness to clients.
Arriving to class extra early to greet new attendees is a must. If you have someone new to indoor cycling, they’ll need to know how to properly adjust their bike, what each position means and each movement’s purpose. These introductory moments can also allow you to get to know the new rider and discover their fitness goals and what made them try your class.
3) Create an organized class that is well-choreographed
When the class begins, always remind attendees that it’s their ride and you’re there to provide guidance and a fun atmosphere. This will allow class participants to take a break from switching positions if they’re too exhausted or add extra weight to their bike if they want to be more challenged.
For tough songs, ensure they can visualize a big hill and even push past a rider that’s in front of them. For more moderate songs, letting them know their resistance should be comparable to riding in “soft sand” is easy to comprehend, too. At the end of the class, but before stretching, have them picture themselves crossing a finish line and let everyone cheer loudly for one another.
Knowing when to use inspirational phrases like “dig deep,” “push past this hill,” and “give this song all you’ve got” can be exactly what someone needs to hear to make it through the final 10 or 15 minutes when their body might be tempted to begin cool down earlier than scheduled.