On the way out of the cycling studio tonight in this new bling bling gym I'm working in, the manager stopped me. I was subbing for this class tonight, having canceled a circuit training class in my own studio to help out traveling instructor, so my name had been on the schedule for a few days. The class was nearly full, and I was hopping with energy and enthusiasm, and feeling more confident about facing a new crowd. So I introduced myself and gave the class a theme (power) and I went through some basics: toe cages snug, emergency brake (waaaah! how is it that I'm still finding people who have never been told about this???), hydration and toweling, blah blah blah. I gave them my spiel about this next hour is not about exercise and breaking a sweat - that Spinning® is ride, a journey if you will, a road and a challenge....but if you're just here for the exercise, go grab a treadmill, because we have some work ahead... And I offered that contract of trust . . . I appreciate that they trust me to lead them through a safe, yet effective training session and I wanted them to know that I was trusting that they knew why they had come and that they would get it because they decided to engage in the class....more blah blah blah. Then I listed off a couple of 'don'ts' including pedaling backwards, riding without hands standing up, hovers/isolations and seated HP3 riding...to name a few....and off we went on our ride dedicated to the notion of power...generating it, capturing it, spending it, increasing it, honoring it, etc etc etc.
After class a guy came up and said "Why no hovers..." I took a deep breath.
I said "Tell me what you think hovers are..." and he said that the other instructor said to make your body still, shoot your hips back over the saddle and pedal with maximum gear, real slow. That was the first I had ever heard it described that way. I said, do you mean drop low between the saddle and handlebars and keep still....sets your thighs on fire? And he said, "maybe, I didn't really get it because I was in the back..."
So I said, "well, tell me how they made you feel." He said "I didn't really notice it right then and there, but when I left the class my hamstrings hurt and I knew it didn't feel right."
I said, "That is key....never give up that intuition about your body. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Did the instructor tell you why you were doing it?"
"I don't think so... can you tell me why I shouldn't do it?'
I spoke with him for the next 15 minutes (of unpaid time, mind you, while my husband sat in the car waiting for me) because I felt it was important to get two things across. First of all, I explained to him that hovering isn't something we pedal through on a bike of any type on any terrain and that Spinning® is based on cycling, not entertainment and pain. I had him work it out through a series of questions which made him eventually see that he is on a standing-still bike generating a lot of power with some intentional gear and then he is going to stop his body, just for the sheer pleasure of pain (???) - the energy needs to be expressed or it will take a toll on the articulations of the body (namely the knees, the hips and the lower back).
But the other point I made with him was that I wasn't going to "dis" the other instructor...don't suck me down that rat hole....
He seemed captivated by our conversation...then he said..."you should tell the other instructor...."
I was stuck, momentarily. It's really not my role to correct other instructors. I never see them. I never take their classes. Management doesn't seem to give a flying flip what goes on in that room. But how could I put it out there so that I didn't come off looking like a snotty witch?
I left it with - "It is good to sample different classes, different teachers and different styles. It is worthwhile checking into credentials and experience. It is of vital importance that you listen to your intuition when being asked to do something that doesn't sit well with you...and it just makes sense to gravitate to the instructor and class that matches what you're looking for."
Then I got in the killer line...."I am affiliated with Spinning® and they do the research that helps me stay safe for you...we're not just about breaking a sweat. we're about training, and I'd love to have you back in more of my classes."
Anyway, I started out telling you that the manager stopped me. She wants me to take on more classes. I have to keep telling her that I just can't. I would if I could, but I don't have two Mondays in a week...I only have one and I already teach it. She said..."The clients are gravitating toward your classes and the other instructor's are seeing dwindling numbers."
hmmm....I wonder why. I'd love to say it is my scintillating personality, but it's not. I can reach clients through stuff that just makes sense...Spinning®. Do I need to tromp on others to get there? no way...not me. I'm only responsible for that class at that time.
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