Progression - One simple word, many meanings. When applied to the Spinning ® program it makes sure you are keeping your class moving towards their own fitness goals or even modifying your profile from this week so it creates the necessary physical challenge next week.
Keeping the fitness goals of your students as a priority will help you build your profiles. If you don’t know their individual goals, ask them. You may be surprised at the variety of answers you get. You will hear the entire spectrum of answers from “I’m here for the social aspect of working out” to “I’m going to be competing in a state championship road race.” Knowing how to progress each person along their personal goals is challenging yet so rewarding. Allowing multiple options for your profiles can satisfy both of these groups and keep them on the pathway to achieving their goals.
Using the concept of progression, you can modify profiles to become more challenging each week yet following the same basic pattern. For example, you put together a split symbol profile that includes a loop of seated flat, seated climb and standing climb. In week one the intensity for these movements is 75-80% of maximum heart rate and you spend one minute in each movement. You repeat the series three times before moving onto something else. Unless you have loads of free time to write new profiles each week, you can use the same profile and apply the progression principle to making the ride more challenging for week two. Consider increasing the intensity or duration of each movement to provide that progression. Use the basis for your week two profile based on what you did in week one.
Progression doesn’t always mean higher intensity; it may also mean keeping your riders in the saddle a little longer. Many instructors feel the need to have their students need to rise out of the saddle to keep interest high. Longer duration in the saddle is challenging for the participants.
Progress your coaching skills as well. If you’re always saying the same thing from week to week your students will pick up on that quickly. Take other instructors classes and pick up cues from them or modify ones you have heard. Can you say the same thing differently that gives your students the same message? Progression of your coaching skills is more than just what you say. Progress your skills by educating yourself on the art of cycling, exercise physiology, or other health-related topics so you are not only a great coach, but a knowledgeable one as well.
If you don’t progress you regress.