It Pays to be Prepared: Ten Tips to Make Your Spinning Class Run Smoother
a Spinning instructor is rewarding, but let’s face it: always being
prepared for class can be difficult. In my years of teaching, I have
picked up, or stumbled upon, ten tricks that may help make your
Spinning classes run ore smoothly.
1. The welcome packet:
Being prepared for new students is essential to ensure that they keep
coming back for more. I give a packet to all newcomers that consists of
a coupon to a local bike shop and handouts that reinforce everything a
student learns during his or her first Spinning class—bike setup, the
core movements and contraindicated movements. As the newcomer becomes a
regular, I have a second packet with handouts on base training and
heart rate. These handouts, which will help a new student feel less
overwhelmed, are all available on spinning.com under the “Training
2. Techno safety net:
After years of burning CDs for class, I made the jump to an iPod.
Finding new music to download is easy with the large selection of
playlists at spinning.com. Compiling music for class with iTunes is a
snap, and effortlessly keeping track of the music, time and sound level
during class is a great convenience—except for the day when it doesn’t
boot up or the battery dies halfway through class. Now I keep an AC
adapter and a couple of CDs in my gym bag, just in case.
3. Softening the first ride:
We all know that the first ride can be uncomfortable for the unprepared
newcomer. For their first class, I let new students borrow unclaimed
seat covers that have been left behind by other students. Between uses
I rinse them out in the sink and hang them out to dry. For future
rides, I tell newcomers that they can purchase a gel seat cover, padded
bike shorts, other apparel and accessories for the ride at spinning.com.
4. Helping the harried:
I’m sure this has happened in one of your classes. One of your students
hurries into class just as you’re beginning your warm-up. They quickly
set up their bike, rush to catch up and realize they forgot to bring
water. For times like these, I carry a couple of extra bottles of water
in my bag. All I ask of the student is that they bring me a new bottle
the next time they come to class.
5. Recycling power:
Every time we set the clock back or forward, we are reminded to change
the batteries in our smoke detectors. Instead of throwing those
batteries away, I use them to power the wireless microphone in the
Spinning studio until they die.
6. Even greener:
My wife found a charger at a garage sale and I bought a couple of
rechargeable batteries. So when I’m not using an old smoke detector
battery, I’m using a rechargeable one.
7. Easy as 1, 2, 3:
Numbering the bikes in your studio will help students who want to keep
riding the same bike and make reporting maintenance problems easier. I
use Avery stickers and a template in Microsoft Word that I downloaded
from their website.
8. Fly-away Profiles:
Taping my profile to my handlebars was a constant source of
frustration. The tape would always let go in the middle of class,
sending my profile fluttering to the floor. I have found a much more
successful substitute in a spring clip refrigerator magnet. You’ll need
to check your handlebars to see if a magnet will stick to them, as not
all models are magnetic.
9. Remembering members:
If remembering names is an issue for you, ask to see the sign-in sheet
after class and make a photocopy to keep as a cheat sheet. If you club
doesn’t have a sign-in policy, ask them to start one.
10. Staying in touch:
I teach an early morning class and severe winter weather can be a
problem. To communicate quickly with my students if the gym opens late
or if I can’t get out of my driveway, I gave everyone my e-mail address
and asked all those that didn’t object to send me an e-mail so I could
create a class mailing list. Additionally, students have taken
advantage of having my e-mail address. They send me questions they
don’t feel comfortable asking in class and contact me when they are
going on vacation, or if something else keeps them from the gym.
hope at least one of my tips will make your life a little easier. If
you have a tip you’d like to share with other instructors, please send
it to me. I’ll compile your suggestions and write another article.
Bob Rebach is a STAR 3 instructor in Monmouth County, New Jersey. E-mail him at [email protected].