It Pays to be Prepared: Ten Tips to Make Your Spinning Class Run Smoother

Being 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 Tips” link.

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.

I 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 SpinBob@optonline.net.


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