For Instructors

Instructing is More Than a Playlist

By Michael Ferrante
Apart from my work as a Master Instructor for the Spinning program, I have been leading Spinning classes for a decade at a women’s-only health club operation in the greater Boston area. I have my own classes but substitute regularly for other instructors. When I substitute, I’m always pleased and honored with the positive feedback I receive. I’m also amazed to learn that others instructors apparently seem to forget the simple things that in the end make people want to come back to their classes.

The Human Touch Rules

Instructors can come to class armed with an awesome playlist and profile but adding some simple interpersonal touches can yield incredible results. Start with getting to class early enough so you can get some down
tempo music going in the studio to create an atmosphere for your riders. I’m not talking so-called “elevator music” but I’m also not suggesting ear-busting tracks either. Getting to class early also gives you the opportunity to be able to greet people – especially if you’re not familiar with the group. Say hello, introduce yourself and ask if anyone is new to the Spinning program and/or needs
help with bike set-up.  I recently filled in for an instructor and discovered that several people had never been properly fit to their bikes. All expressed great appreciation for getting assistance on this fundamental yet crucial aspect of Spinning.

Also, during class take some time to teach off the bike and simply interact with riders. Walk into the group and connect in any way you can. Positive comments – truthful of course – can be tremendously motivating and encouraging. Conversely, if you feel the need correct a student’s form, make sure you turn off or remove your microphone and then offer constructive, non-confrontational help. I always try to find something positive to say before I make a correction or suggestion.

And when it comes to your profile, don’t forget to build it around a sufficient warm-up and cool down period. The warm up is just that…a comfortable flat gear and a comfortable cadence that allows the body to prepare
for the more challenging aspects of your profile. Use the time to set the stage for the ride and to remind the class of Spinning safety guidelines such as a secure seat post, saddle fore and aft and handlebar. During the cool down, thank your riders for coming, for their hard work, for their dedication to good health and their continued support of your club and your classes.

Finally, as hard as it may be some days, try to bring a smile and a positive attitude each time you take the saddle in front of a class. Combined with that awesome playlist and profile, I guarantee success.

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