I was recently hired by Madd Dogg Athletics, where we live and breathe Spinning®, and for obvious reasons they encourage all of us all to complete Instructor Training. I also had a bunch of reasons of my own for wanting to do the training… like to avoid embarrassing myself in front of co-workers at our weekly Spinning class, to become more familiar with the Spinner® bikes so I can do my job in the marketing department more effectively, and it just looked like a lot of fun. I signed up for the September 26, 2013 Spinning Instructor Training with Master Instructor Marci Williams and started counting the days until the training.
When the big day finally arrived I woke up at 6:30 am after a restless night’s sleep. I packed the essentials—water, snacks, extra workout clothes, manual, etc., and then I was out the door. As I approached the hotel where the training was being held, my nerves really started setting in. I sat in the room while participants trickled in, starting to doubt myself—everyone looked like seasoned riders. We got started right at 8:00 am with introductions. After I learned that a few of the people there had never taught a Spinning classes before, and that there were even a few who had never been to a Spinning class, I felt much more at ease. The introductions really set the tone for the day, those who seemed intimidating were really supportive and vocal about making newcomers to the Spinning program feel welcome.
Marci was so knowledgeable and full of energy—I couldn’t imagine taking the orientation with another Instructor (although I know they are all wonderful). She is so inspirational and her passion for Spinning is infectious. She also has a fantastic sense of humor and kept us all laughing throughout the day.
The majority of the morning was spent going over the basics: Spinner bike setup, safety, and form. We practiced proper setup on one another, which gave us insight into a realistic situation—fitting a new rider for their first Spinning class. In the past, I had been confident that my appropriate seat height was an “H.” However, I soon realized that I had spent my entire Spinning career riding at the wrong seat height—I now know that I am a “J.”
Our first of two rides of the day focused on hand positions, form, and movements. Changing my seat height was eye-opening and I really felt the difference during the ride—I had more power in my legs. It was really useful to learn the appropriate cadence range and hand positions for each of the movements. I felt much more knowledgeable after that first ride.
I was worried that the eight to five day would feel long, but the day flew by. After the lunch break we learned about heart rate training, Energy ZonesTM, and how to construct a Spinning class. I found the information on the different Energy Zones to be the most interesting part of the day.
We hopped back on the Spinners for our final ride at about 3:50 pm. We had just spent quite a bit of time talking about the different kinds of rides—Recovery, Endurance, Interval, Strength and Race Day—so we spent a little bit of time exploring each of those zones.
I came into the training doubting myself and left feeling more energized and determined than ever. Being an instructor never really looked that appealing to me until I finished the training and was given the confidence that I could teach a class. Right after writing this post, I passed my online assessment so now its official- watch out world! Wooohoo!!