Great classes have to have a point, a purpose, an objective. I always tell new instructors that they should be able to answer one simple question prior to class. What are we doing today?
A good class objective follows two rules:
1: You understand it. If you’re going to talk about a specific variable, you should be able to answer basic questions about it. If you are going to present something that a “cyclist” would do outside, you should have a reliable volume of information (and vocabulary) to support it.
2: You can teach it. A good class objective has to be something that can be separated into smaller parts. I always use the example that fun may be something you strive for in your environment, but it isn’t a teachable class objective.
The three basic categories for class objectives are:
A: Intensity: Define your goal for the session by letting students know how hard you intend to push them. General statements are fine here. Descriptors like hard breath, heavy resistance, maximal output, steady, controlled, and consistent are just a few examples. If a good number of your students wear HR monitors, you can add a more exact training range to your descriptors. If they don’t (like most students), use a simple RPE scale.
B: Terrain: This is always a good objective category to use because it is flexible and visual. Letting students know that you intend to climb several hills during your ride gives them an immediate visual connection to your words. Adding additional information like: two hills, one long climb, or hill repeats give the participants more information on your intensity expectations for the session.
C: Skills: Creating a workout around a specific skill can be fun and challenging to the participants. There are so many to use like: balance, HP 3, cadence building, resistance loading, jumping, and sprinting. Skill classes are good responses to contraindicated movements. If a class population is consistently struggling with a specific skill (or set of skills), it is always a good option to present a class that defines the skills but also demonstrates all of the ways they can be used within the program guidelines.