Old Tricks for the New Year
your Instructor Orientation? Whether it was last decade or last week,
you probably recall being given a lot of new information—much of which
you might not have revisited since you passed your assessment. But
believe it or not, your trusty Instructor Manual contains a slew of
ways to bring a dose of motivation to your students as they charge into
the New Year. Let these tips make your classes more effective and more
Conduct Cadence Checks
students to pedal faster or slower doesn’t really get at the real
issue: are they within the acceptable cadence range and intensity level
for a particular terrain? Do they need less resistance? Do they need to
take it up a notch? Or are they simply, unknowingly, mimicking the pace
of the person in front of them?
addition to quantifying your direction and providing a safer and more
effective ride, conducting a few 15-second cadence checks can help
students get a better sense of what hills and flats feel like. This
allows them to fully experience each ride—making the workout more
interesting and gratifying.
A 15-second check should yield the following results:
• 15-20 pedal strokes for climbs (60-80 RPM)
• 20-27 pedal strokes for flats (80-110 RPM)
Take their Pulse
it comes to gauging intensity, nothing beats a heart rate monitor, and
you should definitely encourage your students to use one. But just
because most students don’t doesn’t mean that instructors shouldn’t
educate their students on the importance of heart rate training. Asking
students to measure their rate of perceived exertion can make them more
aware of their intensity and help them gauge their progress.
the ranges indicated on the Spinning® Energy Zones™ heart rate chart by
four for 15-second heart rate checks is a general, but easy way to
start. For instance, the target heart rate for a 32-35 year-old man
would be as follows:
• Recovery: 23-30
• Endurance: 30-35
• Strength: 35-40
• Interval: 30-43
• Race Day: 37-43
Encourage students to calculate their own target heart rate zones and monitor their progress.
students are scared to add resistance to their bike. Some are under the
false impression that doing so will “bulk up” their legs. Others just
don’t like the effort that additional resistance requires. Therefore
it’s important to educate students on why riding with resistance—and
the resulting increased leg strength and endurance—are so beneficial.
Conversely, students riding with too much resistance need to lighten
their load to avoid an increased risk of injury. As mentioned, cadence
checks are the easiest way to let students know if they need to
increase or decrease resistance.
beginning a climb or resistance loading drill, be sure to let students
know how many gear changes to expect so that they’re able to start from
an appropriate point and add resistance in manageable increments. And
remember—telling your class to give their knobs a quarter turn sounds
like an easy way to make sure everyone adds a little more resistance to
their ride but may be a huge increase for one student and a nominal one
for others. Calibrations may differ significantly from bike to
bike—making quantitative resistance changes a risky proposition.
If your facility uses the new Spinning Computers,
these tips are much easier to incorporate. But regardless, helping your
students quantify their efforts gives them feedback they can use—and a
great sense of accomplishment as they achieve incredible results from
the goal-oriented training sessions you construct.