When I became a Personal Trainer, I swore I would never do anything else. I didn’t want the spotlight in front of a room of eager exercisers; I didn’t want the pressure of leading groups of people. All I wanted to do was help people get fit one on one. So how did I find myself sitting in a Spinning Instructor Orientation six months later? For those of you who do not teach, do you know what your motivation is to start? If you do teach, why did you choose Spinning®? Personally, I love the mind-body aspect of the class and the ability to tap into each person’s psyche, enabling them to do more than they thought they were going to do that day, or could do at all. It’s nice to be able to tap into our own motivations and inspiration periodically to refresh our perspective and recharge the classes we teach. If you are looking into becoming an instructor, here are some steps you can take to get you ready to go!
Talk to an instructor about what it’s like to teach. Find an instructor you are comfortable talking to. How much preparation time do they need for each class? How long did they study before taking the test? Ask whatever questions are on your mind and then decide if this is a career or a part time job to add to your primary profession. Think about what formats you most enjoy and would want to teach.
Do your research. There are many certifications available for Group Fitness. Research the pros and cons of each one. Some offer live workshops and all require a test. Figure out how much time you can devote to studying and talk to your instructors about their experiences to help you choose the best one. Spinning® is the best of the indoor cycling certifications, in my opinion (of course)! It is based on real, outdoor riding with science to back up all the movements done on the bike.
Take as many classes as you can. I have mentioned before how important it is to develop your own style. Attend all the classes you can and get a sense of how each person teaches their class. Pick and choose traits that you like and let those help you create your own mark. Do not mimic the most popular instructor in hopes of filling your class. Members will connect to your authenticity more than they will be attracted to someone trying to put on a show up front. Keep it real and let your personality shine through. It may take awhile, but you will start to see regular faces in your class.
Team Teach. Once you have completed Orientation, spend a few sessions team teaching with other instructors. I look at teaching similar to student drivers. You know how to do it after you are trained, but you aren’t quite good enough to take a long road trip alone. Get accustomed to being in the front of the room and using the microphone. Coaching and cueing definitely takes work. Having someone up there with you eases a lot of pressure and makes it fun for everyone in the room.
These are just a few steps in the process. Remember, everyone had to start somewhere! Education in the fitness industry is always evolving and there is ALWAYS something to learn, so enjoy the ride!!