employee_engagementBy Jennifer Lintz, Registered Dietitian and ICI PRO Contributor

A few days ago, I attended one of my colleagues' classes. The ride was top notch from start to finish, but one drill in particular got me thinking.

Towards the middle of class, Lori (the instructor) told us we would be doing a climb. I can't remember exactly how long we were to be in hill mode – it was either 3 or 4 1/2 minutes – but I do remember her instructions for the drill. She told us to lift out of the saddle for 15 seconds three separate times during the climb. The catch? We could decide when. This was an interactive drill. As a participant, it forced me to be present, keep my eye on the clock, and take ownership of the task I had been given.

As an instructor, I immediately felt like I gained a new tool to enhance participant engagement. If one of our goals is to help our students stay present on the bike, why not give them some time in the driver's seat?

Certainly, it might be a bit much to do a class full of drills like the one I just described, but sprinkling in one or two could be a great way to keep students focused. Being in Lori's class got me thinking about other drills that might have a similar impact. Here are two I came up with:

– Flat: 5 minutes. The bulk of the flat should feel moderate in intensity. Work at a hard intensity at least twice for 30 seconds. If, in the last minute of the flat, there is time for one more push, challenge them to fit it in.

-Intervals: 3 minutes. Alternate between high and low intensities for the duration on the drill. The “work” period must be longer than the recovery. Time frames are left up to the students.

-Hill: 3 minutes. Each minute should be more challenging than the previous. The increased intensity can be created by a change in speed or resistance.

Do you have other drill ideas that give participants guidance, but ultimately put them in charge?

My experience as a student reinforced just how beneficial it can be to spend time on the other side of the cycle studio. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic as well.

Originally posted 2014-07-13 14:14:27.

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