I enjoy poking around the RateYourBurn Instructor review site to get an understanding of what participants are looking for in our class. Sure some of the comments can be a bit harsh, but many of the actual reviews are well written and offer very specific "If you would do ___________________ I would enjoy your class more" advice.

Case in point - this RateYourBurn Review on a new SoulCycle Instructor named Chris The Curious Case of the Missing Countdowns

So yeah, I liked a lot of things about Chris, but the ride was... improvable. Luckily for Chris, these nits are absolutely fixable.

  • A little head's up, please? Countdowns: We really, really need them. Without countdowns, I start to wonder if you're just making up moves on the spot; I don't know when to exert the most effort, and I start worrying whether we'll be in a second-position jog FOR ETERNITY.

  • Choreography was not really timed with the music. Chris could work on ending the choreography segments to time up with each song. There were three different songs where we ran out of music while continuing choreography. Again, this feels like the class is a little bit tossed together in the moment rather than planned out. According to his bio, Chris has been a dance educator for more than a decade: timing choreography to the music (and giving countdowns to help with that) is likely second nature for a dancer. Just bring it to the bike!

  • Timing of pushes. These felt a little awkward and were usually too short. One thing that would help would be for Chris to cue us ahead of time when we were going into a push, but the pushes always came with the  command "pick up your legs now!" and ended with "slow down" - no warning, and no countdown to the end. Help me gear myself up for a 30-second push, and then let me know when I'm just a few seconds from the finish line - I'll work much harder when I'm not ambushed by a sprint!

There's an old adage about giving effective presentations that goes something like this;

  1. Explain to everyone what you're going to say or expect them to do.
  2. Say or do it.
  3. Remind them what it was you said or what they just did.

In the first and third comments above, the reviewer is frustrated because Chris is skipping #1 - and not giving advanced notice to what's coming next. I can't speak for the women in your class, but many of the the men who ride with you are sequential thinkers like me. We like to start with A, move on to B, C, and then D. It drives us crazy when you skip one or more steps and completely throws us off our game.

Schwinn Class Tamer iPhone App for Indoor Cycling

I'm completely guilty of point #2 - not getting my choreography matched to the length of the music at times. I'll blame the combination of my slowly failing eyesight and those tiny little numbers on the Spotify App for not understanding the time remaining for a specific track. My classes are very cycling specific and feel I do a good job prepping everyone for the upcoming efforts. Where I feel I get into trouble is I take too much time leading up to the start of say a 4 minute Best Effort, using a 5:00 minute song. I can't see the time remaining and the music ends before the interval - not very professional 🙁

I'm very tempted to move back to iTunes music and use the new Schwinn Class Tamer App simply for the option in the settings to really embiggen the font size so I can see it.

Question for you [wlm_firstname]...

If you had access to this type of constructive criticism, would you accept and use it?

If so how?


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