Cueing a spinning indoor cycling class

This week we are exploring How You Sound and in the spirit of learning about ourselves and our individual “sound”, I want you to do something….it will be easier for those of us that teach in a club setting, but hopefully those of us in a studio setting will be able to explore this as well. Please find the best STEP class (yes, they are still out there and wildly crowded) and go to it. By the best, I mean one where the participants would describe the instructor as, “easy to follow”.

The reason behind this is simple: a good step instructor has learned how to cue properly. Why? Because if they don”™t, the results are disastrous in their studio…people turning every which way- into each other, into the steps, falling, getting hurt- you get the idea. If you are not a stepper, simply listen. How do they cue? How early? How late? A good cue typically is given 4 beats before the needed action. Any later and it is too late for the verbal cue to be carried out. Any earlier, and the action will most likely be carried out before the instructor wanted it to be.

Why is cueing important as a cycle instructor? I don”™t know if you all are like me, but I like to know what is coming. In a broad sense, as in what we are doing for our overall ride, and in a narrower sense, as in what is coming up on the specific road and what the expectations are in the next few seconds. I personally get frustrated when cues are thrown at me and the movement is already in play.

One of the best examples of this is lifts, or jumps. Cueing to lift out of the saddle 4 beats ahead gives the rider time to prepare and the sense of satisfaction when they are ready and able to lift out of the saddle on time.

We have a large ride here in Minneapolis every year and it is classic…the instructor cues the lifts like this: “up, down, up, down, up, down” ad nausium and the ups and the downs come right on the beat of the movement. As I look around the room of 100”™s of riders, no one is lifting or lowering at the same time.

This could all be remedied simply with good cueing.

Even things like, “In four counts we are going to get up out of the saddle and tackle this billy goat path, taking our heart rate up to AT”, or “in 4 counts we are going to add some load and pull out to the left, passing the rider in front of us”, give our riders confidence in us as their coach and instructor.
So, check out the group fitness step instructor…the GOOD one that keeps their class in control and rocking and rolling in an orderly fashion. Listen to how they cue. When they do it and how the class responds. I took it for granted until I had to start doing it because a good one makes it look really easy. In fact, we don”™t even know they are doing it. You can be like that too with a little practice.

If you are interested in learning more about cueing check out Gin Miller's Blog. Gin invented the "Step Class" and you may find her articles on cueing helpful.

One more thing - When John recorded his class he found that he works too hard. I am going to figure out how to record on my Droid and I will let you know in the weeks ahead what I learn about How I Sound 🙂


Originally posted 2011-09-14 12:03:21.

Amy Macgowan
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