Host of the Indoor Cycle Instructor Podcast - the #1 Internet radio show for and about Spinning / Indoor Cycling Instructors and Cycling Studio owners. John is a member on the AFS (Association of Fitness Studios) Advisory Council. Holding certifications from; Schwinn, Heart Zones, Team ICG and Life Time Fitness, John's held regularly scheduled cycling classes between 1998 and 2015 when he moved to Florida. When the weather permits, you'll find him riding and leading outdoor groups by himself or with his Tandem partner (wife) Amy.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.
Well, this was a very interesting discussion. You have delineated very well the various ways in which instructor’s approach their teaching. Since I sense that this podcast was based on a previous comment I had made I need to respond.
Just to get it out of the way, my original question was not based on whether or not I was a professional, it was based simply on whether or not I could dip my hand in my pocket and come out with a $120 bill at the present moment. See my monthly commitment under separate cover. I will upgrade to Platinum at some point.
Looking at the three categories, I do consider myself a professional. Not because of significant income since I am only teaching one class a week at present. I do take a very professional approach to my cycling coaching. I spend much more time coming up with a good profile than I do looking for just the right song. The music is the easiest part for me. I really care about whether or not my students are going to have a good experience while increasing their fitness.
That being said, I do struggle with how to do this in a class which is called Begin To Spin. It was set up to introduce indoor cycling (Spinning in my case) to new people. The class has been running for almost a year now, so a typical class may or may not have any brand new people. A typical class may have 1 or 2 newbies.
The rest have been Spinning, mostly in my class, for several months. These people need an entirely different kind of ride than my newbies. I try to handle this by constantly stressing modify – modify – modify. I try to listen to my students after every class, and I hear comments from newbie’s like “it was harder than I thought it would be” Oh no, am I going to lose them? Comments I hear from some of my ‘old-timers’ seem to be “this is even harder than a 1-hr class” (Begin to Spin is 30 minutes) Oh no, am I making it too intense. As a professional, I am constantly looking for new ways to give everyone in my class what they need, but it is not always easy. Any help you might be able to offer would be much appreciated.
Thanks for responding so thoughtfully to what you felt was the issue in my last comment. It really made me think about my approach and where I fit in on the spectrum from amateur to professional.
Well you two really made me think during that whole show, about what makes an Instructor and where I fit in as a Spinning Instructor, and how I perceive myself and how I ‘want’ my participants to perceive me. One of your best, keep up the great work.
I am not a fitness instructor. I have been riding indoors for a year now.
I liked your discussion about professional, amateur, and hobbyist, but it all depends on your perspective and point of view. I don’t think it serves anyone to try to wrap that discussion up in 20 minutes, because it leaves a lot of things left unsaid.
It seems like this discussion came out of the fact that you started to charge for your site. I don’t know if this discussion was a justification for now charging, but in the end, if you have a product people want, they’ll buy it. People will vote with their checkbooks.
However, as a non-instructor, I don’t see the value in purchasing the premium membership. If the site had more videos where I could look at people actually performing and absorb technique, then I would possibly upgrade. What I like about the site are the bits of information I get that help my form and riding.
Also, I find it strange that you have to pay a whole year up front. Why not make it month-to-month, so people have the ability to cancel? That would be standing behind your product. Most sites are monthly charge. However, cycling in general is an affluent sport, so you can probably get away with it.
Joe thanks for your comment. We offer an annual subscription because that’s what a majorty of instructors said they wanted. When we offered a monthly subscription less than 20 percent choose it
As to being able to cancel, Members can cancel at any time during their subscription with a full refund, if they ever feel we aren’t delivering on our promises. To date no one has.
thank you for your comment!
You are so right, 20 minutes isn’t long enough. The idea was to challenge instructors to think about how they perceived themselves. It’s coincidental this comment came up today, because I was just writing on a forum about how instructors should value their experience & training and passion and charge what they’re worth. Of course at a club one is limited by what the market (read: club) will pay but when an opportunity comes up to go beyond that, it’s important to value yourself and to not give yourself away for free. You can see that thread here: http://pedal-on.com/showthread.php?p=99061&posted=1#post99061
It also goes for John and me. Why should we continue to give away all our experience and training and education for free, when it has exceptional value for our market? Which by the way, our target market for ICI/PRO is indoor cycling instructors with a desire to learn more so they can inspire their students better…although I am delighted to have IC participants and cyclists who frequent this site! Maybe we’ll inspire you to become an instructor!
We actually starting charging because we realize that there is a huge lack in the fitness industry for science-based cycling-specific, quality education for indoor cycling instructors. I even taught it as a Master Instructor for 12 years with the Spinning program, but even after traveling all over the country leading workshops, it was evident that 1) the training available to instructors is lacking in updated science and 2) it’s very challenging for many instructors to access workshops and conferences. Their facility may not host them, they may have to travel a long way to attend them, and one 3-day conference can mean an investment of several thousand dollars for an instructor when conference fees, travel, hotel, meals and time off is taken into consideration.
So actually charging $120 (or even if our price was $200) is a very small price to pay for an incredible amount of education available right on your computer, with podcasts downloadable to your iPod to listen in your car as you drive to teach your class! As a non-instructor, you probably don’t realize this but here are some price comparisons:
– a 4-hour workshop, say on HR Training, costs $90-$120. That’s for ONE 4-hour workshop on ONE topic. (FYI the Spinning HR training workshops aren’t based on current science, as well as most other companies…but fortunately there are a few that I know of that are. See below.)
– a 2-hour workshop (say on climbing skills) is $65-$80, again, for one topic.
– just attending a 1.5-2hr Master Class by a Master Instructor can cost anywhere from $25-$75 depending on the location (Spinning charges $75 for a Master Ride with Josh Taylor), and that’s JUST a ride without the educational component (and no CECs). The idea of a Master Class is to get ideas for your own classes, so you can become a better instructor. But you better not ride if you want to retain the material; you’ve got to hastily write down what the MI says, or you’ll forget it. Do 3 of these a year – $75 to $225.
In that context, our price is SO little but you get so much more. ICI/PRO provides an entire year’s worth of constant education on every topic important to an instructor, education that you can access again and again from the comfort of your own home. In our first year (we JUST celebrated our 1 year anniversary) we provided 26 audio PROfiles which are about 30-minutes. Audio PROfiles are akin to attending a Master Ride (except that you can listen anytime). But it’s more than just a ride, it’s the physiology behind the profile, the training objective, what to say, how to say it for maximum impact, and of course, some great music suggestions. For an instructor, all of this is key! That is 26 new rides they can teach to their students. Heck, we don’t care if they even tell the students they made them up themselves – all we care is that better classes are being taught around the world. (we also teach instructors how to make them more fun).
If I were to conservatively price those out at $40 each (because it really is more than just a Master Class) then that’s a value of $1040 right there.
Members have access to a 2-hour video on Communications Effectiveness (which every single instructor can benefit from). This video workshop also provides free CECs (a $65 value). In our second year we’ll be putting together another CED video for PRO members so they can get more CECs just for being a member (that alone is worth half our membership price right there).
This spring I did an interval profile series where I invited instructors to submit interval profiles to be evaluated for physiological effectiveness. This was invaluable for instructors wanting to learn how to optimize their class design and teach intervals that actually cause the physiolgoical adaptations they are looking for (VO2 max, threshold, Lactate Tolerance, Power, etc). But I’ll be conservative and put only a $100 value on that.
The videos we’ve begun to offer on training techniques, such as sprinting, and the ones that are in the plans, are extremely effective in learning form and cueing effectiveness. And instructors don’t need to drive far away or take a whole weekend to attend a workshop. Coming soon, we’ll be doing a Monday Magic Minute, a quick video on coaching, cueing, form, everything an instructor can benefit from (that is in addition to longer videos). The weekly blog posts and additional podcasts that are exclusive to PRO members always have an educational component to them. We’ll be doing an educational series for brand new instructors as well, such as how to put your first class (or first 20 classes) together, and how to become an effective motivator. I’ll be doing a series on how to tap into the mind-body aspect of coaching, so instructors can help students intrinsically inspire themselves.
It’s so hard to put a value on all of this, but it’s weekly education they do not have to travel to attain. If I compared all of this to taking regular workshops on these subjects, we’d be talking well over $1,200.
Members also get access to bonuses and discounts – 50% off the Tour de France training series (normally $50), a free eBook on staying motivated as an instructor ($12.95 value) and many more great discounts and bonuses to come. (I can’t spill the beans just yet, but big things are planned!)
So I completely understand Joe, as a non-instructor, it may not have a perceived value, but for an instructor seeking convenient and science-based education and knowledge about proper training principles and inspiration to become a better coach and motivator, ICI/PRO is an incredible value. There is no one, anywhere doing what we are doing in the way we are doing it. I’d say the value is WELL over $2,500. For only $10 a month (paid yearly)…
But our price is going to go up a teensy bit for year #2, because we now realize not only how valuable it indeed is, and we also know how much time we both spend creating this content and managing it. And when you perceive yourself as a professional (the topic of this blog post and podcast), you charge what you are worth!
Your question, why not monthly? Well, we will offer a monthly charge…but it will be a lot more than the $12/month that yearly members pay. Why? Because there is already a full year’s worth of incredible content! 😉 And we want instructors to stick around for the year’s worth of great education!
I hope you understand why we not only must charge, but also why we value our content. We know what is available to the indoor cycling industry….and on the whole it’s not very good quality. In our quest, we have connecting with some excellent education providers, such as Stage5 Cycling and Cycling Fusion, who have similar goals as we do: to raise the bar for this industry, and to bridge the gap between cycling and fitness.
Again thank you for your comment. We’ll still be providing some great free content, but our new website will allow us to give non-members a peak at what they are missing. Which is a lot! 😉
Hey John and Jennifer,
Thanks for your response–there was a lot of new information I did know about before. I definitely enjoy the site, especially when there are videos about technique and heart rate. I always wear a heart-rate monitor, and found that the better my form, the better my heart-rate. Just watching vids of people on the spinning bikes gives me a few pointers that I incorporate as I continue to evolve in form. In the free podcast category, more heart-rate podcasts would be great. Indoor cycling allows me to reach my running heart-rate without the impact on my body that happens when running.
Thanks for your suggestion Joe. Future training specific podcasts will be directed to our ICI/PRO members.