And no, it isn't because we haven't thrown you a rubber chicken to catch.

And no, it isn't because we haven't thrown you a rubber chicken to catch.


In Jumps — 5 Reasons Riders Might Appreciate You Adding Them To Your Classes Pt 1 I feel I offered 5 pretty substantial reasons why your participants would appreciate you adding Jumps as a regular feature in your classes.

So if you're not including jumps in your classes... why aren't you?

The proper way to do this would be to ask you personally; so why don't you include jumps in your classes? But I can't [wlm_firstname], because you're there, and I'm here. So let me take a few guesses as to why you are reluctant to include these:

#1 I don't feel I can properly demonstrate jumps and don't want to look foolish.

I totally get this. If you didn't come from a Group Fitness background - or you suffer from what's called Caucasianism [To be completely and utterly rhythmically challenged. Someone who does not know what a beat is, nor how to stay on it.] you may have trouble finding and pedaling to the beat. To me, this is the number one reason many Instructors don't like Jumps - or any other form of rhythmic movements done on an Indoor Cycle, they simply can't do them... so they don't.  

Trust me, you're not alone. I've experienced multiple classes where the Instructor appeared to have zero sense of rhythm. Based on what I observed at WSSC, there are a larger percentage of both male and female instructors who either can't connect their cadence to the music - or choose not to follow the beat.  

To perform Jumps that are controlled, smooth and orderly, your movement must be RIGHT-ON-THE -BEAT and strictly follow the phrasing. My preference is to always Jump on a hill with a level of resistance that has you feeling you need to stand - which is why we come out of the saddle, isn't it?

Listen to these short example MP3s to get a sense of how you count jumps properly.

[wlm_private 'PRO-Platinum|PRO-Monthly|PRO-Gratis|PRO-Seasonal|Platinum-trial|Monthly-trial|28 Day Challenge']

Let's start with Strangle Hold - a perennial favorite of mine for 74RPM Jumps following the 8 count praising.

Here's an example of some club music - slower @ 63RPM and it feels like you should count the phrasing as 4 vs 8 counts.

It isn't necessary to cue continuously > I like to get everyone started and then Jump with just the music. Depending on the track, you might have everyone stop moving and remain either up or down during a quite section. This introduces some additional challenge for both you and your riders as you focus on the phrasing, so you re-start at just the right point.

#2 If you don't do it on an outdoor bicycle... you don't do it inside... end of discussion.

Whenever I hear Instructors parrot "If you don't do it outside..." they're saying it like it's a law or something. Who exactly decided this? There isn't any "rule" - but why do some people act as if it is?

What's the purpose of deliberately removing banishing a fun and challenging activity from our Indoor Cycling classes? My guess is that it has something to do with #1 - but they don't want to admit it.

One reason maybe peer pressure. Many Instructors are competent outdoor cyclists. When they look up at their classes they see other cyclists riding in front of them. It's easy to understand why they would feel compelled to demonstrate good form and only use "cycling specific" movements. No one wants to embarrass themselves in front of their peers - right?

But is it proper to direct your class specifically toward the few cyclists in your classes?

I don't feel it is. When I'm consulting with a studio owner I ask a lot of early questions. The most important is; what is the current percentage of cyclists vs. regular folks in all of your classes? With the exception of studios that offer special Endurance /Performance training classes, the percentage of real cyclists should be 15% or less of the total number of participants for all classes. I have an interview going up this weekend with an Instructor who teaches at very popular club in Costa Mesa, CA. 50 bike classes are sold out for much of the week and they see <5% cyclists.

Wait... why don't you want a large percentage of cyclists? It's a pretty involved discussion and I'm planning to write about it in the near future. The short answer is this: If your class is directed at cyclists, it will come at the expense and/or exclusion of the people who are more inclined to ride at your studio regularly, especially during the summer months. Those people are middle aged women who make up the majority of all types of group fitness classes. They should be the majority of your customers and the primary focus of your classes.

If you don't believe me, go to the most popular class at your club or studio. A quick head count should confirm what I'm saying.

#3 My certification didn't include them - so don't.

My response to this would be to ask a bunch of questions:

  • How accurately or completely do you follow your initial certification?
  • Do you do exactly what your were first taught?
  • Have you, over time, added additional elements into your class that you learned here at ICI/PRO or picked up from another Instructor? 

During my latest interview with Julz Arney, she explained that the current Schwinn certification they are offering includes information that's 40% new content. My point here is; there are a lot of things your certification didn't cover and what was included changes over time.

Why not decide for yourself if Jumps are something you should add to your classes?

#4 I read somewhere that they aren't safe.

Performed correctly; climbing gear and following along to a 60 - 75RPM cadence, Jumps are IMO perfectly safe. Sure there were idiots way back when, who tried to Jump randomly (popcorn style) while pedalling at 110+ with no resistance. BUT YOU WOULD NEVER DO THAT... WOULD YOU?

There's also a segment of "experts" in our industry who, in their crusade to remove anything that doesn't follow the If you don't do it outside... thinking, have used concerns about safety as a way to dissuade Instructors from offering many forms of movement from our classes.

My goal with this article is to encourage you to be open minded. Decide for yourself if you should include Jumps and other forms of movement in your classes. [/wlm_ismember]

#5 I don't want to embarrass anyone / I'm concerned some in my class won't be able to learn to jump.

If you came to a class and the Instructor stood up in front and announced; I can tell just by looking that many of you won't be able to perform the activity I had planned for today... so we'll just sit and pedal for an hour. You'd be insulted, wouldn't you? I know I would.


Your participants want to be challenged. I'm convinced that much of the appeal of SoulCycle and their clones is that the movements in these classes are technically difficult to perform correctly. Riders leave thinking "I need to come back next week and show that Instructor (or person riding next to me) that I can do those Jumps as smoothly and rhythmically as everyone else in the room.

And that motivation is part of what could be filling your classes each week 🙂




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