Recently John posted another excellent piece related to the power of three.  He concluded with ICI/PRO”™s own version of three-zone power training.  I applauded him in the comment section thanking him for getting back to basics.

As a primary facilitator of ZONING (a two threshold three zone heart rate training system) with Sally Edwards I couldn”™t agree more with John”™s support and suggestion that our club athletes don”™t need more.

Yet as an instructor who been teaching daily (M — F) for some time now, I”™m convinced that few if any riders in ‘spin classes”™ theses days are there for structured training. Three, five or seven zones, they could mostly care less.  They don”™t want any zones.  They want to feel like they worked out and it wasn”™t so bad.  Heart rate and power were not at the top of their minds when they walked through the door.

And yes, I called it ‘Spin Class”™.  Like John, I”™m getting back to basics.  We”™re looking 2014 square in the face.  I think it is time we regard what we do in the context of what our paying customers call it.  It is time to understand that just keeping it real is making it boring. We can offer sound training without our riders even knowing about.  In fact I say don”™t tell them.

Our riders come to Spin Class and I”™m all about my riders! Thanks to Johnny G., we have Spinning.  Spinning is what they come to do.  No I don”™t mean the Spinning most of us learned during our certification though spinning is still the number one certification out there.

I mean the fun spinning classes that everyone was raving about not that long ago.  The community of fun, energetic sweat filled rooms that SoleCycle copied, repackaged and gave back to us at four times the price.  Three zones not required.

So when I talk about coming back to basics I”™m not kidding.  The goal is still well attended popular classes.  That is what management is looking at.  More than you think.  And let”™s face it; teaching to a full room is cool.

So apply the following rule of three for sustainable well attended popular classes:


  1. LEARN as much as you can about indoor cycling, (as it pertains to the indoor bikes you teach on) cardiovascular training and outdoor riding. Just don”™t try to sell it to your riders.
  2. LOVE. Show up for class in time to make a friendly connection with your riders.  Stay connected during class.  See my post on connections.
  3. BE LIVELY.  Play music relevant to your plan for the class, which should be, to use your extensive cardio/bike riding knowledge and experience to give your riders a sense of community, some fun, and a good workout that DOES NOT include lessons on road riding, power or heart rate training.

Please understand I am in NO way suggesting we all abandon the sound fundamental principles we”™ve championed here for so long.  I”™m recommending that you use all of it.  Just don”™t tell your riders.

Indeed my choice has been to cover it all up with a laugh, music playing somewhat louder than I would listen to in my car and cues that make sense to regular people. People coming to your class because they know it”™s good for them and they can count on you to help them through on those tough days when they”™d rather be somewhere else.

Originally posted 2013-12-12 15:28:56.

Chuck Cali
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