Life Time Fitness Evolution Cycling Class

Can an argument be made for deemphasizing "Outdoor Cycling" in your Indoor Cycling class?

Or asked differently; would it ever make sense to remove many (if not all) of the references, imagery and cuing related to riding outdoors?  

Life Time Fitness thinks we should and for some class times and populations, I agree with them.

Evolution Cycle Descripton

Evolution Cycle is the latest branded cycling class format from Life Time Fitness. As part of the training, we were asked specifically to reduce/limit references to riding outdoors. Why? Because a large percentage of our members do not ride outdoors.

Have you ever had an experience like this?[wlm_private 'PRO-Platinum|PRO-Monthly|PRO-Gratis|PRO-Seasonal|Platinum-trial|Monthly-trial|PRO-Military|30-Days-of-PRO|90 Day PRO|Stages-Instructor|Schwinn-Instructor|Instructor-Bonus|28 Day Challenge']


 Do I look like a person who uses coupons?

Have you ever been in a situation where some passionate person is extolling the virtues of an activity, one where you have absolutely no interest? They go on and on, almost to the point of lecturing you, about how they know what's best for you. 

I met one of these folks recently... a female cashier at the grocery store:

Her: Do you have any coupons, sir?

Me: Uh, no, no I don't.

Her: They could save you a bunch of money.

Me: I don't have any coupons.

Her: They're easy to find... we have a supplement in each Sunday paper.

Me: (getting annoyed) I don't subscribe to the paper.

Her: We're happy to mail them to your home - big smile - can I get your address?

Me: Can I just pay, so I can go?

Her (sensing my annoyance): I was just trying to help you save some money, sir. I can't understand why you wouldn't be interested in that!

Me: (losing it) I'm sorry, but do I look like a guy who uses coupons? I hate coupons. I have a lot of anxiety whenever someone gives me a coupon for my next visit. Will I remember to bring it? Of course I don't. Then I'll be standing here in line, dreading the inevitable question I know you'll ask, BECAUSE I WILL HAVE FORGOTTEN THE DAMN COUPON AT HOME. 

Do you think that just possibly, there are a few participants in your class who are disinterested in outdoor cycling? Maybe they're a bit over weight and intimidated by a fit peer their same age? Or they are afraid to ride outside? Or they don't want to be told they're missing out by not riding on the road?

The change from the previous 60 minute "Studio Cycle" format, to the new 45 minute Evolution format, is based on the competition Life Time is feeling from boutique studios. The goal is to appeal to everyone, cyclist and non-cyclist alike and fill the studio with people. As an Evolution Instructor, I now use slightly different language ad let the music do most of the talking. The class, now shorter, is supposed to be harder (above threshold work) and more energetic/entertaining than the old Studio Cycle classes were.

LTF has also added an official Rhythm/SoulCycle like ride they call Cycle Sculpt at select clubs. I taught one of these classes a year ago and wrote about my experience here (complete with the profile and playlist).

Life Time Fitness Cycle Sculpt Class

So how can I tell if I'm too much outdoor cycling?

When I consult or talk with Studio Owners I'll ask them this question. Overall, what is your participant split between cyclists and non-cyclists? My observation is that having a high percentage of cyclists - over ~30% across all your classes - is an indication that something is wrong. This high percentage of cyclists tends to correlate with smaller overall participation rates, especially in the summer months when cyclists abandon you for riding outside.

IMO a large percentage of cyclists is an indicator of who's not in the studio. It's my impression that Life Time is seeing and acting to make our classes feel more inclusive.

Please don't get me wrong here. Your studio should have cycling specific classes on the schedule, especially during the winter months. But even with all the cyclists coming inside, your participation levels of non-cyclists should remain healthy throughout the year. If it's not, there are a few things you could consider changing.

What have I done to change?

I started by looking in the mirror just before I started my class. Looking back at me was a fit, 53 years old cyclist, standing there in his coordinated Life Time kit. Then I asked myself a question; am I dressed like the typical participant I have in class? Yes and No were my answers.

Yes - I do look like my Performance Cycle class participants. Then again they are comprised mainly by cyclists, so it would make sense that I continue wearing my kit for these classes.

No - I don't look like most of my morning class. Not for when I participate in, or sub, Amy's Saturday morning class either. This class of Amy's is one of the most popular at the club. It's normally a 50/50 split men/women, but very few are recognisable as cyclists. For these classes and classes that I participate, I wear my pearl izumi bibs and a workout shirt. I miss not having a back pocket for my mic transmitted, but I do feel I fit in better. I look like everyone else 🙂

I'm changing my language. It's been hard, but I'm slowly removing words that have an outdoor cycling connotation. Gone are; climb, flat, mountain, draft, peloton, race and time trial. Now I'm cuing on different "challenges" like strength, speed, stamina, etc.



Originally posted 2015-01-13 16:41:33.


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