Jennifer and I would love to hear your success stories and be able to publish them in a podcast for non-members.
We've even come up with a bit of bribe, one of our brand new ICI/PRO hoodie sweatshirts that our fashion editor Barbara Hoots had made for us.
I'm thinking this is how it will work.
Post a comment below expressing your desire to be on the Indoor Cycle Instructor Podcast and a short description of how ICI/PRO has helped improve you as an Instructor and/or your class.
Jennifer and I will be choosing five (5) ICI/PRO members to interview for an upcoming episode of the Podcast.
Are you up for it?
- Please come back to my class! - May 30, 2023
- My Life Time Instructor Teach Back - May 24, 2023
- I'm Fine, Thanks - May 21, 2023
I decided to conduct the LT field threshold test at both facilities I currently teach at and although I’ve conducted these tests in the past, it’s always been strictly for my clients (I’m an in-home personal trainer). Because I make my living in fitness I’ve always considered any “extras” should be paid for, but in this case I teach at a big box gym in one case, and for a community center in the second case and could not charge for the testing.
But, and this is the meat of the argument, I knew deep in my heart that all the talk about LT in my classes wasn’t really getting through, so conducting the field test turned many of my participants from casual exercisers that just wanted a calorie burn, or athletes that were trying to improve without an improvable target, into people with a specific goal.
Many of the members were of the “work hard all the time” because that was the only way they could feel that their time was being used wisely in the class.
I’d introduced periodization with little acceptance throughout the year. I found that the only people paying attention to it were those familiar with the concept….or my clients that attended my classes. Now I have a much larger group buying into it.
I can’t put a number on how many people are now on board, but I’ve had a lot of people wanting to know when the next field test will be because of what I say to preface each class which directly addresses those people that are working to increase their LT through periodization training.
P.S. Even though I always show up here as Beth, I sign in at other sites as Raindrop.
Like Beth, I too teach at a big box gym. I’m also an avid rider and ride with a local cycling team. I noticed that the gym typically attracts 3 people to the spin classes, athletes training during the indoor season who want a solid workout, the “spinners” who are there to work and be entertained, and the new people who aren’t quite sure what they got themselves into.
Fortunately, right after I started teaching I happen to have wandered into a room where this women (dressed in Gold’s Gym attire, and obviously someone who took their physique seriously) was placing large poster sized paper sheets on the mirrors. Turns out it was a training class for front desk personnel. Being an undergrad I/O psych major, we started talking about the concepts she was presenting and then moved into discussion about the spin classes.
I mentioned my background to her and how I noticed the three main groups who attended spin classes, and explained that as an instructor, it’s hard to present a class that meets everyone’s goals, not because everyone has to be at the same level, but because not all participants really understand what it is they are aiming to accomplish. I offered that perhaps we needed to break up “group cycle” into more specific classes such as a shorter introduction class (why are all those people sitting on the stationary bikes out on the main floor…boring!), an interval class (those who need to be entertained while working), and a heart rate based training class (roadies/triathletes who want to train more seriously).
She liked the idea and asked me to put a proposal together and work with her to try it out at my home gym. Shortly thereafter, she was promoted to the National Directors position but asked another manager to assist with developing the classes. So, we sat down, looked at the information and needs of the members coming to the gym, and decided to implement a heart rate training based class. An instructor had just left a vacancy on Thurs night, so we agreed to put my new program in that time slot.
We added a thirty minute time period before that titled “lntroduction to heart rate training” (and labeled on the class schedule with a short explanation.) During this time period, and for a few weeks of the standard RPE type class, I used the information from Jennifer’s manuals as well as other information from the site (including Marissa Marotta’s RPE/heart rate scale) to develop the ideas behind the how and why of HR training. I also introduced the concept of periodization and explained that while it may not be as exciting as the interval rides, it’s necessary if we’re going to progress as athletes.
I started an email list and had most people sign up, this way I could spoon feed them information each week, gradually get people on board and excited, and try to get the whole class involved (only about 4 people had HRM’s when I started). I’m happy to report that 20 weeks ago I started with a class of 5 people and I’m now consistently getting classes of 24-26 people, 12 of whom are now using monitors and signed up for field testing. I’ve started conducting the field tests during the “introduction to heart rate monitoring class” time period as everyone is now caught up on the concept. Also, since I introduced the concept of periodization (low intensity longer time periods) I’ve advertised the earlier time slot as an open session for those people wishing to come in and work at their own pace while we perform the field test.
John’s “Grand Canyon” analogy really helps the riders understand what they’re facing for those 20 minutes. I’m in the second week of field testing and have received a lot of positive feedback from the riders and a lot of interest. I also had the manager send an email out to all instructors at the gym mentioning the field testing and asking their members to sign up. Another manager forwarded my email up the chain to the VP of Gold’s, who in turn asked me to attend one of their management meetings and discuss the program. I’m hoping to leverage this into an opportunity to really expand the program and bring all of our instructors onboard so make the gym a more effective experience for our members.
Once they complete the field test, I plug their numbers into a spreadsheet I created which shows them their training zones (1-5 and also using Melissa’s charts). The manager fully backed my idea and purchased a laminator so that I can make up each person’s chart, laminate it, and allow them to reference it during the class.
I set up the periodization schedule to parallel the three major European tours (Giro, TdF, and Vuelta) and have used the playlists from ICI to assist in finding music and coming up with creative ideas. I let them know that during the weeks of the tours, I’ll be developing playlists that feature music from the three Countries and we’ll be following a ride profile from the actual race. Again, Jennifer’s TdF profiles and write-ups have been invaluable here.
I’ve teamed up with the bike shop that sponsors my racing team to offer some prizes to the participants, and the prizes will be based on the highest average HR (relative to their field tested rate) and roughly follow the jerseys from the tours (youngest, most aggressive, best climber, etc). So, the yellow rider, in the case of the TdF, will be the best all around and we’ll go from there. Looking forward to developing things and I know the participants are excited for something new!