How To Teach A Good Spin Class: My 5 Tips As An Instructor

Teaching spinning classes is incredibly fun, and I have really enjoyed doing it for the last five to six years. I have been lucky enough in my career to help new instructors grow their confidence and their classes.

In this article, I will give my five top tips for instructors on how to teach the best class they possibly can. These will take your indoor cycling to the next level, not only for you and your enjoyment but also for your clients.

My video on tips for new Indoor Cycling Instructors

Tip 1: Teach What You Love

When I first started indoor cycling and went to other instructor’s classes, I thought the busier the class, the more inclined I should be to teach that style. That didn’t work for me, and I found that I wasn’t enjoying that class style, nor were my clients.

I wanted to teach basic indoor cycling routines. Not only did I like it more, but so did my clients. They didn’t know that was a type of class they enjoyed until they tried it with me. I got busier and busier, and in time, I became known for that simple class style. 

It’s important to teach what you know and love. Not only will this make you enjoy the sessions and have more fun, but that will pass on to your clients and make everyone’s experiences better.

Tip 2: Preparation Is Key

The key to a good spin class is preparation. The last thing you want to do is turn up 2 minutes before the class starts and then mess about getting your music right and setting up your bike. It looks unprofessional and starts the session off poorly for everyone. 

I always turn up 15 minutes early, have everything prepared in the first 5, and then spend the extra 10 minutes helping my clients with their bikes and getting them sorted. Then, when it’s time to start the session, I’m already on the bike, bang on time. 

It’s important to understand that although you are getting paid for being at that class, people are paying good money to be there, so it’s important to respect that and be early and have a session plan ready for you to give the best class possible. 

Tip 3: Clear Information And Instruction

When teaching a class you have a room full of people where some have been spinning for years and others might have never been to a class. It’s important to give everyone the necessary information with the clear instructions they deserve.

At the start of each class, I run through what will happen in that session and go through the basic bike positions I will use. For example, “In this class, we are doing 5 minutes high power, 5 minutes recovery 5 times over. Here’s what RPM is and how to use it, and these are the positions.”

People tend to enjoy a class much more when they know what’s going on, which gives them more confidence in their ability for some reason. You can still surprise people. Just don’t leave them in the dark overall.

Tip 4: Engage And Push Your Clients 

I have been to many spinning classes, and the ones I haven’t enjoyed are when the instructor doesn’t properly engage with the clients. You don’t need to go up to anyone or single anyone out, but finding a connection with the group is good.

I always love to ask my group questions and speak from a personal experience about how I feel while doing this session. This is why I always teach while on the bike, so not only are we all in it together, but I can help relate to what they are going through.

Pushing your clients is also very important. You don’t need to be a drill sergeant, but you must tell them to work hard and ensure they get the most out of the workout. Phrases like “Dig deep, you can’t go back in time and do this again” can really help push people.

Tip 5: Session Structure

A great session structure goes a long way to delivering an excellent class. The key is to make it fun, keep it simple, and challenge your clients without pushing them too much. Having a good mix of rest, hard work, and a warm-up and cool-down is vital. Like this:

Warm Up5 Minutes
5 Minute On 90% PowerX 5
5 Minutes Off 30% Power50 Minutes
Cool Down5 Minutes

It is a simple and easy workout that is easy to teach. Lots of hard work combined with lots of rest. It will push your clients but also give them time to recoup for the next push. You would be surprised at how many clients love a simple session plan. 

A Final Note

Teaching spin is a fantastic experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves group exercise. The key, in my opinion, is to keep it simple and safe and have fun! If you’re having a good time, everyone else will probably be too. 

Robbie Ferri CPT

Robbie from “Riding with Robbie” is a Personal Trainer living in in Norfolk, UK. He has bikepacked all over the World, and also raced ultra distance at a top-level. He has worked closely with industry leaders such as Shimano.

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