Things to Consider before You Become a Group Fitness Instructor

Becoming a Group Fitness Instructor: Tips & Considerations (real talk!)

I absolutely adore teaching group fitness. I even did a whole post listing 10 (of the countless) reasons I love it. When people express interest in getting into teaching my response is always an enthusiastic, “DO IT!!” Like with any profession though, there are some practical considerations you should mull over when deciding if it’s going to be right for you. I get emails all the time asking for advice about getting into instructing–How much will I make? How do I get a hired? What certifications do I need?–so I thought the topic would make for a good post.

This is a long one because I want it to be as helpful as possible for those seriously considering instructing. Hopefully it doesn’t come across as negative–I just really want to touch upon ALL the aspects of the job and I feel like the good parts are already clear or else you wouldn’t be considering it in the first place. For those of you new to the blog and my story, I did a whole series on my transition from the 9-to-5 world to blogging/teaching group fitness here. As for instructing, I’ve taught spin, rowing and bootcamp-esque interval training classes over the past two and a half years, but now just teach Lagree Fitness (megaformer workouts).

Alright. You’re obsessed with a particular group fitness class. You know the workout like the back of your hand–hell, you’re better at it than your teacher. You envy the instructor’s unconventional work schedule. You’ve heard stories of top instructors making a crazy per-class wage. You fantasize about being able to take classes at the the studio for free once you become a teacher. You’re there.

Now let’s get real …

Things to Consider before You Become a Group Fitness Instructor

Certifications help, but aren’t always necessary.

Sometimes this is because the studio has its own training program tailored to their specific workout and teaching style. Other times this is honestly because a potential hire’s personality and knack for instructing trumps lack of fitness knowledge. I’m not saying this is a good thing–in fact, the trend in many ways is detrimental to the fitness industry–but it’s true that personality is of huge importance with group fitness instructing. You can know a workout and the biomechanics behind it like the back of your hand–if you’re uncomfortable and your personality tends to shrink in front of a group of people, this may not be a fit for you.

**For the record, I’m definitely NOT saying shy people can’t be fantastic instructors! You don’t have to be this large and in charge persona to succeed. I myself can be quiet and a bit introverted but I also enjoy being in front of a group–I think that’s the key. Even being comfortable in that setting though, I’m sure my personality didn’t exactly shine during those first few months of teaching. That’s normal–with practice the nerves die down.**

Always talk to the studio or gym at which you’d like to teach and ask directly what certifications, if any, they require (I would hope they require some training! Haha). If your interest is solely in group fitness, a Personal Training cert most likely isn’t required. There are specific (less expensive!) certifications for general group fitness instruction, but it might be more worthwhile to look into certs in your specific field. If you want to teach a Pilates Fusion class at your favorite studio, for example, a Pilates cert is going to trump a Group Fitness or PT cert. In addition to your Pilates cert, the studio may have its own training program, so be prepared to pay for that as well.

Also keep in mind that entering the training program doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a job–typically you need to audition or do a series of mock classes. That’s where instructing skill/personality comes into play. Fitness knowledge + Instructing skill/personality = a group fitness job.

Planning a class takes time.

And when you’re new to teaching … a lot of time. No exaggeration, it took me four hours to plan my first 45-minute spin class. FOUR HOURS. I remember looking up at the clock after a never-ending rabbit hole of Spotify searching, desperately trying to put together the perfect playlist, and doing a quick ROI calculation in my head. This is not what I signed up for.

I promise you the planning doesn’t take as long as you become more experienced with teaching so first and foremost, fear not! I can plan a full Btone class now in 15 minutes, although often it still does take longer because I’m super Type A and like to switch things up for my clients. Even when I’m putting together a funky routine though, I’d say 30 minutes of planning tops. I also now have a MASSIVE archive of class plans (I use Google docs to store them all) so that I can go back and pull sequences from old classes if my work schedule is crazy and I don’t have the time to plan a totally new class.

Keep planning time in mind when figuring out how many classes you want to teach a week. If you teach multiple classes in one day, you can use the same routine for all of them, but if the same clients will be coming to you several days throughout the week, you’ll probably want to switch it up. It’ll vary by instructor and with studio policy, but here’s what I do:

I teach three classes on Tuesday at the North End studio (same class plan for all three). I teach three classes on Wednesday morning at the Back Bay studio and check the roster the night before. If any clients who took my class in the North End will be in a class at Back Bay the next morning, I plan a new class. Otherwise, I just teach the same routine. Thursday mornings I teach two classes in the Back Bay and always plan a new routine so that regulars at the studio get something different from Wednesday. Because I teach the same time slots every day, I see a lot of the same clients throughout the week so it’s not uncommon for me to plan three class routines a week.

There’s a physical/emotional limit to how many classes you can teach a week.

This may seem obvious, but when you start out it’s easy to underestimate the toll teaching takes on you–even if you don’t do the workout as you teach. You’re being physical, yes, but it’s also a lot of energy to be “on” like that: high-energy, motivating, alert, constantly talking (/yelling haha), adjusting form, keeping count–it’s a lot going on at once.

I remember when I first joined Btone, Jody (owns the studios) asked me how many classes I ideally wanted to teach each week and I replied “20.” LOLLOLOLLLLZZZZZZZZZ.

No.

In my head, I was like 20 classes = about 20 hours = a part-time job. But teaching hours don’t equal normal hours. At Btone, I don’t do the workout with the class–I demo moves, but the majority of the 45 minutes is spent adjusting form and walking around the room assisting clients or setting up the machines. Even without doing the workout, I have found that I can’t happily and healthily teach more than 12 classes in a week (my current schedule is 8 classes per week so I have some wiggle room to sub if needed). That number will be different for everyone–keep in mind teaching isn’t my full-time job; it supplements running the blog. The number will also depend on the type of workout you teach. I suppose a yoga instructor, for example, may be able to handle more classes in a week than a spin instructor who does the entire workout with the class.

I advise starting with fewer classes than you think you can handle and slowly building up from there because burn-out sucks. Signs you’re teaching too much: 1. You’re so exhausted from teaching that you don’t have energy for your own workouts. 2. It’s harder and harder to bring that upbeat energy as the week drags on and the quality of your classes declines.

Keep this physical/emotional limit in mind when calculating how much you can earn from teaching. Trust me, the burn-out you’ll feel from teaching too many classes is NOT worth the added income. Once in a while I’ll volunteer to sub a ton in a week if I have an upcoming trip or event, but I’ve learned my lesson not to do that consistently.

You’ll be publicly reviewed.

Reviews are a part of any profession, but there’s a big difference between a quarterly review with your boss or manager in the privacy of a meeting room and anonymous reviews from anyone and everyone with internet access. Feedback and constructive criticism are how we improve–it’s all necessary and a good thing! But with Yelp, ClassPass reviews and countless other Internet forums, that feedback–the good and the bad–is visible for all to see when you’re a group fitness instructor. And people can be mean when they’re hidden behind the anonymity of the web. Like, really mean. You’ll get 99 great (or at least constructive) reviews and one unnecessarily cruel one from some asshole who has no idea what he/she is talking about and it’ll be that one that sticks with you.

You need a bit of a thick skin and an understanding that a mean review is more of a reflection of the reviewer than you. A constructively critical review is different from a mean review, and you should treat it as an opportunity to improve. Yes, in an ideal world, that feedback would be given to you in person or privately via email rather than publicly shared, but welcome to 2016. Yayyyy Internet. 😉

When you’re new to teaching, I would actually recommend you avoid reading online reviews of your class. No one is a rockstar when they first start out and negative reviews can break your spirit if you’re just starting. Instead ask clients for feedback in person after your class. Ask other instructors to take your class and give suggestions. Feedback, feedback, feedback from your regular clients and coworkers.

Teaching a workout is completely different from doing a workout.

If your sole motivation for becoming a group fitness instructor is to kill two birds with one stone–I’d love to get paid for my daily workout!–then you may be disappointed. Even teaching spin, where you’re doing the entire workout with the class, is nothing like taking a spin class. It’s not about you. It’s not your workout. It’s just different. And your relationship with a workout can change when you start teaching it. With spin, I found that while I loved doing the workout, I didn’t enjoy teaching it. Lagree Fitness, on the other hand, is something I can teach without losing any enthusiasm for doing the workout myself–that’s why Btone is stuck with me. 😉

If you are doing this in addition to a full-time job, you’ll probably be teaching when you’d normally be working out.

Keeping my last point in mind–that teaching is way different than taking the class–know that you may be giving up your own workout time to teach if you already have a full-time job. If you typically go to the studio for a 6AM workout and then head into the office, your choices are to teach at night so that you can still do your own workout early (that’ll make for a really long day) or sacrifice your own workout to teach. That may not be a big deal to you depending on what you want to teach and how often, but it’s important to consider. Teaching on weekends are always an option but make sure you have at least one true day off from all work a week–it’s good for your sanity. 😉

The time of day you teach will determine who you teach and how you teach.

You should always teach a class you’d want to take–keep that in mind when planning. I think I have a reputation for being one of the hard(er) instructors at Btone and that’s because when I take megaformer classes, I like them to really challenge my body.

That being said … it’s not your workout. It’s the clients’. So within the boundaries of a class you’d want to take, consider the demographic you’re teaching and plan accordingly. The time slot you teach will play a big role in who comes to your class. I teach the before-work crowd which is mostly made up of regular clients. A big majority of them are advanced, they’re committed to the workout, they like a challenge. Age range varies but you won’t see a ton of people with flexible or non-traditional work schedules (students, stay-at-home parents, etc.)–that crowd usually comes to the mid-morning classes. The after work crowd is going to be more of a mixed bag–lots of regulars but also lots of new clients. And the weekends are even more mixed–people visiting the city for the weekend, new clients, regulars, all ages, etc.

If you look at your roster the night before teaching and see a ton of new clients, don’t plan some crazy class with nonstop advanced, funky exercises. It won’t be fun to take OR teach. Set yourself up for success by sticking to basics and then giving options to advance so that regular and new clients alike get the workout they need.

Your pay will be determined, in part, by class size.

This is the first thing everyone wants to know–how much money can I expect to make? Is this a realistic career to pursue? It varies SO MUCH by the studio, where you live and the types of classes you’re teaching, so I really can’t answer that. But class size plays a big role in two ways:

The more clients the class can accommodate, the more the studio can pay the instructor. If you’re hearing of instructors making $100+/class, they’re probably teaching spin, yoga or bootcamp at a studio that can fit 40+ clients in a single class. Boutique fitness classes aren’t cheap. If you’re in a major city and a spin class is $28/bike and there are 45 bikes … do the math. The studio crushes it with a full class and it’s financially feasible to give the instructor a larger cut. But that high pay rate is the exception, not the rule.

Lots of studios fit in a full-class incentive to the pay structure. Some studios just pay a fixed per-class or hourly wage. A lot, however, pay–to a certain extent–per head. For example, you’ll have a base pay of $25/class and then will get $2/head for a class that’s over half full. Top instructors who build a big client following will therefore have more earning potential, which is awesome. Class time will also play into that, though. A 6pm class on a weeknight, for example, will probably be consistently full regardless of the instructor because of its convenient after-work time slot.

Alright, congratulations, you’ve survived the longest blog post ever! Leave any questions below in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer quickly. Fellow group fitness instructors–I’d love for you to add your two cents as well!

P.S. I’m moving this week so bear with me if the blog posts are irregular. I’ll do my best to keep up with them but things are a little crazy. 🙂

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The Indo-Row Certification Course

The Indo-Row Certification Course (how to become an instructor + my experience/review) I can’t remember if I mentioned it on the blog already or just on social media, but a few months ago, I got Indo-Row certified. The Btone Wellesley studio decided to offer Indo-Row as a cardio compliment to the megaformer classes (which do have cardio benefits as well, but are more strength/stability focused), and the current instructors were all given the opportunity to get certified. Even though I’d actually never done an Indo-Row class before (or even heard of it), I jumped at the opportunity to do the course because I love learning about anything fitness-related.

Whether you’re interested in becoming an Indo-Row instructor or just interested in trying out the workout, I wanted to put together a post explaining what Indo-Row is and sharing my experience with the certification course.

About the Workout and the WaterRower

The Indo-Row Certification Course (how to become an instructor + my experience/review) While outdoor rowing has been around for thousands of years and stationary rowing machines are no spring chicken either, Indo-Row is a relatively new workout, created in 2004. It’s a 45-minute class taught on the WaterRower that’s heavily reflective of outdoor rowing. Unlike a rowing machine most people are used to seeing in a gym, which uses a chain and fan for resistance, the WaterRower uses a tank of actual water for a smoother resistance and fuller stroke. They’re awesome!

The rowers have monitors on the center console that allow you to see distance, strokes per minute, time, miles per hour, split time and even calories burned as you workout. They’re used all throughout class in setting up timed/metered races and letting students know how hard they should be working.

Indo-Row is a total-body workout and a great option for low-impact cardio. You’re going to get a similar calorie burn to a spinning class, and will find that, also like spinning, it’s very music-driven (which is always fun!). The classes have a unique structure in that they’re very group-oriented. You’re on a team with whoever is sitting in your row of machines, or might pair up throughout class or work all together. At the start of class, you warm up by going over form and spending some time at each intensity level (called a pressure test). You then move onto waves (think interval training of some sort), and finish class with racing, which is hands-down the best part.

Indo-Row Certification Logistics

There are two ways to become an Indo-Row certified instructor: the studio you work at can become an Indo-Row facility and offer you the course there or you can attend an open training session on your own. Either way, Indo-Row will send one of their master trainers to run the course. Btone Wellesley is now an official Indo-Row provider, so I did the training there. The open training sessions are $299 and you can find out about upcoming ones in your area by getting on the Indo-Row emailing list (fill out the form on this page).

The certification course is eight hours long. A good chunk of that is spent on the rowers going over form, getting familiar with the console, and doing an actual class led by your trainer. The rest is classroom-style learning going over the manual you receive at the start of class. Bring a pen, some water, workout clothes and lunch.

My Experience

The Indo-Row Certification Course (how to become an instructor + my experience/review) As I mentioned at the start of this post, I had actually never even heard of Indo-Row when the email was sent out to the Btone instructors about getting certified. I wanted some idea of what I was getting myself into, so I looked for classes around Boston I could try. Now to back up for a second, from the same creators as Indo-Row is a workout called ShockWave, which uses the WaterRowers as part of a circuit. For one or two of the stations you’re going all-out on the machines and then the rest are a mix of strength exercises (think goblet squats with a kettlebell, incline push ups on steppers, dumbbell exercises, etc.). Equinox (in Boston anyway—not sure about elsewhere) bought exclusivity rights, so only they can offer the workout and call it ShockWave. You can still find the workout elsewhere, it’s just probably not called ShockWave. Which brings me to my first experience on the WaterRower…

BURN Fitness Studio in the South End offers Indo-Row and Circuit Row (their version of ShockWave), and I signed up for one of their Circuit Row classes before the certification course. I LOVED IT. Seriously, if you’re in the Boston area, it is a must-try. The class broke up into groups of three and we went through a circuit of six stations three times. Two of the stations were the WaterRower and we had to do 300m the first round, 200m the second and 100m the last. No one could move onto the next station until the groups on the rowers had completed the distance, so it created a really fun group environment for the workout with everyone cheering each other on. The instructor would also write down the top times on a dry erase board which, being super competitive, I loved.

I left the class feeling beyond excited to get certified. I couldn’t believe how excellent of a cardio workout going just those couple hundred meters as fast as possible was (the class thoroughly kicked my ass!). Granted, I knew Indo-Row was different from ShockWave, but I still couldn’t wait to learn the ins and outs of the WaterRower.

I would say my overall impression of the Indo-Row certification course was that it’s very similar to the Spinning course, which I blogged about here. Just as the Spinning program is made to mimic outdoor cycling, Indo-Row is made to mimic outdoor rowing on the water. You might recall from my Spinning recap that I had an amazing master trainer who was able to make a non-outdoor cyclist like myself see the value in adhering to those same principles on stationary bikes. Yes, I still love tap backs, isolations and all that other fun—but not Spinning®-approved—stuff you do in popular indoor cycling classes today, but I still gained an appreciation for the program’s approach because my instructor’s passion and enthusiasm for it was so infectious. Plus she was a total sweetheart. Basically I had a crush on my Spinning instructor.

Clearly a good teacher whose personality jives with yours can make or break your impression of a class, subject matter, etc., and let’s just say I did…not have a crush on our Indo-Row trainer. I loved the racing component that all Indo-Row classes end with (so fun!) but I couldn’t get excited about the rest. However, while our trainer may have left me feeling underwhelmed, I still felt fully “whelmed” with my experience using the rowers at the circuit row class I took at BURN and I loved the individual and team racing at the end of Indo-Row workouts. It was quickly becoming clear to me that I’m better suited for ShockWave. If you’re not passionate about a workout, you’re not going to be good at teaching it, and you’d be doing a huge disservice to all those students and clients who are passionate about it. So ultimately, I knew teaching a 45-minute Indo-Row class wasn’t for me.

Instead, I’m teaching a class that combines my favorite part of Indo-Row (going HAM on the rowers) with a workout that, as you’ve probably noticed by now, I am obsessively passionate about: the megaformer. Tone ‘N Row is 20 minutes of core and upper body work on the megaformer followed by 30 minutes on the WaterRowers, for a perfect mix of strength training and cardio. After a warm-up song and some intervals, I pretty much get right to racing. I try to be creative with the races, mixing in some individual races with relay races and partner work. Last week I split the class into pairs and while one partner was racing to finish 300m, the other had to hold a plank. Once the 300m were completed, they’d hop off the machine into a plank while their partner took off on the rower. First pair to complete three rounds won. There were an odd number of students that night so I did the race with them and let me tell you, it was brutal (in a good way).

If you’re in the Wellesley area, I teach Tone ‘N Row Thursday nights at 7:30 (schedule/sign up here). I’m covering another instructor this month and so am also teaching it Tuesday mornings in December. I’d love to see you in class! Also, seriously don’t let my disenchantment with our master trainer stop you from trying a full Indo-Row class yourself–just because I thought the certification course was “meh” doesn’t mean this workout is as well (FAR from it). People LOVE these classes at Btone, and after the certification course I took one and enjoyed it 1,000,000x more than when we did it during instructor training.

I wanted to focus this post on the certification course, but as I continue to teach Tone ‘N Row and get better at rowing, I’d love to do a post with tips for your first class, proper rowing form, and even put together some workouts you can do on your own with your gym’s rowing machine. It’s a KILLER cardio workout!

Have you done Indo-Row or another rowing class before? What’d you think?

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The Spinning Instructor Certification from Mad Dogg Athletics (Overview/My Thoughts)

Review of the Mad Dogg Spinning Instructor Certification ProgramMan I feel like this post was years in the making! I talked about getting certified FOR-EH-VER (The Sandlot voice). Over Memorial Day weekend, I finally bit the bullet and went to a Mad Dogg Spinning® certification workshop, and then this past week I took the exam online to finish things up. I know, I know, my procrastination skills are impressive. Please hold your applause.

Before I get into all the details, I just want to remind you all of the difference between Spinning® and indoor cycling/”spin” so we’re all on the same page. I did a whole post about it HERE, but to summarize: Spinning® is based on outdoor cycling—anything you wouldn’t do on a road bike, you wouldn’t do on a stationary bike in a Spinning class. It’s what most people associate with traditional “spin”/spinning classes. Indoor cycling (also called “spin”) is this new wave of stationary bike workouts (think Soul Cycle) where you’re riding to the beat of the music (maybe not all the time), changing positions a lot, maybe even dancing a bit, doing push ups on the bike, and might have some hand weight upper-body portions as well. 

If you don’t feel like reading through this whole post, here’s your two-sentence summary: If you want to teach traditional Spinning classes, this is a great program led by passionate and uber-informed master instructors—I highly recommend it. If you want to teach indoor cycling (the new trend in stationary bike fitness that involves a lot of movement, choreography, and upper body portions of the workout), it’s not worth the cost—don’t do it.

Why I Chose Mad Dogg Athletics/To Get Certified at All

Even when I was sure I wanted to start instructing, I went back and forth a lot about whether getting certified was even necessary. I had a lot of fitness professionals and current instructors tell me it was a waste of money and I shouldn’t do it. That advice, coupled with the facts that I already had group fitness experience under my belt from teaching at Btone, had this blog as a major fitness resume booster, aaaand have friends who just happen to own a spin studio…well, let’s just say things were stacked in favor of me not taking a certification course.

Ultimately though, I don’t just want to be a kickass instructor, I want to be an accredited, knowledgeable instructor. As a fitness professional, I am always trying to absorb as much information in the field as possible, and I figured if nothing else, I would learn proper form on the bike, safety/set-up tips, and the “WHY” behind stationary bike workouts. I like leading an awesome workout and then being able to explain why it was good for your body, why I had you move your body in those certain ways, and how things can be modified to accommodate both beginner and advanced students.

So why Mad Dogg Athletics? And why Spinning® when I knew I would be teaching indoor cycling? Well, I couldn’t really find any other program (at least not in the New England area) that looked even half as legit. It was pretty much my only option. Plus, after creeping around online and looking at the bios of some of my favorite instructors in Boston, the majority of them seemed to have all gone through Mad Dogg (even those not teaching a traditional Spinning program).

The Logistics of the Spinning Instructor Certification Program

The certification program costs $325. You sign up for a training session near you by going to the Spinning website and entering your zip code to see what’s closest and works with your schedule. After signing up, you’ll receive a text manual in the mail. They suggest you read through Phase 1 of it before your workshop.

The hands-on training session lasts all day (nine hours), and during it you’ll be on and off the bikes, working with a Spinning Master Instructor to go over proper form on the bike as well as hit the big topics covered in the manual. You probably spent ¾ of the time doing the classroom-esque learning, and the remaining hour and a half to two hours on the bikes. The first time you’re spinning is for a “form ride” and the second time is an actual class lead by your instructor (that’s the last thing you do during the day).

They emphasize heart rate a lot during the training, and it’s suggested you bring a heart rate monitor with you to the workshop. I went out and bought one just for that reason, but I would say it wasn’t totally necessary—so don’t worry if you don’t have one.

After the workshop is completed, you have 1 year to take the exam (it’s online, but also located in the back of your manual in case you’d rather mail it in for grading). Although you have a year, definitely just take it right after the workshop. It’s 50 questions, some multiple-choice and some True/False. It’s super easy considering it’s open-book, and definitely not something to stress over. The real meat of getting certified is in the all-day workshop—not the test.

If you attend the workshop and pass the test (80% and above is passing), you’re officially a Spinning® instructor, and get your certificate mailed to you after the exam.

My Experience Getting Certified

First off, the Master Instructor who led our training workshop, Angie Scott, was AWESOME. Super passionate about the program, an experienced cyclist, incredibly knowledgeable—she rocked. I went in totally on Team Indoor Cycling, but as class went on, I actually found myself reaching for the Spinning Kool-Aid(!!). It was a total testament to Angie.

As someone who’s never worked out on a bike that isn’t stationary (aside from leisurely bike rides), I found it fascinating to listen to Angie talk about the world of cycling and triathlons. Even though it’s not something I personally have an interest in doing, I just love learning about any and all things related to fitness. In the Spinning program, you don’t do anything on the stationary bike that you wouldn’t do outdoors, and I loved learning all the rationale behind it. A good example is sprinting. In indoor cycling classes you frequently sprint with very little resistance on the wheel so you can move your feet as fast as possible. In Spinning, you always have resistance on the wheel because in a cycling race, the person who pedals the fastest at the highest gear wins a sprint. Never would have thought of it like that before the certification program.

We also worked a lot with heart rate monitors, which I’ve never done before, and I loved learning about the ways you can use them to train smarter and more efficiently. I will say though, when I wore mine while riding the bikes, I found myself staring at my wrist the entire workout instead of just enjoying the class. That’s exactly what happens to me when I go to Flywheel and stare at the Torq board the whole effing class. It takes something away from the experience for me, so while I can’t see myself using one personally, it was great getting more familiar with a tool that could help me more efficiently train others.

To sum up the day: My initial skepticism turned into enthusiasm within the first hour of the workshop, but I still left feeling conflicted. Spinning or indoor cycling? Is there a happy medium? Can I teach indoor cycling classes while still incorporating some of the stuff I learned from the Spinning program? I think the answer is yes. I also think that at the end of the day, my passion for stationary bike workouts was born when I took my first indoor cycling class—that’s where my heart is, and despite the positive experience with the Spinning program, that’s what I want to teach. 

Final Thoughts—Was It Worth $325?

For me personally, even though I loved the workshop, I have to say (with hesitation) “no.” But that’s because I ultimately don’t want to teach the Spinning® program. I like indoor cycling/”spin” classes—everything to the beat of the music, changing positions a lot, dancing around on the bike, adding in some upper body work—they’re so much fun! And I do think they are safe, as long as you keep the choreography within reason and emphasize proper form. That being said, if you’re an outdoor cyclist, triathlete, or just love traditional Spinning classes, then I would highly recommend Mad Dogg and this certification program. I love that it’s so hands-on, and if the other Master Instructors are anything like Angie, you’ll learn a ton.

Some things gained from the program that I’ll certainly use in my spin classes are the proper bike setup techniques; info about heart rate monitors and how to use them to better improve your training; and guidelines for proper form in each of the bike positions and execution of moves. Other than that though, I think what has prepared me most to teach is just the fact that over the last couple years, I’ve probably taken 500 classes with tons of different instructors at tons of different studios and gyms—everything from Soul Cycle to someone’s living room. I’ve learned what I like, what makes a great class, and picked up on instructing techniques from those rockstar teachers who make you leave class wanting to be them (you know the ones, right??).

So again, if you want to teach Spinning®, this program is great and a total must-do. If you want to teach indoor cycling/”spin”, however, it’s not really necessary (although some gyms might want you to have a certification so you look official on paper as well as on the bike). I recommend you take a ton of classes (especially at the studio you want to teach at!), practice your ass off, work on your cardiovascular stamina, put together an epic playlist, and be familiar with the basics of proper form on the bike. The certification doesn’t hurt, of course, but it’s not very applicable to this new trend in stationary bike workouts. 

Any instructors out there go through Mad Dogg? What are your thoughts?

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