Archive for the ‘coaching’ Category

Attack Those Rollers

By Jennifer Sage On March 23, 2014 No Comments


The blog I Love Bicycling has a short article on how to attack rolling hills on a bike outside, but there is some good advice for your indoor climbs as well. The author, Lee Agur, gives these tips:

The key to rollers is maintaining your cadence and gearing!

Stay in the gear that you started the hill climb for as long as possible. Shift only when your cadence starts to slow below 75. A cadence between 70 to 90 [rpm] is ideal. If you shift too early you will lose valuable momentum; however, if you shift too late then you might stall out.

Attack the bottom of the roller and gradually increase effort as you climb the hill until you must shift. Short rollers are like mini intervals. Just remember

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Getting Into the Flow With Music and Affirmations

By Jennifer Sage On February 23, 2014 No Comments

music-and-athleteThe website Thesportinmind.com, an online journal specializing in sports psychology, has some excellent articles on motivation in sport, many of which are excellent resources for you as an indoor cycling instructor seeking to engage and inspire your riders.

Here is an article called Motivation: Get Into the Flow in Sport With Music and Exercise, by Hannah Farmer. I’ve posted part of the article below:

For elite athletes, fitness fanatics and gym goers, having the right frame of mind is the best way to achieve the perfect performance. The highest level of intrinsic motivation is know as flow. Flow is described as the complete immersion in an activity to the point in which nothing else matters. Hungarian psychologist Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, lead psychologist in the concept of flow, claims that flow occurs when there is a perfect match between the

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How to Become a Better Climber in Your Spinning Classes

By Jennifer Sage On July 7, 2013 No Comments

Marcel SchroenI found this slideshow and I thought it could prove useful for Spinning & cycling instructors. Joe Friel shared a short slideshow on Climbing Like a Tour Rider on the Training Peaks website. While some of the information is more geared for outdoor cyclists than indoor, much can also be applied to your training in your indoor classes. Besides, as an indoor cycling instructor, it’s always good to expand your knowledge of what a cyclist should learn to become faster and more powerful. Ultimately, the basics of training and technique are the same outdoors and in. The rules don’t change from one to the other!


Here are some of the tips that are most applicable to coaching and riding indoors:

  • develop your aerobic base and your anaerobic (lactate) threshold
  • a way to do hill cruise intervals
  • seated or standing?
  • cadence and pedal stroke
  • change
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Fat Cyclist gives tips on how to describe a climb

By Jennifer Sage On August 7, 2012 No Comments

I’ve been a fan of The Fat Cyclist for many years and met him and few years ago at InterBike in Las Vegas. He blogs mostly about cycling (primarily mountain biking), but you’ll find posts on running marathons and a wide variety of other tales, all written with a dry wit and self-deprecating humor. He’s also magnificent at raising tons of money for cancer-related causes from his thousands of fans from around the world (his wife died of cancer about three years ago).

Fatty’s recent post describes how to determine percent grades on a climb, and what they feel like to a cyclist. I bet you can find some clever cues to use in your classes as you create climbing profiles of various grades/difficulties.

Anyone want to know what a 12% grade feels like?

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What does being a Spinning® / Indoor Cycling Coach mean to you? Here is one instructor’s thoughts

By Jennifer Sage On May 25, 2012 5 Comments

Spinning InstructorA few months ago I posted a video by an instructor in Florida that I thought was an excellent sample of a class. Today on Facebook, this instructor Ramiro Morejon, posted one of the most inspirational comments I’ve seen about his growth as a Spinning® coach. He gave me permission to repost it here for you, and I am doing so in the hopes that you might be inspired to seek growth like Ramiro has. He has said that coaching indoor cycling and inspiring his students has changed him as a person. He’s about to compete in his second Olympic distance triathlon in a few weeks, so he is an example of someone who has a passion both indoors and out.

Here is Ramiro’s reflection on being a coach

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14 types of instructors that you should make sure you are NOT!

By Jennifer Sage On May 23, 2012 8 Comments

Read this (sort of) funny article: Top Ten signs That You Have Run Into a Bad Group Fitness Instructor.

Only takes a little imagination to transform these descriptions into an indoor cycling class instead of an aerobics instructor. Have you met these instructors? They aren’t you, are they?

Nope, because you are the opposite. You are an empowering coach who is the following:

  • you are concerned more about your students’ workout than your own
  • while you correct your students for poor form, you do it diplomatically and with empathy, ensuring that they understand the reasons for correct technique
  • you celebrate any students who might be more fit than you (because it certainly IS possible!)
  • you find that balance between blaring your music and barely being able to hear it, playing music that inspires your class
  • you know when to talk and when to shut
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Excellent article on IDEA – all cycling instructors please read this!

By Jennifer Sage On February 29, 2012 1 Comment

I just became aware of this excellent article from IDEA Health and Fitness Association on indoor cycling instruction. It’s by Martica Heaner, Ph.D. and is called A Smoother Ride. “Group Ex Skills & Drills: These 10 tips will motivate and inspire your indoor cycling class and keep people coming back for more.”

To me, the best part of the article is the Sidebar at the end. It is titled Technique: Know Your Stuff.

I left a ‘short’ comment. I want to support any person, club, program, publication or organization that promotes educated, sound instruction on an indoor bicycle that eschews unsafe and ineffective techniques like lifting weights, or doing pushups or crunches. My comment is below. Feel free to leave your comment on the IDEA page supporting their efforts to clean up indoor cycling and encouraging instructors to know their

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Keep it Real is in good company!

By Jennifer Sage On January 28, 2012 No Comments

I received this email message today that I’d like to share with you:

Spinning class Keep it Real

Well, Leo, that puts Keep it Real in really good company! Thank you, and you are very welcome!

Here is a Facebook message I received recently:

Spinning class keep it real

The word is getting out – but there are still way too many instructors who do not Keep it Real and who do not know why they should. Those are the ones who really need to read this.

Keep it Real was originally written for cyclists who take indoor cycling classes, to teach them what to avoid, and

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Spinning Instructors run in the family and start early!

By Jennifer Sage On January 25, 2012 1 Comment

I saw this video posted on a Facebook Spinning® group page and thought it was so adorable I asked if I could share it on my blog. This is Spinning® Instructor Jenn Lee’s daughter Keira a few years ago when she was 6 years old, on her home “Spinning” bike, teaching a class! It’s a little hard to understand at times but you will be awed by her cuteness. Pay attention to this young lady – she gives you some good form tips! 😉

Jenn Lee fulfilled a dream last year and opened up her own club in Winthrop, Massachusetts, near Boston. It’s called Move-Fitness, an 8,400 sq. ft facility with Spinning®, Zumba®, many other branded fitness classes, and personal training. Way to go Jenn – I can’t wait to hear more

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By Jennifer Sage On January 8, 2012 No Comments

Just a challenge to you to ask questions about what you are doing and what you are teaching….and why. If you don’t have a good, solid, science-based answer, then consider changing it.

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