Archive for the ‘Keep it Real’ Category

Awkward Gym Moments That Make You Go “WTH? Is This For Real?”

By Jennifer Sage On September 22, 2013 6 Comments

My bet is that most people would have the same reaction to this lifting “technique” if they witnessed it in the gym, whether they are instructors, trainers, or just the general public:

The reaction would include one or more of the following: Facepalm. Mouth agape followed by a breathy “O.M.G!” An incredulous “WTH?” (or other similar letters). Hysterical laughter. Some might even run to her aid to protect her from herself.

But many of those same people who recognize the danger and stupidity of this monkeying around on the lat pull-down machine will turn around and go to an indoor cycling class in which they ignore all tenets of biomechanics, exercise, and cycling science. They will rationalize that it’s OK because “we’re not cyclists” or “this is not cycling.” They won’t draw the parallel with this woman’s dangerous lifting antics in the video above.

So, if this woman rationalized her technique by saying,

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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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Keep Calm and Keep it Real

By Jennifer Sage On February 25, 2013 No Comments

This meme might be a bit overused these days on Facebook but my assistant John created this one and it’s PERFECT for the Keep it Real theme. Feel free to use this image as you like!

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“I’d Rather Sell My Soul Than Soul Cycle”

By Jennifer Sage On January 29, 2013 38 Comments

“I’d rather sell my soul than Soul Cycle, frankly.”

That was the quote in an article in Gawker, an online entertainment magazine. Three employees from Gawker were invited to take a free class at Soul Cycle in Manhattan. The article is quite entertaining, and Soul Cycle will no doubt rue the day they invited Rich, Caity, and Leah to attend a class. But hey, they opened themselves up to honest evaluation!

I realize that these three have never taken any kind of Spinning® or indoor cycling class; in fact, they aren’t really exercisers at all, so they might joke about any class. But I do not think they would be quite as irreverent if they attended a cycling class in which the instructor taught like a

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Tom Scotto Makes Boston’s Top 10 Spinning Instructor List

By Jennifer Sage On January 11, 2013 No Comments

A hearty congratulations to Cycling Fusion’s director of education and ICA contributor Tom Scotto for being selected as #3 in Boston’s Rate Your Burn Top 10 Spinning / Cycling Instructors of the Year!

Tom Scotto Spinning Class

This is a real honor for Tom, and it’s an honor for me to know him. If it was me voting, he’d be #1! In my 16 years of traveling to train Spinning® and cycling instructors, presenting at and attending conferences, and experiencing master trainers from all programs, I can honestly say that in my opinion, Tom Scotto is one of the hardest working and most well-rounded instructors/coaches/presenters in this industry. I might even say in the world! Yup, I seriously believe that. Why? Well, just for starters, a few of Tom’s

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Keep it Wheel

By Jennifer Sage On October 2, 2012 No Comments

My new mantra! Thanks Facebook!

Keep it Real Spinning

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Keeping it Real in the UK!

By Jennifer Sage On September 25, 2012 1 Comment
Spinning instructor continuing education

The Cause and Effect workshop

I am winding down a 3-week trip to Europe that started off in the Netherlands, where I did a Master Spinning® class with two other presenters (current Spinning MI Hans Hoebbel and former Spinning MI Nancy Hasselbaink), plus a weekend of ICA workshops. This past weekend was spent in Wimbledon in London where I helped launch the brand new Pedal Studio in Wimbledon with a press day and my Alpe d’Huez Master Class on Friday, and four ICA continuing education workshops over the weekend. In between the two training weekends, my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with some cycling in Alsace, France.

I’ll have some photos of our cycling trip posted soon, but I wanted to put up a few great

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A San Diego YMCA does it the right way!

By Jennifer Sage On June 8, 2012 1 Comment

Even though you can usually ride year-round in San Diego, here is an instructor at the YMCA in Mission Valley, Steve Diggs, who uses indoor cycling classes to train outdoor riders in a safe and effective manner. I especially like the quote from the article:

“People who just ride (casually, on the road) tend to stay at the same level,” Diggs said before one of his recent classes at the YMCA. “But people who have structured workouts tend to improve.

“Indoor cycling is about getting a very efficient workout in a very short period of time. … It’s all designed so you get the maximum amount of fitness in a given hour for a given time of year,” he said. “We’re actually doing easier intervals this time of year (late winter/early spring). As we get into spring and summer, the intervals get shorter and harder, to bring your fitness level

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Why are some Spinning® instructors afraid to Keep it Real?

By Jennifer Sage On June 2, 2012 40 Comments

I need your thoughts. Why do you suppose some Spinning® and indoor cycling instructors are afraid to Keep it Real? I’m in Cincinnati right now and am teaching the Keep it Real workshop in a few hours and this question is always plaguing me. This workshop should be PACKED with instructors who care about doing it “right”. But it’s not.

What keeps them away?

My thoughts:

  1. They might believe it will make their classes boring. [Reality: you can still use a lot of exciting coaching techniques to keep people engaged. Keeping it Real does NOT mean making it boring!]
  2. They say their students aren’t “cyclists” so they don’t care about what a cyclist does. [Reality: as I show in this workshop, everyone’s body works in the same way on a bike, cyclist or not. The ankle bone connects to the shin
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Guest blogger: Matt Grasela talks about Keeping it Real at a new facility

By Jennifer Sage On March 19, 2012 2 Comments

Matt at WSSC

Ever since I got my hands on Jennifer Sage’s ebook, Keep It Real, I’ve been trying my best to teach a class that provides real benefits to my participants.

I’ve been taking Spinning® classes since 1997 and teaching since 2007. When I first started teaching, I taught how I had ridden, which was mostly interval classes, often-times laden with contraindicated movements that I had believed to be beneficial because I had done them so often in classes I took.

Getting my hands on Keep it Real opened my eyes to understanding how to ride and why riding correctly is so important. Almost overnight I began to change my style and methodology of how I led my class. Gone were the corporal punishment drills of jumping and ineffective

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