In an single indoor cycling class we can have a combination of beginners, cycling enthusiasts, competitive athletes, the fit, and the unfit. We have those who are just interested in some cardio fitness, some with a focus on weight loss and others desiring cycling-specific training. There are the young, the old, and everyone in between. So with all of these different interests, expectations, and age groups, how do we determine who we are talking to when we lead our classes?
Elise, you are on point. As with many things in life, what can appear to be a challenge, such as a wide range of fitness levels, can also be the beauty. I often tell my classes to “take it personally because fitness gains are not measured as a group, but individually.”
I recently was told that they call me “the Terminator”! Yes, it’s funny but on the other hand, I usually explain at some point in the warm up that whatever is available to you at this moment is what you have to work with regardless of what anyone else is doing. The beauty of indoor cycling is that the range of fitness levels in any given class can be so vast but it simply doesn’t matter. It’s what you make of the class and what you get out of it that counts and just have the best time that you can.
I, too, have the tag as the “coaching instructor” by my riders and referrals they give to other members. All thanks to the knowledge and training i’ve received here at ICA, Cycling Fusion and Heart Zones USA. You have mentored and led me in the right direction of approaching my classes with a coaching plan that respects and provides for the diversity of riders coming into my classes. I give a variety of cues and options in my opening warm up and throughout, but not so many all at once to confuse or overwhelm. They are learning the language, applying safe, sound principles and love being educated which they don’t get in any of the other classes. I’m proud of that. I greet my riders upon arrival giving them personal goals for that class that address their needs and safety for that ride’s profile and objective so that i don’t have to call any one person out during the ride showing any kind of favoritism. My dry erase board always provides information, cues, or maybe just quotes to reflect on. My first and personal objective is to always remember why I am doing this; why am I here and to impart that to my riders for each class as their driving principle. I would strongly suggest listening to Cycling 360 Media that delivers quality cycling information and in particular the one titled Improving Your Inner Drive.
Great Stuff Renee!! Your classes and riders are surely blessed to have an instructor that puts forth such an extraordinary effort. Thanks for flying the flag and keeping the standard for indoor cycling high!