Cycling: Why You Should Teach It & Why Clients Should Try It
Think about your last training session: Was it with one client or multiple? Was it a small group training or large?
Most people view personal training as more of a small group or private coaching atmosphere. Group fitness classes include any form of workouts that take place in a large group setting. These often include cycling classes, but encompass many others as well.
The requirements to become a group fitness instructor encompass more on how to conduct group workouts. Whereas personal training trends toward small group fitness and private coaching. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do both!
Benefits of Teaching Cycling as a Personal Trainer
One of the biggest impacts cycling classes have on fitness professionals is the ability to grow a business. Fitness trainers who decide to incorporate cycling classes into their schedules immediately increase their income. This is not only a result of taking on extra training sessions but also due to the popularity of cycling.
According to the Association of Fitness Studios’ 2016 Marketing Best Practices Research Report, indoor cycling studios generate 55% more revenue than other types of fitness studios.
Plus, a personal trainer can improve their skills through teaching cycling. For instance, teaching cycling helps build coaching skills like goal setting and creating a plan for fitness. A trainer’s ability to teach, demonstrate and cue applies to both cycling and personal training.
These skills are vital in helping clients achieve their goals. Other skills acquired through coaching cycling. are body position adjustments, eye movement efficiency, timing and coordination, and fundamental movement proficiency.
This is beneficial because it is outside the normal scope of practice for trainers. The good news with this is the transfer of new skills improves training sessions. It increases your knowledge and ability to correct technical issues while adding to your list of qualifications.
With such a high demand for fitness training—group fitness classes and personal training fitness—industry traits like these will make you stand out. Adding new skills allows for more industry knowledge. Plus, you become a more dependable professional and better communicator with clients. This way both you and your clients stay motivated.
Added value also builds rapport and retention. You can take it a step further by obtaining a group fitness certification. Obtaining the certification increases the number of classes you can teach and creates more schedule flexibility with what you can offer a client. Having a certification allows you to serve a wide range of clients and even get your own workout in.
One of our very own, Bob Rollins, teaches indoor cycling classes and maintains a roster of 12-15 clients.
How Cycling Can Improve Other Areas of a Personal Training Routine
Cycling is a great low impact workout. And it still targets lower body muscles and the core. Building strength in these areas is essential to all client results. Correct cycling form can help increase strength in the hamstrings, quads, calves, and core.
Stationary biking requires less core activation than regular road biking. This is because the core is responsible for all movement and rotation. When turning on a bike, your core must be engaged to help stabilize the body. Core stabilization improves balance and eliminates excessive lateral movement.
The more challenging the ride, the more core strength needed. Cycling does not take the place of core training during a personal training routine. It does, however, perfectly complement a client’s regular exercise routine.
Starting clients off with using a stationary bike might be beneficial if you find their core is weak. Stationary bikes provide many benefits.
Hammies and Quads
Cycling can strengthen the hamstrings and quads. This can lead to tighter leg muscles that need stretching more often to maintain flexibility. Although it can also contribute to increased flexibility by opening the hamstrings, quads, calves, and hips.
It is important to maintain this flexibility and mobility through consistent physical activity. Cycling alone can be a great addition to client programs to help maximize fat burn, strength building, and mobility.
Just like any type of exercise, cycling can always lead to injury. You might have a client who has issues applying proper cycling form or position on the bike. Try prescribing corrective exercises to help with fixing some of the most common imbalances in cyclists.
How Indoor Cycling Can Improve Your Training
Exercise without a doubt helps clients achieve fitness goals. These can include muscle gain, weight loss, and strength gain. Having the proper exercise prescription helps clients achieve their goals. Let’s explore how indoor cycling can improve your clients’ training and your ability to train.
Consistency and Control
No client wants to cycle in cold or wet weather unless it is a competition or race. Indoor cycling helps competitive cyclists stay on track with their training and even a step ahead of their competition. When weather conditions are poor, cyclists should take advantage of the high-intensity interval training they can do indoors.
This type of exercise is easier to execute and track indoors. On a stationary bike, there are no external factors that can influence the ride. The intensity and volume are under full control of the client and trainer.
Clients can go faster and harder on stationary bikes without having to worry about balance, road conditions, and other riders. The more challenging part about indoor bikes is that you do not rest. On an outdoor bike if you are riding down a hill you can coast. On a stationary bike, you just keep pedaling.
This includes light exercise and is crucial to enhanced performance. Cycling helps clients of all types recover with a low-impact workout.
Prescribing a client to be in a spin class on a recovery day isn’t always the most optimal form of recovery. However, having them on a stationary bike riding at a slow pace and low intensity is a great way to recover without overtraining.
If your client has an at-home stationary bike, share with them the advantages of having a fluid or magnetic bike trainer.
As a personal trainer, teaching indoor cycling classes can improve your skills. It helps you develop preparation skills and improves your ability to communicate with a variety of clients at once. The often fast-paced classes truly help you dial in terminology to be quick and effective. All of which lead to improved creativity and coaching.
Want to learn more skills for group classes? Check out these best practices for teaching group fitness classes.
How to Get a Spinning Certification as a Personal Trainer
Obtaining a spinning certification from a credible organization is key to leading a spin class. Becoming a spin instructor entails more than people think. And it often results in a pay raise.
Being a certified personal trainer is typically not enough of a qualification to be an instructor. Group fitness courses focus heavily on being able to conduct fitness classes safely and effectively with many clients.
To get a spinning certification, first register with a reputable organization. Then complete the course content and workbook material. The training each course provides is different. After completing a spinning instructor course or indoor cycling course, then you take the final exam.
Personal trainers who pursue a group fitness or spin certification can benefit from career advancement, additional marketing avenues, client generation, and increased revenue. Are you considering becoming a Group Fitness Instructor? Check out ISSA’s Group Fitness Certification where you will learn how to create fun and effective class formats, either in a small or large group setting.