(800) 545-4772
Sign In
How to Become an Indoor Cycling Instructor

How to Become an Indoor Cycling Instructor

Reading Time: 5 minutes


DATE: 2024-04-08

When in doubt, pedal it out!” “No excuses – just ride!” What do these phrases have in common? They’re all likely to come from an indoor cycling instructor. If you’re a fitness trainer who isn’t already leading a cycling class, you may be missing out.

Why Specialize in Indoor Cycling as a Fitness Instructor?

A fitness professional can specialize in many areas. Several are even focused on group fitness. (Think group exercise instructor or even group personal training.) But why specialize in indoor cycling specifically?

  • You can help clients achieve a higher level of health. Indoor cycling offers many health benefits. One review indicates that it may enhance aerobic capacity and blood pressure. (1) It might also improve lipid profile and body composition. These results even occur with indoor cycling alone, not just when combined with diet. Imagine providing your clients these benefits, simply by leading a cycling class.

  • You can give clients a safe place to engage in a physical activity they enjoy. Every year, 130,000 people are injured when cycling on roads, and another 1,000 die. (2) As an indoor cycling instructor, you give cycling enthusiasts a safe place to ride. They don’t have to worry about not being seen by passing motorists. They can simply focus on the activity (and the music) and cycle their heart out. 

  • You can earn a decent wage. Glassdoor reports that the average cycling instructor earns $63,000 per year. Though, income can range from $49,000 to $83,000 annually. (3) A new indoor cycling instructor may be lower in the range. Conversely, an instructor with more knowledge or experience would likely be toward the top. Stick with this instructor role and that’s a good wage.

  • You can bring in extra income. Maybe you’re not interested in being an indoor cycling instructor full-time. That’s okay too. You don’t have to work strictly as an indoor cycling instructor if you don’t want to. Picking up just a class or two a week can add to your personal training income. Even if you earn an extra $100 per week, that equates to an additional $5,200 each year.

What You Need to Know to Teach an Indoor Cycling Class

Indoor cycling is like other specialized areas of fitness. Not everyone can walk in and act as an indoor cycling instructor. Leading this type of class requires certain knowledge. And even a highly experienced personal trainer may lack the knowledge that applies to indoor cycling specifically.

Yes, they may be able to provide basic gym instructing, such as how to keep proper form. A personal trainer also understands exercise intensity, the importance of a good warm-up and cool down, and all other foundational workout elements. But this doesn’t mean that they are prepared to lead group indoor cycling classes.

For example, an indoor cycling instructor understands proper bike setup. They know how high the seat, handlebars, and pedals should be for individual clients. They also know how to run different drills and the benefits of these drills (such as the muscles worked).

An indoor cycling instructor also knows how to create an ideal cycling environment. This includes knowing how to set up the bikes so each client can see the instructor. It also requires keeping the room at the right temperature and creating the right ambiance. 

You must also understand how to lead group exercise as an indoor cycling instructor. Group fitness is more complex than training clients one-on-one. It involves working with people of varying fitness levels. You must be aware of each student and how they are doing at any given time. 

Group fitness also requires knowing how to make the class hard enough for advanced exercisers but also fitting for beginners. (That is unless the indoor cycling class is designed solely for a particular level of athlete.) All of this is important to know as an indoor cycling instructor.

How to Become an Indoor Cycling Instructor

Because you need knowledge that extends beyond that of basic personal training, completion of an indoor cycling training course can help prepare you for this fitness role. This training often teaches fitness basics, such as human anatomy, energy systems, and sports medicine (injury treatment and prevention). It should also do a deeper dive into information important to know when in an indoor cycling instructor role.

Topics often covered in an indoor cycling training course include:

  • Proper riding techniques

  • Equipment considerations

  • Indoor cycling class design

  • Nutrition demands specific to indoor cyclists

Gaining knowledge in these key areas can help you become a better indoor cycling instructor. Developing a few other qualities can be beneficial as well.

Qualities of a Successful Cycling Instructor

Have you ever noticed that some people in the fitness industry tend to be more successful than others? This is often due, at least in part, to having certain qualities that help them excel in their roles.

For example, if you want to be a successful indoor cycling instructor, you must be able to motivate your class. If they’re not giving their all, you need to know how to inspire them to increase their intensity. You must also know how to make them want to come back to class after class.

A successful indoor cycling instructor is kind, compassionate, and listens to their clients. They recognize when a cyclist is struggling and are able to offer advice in a supportive way. They also understand how to work with an individual in the class without it affecting everyone else.

Another way to increase your success as a cycling instructor is to specialize in a certain area. This may involve offering a class specifically for senior fitness or youth clients. Make yourself the go-to instructor for certain demographics.

You can also position yourself over others offering this type of class by becoming a certified indoor cycling instructor. Certification provides many advantages.

Benefits of Indoor Cycling Certification

Maybe you already have your group fitness certification. Does this mean that you don’t need a indoor cycling certification? Not exactly. There are still many benefits of earning a cycling certification.

One is that becoming a certified indoor cycling instructor shows that you specialize in this type of fitness training. It’s like the difference between a certified personal trainer and a certified running coach

A personal trainer can create a workout program for clients who run. But a running coach deals with this specialty every day. Therefore, they may be able to provide more specific advice—advice that may hasten or improve the client’s results. They know more of the tips and tricks because of their increased experience.

Note: This isn’t to say that a personal trainer certification isn’t useful for working with specialized clients. It is. It’s just that a certified indoor cycling instructor has advanced knowledge in this area.

If you want to work for a gym, an indoor cycling instructor certification may be required. The employer might want some sort of “proof” that you know how to develop and lead an indoor cycling class. Certification tells them that you can. It also adds to your credibility with your clients.

Some training programs offer indoor cycling certification. International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is one. If you are an ISSA-certified cycling instructor, this means that you’ve learned the information necessary for this role and passed a competency exam. 

An ISSA indoor cycling instructor is also provided with a free professional website. This enables them to reach their target clients before they even set foot into a cycling class. 

Ready to take the next step in your fitness career? Check out ISSA’s Indoor Cycling Certification course. In this course, you will learn how to create a fun, effective cycling class. You also gain the title of ISSA Certified Cycling Instructor.


  1. Chavarrias, M., Carlos-Vivas, J., Collado-Mateo, D., & Pérez-Gómez, J. (2019). Health benefits of Indoor Cycling: A Systematic Review. Medicina, 55(8), 452. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55080452 

  2. Bicycle Safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, May 4). https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/bicycle/index.html 

  3. Salary: Spinning instructor in United States 2024. Glassdoor. (2023, October 29). https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/spinning-instructor-salary-SRCH_KO0,19.html

Sign Up & Stay Connected

Receive $50 off your purchase today!