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Why indoor cycling is different from other group fitness formats

I met a friend of my husband’s the other day and like many small talk introductions he asked about what I did for work. I told him that I’m a consultant for fitness professionals and businesses, and that I also manage and teach at an indoor cycling studio.

He immediately jumped to talk about my role as an instructor, very curious as to how it all works…

“So, basically, you give motivational speeches while coaching an intense workout on a bike that doesn’t move?”

I laughed out loud. He nailed it!


The best instructors do this…

I’ve taught many different types of group fitness classes, but so far none of them have taken as much prep work, focus, or heart, as indoor cycling does.

To be successful indoor cycling instructors, we have to strike a balance between the mental and physical. A good instructor will inspire riders to find their own mental strength and confidence while at the same time coaching them through the mechanics of the physical ride.

I’ve seen so many instructors who struggle to fill their cycling classes because they haven’t yet discovered this balance. Maybe their ride is perfectly designed and physically demanding, but they lack the emotional connection with riders. On the other hand, maybe they connect and motivate riders, but the class is poorly designed and the riders leave the studio feeling disappointed in the workout.


So how do we find the perfect balance?

It drives me nuts when people preach about what we should be doing, but they don’t give any actionable steps for how to do it. So here are some of my thoughts on what you can do to improve both sides of the equation (and please comment on this post with other suggestions!):


Instructors who have the physical piece down, but need help with the motivational juice:

-Think about what inspires you, and do more of it! Read, travel, go on adventures…Find what motivates you and bring it to your riders.

-Don’t overthink things. If you plan out a speech to say during class, it will sound canned and inauthentic. Instead, focus on finding songs that hit home for you. They will naturally trigger your emotional side when you hear them in class, and will allow you to tap into that inspirational messaging.


Instructors who have no trouble motivating riders, but need help nailing class profiles and design:

-I created a 6-Module course that takes instructors from start to finish through creating a class profile. Read all about the course here.


Not sure which side you need more help with, but just want to get some free resources so keep improving as an instructor?

-Join my free Facebook Group, the Indoor Cycling Instructor Crew (instructors only). I’m in there every day giving out tons of free advice and resources.

-And if you haven’t yet, make sure you download my 20 Free Cues to spice up your class cueing!