How to Become a Spin Instructor (and Fill Your Classes)
Spin has become one of, if not the, most popular workout classes offered today. Just take a look at your gym’s class schedule. Chances are there are at least two spin classes offered per day. Then, of course, popular studios like Soul Cycle, FlyWheel, and Cyc offer several of their own daily classes, each with their own fiercely loyal following.
As such, a spin certification is a huge resume builder for fitness trainers, and one that many gyms are beginning to require of their instructors. Obtaining this certificate is pretty straightforward, but putting on a great class requires a lot of additional work and practice.
We took a look at how to get certified and what other factors help new instructors land a job and fill up their classes.
Before you can even apply for many spin instructor positions, you’ll need to get certified in spin instruction and CPR/AED. A recent job posting online requires a proficiency in “basic anatomy, kinesiology, contraindicated exercises, exercise modifications for all populations and ACSM Guidelines for frequency, intensity, duration, and mode.”
One way is to obtain your CPR/AED certificate is through the American Red Cross. For spin instruction certifications, there are several options to choose from, including Mad Dogg Athletics (aka Spinning®), Schwinn, or Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA®).
These courses and exams can be taken online or in-person, depending on your schedule and location. Mad Dogg Athletics in-person training, for example covers:
• cycling biomechanics;
• bike setup and safety principles;
• coaching skills;
• crafting of class ride profiles;
• heart rate training; and
• visualization techniques.
While these certifications may be enough to get you a job interview or audition, keep in mind that some gyms will still require you to complete their in-house trainings. Every studio has its own training style – some favoring competitive racing, while others work in choreography and weightlifting – so you’ll need to be adaptable.
Mastering the Art of the Class
Once you have your certificate, you’ll have to spend a lot of time outside the studio creating playlists and coordinating and rehearsing your ride. A key to nailing an audition, filling your classes, and building a loyal following is to create a fun, yet challenging atmosphere. This may come naturally over time, but it takes a very deliberate effort in the beginning.
Perhaps the most important part of your preparation is in perfectly syncing a ride to the music you selected. The most successful teachers use the beat of the music to guide rider BMP, alternating positions throughout the song in a way that aligns with changes in tempo. Keep in mind, while there are “great spin songs,” no one genre is best for spin. You can do rock and roll rides, pop rides, EDM rides, 80s rides – whatever your students are into. Ask if they have special requests and be sure to mix up playlists from class to class, offering something for everyone.
Once you’re in the studio, your preparation should allow you to stay focused on your students. Make a point to emphasize good form throughout class, and if you notice a rider is struggling with a position, jump off your bike and help them. Constantly take the pulse of the class – if a majority of riders can’t hang on during a sprint or hill, you may have to make real-time adjustments. Or, maybe you just need to be extra encouraging that day, working your way around the room to bring an adrenaline rush to struggling students.
Of course, the best way to master the art of the class is through observation. Whether you’re new to spin instruction or have been teaching for years, make a point to audit classes from time to time. Doing so will help you see how students respond to other teaching styles and hopefully give you new ideas.
ProSight Global Inc., and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“ProSight”) do not endorse nor recommend any of the certification programs described above. These descriptions are for informational purposes only. ProSight shall not be held liable for your registration or matriculation in any certification program described above nor any payment you make for these certification programs. Visit each certification provider’s website to learn about their specific programs and services and to understand each one’s program, requirements, costs, etc.