In part 1, I described a popular but ineffective coaching method that fails to account for the difference in abilities and fitness of riders or the differences in the wear and tear on bikes. The second method of teaching resistance that instructors should steer clear of is to assign a 1–10 scale of resistance. This one is even worse than assigning a number of turns. It’s very confusing, it’s subjective, and it’s not anchored to anything.
Coaching resistance is one of the more challenging aspects of being an indoor cycling instructor. In this series, you will learn the two most common yet ineffective methods of teaching resistance. We will then provide you with a technique of encouraging your riders to add load in a way that will help them experience what your profile is calling for so they can be more successful. We will end with dozens of creative coaching cues for adding resistance. You will emerge a better, more informed instructor.
It is always great to see the response of our cycling instructor and coach community. A number of questions arose after I published the last Ask the Expert article on “Healing the Pedal Stroke.” The focus was solely on the practice of pushing down or dropping the heel below horizontal during the pedal stroke. In addition to my response to questions and feedback, I created a video using footage from the 2013 USA Cycling Pro Challenge to demonstrate the technique. Hey, pictures are worth a thousand words, right?
In part 2 of my Facebook Live training series on “Why Cadence Matters,” I discuss whether rpm is a valid method of determining intensity. I then provide the pros and cons of dictating a specific cadence in your classes, providing many examples on both sides. I then get on the bike to demonstrate some cadence drills and coaching cues to go along with them.
The Tour of the Training Zones is one of the most important profiles in the ICA library. It’s a very educational profile that requires more talking than most profiles. For that reason, to help you teach it to your own classes, I’ve filmed myself teaching this ride so you can hear my cueing and how I deal with the intensity myself. I also have a summary of the profile cues that you can download and modify.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Exercise is the best medicine.” However, no medicine is equally good at any dose; too little and the desired effects will not be achieved, too much and negative side effects result. Dosage in the context of exercise means training load: the intensity, duration, and frequency of a given activity. What are the best doses of each level of intensity and how will knowing this help us plan our classes?
The benefits of utilizing FTP to create individualized training zones for indoor riders are increasingly becoming understood by instructors who teach with power. This, and the tests to determine FTP, have been discussed in other articles on ICA. But is just knowing “how to” put your riders through an FTP test enough? Is there really a need to perform one on yourself in order to teach it?