How Hard Should You Be Working When Teaching Your Class?

A common question that we receive is how hard should you be working when teaching your class? As is often the case, there is no pat answer. It depends on the instructor’s teaching style, the type of profile, and the class’s expectation. Then you also have to take a look at how much you are teaching and whether your own classes are increasing or decreasing your own fitness. Let’s examine each of those four items.


  1. One very IMPORTANT thing that can be forgotten is that indoor cycling classes are GROUP fitness classes. Safety guidelines for instructing and “monitoring” a group of people are a primary part of our responsibility. If we are going so hard that we cannot monitor EVERYONE in our classes or respond to something we believe needs addressing, we will be deemed negligent in the event of an incident.

  2. Great post Tom.

    this all goes to my theory that we are there to provide a service. Except for the instructors who are getting paid by the number of butts in saddles (they have to do what ever it takes to keep head count up) we are there to provide service after the sale so-to-speak.

    It is about keeping happy customers and giving them a good reason to come back. Having the coach, trainer and instructor in one’s toolbox insures one has the tools to get the job – service after the sale – done.

  3. I believe in different styles and different strokes for different folks but no matter what style that is, it’s always about the members (aka students, participants)and that should always be our focus. This is one of the main reasons when I am doing my own training I don’t usually do it where I teach but train at a boutique gym surrounded by ironmen/women and triathletes, all of which serve as motivation for me, surrounding myself with people that hold common interests and goals. There’s a place and time for everything and we need to determine our priorities.

  4. I personally employ all three, hopefully in the right way and at the right time.

  5. Being a coach and motivator is my priority for my riders. Those who attend my classes on a regular basis know that I do not go all out. To me the focus is them. I have to supplement my training at another time. There are of course, occasions where I will go ‘with them’ and that is likely the at the end before cooldown.

    To me, it’s always about them.

  6. I just came on today to post something to the TdF profile from last year and your post is so appropriate! Today we had an 8 minute all out effort at the end of class, and 2 minutes in, I realized that I couldn’t, or shouldn’t rather, ride with them. This was something new for my participants, and not only did they need me to help them through it, I also needed to pay attention to what was going on in the room (making sure no one was either hurting themselves or going to pass out). As much as I wanted to ride with them, I had to be the trainer today.

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