I’ve had numerous questions over the years about what to do when riders put on too much resistance that slows their cadence down too much. This is a very important issue because heavy resistance has a high risk of injury. Students may do it with the misguided belief it will “strengthen” the legs (like leg presses). It also usually has a high ego component to it. How do you tell them to pedal faster? . . .
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.
Have you ever cued to turn up the resistance by giving a number of turns to your class? You may want to find a better way to cue resistance! Caesar filmed a brief video for his riders who have been used to being told the number of turns expected, so he wanted to show them why it’s not an effective cue. We hope this helps you so you can explain to your class why you don’t cue that way.