Cycling instructors face an interesting challenge. At the most basic level we have the task of putting together safe, effective, and fun workouts, while choosing music that will motivate and move the soul. Beyond that we must also clearly, concisely, and repeatedly convey meaning, feeling, and intention to a room full of very different people with diverse learning styles and potentially dissimilar fitness levels. This article addresses your road map to success by describing three specific methods of communication to convey the desired level of effort and intensity required by participants within each and every class you teach.
Essential teaching skills dictate that we share knowledge and guide others through an experience so that they may be successful in following along. As certified fitness professionals, we have all studied to understand the ways that people acquire and adapt behavior in a group fitness environment. Each individual, however, has a preferred means of learning, therefore it is incumbent upon you as the instructor to offer the information in as many ways as possible to ensure that the class participants will follow your class plan and attain the desired fitness benefits.
We all should be familiar with the three methods of cueing in group fitness—visual, verbal, and kinaesthetic—but is that all there is? Can we, as cycling instructors, improve our riders’ experience by moving beyond the basic modalities of cueing and create an experience that speaks to goals, capability, and awareness?
I believe we can. This article will focus on three expanded areas of potential learning within a group fitness cycling class: What is the intention of the drill or segment (goal-based), how does it feel (physiological markers), and what physical emotion does it elicit (psychological response)?