If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you might have noticed that I cracked a little bit last week. I hit my tolerance threshold for crappy Spinning® and Indoor Cycling classes and went on a rant about the prevalence of improper instruction in so many cycling classes around the world. I had spoken with too many instructors who told me stories like:
- the fullest classes at my club are the ones where the instructor is having them do hovers, squats, pushups and crunches – the students have no idea! I have my own core group, but recently had a new person come in and asked why I didn’t do pushups or weights. When I explained they aren’t beneficial and only take away from your effectiveness on the bike, she walked out.
- Management recently told us (instructors) that we had to stop talking about contraindications and couldn’t tell a student if we thought something was unsafe! Can you believe that!
- We were told we had to teach classes with weights….or leave.
- The most popular instructors who do the CI moves have never been to a conference or CED. I’m a Star 3 Spinning® instructor – yet management shrugs their shoulders when I give them articles about safety in class. They do not care.
- I tried to give your article on why you shouldn’t do an upper body workout in class, the one with all the exercise science info in it, and the GX manager said, “that’s just her opinion! If Soul Cycle can do them, I will do them.”
- The group fitness director is the worst perpetrator of crazy moves in class – so who can I turn to?
And more…. so I cracked and put out this series of Tweets:
Students just need to know when they should walk out of a bad Spinning or Indoor Cycling class! Anytime you’re asked to do anything that doesn’t seem quite right, that hurts in places it shouldn’t hurt (no, it’s not a good burn in the knees or back), that seems more like something you’d do in a Body Pump or Zumba class, or something that you would never do on a bike outside, then walk out. Or just sit back and refuse to do it, but sometimes walking out makes more of a point, especially if you see it over and over.
I had so many great responses from this series of rants! I did the same on Facebook, and broke my own record for number of “Likes” and comments on one post. I’ll post those tomorrow because there are some great comments you should see.
So many of you teach wonderful, safe, effective, motivating and scientifically sound classes – but I am often preaching to the choir, aren’t I? The ones who need the education are not reading this blog, nor are they members of ICA, nor do they go to conferences (or if they do, they selectively ignore what they learn about safety), and they are also probably self-righteous about what they are doing even in the face of exercise-scientific evidence to the contrary as well as plain ol’ common sense evidence.
The goal of ICA: improving this industry, one instructor at a time…
(Note about Twitter and #Spinning. Spinning® is a registered trademark of Mad Dogg Athletics. Twitter has a 140 character limit – it’s not often I can put both #Spinning and #IndoorCycling and have room for much more, so usually it’s just #Spinning. There are good Spinning® instructors and good Indoor Cycling instructors, and there are bad Spinning® and bad Indoor Cycling instructors. By using #Spinning, I am not making a statement or judgment about the brand or instructors. The hashtag #Spinning is the accepted one on Twitter and is how searches are made for anything related to indoor cycling/Spinning. You all know I want ALL instructors, Spinning or otherwise, to improve and be more educated about what is safe and effective to do on bikes!)