As someone who thrives on a routine, I knew starting college would throw me for a loop. In order to ease the transition I wanted to have some activities/commitments in place to help me establish a schedule. Plus, since I was giving up my regular babysitting jobs, I wanted to have some income to fund my year-round watermelon eating. Enter: Spinning.
When I was in middle school, my mom was a Spinning instructor. While she taught multiple classes per week at corporate gyms, she taught a “Teen Spin” class once a week at our YMCA. I would join her at the teen classes and began to learn the basics of Spinning.
Throughout high school I was a regular attendee of Spinning classes at my Y. I took classes from different instructors and figured out whose style and music I liked best. I also became very comfortable with the format of classes and would drag my friends urge my friends to join me. Becoming an instructor seemed like a no-brainer.
With the support of my parents, I signed up for the Spinning Instructor Training in March of my senior year in high school. (Note: Before I went through the certification process, I contacted my future college Wellness Center and asked if there would be a position available that I could audition for.)
Briefly about the certification: The training was a 1-day 9-hour session. During the day we reviewed topics like proper bike set-up, selecting music and monitoring heart rate. The instructor led us through two Spinning classes (about 30-45 minutes each) and covered all different types of terrain and speeds (flats, sprints, hills, jumps, etc.). After training, all potential instructors are recommended to wait a few weeks and review the manual before taking the final exam. During that time I taught a few classes at the Y and reviewed my notes from training. About one month after training I took the online test, passed and became an official instructor.
During my first week of college I auditioned to be an instructor at the Wellness Center and joined as a substitute for the first semester. I will never forget how nervous I was to sub my first class…I listened to my playlist and practiced my cueing non-stop for at least a week! But once I hopped on the bike and led the class through warm-up, I was at ease. I knew I was more than capable of teaching and just needed to get over that first hurdle to ignite my confidence.
Two years and dozens of playlists later, Spinning has become part of my weekly routine. I love coaching riders though tough workouts and plan my classes to follow the beat of the music. To me, music is key!!!! Unless I’m doing a themed ride (i.e. Halloween ride) I typically stick to Top 40 songs with a mix of hip/hop, rock and throwback-songs. During the school year I teach two classes a week with one being a “video spin” class (we play music videos for the songs <– makes the workout go by faster!) and one being a non-video, traditional class.
To be honest, Spinning never was, and still isn’t, my favorite workout. (Running has that spot claimed). However, it is my go-to form of cross training. The combination of a dark room and loud music is the stark contrast of my usual sunny and peaceful runs. But sometimes, that change is just what I need.
Being an on-campus Spinning instructor has been the perfect addition to my weekly routine. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I get paid to workout
P.S. Be on the lookout for some of my favorite Spinning playlists!
How often do you spin? Strictly as cross training?
What is you favorite type of music to workout to?