Spin, Spin, Spinning: Why I Became an Instructor

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.


Blurry picture, but this was my first 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?

Workout Recap & Weekly Reads #1

When I joined cross-country in high school I started tracking my mileage. Usually I’d just keep track on my phone calendar and then write it down on paper every few weeks. Now, years later, I have stacks of paper recapping workouts and I love looking back and reading what my thoughts were during a specific day. So I figured now that I have a blog, I can keep track here (just for my personal note).

I’m hoping I can keep a balance of treadmill and outside runs. During the summer I normally resort to the treadmill because running in the Florida heat and humidity is not my cup of tea. Any time it’s cloudy or slightly breezy, I try to take advantage and run outside. We’ll see how much that happens this summer…

Monday- 4.5 hot miles at the beach. My family and I stayed at a friend’s beach condo for the long weekend and I took advantage of the scenic place. There was barely any breeze and definitely wasn’t any shade but it was a good, sweaty run.

Tuesday This workout from Heather’s blog. Typically, I’m not motivated to workout after work but I’m trying to adjust to the later time so I can sleep in some days ;) I saw this workout earlier in the day and it was just the motivation I needed to get into the gym. I only had time to complete the workout 2 times through so I used heavier weights than I would have if I completed 3 round.

Wednesday- 4.25 miles on the treadmill and planks before work. This was one of my workout-before-work days. Made it to the gym by 5:45 a.m. for a quick run with my dad.

Thursday- 3 miles and a quick weight circuit (3×12 squat to shoulder press, rows, tricep dips). I was not feeling my run today. After I hopped off the treadmill I completed a short weight circuit of my go-to moves.

Friday- Bikram yoga. I’ve been regularly practicing yoga for about 8 months and this was my first Bikram class. To be honest, I didn’t love it. Because it was my first class, all poses and general structure of the class was new to me, so that was the good part. But I feel like I’d get bored going to future classes because of the repetitiveness. Anyone been to Bikram?

Saturday- Body Pump followed by Hot Flow with my mom. Haven’t been to Body Pump in a few weeks and this was a great workout with some new-to-me tracks. Body Pump never disappoints. After Friday’s Bikram, I needed a good Hot Flow class to restore my love of yoga. No worries, it’s completely restored. It was a great and challenging class with a lot of spinal twists and abs.

Body Pump

Sunday- 4.5 mile run outside with my dad. A hot, sweaty, no-breeze run was a nice way to bookend the week of workouts.

Run 6/1

My watermelon colored outfit ;)


Finally, I’m not sure how I want to post links from this week, so for now I will post them today. I like when bloggers share their favorite links so I figured it would be fun to share my favorites here. The topics are pretty random but these are a few that caught my eye this week :)

How to Become a Better Cook- Helpful for people (like me) hoping to improve cooking skills and confidence in the kitchen

Why Celeb Yoga Pics Are Causing Controversy- I wasn’t aware of this controversy, but I guess I can see both sides

Thoughts on Running (+ 3 Tips to Find Joy in Movement) and Body Shame? 5 Ways to Embrace Imperfections- I recently discovered Lauren’s blog and it has become one of my favorites! I love how she has such a positive view of nutrition and exercise.


Hope you all had a nice weekend!