Surprise!!!! While I’ve been coping with my injury, I have spent a lot more time on the bike than I ever had before. I started getting bored of the regular stationary bikes at my gym and noticed that no one was in the spin studio in the mornings, so I would sneak in and start pedaling away holding my own classes for myself. As the weeks passed, I grew to love it more and more until I finally decided I wanted to get certified.
While I’ve been sidelined I really wanted to focus on keeping my cardio endurance up because we all know that getting back to running after you haven’t done it for awhile is TOUGH STUFF. I had read an article awhile back comparing different exercises indoors vs. outdoors like running, cycling, swimming etc. While running is usually more difficult outdoors, it turns out that cycling and spinning indoors can be just as difficult if not more so than biking outdoors. So, I was all for it. Bring on the cardiovascular goodness.
I looked around for awhile trying to figure out what kind of a certification I wanted to get. Like when I was looking for my Personal Trainer certification, I wanted something that was credible and very well respected. Because of this, I went with Spinning. There are plenty of other indoor cycling programs (Schwinn, Cycling Fusion etc.) but Spinning was the first and is, in my opinion, the best. Why is it the best? A class cannot technically be called a Spin Class unless it uses Spinning brands bikes and the instructor is Spinning certified. That being said, Spinning instructors can teach other indoor cycling classes, so it made the most sense to me.
What does getting certified entail?
The million dollar question haha! Getting certified involves an online exam of 50 questions that cover materials in a textbook they provide and attending a 9hr intensive course. You have two chances to complete the exam and must score above an 80%.
What is the 9hr course like?
The 9hr course started right at 9 am and was taught by one of Mad Dogg Athletics Master Instructors. Now, I feel like at face value a one day intensive class doesn’t feel like it would set you up to be that great of an instructor, but I disagree after attending that session. My Master Instructor, Lynn, was OUT OF THIS WORLD knowledgable about not only all things Spinning, but all things cycling in general. Honestly, I was blown away by all she had to offer us.
We started the day off by learning a little bit of background about the organization and what Spinning really is. After that is was on to fitting students for a bike. We learned all about proper seat height, fore and aft placement, and everything in between. We even got a chance to practice on one another so our Instructor could verify that we weren’t just nodding our heads and saying “sure, sounds good”. Best news is that I passed with flying colors, so if you’re looking to get yourself properly seated anytime soon, I’m your go to gal.
From there, we headed back to the classroom to learn about the different movements that make up a Spinning class. This includes things like Seated Flat, Standing Climb, Jumps, and everything and anything in between. We moved our butts back from the classroom to the (perfectly tailored) bikes for a class that was no music, just moving through moves. We worked on listening to cadences, counting, and really getting the feel for the bike. Our Instructor also took us through some ideas for cueing as well and after about 45 minutes, I was one sweaty girl.
We took a break for lunch and to guzzle down a million water bottles before getting back at it. We talked about heart rate training, which I’m a firm believer in and will blog about soon, but I was already pretty familiar with this because of running and personal training. Next we spent a good portion of time working on formatting and planning out an actual class. I found this part to be super interesting. We did a couple exercises and the Instructor shared personal experiences about what does and does not work in a class. One of the main reasons I want to be an instructor is that I have been to my fair share of classes where the teacher is just not good and it ruins the experience. I am going to strive to be the instructor I would want to take a class from.
At one point, we went around and had to discuss what qualities we thought made up a good coach and I said that they are “present”. This means they don’t phone it in, they invest in their students and they open up their eyes to see how everyone is doing and learn when it’s okay to push and when it’s better to back off.
After going through some more drills, we hopped in the saddle for our final ride. When I say this was the toughest Spin sesh of my life, I’m not even remotely kidding. It was a test of endurance, strength, and mental toughness all in one. And I loved every minute of it. My heart rate was the highest I think I’ve ever seen it at one point. We worked on sprints, climbs, more sprints, longer endurance up a hill, and while it seemed endless in the moment, by the time the class was over it felt like I had only blinked. I loved it. The high and rush of endorphins I get after can’t be beat. Only running and spinning have ever gotten me to that place and it’s like a drug, I swear.
Overall, I would recommend the Spinning Trainer Certification to anyone. If you enjoy Spinning and indoor cycling classes, this certification is a great one and focuses so greatly on the importance of safety and really emulating what it’s like to ride a bike outside. As always, if you have any questions, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll leave you with this picture of Boo from doggy day care. The girl just can’t take a photograph to save her life.