1. WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT? Go to a spinning or an indoor cycling studio. Check out the bikes, speak to an instructor, chat with other students, and then sign up for a class.
2. GET YOUR RIDE ON Take a spinning class. If you're not much of a biker and this is your first class, listen to your body. If the people on either side of you are putting in what looks like 110 percent effort, but you're still feeling things out, go at your own pace.
3. BIKE OUTSIDE Practice makes perfect and familiarity breeds promise. If you've got access to a road bike, get outdoors and get your ride on. Test out some hills and then sprint downhill.
4. TRACK EXERCISE PROGRESS Continue taking classes and charting your progress. Are you gaining comfort on the bike? Are you able to put in more (and more) effort without feeling completely wiped after class?
5. CROSS TRAIN Begin incorporating other exercise routines into your program. Although indoor cycling requires tons of lower body strength, you need to have a strong upper body as well. Always hydrate and make note of your workouts.
6. POST-WORKOUT Learn the importance of cooling down and stretching. They are an essential part of any exercise class or program and crucial for staving off injury.
7. CAN YOU RIDE TO THE BEAT? Can you move? Pay attention to the beats you're riding to in class and then, on your own, listen and ride to see if you've got the rhythm it takes to lead a class full of riders.
8. TIME TO GET SERIOUS: Sign up for a Spinning Instruction class or prepare to audition for a Soul Cycle class. Before you embark on a program, you must be prepared for the rigor and demand involved. Are you in the best shape of your life? You soon will be.
9. CHALLENGE YOURSELF Tough it out. See it through and stick with it. The road to certification may be more challenging than you first realized, but if you've made it this far, then you've got the drive and ambition to keep on keeping on.
10. FINISH STRONG Congratulations! If you passed the test, finished the course, or aced the audition, it's time to celebrate. Make haste in securing a class to teach too. New year, new you!
Before he was a Soul Cycle instructor, Roger Smith was tending bar at a cozy little joint in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. One night when he was behind the bar, slinging drinks per usual, he was approached by a fit-looking woman who complimented him on his shapely physique. Smith assumed her words were simply flirtatious in nature, but as it turns out, she was a recruiter for Soul Cycle and thought Smith looked like he had what it takes to become a teacher of the high-intensity exercise phenomenom.
Smith gamely agreed to check out a class. After one, he admits, he was hooked. "And then, I started going each day for three and a half months," he explained to me. "Every day?" I asked, uncomprehendingly. (I'm an avid runner, but you'd never catch me hitting the pavement seven days a week.) "Yep. Every day," Smith repeated.
Soul Cycle distinguishes itself from Spinning as an indoor cycling exercise, and so the steps involved in training to be an instructor are not one in the same for each company. First, Smith trained extensively and vigorously on the bike. Then came the audition--and the teaching part, of course!
If, unlike Smith, you are not specifically sought out by a cycling recruiter, you still have ample opportunity to become a spinning/indoor cycling instructor. The official Spinning® program offers an instructional course that serves to prepare you for becoming a teacher. Their Spinning® Instructor Training Program involves a comprehensive workshop and hours upon hours on the stationary bike. Upon completion of the course, you'll be certified to teach at one of the company's 30,000 facilities worldwide.
Before you run off and write a check with the idea that you'll emerge as the next best instructor at the gym, we recommend putting some thought into the decision and being fully prepared before you do embark on the cycling guru road. From taking your first class to figuring out which music works for a sweat-breaking speedy sprint, there's plenty to consider prior to getting started. The slideshow above offers ten helpful guidelines for helping you become an indoor cycling professional.
Reprinted with permission from Elizabeth Street. Want more?