View Full Version : Getting burnt out?

03-19-2006, 06:22 PM
Hey everyone

I've had a great time reading everyone's posts on this forum, and figured it was about time to post myself.

Just to give some background on me: I've been certified to teach SPIN for several years, and have been teaching at my current gym for about 6 months. I love both indoor and outdoor cycling, as well as the members I work with. I'm teaching anywhere from 2-5 times per week. I also work full time, in addition to teaching SPIN.

So the point of my post: I'm starting to feel burnt out, i.e. like the profile ideas I have are old, I'm getting tired of searching for new music, feeling like I'm saying the same stuff over and over, etc. I've lost that zeal to create new profiles and find new music, which is what really concerns me. Good news is that I'm headed to the WSSC conference in June, so I'm hoping to get new ideas and recharge then.

Does anyone have any ideas for me in the meantime (aside from not teaching)? Anything that you've done to help get through these burnt-out feelings?

Thanks for any feedback you can give! :)


03-19-2006, 07:16 PM

I totally understand feeling burnt out...some of the things that i do is make sure that i take time out for myself (no training, no teaching, no working) once a week. That means not thinking about classes, not planning them, nothing.

For myself, I usually take the summer off from teaching spinning. I ride a lot during the summer myself, and too much time in the saddle, is well, too much.

I also recommend, not taking every single opportunity to teach (i.e. if you are asked to sub that kind of thing) and learning to say no. As a fitness leader you need to set boundaries for yourself, otherwise you get spent yourself.

anyway, i don't think i really answered too much, but i hope i did give you some ideas...


03-19-2006, 08:18 PM
Try taking a class which is of a format you don't teach. I like taking Yoga b/c I can get a workout and just enjoy what I'm doing instead of worrying what I have to say/do next and what's going on with those around me.
You have the opportunity to make yourself feel good instead of having the responsibility of trying to make everyone else feel good.
Just a thought.
If that doesn't work, chocolate might! ;)

03-19-2006, 08:29 PM
I also think that taking someone else's (spin) class might help. Get your own ride in. Let someone else take the time to lead you through a ride. The ride feels much different from the instructor's platform than from the rider's seat.

03-19-2006, 09:08 PM
About three months into teaching, I wasn't feeling so hot on it anymore; everything seemed kindof... the same. All my profiles felt the same, I hated my music, etc.

I knew that I loved teaching. I knew that I hadn't actually realized that I didn't enjoy teaching, I was just in a rut. So I knew that something had to change.

My style of teaching changed a bit. I put more effort into the profiles. I quit worrying about making sure there was enough top 40 music to satisfy the masses. I quit being afraid of being one of those wretched mind-body instructors (God forbid, you know? :rolleyes: ) I realized what I wanted out of my teaching experience. I decided I wasn't going to just work a group out. I needed to provide them with a ride. An experience. Something they look forward to. My coaching became just that- coaching, instead of teaching. I started teaching off of the bike. I shed my inhibitions about using inspirational language. I quit caring about pleasing the mass populace, and in the process of it all, my attendance has gone up. I saw the numbers increasing, and my passion for it increased as well.

So now I am back to when I first started, plus some. I have the beginner's excitement, plus some experience, and some more mature passion. You have to persistently find your passion. Make sure that you have students that you are acquainted with. Revel in their successes as your own; their accomplishments and accolades are your's to share. Don't forget Spinning's foremost mission statement: "empowerment." Be an absolute, unfaltering, fervent source of empowerment to all of your students. Realize that you are there for them, so give them all of you. If you are empowered yourself, the gift of empowerment unto others is consequent.

Hope that helps,


03-19-2006, 09:30 PM
Becca, hang in there girl. We ALL go through the ups and downs of feeling stale. Just coming on the forum and sharing with us, and getting ideas from others will get you through this (oh and chocolate too ;) ).
I completely agree with han-grrl about saying "no". It's what get us into trouble sometimes.
Have a small goal between now and Miami, like stealing just 2 new profiles from this forum and some music and let that hold you over.
Get to Miami refreshed, plently of note paper on hand we'll hug a wall together! :D

03-20-2006, 10:14 AM
Patrick are you sure you're only 17????? :) Wisdom beyond your years! You are an unbelievable young man. I'm 38 and don't share the wisdom you exude.


03-20-2006, 12:09 PM
I could have written that exact post! I have been feeling the same way lately. On top of teaching Spin 3-5 times a week, I teach a teen fitness class twice a week and a Powerflex (weight training) class once a week, PLUS I am training for a 25K (15-1/2 mile) run in May. I took the Strength, Hills & Power CE Spin workshop on Saturday hoping it would recharge my batteries and give me some new ideas. Well, I came away with some great info, but didn't feel "recharged". The MI that instructed the workshop was awesome and coached us through a challenging strength ride, but I just feel like my profiles and music...suck! :(
I really like your attitude, Patrick, and I spoke the MI about music, etc. after our workshop, and she said the exact same thing you did in your post. Play the music you want and coach the ride/profile you want and everything will fall into place. The class will hopefully go "internal" and really focus on what their bodies are doing and what they are able to accomplish, rather than thinking of the music or what the guy/gal next to them is doing.
Here's hoping! ;)

03-20-2006, 12:20 PM
This is something Ive done quite a few times in the past that has helped. Organize an instructors ride. it takes a bit of planning but it is fun and well worth the time. When Ive done this I started buy E mailing all the instructors I knew in the area from my club and other clubs too. Since we had like 18 bikes I would get a commitment from 18 people.

The first e mail got the interest up and asked them to think of several dates that would work then once a date was settled on I asked for 4 people to present a 25 minute session. The ride was 2 hrs with 5 minute cushion between instructors. It seemed like we always did this on a Sat afternoon. from 1-3 then after we would go and have a meal together and hang out and talk cycling.

All 4 presenters would ride together in front when it was their turn they got the mic and presented their 25 minutes. Each was given a particular type of ride to present ahead of time so they came prepared. The first would do the warm up and their ride the last would do their ride and a cool down and stretch.

Some would bring in home made snacks the club supplied fruit and energy drink. one winter we did this once a month. it was fun to ride with just instructors and get to hang with them after.

03-20-2006, 12:45 PM
Awesome idea Cat also great for team building! I would also suggest getting out on the real thing and making a day of it to see how your training indoors is translating. I love to ride outdoors its a passion may be you need the interpretation.


03-20-2006, 01:49 PM
I can relate to this too. I have been teaching for seven years and hereís what Iíve done to keep motivated. Aside from the really good suggestions already posted:

Subbing. I have found that coming in to coach a new set of someone elseís students has been challenging and refreshing. You can use your existing (possibly overused rides) and it is brand new to them. You have to win them over and make their experience a good one.
MixMeister or music mixing software. This inspired me for a whole month or so while I reworked my music. I was excited!
Already stated but worth repeating. Take someone else class. If I learn one thing, as in some different drill or even something NOT to do, I am inspired.
Hope this helps!

03-20-2006, 02:40 PM
Patrick are you sure you're only 17????? :) Wisdom beyond your years! You are an unbelievable young man. I'm 38 and don't share the wisdom you exude.


I reckon I'm going to have to copy my birth certificate and post it on here to prove my lack of years to you people... :) I can see you all picturing some 45 yr. old man with a very dark sense of humor sitting behind this very computer boasting the facade of a 17 yr old spinning instructor...

Only marginally appreciative of my marked wetness behind the ears,


03-20-2006, 10:25 PM
:) And a great sense of humor too. I enjoy reading your posts.:)

03-20-2006, 10:43 PM
Patrick, I hope you're still posting here in five, ten years. You have a lot of drive, compassion and talent. It will be interesting to follow your journey...(okay, I was really, really tempted to say "grasshopper" in there, but I didn't. So I hope you all admire my restraint. ;))

03-21-2006, 03:32 AM
Not sure about 'exude'though.

03-21-2006, 03:34 AM
And also..must be 17 if it only took 3 months to get bored.

03-21-2006, 07:22 AM
I think as Instructors we need to actually 'take' a class to see what other Instructors are doing and how they are coaching ... I like to think of my style as being a blend of four Instructors I have ridden with as a participant ... but probably the best fix is to let yourself have at least one veg out day a week or every two weeks ... just sleep in and putter around, turn off the phone, read a book, grab a camera and go for a walk, have a long soak in the tub, nap ... whatever it takes to feel good about doing something just for you all day.

03-21-2006, 07:42 AM
And also..must be 17 if it only took 3 months to get bored.

Proof! :D

Thanks guys. And thank you, JFK. I'd say I admire your restraint. Grasshopper, however, is far from the worst that I get. "Young man," "young guy," and the best of all, "big guy."

3 months, 23 days until I can garner legitimacy,


03-21-2006, 08:27 AM
Wow to be 17 again! I thought you had to be 18 to get certified! Anyway, great reading your posts Patrick. I've also had that feeling of burnout and sometimes I have to literally drag myself to the gym to teach my class, but once I get in there and the students walk in all eager and excited to see what I am bringing them - I get happy again. I also try to break things up a bit and take other types of classes like Pilates, Yoga, Kickboxing or Step. It's nice when you can be the student once in a while instead of the teacher. It makes you appreciate being up there.

Paul S.
03-21-2006, 08:34 AM

Let me repeat some of the things others have said and add some of my own:

Take other instructors' classes! This might be hard to do when you're teaching as many as 5/wk and have a regular job, but you have to do it. Twice in the past month, I've taken another instructor's class at 6 AM and taught mine at 6 PM, with a full day of my regular job between.

Find some little things in the other instructor's classes that you can use in your own. Don't try to be exactly like another instructor, you can't. Just try add little influences from others into your own style.

Take some of your old profiles and rearrange some of the songs, replace an old song or two with new ones. Using an MP3 player makes this sort of thing easy - no more CDs to burn!

Take a yoga class once a week. I've been doing that. It seems to help me keep everything in balance.

Hang in there - June will be here before you know it!

- Paul

03-21-2006, 04:23 PM
I have a question for some of you who are suggesting to take other peoples classes...do you every find that you go back into instructor mode even as a participant?...for example, they are doing something contraindicated, or maybe they aren't such a great instructor...don't you find it a little frustrating?

03-21-2006, 04:37 PM
han-grrl...See my post in the CLIMBS thread, I think I just addressed that very predicament!

03-21-2006, 10:43 PM
Just a quick note to say thank you to all of you and your posts.

I'm taking some time to read and re-read everything, and just let it sink in.

Becca :)

03-22-2006, 09:00 AM
Hi Becca

Read your first post and totally empathised with you. Having been lucky enough to go to WSSCs before, I promise you that it will be a real source of inspiration and new ideas and it will refuel that spinning passion. Not long to go now!