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Thread: Having trouble with a new class

  1. Default Having trouble with a new class

    I took over a class a month ago and I'm really strugling with it. I have been teaching a couple years and have six other class that are lots of fun and a couple are even full every week. But with this class I have several issues.

    First - The Spinner Elite bikes have a safty devise that allows the pedals to stop while the fly wheel is spinning. Makes standing with a smooth pedal stroke very difficult without maxium resistance.

    Second - This class is mostly large women who seem to do what thay want. Several wear their own iPods, one seems to do her own workout pushing just as hard as she can. Seveal walked out in the middle of class to get a drink from the fountin. They did come back. Some do not seem to speak english very well if at all. And I'm scared to death I'm going to push them way too hard and give one a heart attack.

    I'm starting to regret taking this class but I want to make it work if I can.

  2. #2

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    As an aside, I wouldn't have an issue with riders getting up to go to the water fountain--in fact, I encourage people in my classes that if they need to refill their water bottles at the water fountain, they should do so--it tells me that they are working hard and drinking the right amount of water.

    There are some threads around about students using their ipods and listening to their own music--you might want to read those and see what approach you want to take.

    Have you talked to other instructors at the facility about their experiences and their classes? Ask the riders for their music recommendations and put together a "people's choice" ride. If language is an issue, see if there are photos, graphs, charts, videos, etc., you can use to get your point across--it will probably get their attention.

    I'd also say, at the end of the day, you already teach 6 classes a week: it's OK to walk away if it's not working out for you.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Clydesdale View Post
    I took over a class a month ago and I'm really strugling with it. I have been teaching a couple years and have six other class that are lots of fun and a couple are even full every week. But with this class I have several issues.

    First - The Spinner Elite bikes have a safty devise that allows the pedals to stop while the fly wheel is spinning. Makes standing with a smooth pedal stroke very difficult without maxium resistance.

    Second - This class is mostly large women who seem to do what thay want. Several wear their own iPods, one seems to do her own workout pushing just as hard as she can. Seveal walked out in the middle of class to get a drink from the fountin. They did come back. Some do not seem to speak english very well if at all. And I'm scared to death I'm going to push them way too hard and give one a heart attack.

    I'm starting to regret taking this class but I want to make it work if I can.
    Not familiar with the bike, but this sounds like they are freewheel rather than fixie. It does require more skill, and it is more work, to ride a freewheeling indoor bike than the standard fixie. As an outdoor rider, I am drooling with your fortune. As an IDC, it does make it harder to teach, especially with the described population.

    Have you spoken with any of the participants? What are they interested in - music, ride; why are they there?
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleGuy View Post
    Not familiar with the bike, but this sounds like they are freewheel rather than fixie.
    Sounds like the Smart Release system. It's not quite a freewheel but, at least, if you try to stop the pedals without using the "brake", it's not quite so hard. It does make standing difficult if you're not used to the feeling on the pedals slipping though....at any weight. Never having used them before, the first few times were tricky even for me for me.

    I taught on them at one gym.....and these are definitely the bikes you need the pedal stroke drills to help riders to use them right. I started doing some of Jennifer Sage's pedal stroke drills for a few minutes every class during warm up just to gt members away from the stair stepper technique. After that, I never had a problem with the regular members and pedals slipping and any time someone new to that type of bike complained about the bikes being broken, everyone'd be offering up advice about pedal stroke.

    Interestingly, one member who'd only ever taken classes on these bikes went to Florida on va-cay and and took classes at a gym with with the regular set up and apparently, at the end of class just slowed her pedals "as usual" (never having appreciated the need to follow my instructions for using the safey brake) and was darn near dragged out of the saddle. She shared with me that, even in the moment of panic, all that went through her head was the sound of my voice intoning "Listen to me now, or believe me later!)

    Vivienne

  5. Default

    Thank you everyone, very helpful. Vivienne, I agree a stroke clinic is in order. Been thinking of doing one anyway so now is the time. Now if I could only get some feedback from the class, that would be great. Still not talking today, I'll give it a few more months to see if they get used to me.

    Thanks again everyone

  6. Default

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    One thing I have tried with classes who are listening to their own music is putting out a little form where they fill in their favorite artist and song to listen to - and they have to do it before leaving class. That way, they don't have to interact directly with you if they don't feel comfortable - you don't even know who put down what song. And then you can make a playlist with the music they love. It might help them engage.

    And they know if they leave for water and dilly dally for too long they may miss their song!!

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