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View Full Version : New instructor...help!



missyogie@aol.com
01-04-2012, 11:11 PM
I am having a hard time understanding cadence, bpm, heart rate zone and how they all tie together when putting a class together. I know what they are individually but when putting a profile together i find i put the playlist together and have a hard time feeling what each song is supposed to be doing...(hill, flat, etc.) i have taught a few classes (subbed) and it felt awesome...but i am def in the learning stages here. Please any suggestions would be appreciated.

Todd S
01-05-2012, 01:24 AM
I think you are making things too hard. Physiologically, all that really matters is intensity (perceived or as measured on a power meter). The others are red herrings. Manage intensity and you manage the workout.

matteobma
01-05-2012, 03:54 AM
I think that I can't answer in shortly and appropriate manner (like Todd has already done), anyway I think you need more pages, ...or an ebook (http://www.indoorcycleinstructor.com/) may help.
Check Jennifer Sage (Funhogs) posts...and "Keep it Real" your IC classes !

Ciao Matteo :)

InnerDrive
01-05-2012, 06:32 AM
As Todd said, what you really want to focus on is intensity (how hard you're working). Here's how it all fits together - when you're working harder (higher intensity) your heart rate will rise. There are basically 3 ways to increase your intensity on the bike: 1) Add resistance, 2) Increase cadence, 3) Add resistance AND increase cadence. Generally speaking, slower cadence/higher resistance efforts most closely resemble hill climbs, more moderate resistance with faster cadence efforts most closely resemble flat roads. At any cadence (flat or climbing) you can have a wide range of intensity efforts depending on how much resistance you're using, and/or you can moderate the intensity by adding or dropping off a little leg speed. I generally try to match the tempo or feel of the music to the work we're doing - for "climbing" efforts, my music choices are typically songs in the 60-70 (or 120-140) bpm range, and usually have a pretty strong driving beat. For hard fast flats, music will usually have a tempo of 80 bpm or above, and will be very upbeat and feel "fast". For recovery efforts, the bpm of the music often doesn't matter as much, but the music will have more of a relaxed, flowing feel. Not everyone matches the tempo of their music to the effort, but I find it helpful... You might try going through your music and classifying it - I have playlists set up by bpm, and also by how I might use them in a profile - warm-up, recovery/cool down, strong hills, moderate hills, moderate flats, fast flats, etc. Good luck!

PedalFaster
01-05-2012, 02:54 PM
jsnowash: I just hit the "like" button. ;)

toffy
01-06-2012, 05:11 AM
jsnowash and PedalFaster: Another 'like' here...
:-)

sandy
01-06-2012, 08:11 AM
I think it is possible that some people cannot hear beats. Case in point, I will play a song that has an extremely obvious downbeat for climbing and encourage members to grab a hold of it to climb to. Especially if we're working an increase in intensity by staying with our cadence and increasing resistance. There are always a few individuals that literally "don't hear it". So I will say look at my pedal stroke and try to get on it. But if your the instructor and can't hear it then it could be an issue.
Missyogie said she has a hard time figuring out what she is supposed to be doing with the song. There are ways to find out BPM on each song. If you can get an inexpensive metronome and set it to the various BPM and imagine your pedalstroke as the swing of the arm of the metronome it may help. Do it at home as a study. 60-80/85 bpm on a climb, 90-110 on a flat.

bike4fun
01-07-2012, 03:17 PM
From your post it seems that you put a playlist together and then try to come up with movements to match the songs. How about trying a new approach? I always plan my class profile first and then find music that suits. A slower song with a driving beat can make for a good climb and a faster tempo for a flat but I don't always match bpm up. I often use the mood or feeling of a song. I think this might take the pressure off of feeling like the songs are dictating the class.

I would keep your profiles simple at first and ride them on your own before teaching them. That should help you figure out how everything comes together into a beautiful class.

redroses333
01-08-2012, 06:23 PM
I am the same way... just enjoy the class, smile and make them SWEAT!

britcanuckusa
01-08-2012, 08:42 PM
Do your bikes have cadence monitors? If so, then it is easy to incorporate cadence without having to tie it into the BPM of the song. We don't have computers on our bikes, so I find it easier to use the BPM when determining the cadence range for a particular segment. I like "Bike4Fun"'s suggestion to put together the profile, then find music to match each segment. That's what I now do, and it makes life much easier (before, I used to find the songs, then try to figure out what they should be - spent a lot of time re-organizing that way). As for HR, I give rough guidelines - i.e. 50-65% for warmup/cooldown, 60-75% for recovery or light-moderate efforts, 70-85% for more challenging segments (accelerations or moderate hills), 75-90% for the most challenging efforts. I typically only have 1 or 2 people with HR monitors in each class, though, so I don't spend a lot of time on the HR recommendations. Instead, I will tell them what type of terrain they are entering (slightly steeper than a flat...feeling like you are pushing through a headwind...not quite on a hill, but starting to feel yourself slow down...moderate hill...steep hill etc.). I will also give them a number to help them figure out where to set the resistance (i.e. 5 is flat, 6 is headwind, 7 is low to moderate hill, 8 is moderate to steep hill, 9 is very steep hill - will need to come out of the saddle).
It takes time, but it will all come together. Just try to relax and have fun!

jquibell
01-08-2012, 09:32 PM
The great thing about the Spinning program is that you really don't need to match music with any particular movement. I have tons of music and can pretty much use any playlist with any profile that I can come up with. If you are familiar with your music and know what's coming up, you can customize your profiles to work and even within the framework that I have planned, I can still make adjustments on the fly depending on what my students are feeling like too. I use a lot of music that moves you. So it can move you at a pace in line with a hill and it can also be used in line with the pace of a flat. So, what else is there to hold you back? Nothing really. Remember that Spinning is a mind-body training session. Your mind can take your body anywhere it wants to. Your only limitation lies within your imagination. Stick to the basics of the Spinning program and then as you become comfortable with that, you'll be able to let your imagination take your students on many training journeys. And ALWAYS use your HRM and insist that your student do the same. Otherwise, they will never be able to know the intensity that you are looking for. You've designed the program and only by the use of the monitor and several cadence counts during your workout can you know that the students are accomplishing what you've prepared for them.

Be a motivator. That's really what your students need to make their workout terrific.

mayer
01-09-2012, 01:35 AM
One thing that helped me understand cadence when I was just starting out: I listened to my playlist on a stationary bike at the gym that displayed cadence in bpm, and tried riding different sets (hills, intervals, etc) to the rhythm of each song. I noticed some patterns. For example, songs that were great for climbing (especially with a lot of resistance) felt great around 60-70 bpm. I started to design my workouts around these patterns, and after awhile, it simply became 2nd nature. Have fun!

Jennifer Goodman
03-05-2012, 07:02 PM
Another "newbie" here. Reading all this info about music is helpful. In my years of working out, music has really made an impact. I look forward to putting together music (I hope) that will make any classes I instruct, a great fun workout. Thanks, =)

rashana03
03-11-2012, 07:47 PM
I am new too and I am in the midst of creating a playlist.

yifizzle
10-02-2012, 12:30 PM
Me too! trying to create some good playlists for some upcoming auditions. eeeek. It's fun but intimidating!

@jquibell The great thing about the Spinning program is that you really don't need to match music with any particular movement.

Does this mean it's okay if you don't match your song's BPMs directly with the expected cadence? Of course, a climbing and sprinting songs will be quite different, but I was told to choose good motivating songs with several beats. So I'm trying to find songs that people can get "into" but not being as specific about the BPM as long as it's in a general range.

Sstoepel
11-12-2012, 10:48 PM
Awesome input. Motivation songs! Thanks!

rider3
01-21-2013, 03:55 PM
I am also new and this is great info! Thanks!

admin
01-23-2013, 06:53 PM
I think it is possible that some people cannot hear beats. Case in point, I will play a song that has an extremely obvious downbeat for climbing and encourage members to grab a hold of it to climb to. Especially if we're working an increase in intensity by staying with our cadence and increasing resistance. There are always a few individuals that literally "don't hear it". So I will say look at my pedal stroke and try to get on it. But if your the instructor and can't hear it then it could be an issue.
Missyogie said she has a hard time figuring out what she is supposed to be doing with the song. There are ways to find out BPM on each song. If you can get an inexpensive metronome and set it to the various BPM and imagine your pedalstroke as the swing of the arm of the metronome it may help. Do it at home as a study. 60-80/85 bpm on a climb, 90-110 on a flat.
An option here maybe to introduce an unconventional track that's not in 4/4 time; like a waltz which is in 3/4 time, as in left right left / right left right which has everyone dancing on the pedals - there's a bunch of 3/4 songs here (http://www.indoorcycleinstructor.com/icipro-instructor-training/music/teach-em-to-dance/).

buttonbabe
01-27-2013, 08:27 PM
As a 15 yr spin instructor the most valuable piece of advise that one of my mentors gave me was to always show up prepared, in charge and with a smile. Be personable, be available, be on time and be confident!Your students will appreciate these qualities and will make becoming the excellent spin instructor we all strive to be attainable.

kgretalove
02-03-2013, 10:49 AM
Great advice! I find that knowledge of the music on your playlist is imperative in producing a stellar ride. It also shows you care. I have a pet peeve about instructors who can the song - mid-ride because it is not fitting with what their profile is, means they didn't care enough to craft a good ride/profile. Laziness.

tcycle
06-18-2013, 11:10 AM
I am also a newbie spin teacher. In my 6 years as a spinning participant, I was always drawn to teachers with a similar taste in music. I try to use a variety of music that I like and show my enthusiasm as I ride, which seems to be working so far.

Thank you, britcanuckusa, for the description of the terrains and corresponding number. All great information!

aimaro
08-16-2013, 06:24 PM
My advice: don't try to teach like someone else - be yourself and be original. While the participants needs are important and you need to keep them in mind, it took me years of trying to mimic other teaching styles before finding my groove. I didn't really ENJOY teaching until I gave up trying to be a different type of instructor.

clopez.creative
09-15-2013, 09:41 AM
Lots of great advice. I too am a newbie. When I am working on a playlist I try to pick music that is motivational but I don't get count up in the actual BPMs. There will always be riders that are auditory in nature and like the BPMs to coincide with the RPMs. I feel like when you link the two up too closely the ride feels truncated. I prefer to let the actual ride steer the class and not the music steer the ride.

Tymom06
10-15-2013, 04:02 PM
Also a newbie. Hoping to read some helpful tips and answers on here!