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tracik
02-23-2007, 11:54 PM
Hi,
I was put in a slightly awkward situation this week at my gym. My fitness director asked me to sit in on a demo class of a brand new instructor (the instructor also asked me to sit in on the class). This wasn't a problem at all, except that they both asked me to give the instructor feedback. This wouldn't have been a problem, either, except that the new instructor was recently certified, while I am still awaiting my opportunity to be certified (I'm hoping to do MDA next month, and a YMCA 2-day workshop in April....haven't been able to in the past year I've been teaching with pregnancy, new baby, etc.). My boss didn't feel this was a problem as she felt my experience was valuable and I try to keep up with safety issues, etc. by reading lots (thanks to this website, in many cases!)

Anyway, this instructor was certified by AAAI. Some of the movements and cueing felt not quite right to me and I wanted to check it out here.
1. She instructed participants to sprint with hands in HP3 and hover their bottoms over the seat during the sprint.
2. On heavy climbs, she encouraged us to sway from side to side and put our weight over each side to get up the hill.
3. One segment involved standing and going from HP1, HP2, and HP3 in very short intervals (I saw this at a club in FL a few months ago as well).

I admit that I don't have the proper credentials to critique anyone at this point, so I'm looking to the experts here to tell me if these movements are normal or acceptable and I'm just missing something. I basically gave the instructor lots of positive feedback on her confidence level, enthusiasm, timing for cues, etc....tried to stay more generic. I acknowledged that I wasn't yet certified, but in the reading I've done, I thought a couple of things might not fly under some certifying bodies' standards, but that each method seems to teach things at least slightly differently. Since our gym doesn't subscribe to one particular certification, who am I to judge, right?

Can anyone shed any light on the movements listed above? Are they safe or correct according to most certifications? I just didn't feel that they were, but I'm trying to learn like everyone else and would like to be enlightened if I'm wrong!

Thanks so much!
Traci

ACinNJ
02-24-2007, 05:22 AM
If someone has a certification from AAAI and someone else has RPM and someone else has a MDA cert, all 3 have different hand positions and movements that they deem either proper or improper. You can't critique the program or the movements just because you know it one way and the other person was taught something else. An anaolgy is like watching NBA basketball, NCAA basketball, and Olympic/international basketball. If you just know basketball to throwing a ball into a hoop, it all looks the same. If you actually know basketball, there are many different rule changes regarding 3 seconds, 3 point lines, fouling and putting the ball into play after it goes out of play.

So...focus your feedback on the instructor. Cueing, profile, communication skills, ability to connect with the riders, music selection. Was her cueing clear and concise? Did the profile have a plan or did she just seem to wing it? Is the person able to speak coherently? Does she have the right kind of personality that will motivate riders or is she just a "Barbie" on a bike? Does the music advance the profile?

Evaluating one cycling pogram versus another is certainly not appropriate if your asked to give feedback in a hiring process. If the Y thinks AAAI is a valid certification body, then you assume what she did is what she was taught to do. Or, just ask her if it is what she was taught or is she making things up? If the director has no idea what AAAI teaches instructors to do, then why have someone in there auditioning in the first place?

tracik
02-24-2007, 08:02 AM
If someone has a certification from AAAI and someone else has RPM and someone else has a MDA cert, all 3 have different hand positions and movements that they deem either proper or improper. You can't critique the program or the movements just because you know it one way and the other person was taught something else. An anaolgy is like watching NBA basketball, NCAA basketball, and Olympic/international basketball. If you just know basketball to throwing a ball into a hoop, it all looks the same. If you actually know basketball, there are many different rule changes regarding 3 seconds, 3 point lines, fouling and putting the ball into play after it goes out of play.

So...focus your feedback on the instructor. Cueing, profile, communication skills, ability to connect with the riders, music selection. Was her cueing clear and concise? Did the profile have a plan or did she just seem to wing it? Is the person able to speak coherently? Does she have the right kind of personality that will motivate riders or is she just a "Barbie" on a bike? Does the music advance the profile?

Evaluating one cycling pogram versus another is certainly not appropriate if your asked to give feedback in a hiring process. If the Y thinks AAAI is a valid certification body, then you assume what she did is what she was taught to do. Or, just ask her if it is what she was taught or is she making things up? If the director has no idea what AAAI teaches instructors to do, then why have someone in there auditioning in the first place?

AC...I totally agree. Not to be cliche, but it's like comparing oranges to apples, and in the is case, I don't even have an apple yet. I tried to just focus on the general, common sense kind of thing...which she had a good grasp on, for the most part. I told her I had no idea what AAAI teaches (I actually didn't realize they offered a certification in cycling), and that every certifying group seems to have their own "thing." I only mentioned that a couple of things differed from what I had learned so far, but that it didn't deem it right or wrong. I don't think she took it as me making a judgement....just sharing the differences I've observed so far.

Moonsavvy....ineffective is what I was thinking, too.

Thanks for the input!

sandy
02-24-2007, 10:05 AM
What's a Barbie on a bike? And is there a Ken to match?

chocolate
02-24-2007, 11:52 AM
now....i am a little confused...i was tought that when you climb you can move a little bit side to side..i mean not to be straight as a rock (as a lot of instructors does)...cause spinning is a road or mountain ride simulation right??....
i do have a student that moves side to side...crazy...it seems like she is going to fly with the bike.....even i say not to...she still does it...so my question is...is this movement can hurt her...or i just let her do it??
thank u

ACinNJ
02-24-2007, 03:16 PM
What's a Barbie on a bike? And is there a Ken to match?

Instructor eye candy...nothing much going on, but nice to look at...and they come in either gender.

Robert
02-24-2007, 04:58 PM
1. She instructed participants to sprint with hands in HP3 and hover their bottoms over the seat during the sprint.
2. On heavy climbs, she encouraged us to sway from side to side and put our weight over each side to get up the hill.
3. One segment involved standing and going from HP1, HP2, and HP3 in very short intervals (I saw this at a club in FL a few months ago as well).


As AC says, focus on the instructor rather than the program - after all, there's so much disagreement about what and who is right that the only thing we can really judge is (a) are they safe and (b) are they good presenters. That's enough with which to start - everybody can learn along the way....

That said, from an entirely personal point of view:

1 - back for the lower back, especially if you mean sprint as a "proper" sprint, i.e., with a lot of resistance.
2 - depends what you mean but I've seen instructors cue the class to shift and put all their weight on a single leg. Not very good for the knees.
3 - Sounds like a jump but I guess it depends how rapidly. So long as they always have control, it's safe.

Cheeze
02-24-2007, 04:59 PM
I'll try 1 and 2. I'm Spinning certified and Catfish has also taken me to the school of common sense a few times.

(#1) The true sprint in Spinning is an all out (anaerobic and CP energy system) effort lasting 20-30 seconds. You want to ride the biggest gear you can as fast as you can up to a cadence of 110RPM. Subsequently at the start of the sprint you've got to get on that big gear (big resistance) until you get on top of it (or break it). When trying to "break the gear" you're looking to get power any way you can. She is correct that you want to be in HP3. You help the legs go down by pulling up on the bars. However as Moon posted hovering is very ineffective when one is trying to produce power. You want you hips over the bottom bracket so your legs are coming straight down (pile drive into or) over the pedals. You want to let your hips and legs flow with the pedal stroke rather than freezing them or forcing them to be in a position they don't want to be in. As Phil Liggett said yesterday - the body will always be true to itself.

(#2) She is kinda correct on this one. When on a heavy climb in HP3 you want to relax your hips so they can flow with the rhythm of the pedal stroke. As the pedal goes down you should be pulling up on the bars and allowing your weight to shift to the side direct over the down stroking pedal - all in an effort to get as much power as possible from 2:00 - 6:00. If this is done properly this action of shifting your weight creates a "naturally occurring" rhythmic side-to-side motion. I encourage my students to dance up the hill. This reminds them to let the rhythm occur naturally as a result of the way they are pedaling the bike - rather than working to make the rhythm (swaying side-to-side) happen. Think about the movie Hitch when Hitch taught Albert how to dance - standing in one spot - shifting your weight back and forth from over one leg to the other. IMO if your students understand why they go side to side - they will sway just enough to be effective and not loose power.

(#3) I have no idea what that HP1 to HP2 to HP3 back to HP1 thing is all about. IMO its for entertainment value only. If you are standing - it means you have resistance on the wheel. In HP1 you are not holding onto the bars. Nothing to keep your hands from sliding off the bars - nothing to prevent you from falling to the side. When standing your hands (in HP2 or HP3) on the bars provide the base from which you stand against. HP1 was meant for the saddle. Subsequently in my opinion you have no business having your hands in HP1 while standing. So ....... I guess I did take a slice out of #3.

My slice of Cheeze. Let me know if you disagree

DramaQueen
02-26-2007, 05:02 PM
Hey cheeze,
good explanation! I agree totally. :D

tracik
02-26-2007, 10:57 PM
Cheeze...good points. Thanks for taking the time to post such detailed explanations. My problem with the swaying on the climb was that she was encouraging an exaggerated movement, almost forcing your weight from side to side, whereas I always thought it was to be a more natural, less deliberate shift in weight. I think of it as something that just happens mechanically as you climb, not something you should have to force your body to do, if that makes sense.

Robert...in regards to #3, they weren't jumps. We stayed standing the whole time, just changing hand position. When I was in Florida visiting last fall, the instructor had us do the same thing every 2 beats or so with the music....HP1, HP2, HP3 to the beat, all standing. I was just waiting for someone to lose their balance and fall off the bike.:confused: