Indoor spin classes are a favourite among gym-goers, remaining popular since they were first started during the late 1980s
. Stationary bikes, a spin instructor, and a room full of sweaty people - it's great cardiovascular exercise, and everyone feels great after they complete a session. Plus you can burn up to 500 calories
in under an hour. Make sure you tell your riders this - they'll definitely be back for more! But what is the best way to hold your riders' attention during your spin class? Here we outline how you can create a killer spin class routine, and coax out every ounce of effort from your riders.
Create a Fun and Welcoming Atmosphere
Exercise should be fun. You don't want to put people off coming back by taking it all too seriously. You should push them hard - but not so hard that they aren't enjoying themselves. Have some music on when people enter, and at the start of classes get your riders to say hello to their neighbours - who they probably haven't met before. A friendly atmosphere can make it feel like they're riding as part of a team, which is great motivation for everybody. In fact, some classes go so far as to try to make it feel like a party or nightclub, with pumping music to get people's adrenaline flowing. Also, try to learn your regular riders' names. We know you'll be meeting an awful lot of people, but small personal touches will make your sessions seem so much more welcoming. Always finish your sessions with a round of applause for everybody, and get them all to join in. They've worked hard and deserve the praise. Plus, the better they feel afterwards, the higher the chances of them coming back for more.
Use Music to Keep Them Going
Music is a tried and tested method of getting the best out of people at the gym. It offers a distraction from the physical task at hand and keeps us occupied while working hard. It's very rare to enter a gym and not see anyone with headphones these days. But music doesn't only have to be an enjoyable extra. You can use it strategically by creating a playlist of music to suit your spin class. Let's say you have an hour's class time, with a 10-minute warm up at the start. Shoot for something slow during the warm up, and then build up the tempo into the main body of exercise. Towards the end of your session, bring the tempo back down to something slower for your cool down period. Exercising to music in an instructor-led session means that your whole class will be moving at the same speed. You can use slower music for beginner classes, and faster music for experts. This will help to keep motivation levels high, as there won't be people getting left behind. So everyone will be on the same page. You might need a license to use music during your fitness classes, so make sure you know what you need
and have this in place before your riders arrive.
Vary the Exercises
To keep people focused, you have to offer some variety. Straight up cycling at various speeds is great exercise, but you need to think about incorporating other, more interesting activities. This way, you'll be engaging people's minds, and not just their bodies.
Jumps are a good way of mixing things up, and you can teach people to do it in time with the music. It's good to start these at a low resistance, or new riders may be put off by this exercise. But once they're up to speed, transitioning between standing and sitting can be very beneficial. A simple way of getting the music involved is to get everybody standing for four beats, then sitting for four beats. It's a simple count that will keep everybody in time with you.
More experienced riders can use weights during spin class, which is a great way to improve muscular endurance. Only use relatively light weights in your class - it's not a strength training session, and you don't want anyone getting distracted by the bike and injuring themselves.
Another great way to get your riders excited is to get them dancing in their seats. The upper body is doing choreographed moves, while the legs are cycling along to the music. When you choose your music, make sure it's got a fairly basic verse-chorus structure, and give them different tasks to do during each. This will prevent them from getting bored by just doing the same thing over and over. It will also help them to focus and pay attention to the music and stay in time during the exercises. This can be a really fun way of spinning, and will definitely put smiles on your riders' faces.
Hills and Sprints
Cycling at one speed at the same resistance for an hour will bore your riders senseless. So don't ask them to do it. You need to set a variety of tasks throughout the class, including resistance training on hills, as well as a few sets of fast sprints for them to complete. The variety and challenge of these exercises will help to keep them engaged, even if they're sweating a lot! Call out and keep them motivated while they're doing this hard work. Encouragement coupled with short breaks should help them complete the full session without too many problems.
Now you're all set to get up and ride, with the fantastic spin class you've prepared for your next lucky class. If you got stuck while picking music, or you think that it'll simply take you too long, don't worry. We're releasing our own spinning playlists, which you can use to keep your riders working hard. Our first volume of spinning music
will be out later this year. And we wish you the best luck with your next spin class!