Who here feels there is only so many things you can do on a spin bike?
Today I received an email and it gave me pause and I will admit, I felt a little sadness that instructors feel hopeless when it comes to drills.
As instructors are we really becoming brainwashed by certain organizations that believe indoor cycling has only 2 positions - seated and standing? I sure hope not, but I know the grim reality.
Many organizations have created their drills around the world of outdoor cycling; but in my opinion, indoor cycling can differ significantly and it's important to know when both styles of cycling can have a place in the studio.
Today, my hope as I write this post is that I can offer a different perspective when it comes to using drills on the bikes and being creative.
Indoor cycling is so much more than the seated and standing positions. The way we use the music, tempo, cadence, resistance and the transitions between movement positions, is what ultimately creates an awesome drill and leads to variety in drill structuring.
The reason I began to choreograph so many drills and put them into ebooks is because I believe it is the music which creates the variety in cycling, not the positions. Sure, we tend to change the position with the chorus, but if you really listen closely to a song, there is so much more going on.
Let's take the song “I Am Here” by P!nk for example and really give it a listen. If you notice it has a slow start and then builds. Your drill's energy is brilliantly created by the meaning she puts into her song. The tempo is strong, the build up is so powerful, and the music has meaning. If you listen closely in the beginning, you can heat that subtle beat and work with it. This song can easily be used in a seated flat with a standing run, or a standing climb with a power seated sprint to the chorus, or a seated climb with a standing run.
See below how I broke down this drill from the Pump Up Your Ride 4 ebook...
As the instructor, a drill is so much more than putting on a song and cueing “sit” or “stand”; this is where your cueing comes in to create energy.
Instead of "stand", try cueing, “let’s stand and give it all we’ve got!”. Did you notice I used the words “let’s” and “we’ve”? I did that so the energy includes you in the group as the leader because they feed off your enthusiasm. Then use the resistance, cadence and positions to create the drill and use the song to create an experience.
This is the whole purpose behind my ebooks - to inspire drills using songs that work with all the dynamics in cycling from the resistance to the positions to the transitions and all while working with the beat or tempo of the song.
Before we forget, there are lots of movement positions in cycling:
Seated Flat, Standing Flat, Recovery, Seated Climb, Standing Climb, Power Sprints Seated, Power Sprints Standing, Triple Threats, Push Backs (4-16 counts), Jumps (8,16,32 counts).
I personally don’t perform tap backs as I like my legs to evenly flow but to each their own.
For even more variety in your classes, use interactive drills and timer drills along with choreographed drills. If you only use one style you and your classes might be getting bored.
I will leave you with this, let a song be your variety in a drill and it will keep you excited about teaching and help you enjoy the drills better.
Sometimes, we simply need to shift our perspective when it comes to cycling drills. Our industry is changing and growing and it's okay to say good-bye to old cycling beliefs and hello to this amazing world of music!
Note: Indoor Cycling is categorized as "Group Fitness to Music", not simply mimicking outdoor riding. Variety is the spice of life, so keep it fun and remember - it’s not about you, it’s about your participant's enjoyment. Even with a timer drill, the music must flow.
Also, music is not played in the background in group fitness classes (including cycling), music it is what makes a fitness class awesome!
Rachel Seay :)