Saturday morning, rather than burrowing under the covers and taking a lazy day like I wanted, I woke up at 4:30 and headed up to the DC area for my cycling certification. I love teaching cycling – I taught for about a year at Appalachian State, and I’ve just been hired to teach at a local club in CVille. The club requires a cycling-specific training on top of my AFAA primary group fitness cert. At first I wasn’t happy about shelling out the $$$ for another cert, but after Saturday’s training I feel a lot more confident and prepared to lead great classes.

I spent a good bit of time looking for good training programs and really not finding anything in my area, so when I saw this one  I jumped on it even though it was a little driving than I would have preferred.
Here is my review of the training:

Pros:
-The Master trainer, Robert, was amazing. His experience in the industry really made a difference in every aspect of the training.
-Schwinn has a ” real outdoor riding” approach, so no hovering, jumps, push-ups, or any of the other silly things some styles incorporate. I want to teach classes that help people become better cyclists or inspire folks to get outside. Schwinn’s approach is perfect for that.
-This style recognizes that each participant has individual goals, so it does not advise instructors to give targets for resistance. YAY! I hate being in a class with a giant male instructor telling me to turn the resistance up to 20 and try to hit 80 RPM. Its not going to happen. Schwinn takes into account that folks have different abilities based on goals, fitness level, and physiology. We were told to never touch a participant’s resistant knob- Phew! That is not my style and I wanted a training that allows me to focus on participants as individuals rather than trying to bludgeon everyone into peak physical condition.
-Everything was based on actual sports science, research, and logic. I particularly loved the overview about how long to make each segment for moderate ( 3 minutes or more), hard (no more than 2 minutes) , or anaerobic work ( no more than 30 seconds). We had a great discussion about why recovery is important and how much recovery to give between segments.
-There are some awesome tools in the guide, like pre-planned rides ( with music) and information about the Schwinn Class Tamer app that can help with class planning and music selection. The information on effective coaching was really valuable, as was the segment on giving people a ” high performance fit” on the training bike.

Cons:
– I’m not going to be teaching at a facility with Schwinn bikes, so some of the training on the bike console and special features was lost on me.
-I felt like we spent too much time on introductions and “getting started” stuff. The second half of the day, focused on coaching basics and ride planning, seemed rushed.
-We were scheduled to have two 45 minute segments of riding, but we only got one- again, it seemed like we went long in the morning and had to make up for it in the afternoon.
-I was totally grumpy for the first half of the day because I had trouble finding the studio and didn’t want to be late…. and I got up at 4:30…, so I didn’t really get my groove and start having fun with the training until about 3 hours in.
Overall, I would highly recommend a Schwinn training to anyone who wants to teach cycling classes that mimic real training. I just recommend you try to find one without the Mpower/ Wattage stuff unless you’ll definitely be teaching on Schwinn bikes. The master instructor really knew his stuff, Schwinn is a well-respected name in the industry, and the personalized approach will keep people of all ability levels coming back to your class.

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