I take a spinning class. I've said before that the group work we do there is the easily one of the most important things I do to prepare for an upcoming race season. I've been taking it for four years now or thereabouts, always with the same instructor.
Last night we had a different instructor and he is the inspiration for this blog post.
First of all, in fairness to him, because I'm sure on any other day I would not have been quite as picky, I was in no mood to go to spinning. I was feeling very much like I'd prefer a movie night on the couch, but having already taken three weeks off training for the Olympics, there wasn't really much lee-way for laziness. Off I went, bad attitude and all.
In such a mood, the following things were crystalized for me in terms of what I like best about spin instructors.
1.) I like to know where we're going (even if it's technically nowhere). I like to know how many pieces, how many sets, what zones we'll visit and how much rest. I like to know all of this before we start so I know where we are in the workout and how much I'll need left in the tank (and when I know it's time to empty it).
2.) I like varied music. Rage Against the Machine and Rammstein for sure have their place. It's a dark, hurtful place, but totally applicable to a power workout. But four RATM songs in a row, and little outside the genre to fill the 90 minute class makes me feel a little bit stabby. Feel free to throw in a little Glee soundtrack, or Taylor Swift.
3.) I like to be told again and again what we're doing, and what zone I should be aiming for. Because when I'm sweating it out in zone 4 or 5, I tend to forget.
4.) If I ask a question, usually related to the forgetting mentioned in number 3, I like to be answered politely, and with a certain forgiveness for letting some details slip.
5.) I like a proper cool down, and stretch. And if we can add in some core work before that, that's okay with me too.
6.) I like chit chat, or "stand up" when we're not working. Anything to make me smile again after grinding out whatever piece we've just finished.
7.) I like real-life simulations. I don't like to do anything on a spin bike that I wouldn't do on my bicycle.
8.) I think proper rest should be built into the workout so that when we're working on power, you don't hit that point where you're just beating yourself up.
So there you have it. If you're a spin instructor, I bet I'm not the only person who values these points. In the mean time, I'll work on cheering up. :)