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Fun Indoor Cycling Class Tips

5 Ways to Make Indoor Cycling More Fun – For Instructors

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Looking for some ideas to make indoor cycling more fun not only for your class, but for you as an instructor? Then you’ve come to the right place! Chances are you already love indoor cycling because you lead a class, but doing the same thing over and over again can get super boring. Not only that, but you may not physically get as much out of your workouts as your body becomes accustomed to your workout pattern.

Creating an indoor cycling class and community that is engaging, challenging, and ever-evolving is key to the long-term success of your group.

Although many enjoy the intense but low-impact workout that cycling can offer, many keep coming back because of the sense of community and friendly competition that can come from group exercise experiences.

Think about the indoor cycling classes that you’ve attended as a participant and enjoyed. What was it that kept you coming back? Did you feel connected to either the instructor or other participants? How did you feel after each workout?

So let’s get started – here are 5 simple ways to make your indoor cycling more fun for everyone.

1. Try New Music and Turn It Up!

If you find yourself consistently making playlists with the same type of music, it may be time to add some variety and mix it up. A change in music is like an instant remodel for a cycling class and can make it more fun and enjoyable for everyone.

You may also find that switching up your tunes may help your class to appeal to a larger audience. At one of the clubs I’ve worked at, I had a large percentage of retirees. They didn’t enjoy my typical music with a heavy beat as much as the throwbacks they were familiar with. One even said “I didn’t know a single song you played this week!”

Of course, you can’t please everyone all the time. But if people are coming regularly to your class, try and choose songs that appeal to everyone when possible. It also shows that you care about your participants and want to get to know them.

Here are a few ideas:

  • “Through the decades” (60s, 70s, 80s, etc)
  • Holiday or Seasonal themes
  • Focus on music with a specific word or phrase (stronger, champion, run, etc)
  • Genre Switch-Up (Country, Rock, Pop, EDM, Decades)
  • Featured Artist
  • Movie or TV Show inspired

Get inspired here with a list of 40 of my favorite songs for indoor cycling.

Last thing about music – I’m a firm believer that the louder the better (as long as everyone can still hear you and stay safe). Pumping up your volume can add easily bring a higher level excitement and energy to your class. So, turn it up!

Make Indoor Cycling Class Fun

2. Incorporate Games or Races

Just because you’re on a stationary bike doesn’t mean you can’t race and have fun! Tap into your class’s competitive spirit by dividing the class into teams (or compete as individuals). Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Never Have I Ever – each participant takes turns saying something they have never done. If the other participants have done that activity, they have to either add resistance or increase speed.
  • Class Guessing Game – participants can guess the music theme, workout focus, or see how many song titles and artists they can guess correctly, etc
  • “Whack-A-Mole” – this is one of my class’s favorites. Pick a song with a frequently repeated word or phrase. Each time they hear the word/phrase, they have to make a change. For example, we did “Jolene” by Dolly Parton and it always made us all laugh hysterically. Here are some example “changes” you can have them make
    • alternate sitting or standing
    • add resistance
    • increase speed
    • shift weight towards back of saddle or upright
  • Karaoke – make indoor cycling more fun while letting everyone show off their singing voices! Singing while riding may be difficult (or near impossible!) so you can tease that this is an extra hard fitness test.

3. Add Special Effects

You’ll need to know your class fairly well before you decide to incorporate special effects, and make sure you know your gym’s policy.

You may consider adding things such as a blacklight or a disco-style ball. Some riders may prefer low-lit or dim lighting to help them feel less conspicuous, so try a few nightlights or possibly candles. Other things such as a microphone or extra-loud speakers can help to increase the excitement and fun in your indoor cycling class.

Remember that some riders may be extra-sensitive to light changes. I would not recommend a strobe light for safety and disorientation concerns.

Don’t let these special effects become distractions. It is absolutely possible to have a great cycling class without these additional elements.

4. Take Someone Else’s Class

This may be my favorite way to add variety and make your own spin class more fun! If you teach for too long without looking for new ideas, you’re sure to fall into a few ruts. Take someone else’s cycling class – either live or virtual – to get some inspiration of things to bring back into your own class.

Kaleigh Cohen Cycling is one of my favorites! I love how energetic and positive she is throughout each of her workouts. She makes everyone feel like her best friend. And to top it all off, all of her workouts are FREE, which just makes her even more awesome. (I’m not an affiliate, just a fan)

Getting to enjoy an indoor cycling class as a participant instead of an instructor is a much different experience. It can be nice to turn off your coaching brain and just enjoy the ride. Riding for yourself is a great way to stay in love with the sport and take full advantage of all of the benefits of cycling.

Remember to give credit where credit is due, but looking at other instructors for inspiration and ideas shouldn’t make you feel shady. Let’s encourage each other!

Make Indoor Cycling Fun Again - Tips for Instructors

5. Include Some New Moves

As instructors, it’s easy to find ourselves in a routine or pattern when it comes to how we structure our classes. For example, I tend to structure my classes into 2 increasing and decreasing efforts (think two peaks of intensity with a rest in the middle). If that sounds familiar, try using some of these ideas to switch things up and try something new.

  • All hills/strength or sprints/speed – pick a focus and work it hard!
    • May also select a muscle group, such as hamstrings, quads, or buttocks
  • Tabata-style (one of my favorites to shake things up) – can do any time allotment desired, but popular tabatas include a 2:1 or 1:1 effort.
    • Ex: 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest OR 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest
  • Incorporate more out-of-saddle movements such as tapbacks, jumps, leaps, or hovers
  • Take time to work upper-body with light weights or bodyweight movements – remain in a seated and straight position for safety

For more detail and other ideas, check out this post of 13 indoor cycling drills.

For even more tips on how to be the best instructor possible, check out this list of 10 things you can today today from Ace Fitness.

Let’s Ride!

Keeping your indoor cycling class fresh is an important key to long-term success, both for you and your participants. But don’t let that intimidate you – you really don’t need anything big or revolutionary to make your indoor cycling class more fun. Just make an intentional effort to switch up your music from time to time, try different cycling drills and teaching styles, and stay inspired by enjoying another instructor’s class from time to time.

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