Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just Say No and Mean it!!!

If you're like most instructors, you get a mix of individuals in your class that have been taught movements that are considered unsafe by your indoor cycling program. These movements are called contraindications, and are not performed due to the safety of the students and because they just do not provide a benefit that is greater than the risk taken.

What happens when you see someone in your class do one of these moves? Do you get off the bike and talk to them one-on-one, do you ignore them, or do you just broadcast it over the microphone? You may do one or all of these things and still someone will still do that movement that someone else taught them. You need to be assertive in your insistence that they follow the program and do only the moves outlined in your instructor manual. Be sincere and know why the movement is contraindicated. Insist that your students do the movements properly or ask them to attend someones class. To protect yourself, document your conversation and inform you group exercise director about the situation. You will most likely get a complaint, but if you are proactive, you can head off a lot of grief.

The situation gets worse when you have an instructor at your facility that does a contraindicated movement. I recently had an opportunity to educate our staff on one such movement. One my students brought the movement to my attention. It was a "Core Check", where you ride a seated climb with your hands behind your back. I told my student to never do that movement as risk outweighs any gains. Besides, if you want to develop your core muscles, riding a bike will not accomplish that goal. You need to get on the floor or use the machines in the strength training room of your facility to develop those strong core muscles. To correct the problem, I wrote my group exercise director a note and the reasons why this movement should not be performed. My director forwarded the note to all instructors, but the point was made and it is now a dead issue.

Recently, Jennifer Sage, a fellow Master Instructor for the Spinning Program, posted a great thread on her blog. You need to share this with all of your instructors and directors. This is by far two of the most outrageous videos I've seen in an indoor cycling class. Thankfully, they are not being performed on my beloved program's Spinners. None the less, this is still a scary thought that people are marketing this at their clubs.

Click here to read Jennifer's post and watch the videos. Please pass it along to all instructors and directors you know. Maybe we can help save indoor cycling from these types of fanatical movements.


  1. Thanks Ralph for helping our mission to clean up indoor cycling! Great post.


  2. Getting the word out is ALWAYS a good thing. :)

  3. Great post! :) Let's keep this thing goin! ;)

  4. Wow, I needed this today. I had a family in class today who brought no water, mom did contraindicated positions, and told her son to change her saddle after I fit him out.