Get ready to teach your first cycling class: 15 tips to be prepared

Hey guys! I got some exciting news to share with you today.

Ever since I got certified as a Spinning® instructor, I haven’t really been looking for a job. As it turned out, the job was looking for me 🙂 But let me start from the beginning.

I have been taking indoor cycling classes at our local YMCA for a couple of years now. Last winter we had a bunch of instructors leave their jobs and so a few class teaching slots became available. The problem was\is that I can’t teach at the available times as I have my 8-5 day job (boring, I know 🙂 ).

Anyway, ever since I got certified there was a lot of e-mails going back and forth with the YMCA, then there were no e-mails going anywhere, and then I got an invitation for the interview for this past Friday!

The interview went really well. It was 1 hour long and I really enjoyed our conversation with the Physical Director.

So, here’s the plan: I will teach my very first indoor cycling class this coming Monday, April 21 and if it goes well, I will have a regular class on Mondays (5:30 to 6:30 pm) May-October while my favorite instructor Jim is taking a break from teaching.

Also, I will be teaching some Saturday classes that run on a rotating schedule. If my audition goes well that is.

Not sure what is going to happen in October, but we shall see.

And this is where you start freaking out about teaching your first class 🙂

spinning cycling

I was fine until this Monday when it finally hit me that it is going to happen 🙂 All the questions I was asking myself just about made my head explode!


When that happened, I went to the Team Spinning Facebook group to ask for last minute advice from seasoned Spinning® instructors on how to teach your first cycling class.

The support and feedback they gave me was just incredible! I got over 60 comments with word of encouragement and advice. People even posted suggested class profiles and one of the members is mailing me a CD with music from her own collection!

I was amazed at the support and warmth of everyone in the group. I am so fortunate to be a part of this family! If you are a Spinning®/Indoor cycling instructor, make sure to check it out – it is one amazing group of people!

Below are some tips for the first time teaching that I got from the Team Spinning.

15 tips

    1. Bring a back up CD in case you have iPhone/iPod issues. In fact, my instructor carries both a CD and a TAPE! Yes, he is that prepared 🙂
    2. Remember to introduce yourself, ask if you have any new riders in the class,  go over proper bike setup and safety making sure all the rider pop-pins are tight.  At the end of class thank the riders for attending your class.
    3. Discuss with your riders that it is NOT about the number of miles they go. Remember, anything above 110rpm is useless and dangerous!
    4. Remember the 4 P’s to Spinning. Population, Purpose, Plan, Progression. Know your audience. Profile accordingly and think about the intent of your ride.
    5. Keep an eye on your participants during class so it’s about them and not watching the stereo or your notes too much.
    6. Pace your verbiage because even though it’s their ride, not yours, and you’re not going anaerobic, it is very different to talk and teach when first starting out.
    7. Don’t be afraid to jot down some notes of what to say during certain planned segments of your profile. There’s nothing wrong with an instructor having notes.
    8. Try not to let lyrics of any chosen music over-ride what you are saying. Hence, it’s easier not to play that type of music so you’re not combating with it.
    9. However, do play what you like initially because they will feel your energy.

  1. Act confident. If you act it, you will feel it. They will sense that and respond to it providing positive energy back to you to go back to them! It creates a circling effect.
  2. Don’t talk too much! Don’t feel obligated to fill every moment of silence.
  3. Brining a spare water bottle for a rider who forgets is a good habit to get into.
  4. You might feel like people are giving you the stink eye; don’t take it personally.  Some people are very attached to their instructors and if you’re taking over a class, it might take some time for them to “warm up” to you.
  5. Practice.
  6. Relax. Be yourself. Smile. Bring your love for Spinning with you. If you have it, your participants will feel it.

I would like to THANK everyone on Team Spinning who contributed to the list of tips above. It helped me a lot just to put that list together. Even though all that was part of the instructor training and I know it, it is still helpful to summarize it and remind yourself of the important things you need to do as an instructor.

So. I am still working on the routine, music and cueing, and then my plan is to ride the class profile I come up with myself this weekend.

After all the support and encouragement I received on Monday from the Team Spinning group, I feel much better – more confident and relaxed.

I got this! We’ll have a fun and challenging ride. I know I am qualified enough to promise my participants that and keep that promise.

spinning cycling

I will be back with a recap next week. For now – wish me luck!

Do tell: What is your most memorable first experience? How do you overcome the nervousness of the “first time”?

Have a great Hump/Pump Day, guys!


You might want to read this post, too: 5 Things I don’t Teach My Indoor Cycling/Spinning® Class Without.

New instructor? Check out my resource page for new instructors.

Looking for ideas for your next class? Check out my Playlists and Class Profiles.


  1. Great tips! Good luck on your first class! You are so prepared, you are going to be awesome for sure 🙂 #wowlinkup
    Amanda H recently posted…Workout Wednesday Guest Post – Running the Boston MarathonMy Profile

  2. You are gonna rock it I have no doubt so just breathe and go in there and knock them dead. Are you going to record it? Thanks for stopping by #wowlinkup this week.
    Diatta @ Femme Fitale Fit Club recently posted…Loyal Workout – WOW Link Up #23My Profile

    • Thank you, Diatta! I’m not recording it, but am hoping to get my riders to take some action pics 🙂
      Thanks for hosting the linkup!

  3. OMG, congratulations on getting your first teaching gig. I know you will do well and your class will love you. Totally following because I need some tips to teach a class too in the future. #wowlinkuup

  4. Congrats, I know you will do well and people will love you!! So excited for you!
    Adriana @LacedUpWithLipstick recently posted…Go! St. Louis Half Marathon Weekend Part 1My Profile

  5. Congrats on becoming an instructor and good tips. I don’t remember my first class but I was very nervous, that was over 25 years ago. The more you teach the better you will become. Stopping by from the #wowlinkup.
    The Frugal Exerciser recently posted…Getting To Know Me – Video BlogMy Profile

  6. Congrats on becoming an instructor and good tips. I love a good bike ride but not sure i could handle a spin class.
    becca recently posted…Haiku Monday 4-21-14My Profile

    • Thank you, Becca!
      I am sure you could handle it – it is a wonderful workout where you can go at your own pace and decide how fast you want to go and how much resistance to apply. It is non-competitive and the atmosphere in the class is great! I highly recommend trying it 🙂

  7. Caly moore says:

    my name is caly I’m going to a spinning audition tomorrow the manager ask me to do warm up, drills, and cool down, I’m so nervous I don’t know how many should I use. please help…………..

    • Caly, do the drills you know you do best. Choose music you love so your energy comes through. If you are not asked to do a full class, I would choose one drill to demonstrate each of the functional movements and positions to show your skills. Good luck tomorrow!

  8. So I’m thinking about maybe getting into teaching spin classes. I had my certification a while back, but it lapsed. The thought just terrifies me! I don’t do much bike riding, have never used cycle shoes, and have never taught a class! Ug, maybe I’m in over my head?
    Shannon recently posted…Catching up and Camping tripsMy Profile

  9. Great tips!! Totally taking notes for my first class tomorrow! 🙂
    Sarah (Shh…Fit Happens) recently posted…Beach yoga workout for strength AND #DISHTHEFIT link-upMy Profile

  10. SarahQadan says:

    I’m sure that u r a perfect trainer and u will do well and great classes keep going ❤️💪🏽

  11. I remember the first time I spearheaded an aerobics class I forgot the structure I was supposed to teach. Good thing I just winged it!

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