Total Body Cycle

13 Aug

I’m so excited to be switching out one of my classes this fall with a new format! I know that many of you are already teaching similar classes, but this is a first for me and for my gym. It’s will be 45 minutes of cycling followed by 45 minutes of toning (including stretch) off the bike. I can’t wait to start! Other than body weight, we will be using the equipment available to us: balls, bands, hand weights and weighted bars. If you are teaching a class like this, I would love your input in the comments. πŸ™‚

In preparation for this class, I thought I would attend a similar class in another gym about thirty minutes up the road. I don’t know about you, but I love going to new places and checking out their classes. It’s just fun to see other facilities and instructors, and it definitely gives you some perspective. In this case, it also helped me to see how this type of class is run. I have been to this gym before, but they recently got all new Keiser bikes, so I was kind of in heaven.

So I rounded up a friend or two (other instructors) and we headed out for some good, sweaty fun. And that is just what we got!

Let me start by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed the 45/45 class and got an amazing, full body workout. I’m totally sore today from the toning. (The instructor polled the class at the beginning to see if we wanted to do body weight, dumbbells, etc. My friend chose body weight and that’s what we went with. It was killer!)

The best thing I took away from the cycling portion of this workout was the amazing energy and positivity of this instructor. It’s sort of how I feel about my kindergarten kids every day. You know how we always say, “I’d like to bottle up some of that energy!” Well, that’s pretty much how I felt about this instructor. She was pretty, fit and if I were to guess, quite a few years older than me. She started the class by making sure that each and every one of us was smiling and she frequently checked to make sure that even through the hard work and pain, we were still smiling. **Note to self: smile more**

Energizer Bunny

While I was working hard and breathing heavy, she continued to talk,smile, motivate and generally spread good cheer. The class seemed to love this. While talking this much is not at all my style (I like to think I say just the right amount at just the right times), I appreciated her enthusiasm and it did make me want to work harder. At times, I felt the need to tune her out, and it was often difficult to understand her over the music (she was using a mic, but still, it was kind of muffled). **Note to self: Speak clearly and check for understanding (that’s teacher speak for ‘make sure they know what the hell you are saying’).

Other than a few contraindications-isolations, super slow RPM’s and tap backs (which I passed on), the class was great. I love the computers on these bikes! Watts!! RPM’s!!! Heart Rate!!! Gear #’s!!! We don’t have bike computers, so I love, love, love going places that have them! If you are able to teach with them, just know that I am totally jealous of you. πŸ™‚

My point here is that if it’s available to you, you should definitely consider taking other instructor’s classes. Good or bad or in between, you WILL take something away from it! As for me, I’m going to go practice my smiling πŸ™‚ .


22 Responses to “Total Body Cycle”

  1. lemonsandpickles August 13, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    Nice article and very well stated, Chris!


    • chrispins August 13, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

      Thanks Karen! And thanks for joining me! πŸ™‚

  2. Ed August 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    Last summer I twice subbed a “Pedal & Pump” class at a center where I teach. The format used by the original instructor was; warmup on the bike, ride for ~3 songs, get off the bikes & do 3 exercises for 30 seconds each & repeat the set, then get back on the bikes and ride another 3 songs, repeat twice ending the class with the 3rd (different) set of off the bike exercises & then stretch. This was in a 6am, 55 minute class. We have a spacious cycling studio and the class was lightly attended (6-8 riders) so there was sufficient room to spread out away from the bikes. I set up my playlist with a 4-5 minute song while we were off the bikes so there would be enough time to do the 3 sets X 2 and I could just skip to the next song once we were back riding. I found this class a nice change but it never drew much attendance & was eventually dropped from our schedule.
    BTW, our Schwinns at this center have bike computers with RPMs, heart rate & calories. I teach one other day at a club on brand new Kaisers with fully tricked out displays.

    • chrispins August 13, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

      Interesting format-off and on the bikes. I can see where that would be fun. The room I am in would not be conducive to that though. We will need to push the bikes back in place before we do the second half of class. Thank you for sharing!

  3. nystitcher August 13, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    Hi Chris! Great article on the 45/45 class – I like to take other classes also, you can never stop learning and picking up new tips/ideas. Good luck in your new venture – I’m sure it will be awesome! Dawn from NY (I teach on Keiser bikes! πŸ˜‰

    • chrispins August 13, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

      Thanks! I will definitely update about the new class here on the blog after I get started. Now that I know you teach on Keisers and you are in NY, I might need to take a road trip. πŸ™‚

  4. Alison August 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

    I teach a class we call “Cycle Pump” where we get on and off the bike, doing body weight and toning exercises on the floor. People really like the interval style of it. It’s great for people who don’t love cycle because they don’t stay on the bike for long periods of time. I’ve taken classes that do it this way and the way you are going to do it. I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes for you! I have found that playlists are a little more complicated doing cycle the floor work. Thanks so much for sharing with us all!

    • chrispins August 14, 2014 at 12:17 am #

      Yes, I would imagine the playlists would be difficult if I chose to do this on and off the bike. With the 45/45, I can easily make two different playlist and mash them together. Thank you for commenting!

  5. Linnea Maxwell August 13, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

    I think 45/45 is the way to go. One of my previous managers changed my format to spin & tone, all within :55 minutes. I set it up with 30 minutes on the bike, which worked ok, but there wasn’t enough time to do the toning adequately. I would not enjoy going back and forth, especially if people want to change shoes each time. Keep us posted whether this new class attracts more participants. As much as I love being on the bike, I think it excludes some gym members who either don’t love it, or they want more body work in a class.

    • chrispins August 14, 2014 at 12:15 am #

      Excellent point about the shoes! I will update once the class starts. I’m not sure I’d like getting on and off the bike, so I’m happy we decided to go with the 45/45 format. Thank you for commenting!

  6. Jaymie August 14, 2014 at 2:05 am #

    You are awesome! Thank you so much for your posts. I’ve been instructing since March and your posts are a HUGE help to me.

    • chrispins August 14, 2014 at 9:44 am #

      Thanks Jaymie! Glad I could help. πŸ™‚

  7. Pauline August 16, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    We do a cycle sculpt at my place but it is only 1 hour. I have the students pedal on the bike for 1 or 2 songs then they get off and maybe use free weights, kettlebells, stability balls, a BOSU, or bands for toning and then get back on the bike. They like switching back and forth.

  8. Stephanie August 18, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    I did a format like you are going to be doing. It worked well. The one thing that I found to happen is that some would come for the cycle portion and then leave and others would skip the cycling and just show up for the end. I will be interested to see how your class goes.

  9. Hally August 21, 2014 at 11:26 pm #


    I teach a cycle strength stretch class, 50 minutes of cycle followed by strength session 30 minutes, something different every week e.g: TRX, BoxMaster, Kettlebells, bands etc, Finish with yoga “type” stretching and core work, class is 90 minutes. It is a well attended with mostly stay at home mom crowd, not sure it would go over with my evening crowd. I do find about half the group leaves after cycling which is fine. Good luck

  10. Tanaya Larsen September 11, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    I am a yoga teacher who (at the prompt of another teacher) started attending cycle-yoga class and am now working to get certified in indoor cycling with hopes to teach cycle-yoga. We do 35 min of each (with 5 min in between, so the class is 1hr 15 min). I love the combo of cardio and strength/stretch. I’m sure it’s the same idea with toning-a well rounded workout. The idea of 45/45 appeals more to me than intervals. I’d rather get my cardio done and cool off while doing weights. PS I’ve already subbed a few classes and I love your playlist ideas! Thanks so much!

    • chrispins September 11, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

      I would love to go to a cycle/yoga class! Two of my favorite things :). 45 and 45 seems to be working well and I’m lucky that I have that time available to me. I’m glad you love the playlists! Good luck with beginning your indoor cycling!

  11. Rebecca September 16, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    I just started teaching a 55 min Pedal Sculpt class. I originally tried a 50/50 bike to floor ratio and it just wasn’t right, for this class length. So I lengthened the bike a bit and intensified & shortened the floor workout. We are 35 minutes on the bike, 15 min off the bike (doing HIIT/Tabata body weight workouts), then ending with 5+ min of stretching. It’s a great workout!

    • chrispins September 17, 2014 at 12:05 am #

      That sounds like a great combo! So far we are loving the 45/45 πŸ™‚


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