Shake It Off Cycling Mix and the ICI/PRO Challenge Update

28 Sep

The ICI/PRO Instructor’s Challenge that I blogged about last week is now in full swing and it’s way harder than I thought! But just like the headline says: ‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’, right? I’ve been having fun trying to complete all of the challenges for the week. Some I’ve completed successfully, and others…not so much. I guess I have to take every day life into account, since I work full time and I had some personal obligations to attend to this week. I do fully intend to complete any challenges that I missed this week as soon as I possibly can! 🙂

Here are the challenges that were set before us and some brief notes about how I did with each one:

1.We all have areas where we know we could improve. Today’s challenge is to publicly commit to one tangible improvement at least for the next 27 days of the challenge (e.g.: start your class on time, spend more time helping new students, not be in a hurry to leave, build in more warmup into your profile, etc..) How did I do? This one is an ongoing challenge and it will be the toughest, for sure. I chose to challenge myself to teach more off the bike. Even if it’s just getting off the bike once during class to check up on riders. I will be working on this one over the 28 days and I will keep you updated. 🙂

2.It’s time to take a cycling class! Who has the most popular class in town? Ask around to figure out who’s it is, go there and take it this week. Your goal is to find out what makes it so popular and report back with what you’ve learned.
How did I do? This is a tough one for me since I only have one other evening instructor at my gym and I’ve taken her class before (she’s only been teaching about a month or so and she’s doing a great job, BTW)! Taking a morning class is out of the question since I work full time during the day. The next closest place that offers IC classes is several towns away so I do have a plan to attend a class there when my schedule allows it and hopefully before the 28 Day Challenge is over!

3.Time to get social with your team. Arrange an off-site meet up (drinks / Lunch / Coffee) with the other indoor cycling (or group fitness) instructors from your facility – get to know people you work with, socialize and tell us how many new friends you made! It maybe helpful to tell them that you’ve committed to this challenge and you need their help. Pictures from the outing are welcome and greatly appreciated! How did I do? This was any easy one. I love this gals and we always have a lot of laughs. Our coffee date was this morning and we actually spent a lot of time processing last week’s challenges and giving each other ideas for completing this week’s challenges.

4. Reach out to your facility’s Physical Director/Manager and propose at least one concrete idea on how to make your facility’s IC program better – and offer to help implement your idea. Share the experience and results with the group.
How did I do? Another instructor and I actually both proposed the same idea to management without even knowing the other had done it. Remember that fun new class I’m teaching? Well, it goes from 5-6:30 pm on Friday evenings and I was getting a lot of complaints from members that they couldn’t come or had to leave early because our child watch closes at 6pm. I proposed that they extend the child watch hours to accommodate the extended class time and they agreed to keep it open on a trial basis and will hopefully continue to keep it open as long as there is a need for it. I’m hoping that this will encourage them to look at the times that child watch is open and try to accommodate class schedules in the future.

5. Record your class audio from one class and report back what you hear – or don’t hear… How did I do? I just finished listening to my class audio from last night’s class. I recorded with my iPhone and I have to say, the audio quality is actually really great! Another first impression from listening to the recording- “This playlist rocks!” (You can find it below :)) So, what did I hear…or not hear? Well, I was happy with how I explained the profile to the riders as we progressed through the ride. Instruction was clear and precise and they definitely always knew what was coming next. That’s something I really appreciate as a participant. There were lots of form and motivational cues. I do wonder if sometimes I could say the same things a bit differently so I don’t sound like a broken record. (“Relax your shoulders!!!” ) I think I could have added more instruction at the beginning of class (during warm up). I usually let the participants get their talking out during this time, so I don’t say much-especially if the class is filled with regulars. But even if there is one person that is new, or new to me, it’s probably a good idea to go over form, rules, etc. during warm up. I also heard two possible class crushers: 1. My mic went crazy at one point and started screeching!! Mic issues are the worst. Thankfully I resolved the issue quickly with humor and everything was back to normal within a few seconds, although our ears might never be the same. 2. I used a new Tabata track at the end of class, and because I wasn’t used to the timing, I totally messed up the first interval. We all make mistakes sometimes, so it was no big deal. We worked through it and it was all good. 🙂 All and all, I think if I were hearing this recording for the first time, I would definitely want to take this class! Did I mention the music rocked?

7. Ask some of your participants to fill out the feedback form after your class.
How did I do? Great! Lena and John were kind enough to develop a short and sweet feedback form for us which I handed out to a few members that were kind enough to share their feedback. The participant were asked to rank the following attributes in order of importance:

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 1.58.28 PM

. Here’s what I found: Most of the participants that filled out the form cited ‘motivation’ as most important. Fun was low on most lists, although a few mentioned that all of them were important. Oh, and apparently, having a friendly instructor is least important to many of them so I might need to stop trying to be so nice all the time…kidding.;)

8. Give a fellow instructor a day off – ask them to take a day off and teach their class for them
How did I do? Well, it didn’t happen this week, but the open invitation is out there. I’m always available to sub in the evenings. 🙂

So if I were to give myself a grade for this week, I’d say I get a solid B. I got no points for subbing or for attending another class, but I made a promise to do both before the challenge ends. I’m definitely proud of how well I did considering I work full time and teaching cycling is just a part time gig for me. I’m sure these challenges will be trickier for any instructors that are in this same boat. Working at a smaller gym makes it more difficult to complete some of the challenges as well, but the plan is to modify and do what I can with the resources available to me. I’m looking forward to next week’s challenges!

Now for this week’s playlist: (45 minute playlist)

Desert Rose: Continue warm up the move into alternating standing/seated climb

Shake it Off: Warm up

I Want To Break Free: Seated fast, flat road

Love Runs Out: Jumps on a hill

Candy Man: Pace picks up @ 1:03 for your first seated accelerations. Accelerate in the saddle every 30 seconds

Warriors: Loving this new short and sweet Imagine Dragons tune! Standing climb

Back to The Earth: Seated climb

Jump On My Shoulders: Seated climb with accelerations out of the saddle on the chorus x3

I Lived: Rider’s choice

Count It: Recovery

Tabata: seated accelerations 8×20 seconds with 20 second recoveries/cool down

We will Rock You: Cool Down

3 Responses to “Shake It Off Cycling Mix and the ICI/PRO Challenge Update”

  1. John Macgowan September 29, 2014 at 12:12 am #

    Fun to have you in the challenge Chris and thanks for your kind words! This has to rank as one of the most eye opening activities I’ve ever been part of 🙂

  2. Stacey September 29, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    Chris thank you for another great profile. I have a difficult time counting jumps out loud for the class and I don’t want to drive the class crazy with my voice for a whole song. Would you please tell me how you teach jumps? I would appreciate tips from any instructors. Thank you.

    • chrispins September 29, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      I count them out loud and drive them crazy! No, seriously, I count to get them started and then I tell them no worries if they get off count, as long as they are working. I might just cue the ‘up’ and ‘down’ or I might count the 7, 8 on the 8 count jumps. I hope that helps!

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