Indoor cycling exercise programs under the trademarked name Spinning are hugely popular throughout the United States as part of the specialty gym scene. Over a three-year period, membership in boutique fitness studios climbed 15%, while conventional club membership declined 3% during the same time. The New York Times attributes this phenomenon to a lack of human connection at most big-box gyms. The big gyms like Crunch, 24 Hour Fitness, Bally’s seem soulless.
Spin instructors teach this dynamic exercise class using specialized indoor stationary bikes.
The program was developed in the mid-1980s by Johnny Goldberg, a South African endurance racer. Goldberg created the spinning method after a nighttime accident when he was hit by a vehicle while training.
The original spinning bicycles were designed for athletes to train indoors no matter what the weather is like. Students describe spinning classes as a hugely enjoyable way to train and become physically fit.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:
- How Much You Can Make
- Training and Certification
- Career Options
- Finding Clients
- Helpful Tips for Spinning Instructors
American health and fitness company Mad Dogg Athletics has registered Spinning as a U.S. trademark. As a result, instructors who want to teach the program in the United States receive SPINNING certification.
Spinning classes may be offered by a gym, or through an instructor who specializes in the program and leads classes at her own studio. The spin instructor guides students in the proper form for riding a stationary bike.
How Much You Can Make?
The national average salary of a spinning instructor is $58,422 a year. That works out to about $29 per hour.
For comparison, here’s a state by state guide to personal trainer salaries.
Training and Certification
Training as a spinning instructor can be done online or in-person as part of a live class. More advanced levels are only available through live classes.
You can earn different levels of certification with this program. Spinning Instructor Certification is the first step.
Here’s a video of a spinning class to give you a feel for what the program looks like with students in action.
Available with live training or through an online course, Spinning Instructor Certification teaches the practical knowledge and skills needed for a successful indoor cycling teacher. Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Adjusting the bike to the right fit for yourself and students for optimal performance.
- Proper riding technique emphasizing performance and safety
- How to measure and interpret heart rate, cadence and power
- Becoming and effective motivator and coach to help students achieve results
- How to run sessions using predesigned Spinning class profiles
- Developing your own classes to focus on specific training goals and riding conditions
- Selecting songs and creating playlists suitable for the intensity and rhythm of the bike ride.
The cost is currently $355 for a live class and $335 for online instruction. With either package you get:
- Instruction manuals and study guides
- Training in a variety of exercise science and practical skills; two rides with a Master Instructor
- Spinning Instructor Certification, which is valid for 2 years after completing the course and passing an exam
- Continuing education options for certification renewal
- Eligibility for the SPIN membership program, including free monthly profiles and playlists, on-demand videos to build your spinning skills and merchandise discounts.
If you’re already certified as an indoor cycling instructor by another organization and want to teach spinning, your best option is to take the Bridge Certification course. The current price is $199.
Completing the Bridge certification course makes you an official Certified Spinning Instructor. The course covers most of the material in the spinning certification program, plus:
- How Spinner bikes are designed to operate as the most enjoyable and biomechanically efficient bikes
- Learn coaching methods “based on visualization, imagery and metrics” to boost student performance
- Class designs based on scientific principles
Moving to the next level up, you can become certified in SPINPower. This will allow you to teach advanced classes focused on power cycling and training zones. These classes concentrate on ride performance for serious athletes, which in practical terms means you can charge more as an instructor.
This course covers:
- How to describe the benefits of power-based training to riders at all skill levels.
- The benefits of Spinner bikes, which measure actual riding power and calculate accurate calorie burns.
- Coaching students to reach their best power and riding efficiency with proper bike setup, pedaling mechanics and riding technique.
- Help riders reach their Personal Spinning Threshold (PST). This is an assessment of a student’s current fitness level. The PST gives students personalized numbers that can be built into class rides so they get more customized training.
- Developing your own SPINPower class profiles using templates that focus on strength, speed, stamina and power.
- With SPINPower Certification if you’re already a certified Spinning Instructor, you’ll go from Level 1 to Level 2 – Advanced.
The cost is the same as Spinning Instructor certification.
When you’re ready to put the full force of your personality out there for a class, it’s time to get ready for Rockstar certification. This can be done in-person or online, and the price is the same as the SPINPower course and basic certification.
Rockstar spinning instructors are “larger than life,” say the folks at Spinning.com. Instructors who’ve taken the course describe it as “awesome” and “absolutely outstanding.”
Here’s what you learn:
- Use exercise science in creating ride profiles
- Develop performance-driven rides just like Master Instructors
- Boost your motivational language to inspire students
- Selecting the right music for the ultimate playlists to suit different ride profiles
- Use visuals to enhance the total sensory experience
- Practice your “stage presence” as an instructor. This includes verbal delivery and body language.
If you operate your own training facility, you can host Spinning training. Sessions are held every weekend year-round. It’s an easy way to earn your own certification, certify your staff and recruit new instructors from your area. There is no cost to host training at your facility, although you have to provide Spinner bikes for the sessions. Mad Dogg Athletics provides marketing support for your training event, while you become eligible for cash awards and complimentary registrations based on turnout.
Professional Groups to Join
There’s no requirement to join other fitness trainer organizations to be a Spinning instructor. But in a competitive job market, some trainers find that additional professional certifications give them an edge.
In fact, many gym and studio owners expect job applicants to hold some type of nationally accredited personal trainer certification.
Organizations to consider:
The National Academy of Sports Medicine is widely considered the gold standard in personal trainer certification. NASM membership costs between $524 and $2,400 depending on the type of certification.
The National Council for Certified Professional Trainers is nationally accredited by the NCCA. The council offers certifications in indoor cycling, so with that credential you would be eligible for the Bridge certification course in spinning instruction.
The cost of NCCPT certification ranges between $250 and $550.
Each of these organizations requires recertification every two years with proof of 20 hours of continuing education.
There’s a $120 fee to join The National Strength and Conditioning Association. Accredited members receive professional designation, access to fitness articles and research, trainer best practices, business tips and networking with other members.
For social networking and sharing new spinning routines, there are lots of Facebook groups to explore and join.
Job opportunities are vast for certified spinning instructors. Besides private studios and gyms, many country clubs, gated communities and vacation resorts employ spinning instructors to lead classes. Because of the specialized nature of the equipment involved, you’ll most likely find employment at an existing Spinning gym before you’re able to open your own facility and buy the Spinning bikes required to teach classes.
Demand for instructors remains strong. A recent search on the employment service Indeed.com turned up nearly 400 open positions across the United States for certified spinning instructors.
- Spinning offers ongoing support and business help for instructors in good standing.
- Create a “refer-a-friend” program offering a discount to students who bring in business.
- Consider cross-promotions with other studios. A kickboxing or jiu jitsu studio, for instance, can tell clients about your studio and vice versa.
- Corporate wellness programs are a great source of potential new clients. With an effective sales pitch, you can encourage large companies to send their employees to you for spin classes.
- Build your social media presence on multiple platforms, linking each to your business website, include an online booking link on your social media and website. Regular postings of helpful information build interest in your spinning studio. The call to action on social media should be for new students to text or call the studio directly for more information or check your schedule and book you online.
Helpful Tips for Spinning Instructors:
- You can contact the Spinning training division by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The toll-free number: 800-847-7746 x 232.
If you enjoyed this article, check out some other PocketSuite.io content that can help you grow your business as a fitness trainer specializing in Spinning. Here’s a great place to start.
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