Subscribe without commenting

AFAA Indoor Cycling Instructor Workshop – Geek Turned Athlete

AFAA Indoor Cycling Instructor Workshop


This past weekend was spent up in Spangdahlem getting my Primary Group Exercise Certification and taking an indoor cycling instructor workshop.  I had a blast, and I learned a lot!  Here we all are on Sunday for the spinning workshop.  I’m the one with the big hair on the left end.  It was very humid out that day, I guess! :)

According the AFAA, this course will assist instructors in providing a well-balanced cycling class designed to educate participants in effective training principals.  The workshop included the fundamental theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to assume the role of an indoor cycling instructor.

The day’s schedule looked like this:

  • 8:30am-9:00 Registration and Check-In
  • 9:00am-9:10 Welcome and Introduction
  • 9:10am-9:30 Program Purpose, The AFAA 5 Questions, Benefits of Indoor Cycling
  • 9:30am-11:00 Physiology of Indoor Cycling, Neuromuscular Effects/ Muscle Fibers, Biomechanics of Indoor Cycling, Pedal Techniques, Correct Body Alignment During Cycling, Safety Considerations, Bike Set Up, Major Elements of Indoor Cycling, Common Aches and Injuries
  • 11:00am-11:10 Break
  • 11:10am-11:30 Bike Set Up Practicum
  • 11:30am-12:30 1st Group Bike Ride/ Workshop Instructor teaches different rides throughout a class
  • 12:30pm-1:30 Lunch
  • 1:30pm-2:30 Establishing Your Class, Monitoring Intensity, Cycling Techniques and Drills, Creating Your Cycling Journey, Group Exercise Class Instruction, Assessing Your Style.
  • 2:30pm-3:30 Study Guide Review
  • 3:30pm-3:40 Break
  • 3:40pm-4:40 2nd Group Ride/Students get to teach one song each
  • 4:40pm-5:00 Wrap-up and Complete Course Evaluations

I especially had a great time on Sunday because if you will notice—NO TESTS!!  Lovely!

Here are just a few things that I learned from taking this workshop:

1. You can actually do a test to see if you have more slow twitch fibers than fast twitch.  For those of you who don’t know what these fibers are:  Slow twitch fibers are muscle fibers that are designed for prolonged, submaximal aerobic activities and are slow to fatigue.  Fast twitch a) fibers have the capacity to use both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.  These fast twitch have a lower aerobic capacity than slow twitch, but possess a high anaerobic capacity.  Fast twitch b) have a high anaerobic capacity with very little oxidative properties and fatigue easily.  Basically, if you have a lot of slow twitch fibers, you are great at long distances with a moderate pace and not so great at short distances with a high speed.  Vise versa for fast twitch fibers.

Here is the test that you can do to determine which type of fiber that you have more of.  Measure out a distance of 5 feet.  Put a sticky note at 5 feet marked “A”.  Measure out another foot, and put a sticky note there marked “B”.  Now, stand at the 0 feet mark, grasp your hands behind you, bend your knees, and jump as far as you can jump.  If you land before Fast Twitch A, you have mostly Slow Twitch Fibers.  If you land between A and B, you have mostly Fast Twitch A fibers, and if you land at B, you have mostly Fast Twitch B fibers.  Try it out, and see where you land!  Just a note, you CANNOT do more speedwork to jump farther with this technique.  You are what are!  I’m definitely made up of mostly Slow Twitch Fibers.  I may not be able to go very fast, but I can go forever and forever!  Maybe that is why I really like long distance running, hmmm?!

2. I am in charge of my class!  If I want them to do something, I need to speak up and be more specific!  Just by saying that I want them to be in neutral spine position for example, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they know what that is.  On the 2nd ride of the day when the students got to teach a song each, they were saying, “Put your spine in neutral position!” I just kept thinking that most people do not know what that is!  I need to be specific in my safety and class cues!

3. Loud people are annoying!!!!!  Do you all ever have that LOUD guy in your spin class who whoops or yells after EVERYTHING that the instructor says?  I’m not talking about a few whoops here and there, I have been guilty of doing that.  The instructor would count to 8 for an 8 count, and he would have something to say after every number like, “1: Check!, 2: I’m ready!”, etc.  By the 2nd group ride, I wanted to yell out, “If you have enough energy to yell throughout the entire class, YOU ARE NOT WORKING HARD ENOUGH!”  But, I was actually working hard enough to not talk at the time!  I will be saying that in my classes if I have anyone like that!  Enthusiasm is great, but when you can’t hear the instructor over the whooping and yelling, it’s time to say something!

4. I really want to be Mad Dog certified!!  It is a little more in depth than AFAA is with it’s cycling, and you have to take a test to be certified.  My spin instructor guru is Mad Dog certified, and lets just say that she has some skills!!

Overall, I had a blast this weekend, and I can’t wait to actually teach a class!  If you have any questions about AFAA, make sure to  visit their website.  You can also email me at .

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Holly September 29, 2009, 7:43 pm

    ohhhh how fun! i would like to get certified in something too – i am thinking yoga, but that costs so much moolah!

    glad you had fun girl – i am going to try that slow/fast twitch fiber test out. i have always been curious about that!

  • Rachel September 29, 2009, 8:02 pm

    Wow! Your schedule sounds intense! I like the slow twitch/fast twitch test. Only I don’t need a test to know I’m ALL slow twitch.

  • Dawn (HealthySDLiving) September 30, 2009, 5:27 pm

    That’s so cool–sounds like an intense day!

    I started taking Spin classes a couple of weeks ago after seeing a post on your site! I’m loving it!! Except last night I had some pain in my knee, not sure what happened there!

    • Nicole October 1, 2009, 6:52 am

      Dawn, were you keeping your knees in while you were pedaling? Sometimes knee pain happens when you pedal with your knees out. I’m glad that you are loving spin! It can be awesome with the right instructor! Ask your instructor about your form. That may be causing the knee pain! :)


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge