I figured a Q&A-style post would be the easiest to follow for those who may be interested in obtaining a Spinning certification. I tried to address all of the questions I received from you guys on Monday below, but please let me know if I missed anything in the comments section and I’ll definitely get back to you!
Spinning Instructor Training + Certification
- There are many different cycling certifications out there. Why did you choose Spinning?
After doing a bunch of research and speaking with fitness professionals, two indoor cycling certifications stuck out to me: Spinning (via Mad Dogg Athletics) and Schwinn Cycling. I’d eventually like to get both certifications (especially because I loved the Schwinn classes I took at IDEA World), but in the end I chose Spinning simply because it is preferred by many gyms and there was a certification nearby and I wanted to get my certification ASAP.
Additionally, as you may or may not be aware, Spinning is a certified trademark and only those instructors who obtain a certification through the Spinning program are allowed to say they “teach Spin.” I wanted to have this well-respected credential under my belt so I could better market myself as a Spinning instructor.
- Do you need to have your personal training or group exercise certifications to teach Spinning?
No. But, as always, I do highly recommend both as they provide a more in-depth knowledge of everything from anatomy and heart rate zones to injury prevention/awareness and more. You may see detailed summaries about my experience with two of the certifications offered that I personally recommend in the following posts: NASM Cerfified Personal Trainer Study Guide and AFAA Group Exercise Certification.
- How much does it cost? Do gyms cover the cost of training for instructors?
I paid $325 for the training and my gym did not cover the expense. Some gyms will cover certifications for their instructors, so it never hurts to ask!
- How long is the training?
Last Saturday, I headed over to the University of North Carolina Charlotte campus for a 9-hour training that lasted from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. We actually went a little over our time limit, so definitely expect to be there for the full 9 hours. You must also complete an online exam within 6 months after you leave the training, though you can begin teaching right away.
- What did you wear? Are cycling shoes required?
(I tried really hard to snap a picture of my clothes without Sadie in it, but she wasn’t having it. So there you go. This pic kind of cracks me up… Her face is just so ridiculous.)
I wore a dri-fit tank, crops, a sports bra, comfy socks and gym shoes. I would say about half of the training participants had cycling shoes. We were encouraged to buy them after the training to wear during our classes, as they do make a big difference on the bike, but it was not a big deal at all if you didn’t have cycling shoes for the training.
- What did you bring with you?
I loaded up my favorite gym bag with a change of clothes (highly recommended, as you will be completing two rides and sitting in sweaty clothes for hours in between would be miserable), two small towels, a water bottle, cleansing/makeup-removing towelettes, lots of snacks, lunch (most people brought their lunch, though we did have about 25 minutes to grab something nearby), a pen, my Spinning Instructor Manual, a heart rate monitor (highly advised by Spinning to bring with you) and a sweatshirt.
- How was the training formatted?
The training is led by a Spinning Master Instructor and covers the following lessons:
Spinner® bike setup and safety
Creating motivating class ride profiles: Population, Purpose, Plan, Progression
Coaching and teaching skills
Spinning Energy Zones™ and heart rate training
Music selection and visualization techniques
- How long are the rides during training?
During the class, our Master Trainer also took us through two different rides. The first ride lasted about 90 minutes and focused on form and cycling biomechanics. We completed this ride with no music and simply listened to the instructor and asked questions along the way. The second ride lasted about 45 minutes and took place during the last 45 minutes of the training. This was a normal ride with music where the Master Trainer took us through a Spin class that focused on heart rate training and incorporated the lessons we went over that day.
- Do you have to teach in front of a group during training?
No. You never actually teach the group on the bike, but you do work in pairs quite often and are expected to be able to help your partner get set up on the bike safely, etc. Our instructor also frequently called on us randomly to get up and demonstrate skills discussed throughout the day, but you never lead the group through a class on your own.
- How long does a Spinning certification last?
Two years. Then you must submit 14 continuing education units (CEUs) to keep your certification active.
- Does the certification count toward CEUs for other fitness certifications?
Yes. The training and certification counts toward 0.8 CECs with ACE, 0.8 CEUs with NASM and 8.0 CEUs with AFAA.