Step 3: Group Exercise and Cycling Course.

In hopes of becoming a spin instructor I have been attending courses, taking exams, and crossing my fingers. It started with a CPR Course back in September, then an Exercise Theory Course at the end of October. I was registered for a group exercise course in Edmonton but it was cancelled, so I was forced to travel to Calgary this past weekend to take the course there. I spent Friday night and all day Saturday at Banker’s Hall Club in downtown Calgary, learning all about group fitness. It was really fancy… I wish my gym had hand lotion, fresh towels, a bathing suit dryer, hair dryers, straighteners, curlers, hair products, a lounge, and at least two staff members per gym-goer. 

The group exercise instruction course was pretty interesting and fun. We learned a lot about music and phrases and beats and counts… and how I have exactly zero ability to match my workout rhythm with the beat of the music. There were about 25 people in the course and we all got a chance to “teach” a warm-up and a section of a workout. I got to teach a shoulder workout – one of my favourites! I had so many moves and ideas that the instructor had to cut me off. So we can’t do weighted punches for hours on end?

There was a lot of stopping and starting with the “workouts” obviously because we were all learning how to teach and having 25 teachers in a class is bound to take a while, but in the end we all got a pretty decent workout and I was a tad sore the next day! My body didn’t get much of a break though because Sunday I spent five hours sitting on a spin bike. Ouch.

Through the AFLCA, you have to take the group exercise course as well as a specialty. I chose my specialty to be cycling. Shocker 😉 It was a Keiser Indoor Cycling Instructor course and one of the components was a Functional Threshold Power Test. For this test we warmed up for ten minutes and then did 20 minutes of maximizing our power output… essentially going all out for twenty LONG minutes. I was sweating out of my eyeballs. If you didn’t know that was possible I would advise you to take this test.

The instructor highly recommends this test as a way to track your progress and power on the spin bike. It will also give you an idea of the watts you should be attaining in a spin class based on your maximum. Interesting. 

Our classroom was the spin room. My butt got five lovely hours of spin bike seat time. We learned about drills, bike set-up, class structure, and pretty much everything you wanted to know about indoor cycling! The more I learn about spinning the more I realize how little I know. It was a pretty awesome course for an exercise nerd like me!


I was pretty happy leaving that class, not only because my butt was extremely sore but because I had that wonderful certificate in my hands! My brother took the picture of me holding my certificate and then caught one of me admiring my certification. One step closer to working as a spin instructor – now I have to pass my group exercise exam and then apply for jobs!

I expected to be really sore after the weekend of learning how to teach exercise classes, but I felt surprisingly good this morning! I started really easy on the treadmill and then just kept picking it up and ended up doing a little progression run. I think progression runs are my favourite simple because it takes me a couple miles to wake-up and get in the running zone!

Mile 1 @ 8:57
Mile 2 @ 8:42
Mile 3 @ 8:27
Mile 4 @ 8:13
Mile 5 @ 8:00
Mile 6 @ 7:45

More than just learning how to be a great spin instructor, I think Sundays’ course helped me learn how to be a great spin participant. I now can perform advanced set-up on my bike, maximize my RPMs in class, and understand why we are doing certain drills in a certain order. I will be putting all of my newly acquired knowledge to work this week in my early morning spin classes!