So You Want to Become a Spinning Instructor

Before he was a Soul Cycle instructor, Roger Smith was tending bar at a cozy little joint in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. One night when he was behind the bar, slinging drinks per usual, he was approached by a fit-looking woman who complimented him on his shapely physique. Smith assumed her words were simply flirtatious in nature, but as it turns out, she was a recruiter for Soul Cycle and thought Smith looked like he had what it takes to become a teacher of the high-intensity exercise phenomenom.

Smith gamely agreed to check out a class. After one, he admits, he was hooked. “And then, I started going each day for three and a half months,” he explained to me. “Every day?” I asked, uncomprehendingly. (I’m an avid runner, but you’d never catch me hitting the pavement seven days  a week.) “Yep. Every day,” Smith repeated.

Soul Cycle distinguishes itself from Spinning as an indoor cycling exercise, and so the steps involved in training to be an instructor are not one in the same for each company. First, Smith trained extensively and vigorously on the bike. Then came the audition–and the teaching part, of course!

If, unlike Smith, you are not specifically sought out by a cycling recruiter, you still have ample opportunity to become a spinning/indoor cycling instructor. The official Spinning® program offers an instructional course that serves to prepare you for becoming a teacher. Their Spinning® Instructor Training Program involves a comprehensive workshop and hours upon hours on the stationary bike. Upon completion of the course, you’ll be certified to teach at one of the company’s 30,000 facilities worldwide.

Before you run off and write a check with the idea that you’ll emerge as the next best instructor at the gym, we recommend putting some thought into the decision and being fully prepared before you do embark on the cycling guru road. From taking your first class to figuring out which music works for a sweat-breaking speedy sprint, there’s plenty to consider prior to getting started. The slideshow above offers ten helpful guidelines for helping you become an indoor cycling professional.