Keep Workouts Fresh: Do a “Cert”

Otherwise known as an instructor certification.

Cool thing about Spinning. It gets you fit for cycling outdoors, too. (Image courtesy of watiporn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Cool thing about Spinning. It gets you fit for cycling outdoors, too. (Image courtesy of watiporn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

This will be one last love letter to the ACSM Health & Fitness Summit, where I presented last week. I came in a day early because, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I had taken training as a group exercise instructor, personal trainer, BodyPump, and Johnny G spinning instructor. (Johnny G was the original spinning guy way back when.)

It had been a loooooong time since I had done a “cert” – I haven’t taught classes since grad school at UC Berkeley (where you might have caught one of my spin classes at the gym around 2001 to 2004 or so).

So, it was time for a re-up.

Thanks to Schwinn for a great pre-conference certification at the ACSM Health & Fitness Summit!
Thanks to Schwinn for a great pre-conference certification at the ACSM Health & Fitness Summit!

I signed up for the Schwinn certification course, which was offered as a pre-conference meeting. Ten hours of immersing myself in exercise instruction with a cohort of like-minded folks who know that exercise is medicine, that spinning can be great fun in the hands of the right instructor, and that challenging ourselves intellectually as well as physically is a darn fine way to stay fit and stay young.

Here were just a few of my takeaways from that day:

1. Give yourself time to learn how to use a “thing” when you’re learning a new skill: how to fit yourself to a bike takes a bit of time and practice. Take the time, do the practice. I’ll always be able to fit myself to a new bike, now that I’ve taken the time to learn how to do it. And that will also help me get on a real road bike this year, because I want to do a sprint triathlon before this season is over.

2. Be thoroughly organized about the way you set up your classes – music choice is important, but so are setting the goals for the ride and letting the goals lead the experience. (How many of us work out because something looks cool to try, without any idea of what our actual long-term physical goals are, or whether this cool new thing will help us attain those goals?) This goes for your own workouts as well.

3. Think coaching, not “teaching.” We learned a lot about coaching techniques in this class – not just telling people what to do, but how to motivate them to want to do it (one trick: get them to say “yes” to a bunch of questions early in the ride -it gets them to buy in to the whole experience). I believe wholeheartedly that a good coach can help somebody make huge life breakthroughs, not just have a good workout.

Overall, yay. A great time was had by all. Thank you Shannon and Jeffrey for a great experience!

Yesterday’s every48 workout: A rest day with a little activity mixed in: my 10-Minute Strength workout in the morning and a walk to and from our local library in the afternoon. Warm and sunny in Seattle. Yay, again.

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