11 Reasons Why Personal Trainers Should Teach Indoor Cycling

Aimee Nicotera | Stay Updated with NASM!

“Teach Indoor Cycling?  Who, me? I don’t think so. I’m a trainer!”

It isn’t uncommon to hear of group fitness departments being at odds with personal training teams. A trainer who is well-versed in both Group Fitness and Personal Training can help bridge that gap, but there is sometimes still a polarity between the two. 

Instead of working together to help members get the most out of their complete gym experience, trainers often look down on group fitness programs and may not recommend that clients take classes.  On the other hand, some group fitness instructors may generally view trainers as being elitist.

While many are content thinking the worlds of personal training and group fitness simply coexist, savvy fitness professionals are recognizing the benefits of playing both sides.  

The thoughtful and opportunistic trainer realizes that teaching indoor cycling opens up opportunities to enhance their business, as well as improve their skills as a trainer.

Let’s take a closer look at how personal trainers can increase business through indoor cycling and enhance their skill set along the way!

How indoor cycling can help you win over clients

Gain facetime! Probability rules.

The more people you get in front of each day, the more opportunities you have to book a session.  The chances exponentially increase.

Instead of trying to figure out a way to make conversation and sell yourself, there is a group of people, sitting on bikes, strapped or clipped into pedals, looking back at you. This rapt and ready audience, choosing to intently listen, is now hanging on to your every word.  

Build rapport and connect.

This group soon becomes connected to you, and you to them.  You know their names, hobbies, likes, dislikes and have built a relationship.  They trust you and your leadership. They ask you for advice because you take a personal interest in them.

Whether they are competitive athletes, busy mothers, retired seniors, chronic dieters, weekend warriors, or stressed out executives, they believe you can help them reach their health and fitness goals.

Related: How to Build a Training Community

Show evidence of preparation and work  

Your cyclists recognize your work ethic.  You come to class prepared with a plan, complete with clear objectives.  You are even willing to put in the sweat equity with them, as you walk the walk. They have no reason to believe that you’ll be any different as a trainer, designing thoughtful and carefully planned programs.  

Demonstrate professionalism and a positive attitude

You respect your participants’ time.  By being 10-15 minutes early, you are there to meet and greet them as they walk in the cycling studio.  You also start and end on time, using your time together as productively as possible. You look the part and take your responsibility seriously. This is evident by how you dress, talk and act.  You are a true leader, respectful, organized, positive and ready to work. These are qualities of any sought after personal trainer.

Share the science  

You have the opportunity to show your class that you know your stuff.  You are educated regarding anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, and you know how to apply your knowledge and create great classes.  

By sharing information about heart rate, energy systems, fuel sources, base training, EPOC, fat loss, caloric expenditure, VO2, improved performance and other topics that surface in cycling class, you advertise your education.  You prove your credibility, and again, let them know that you can help them reach their fitness goals on and off the bike.

Embrace the sport of cycling.   

Indoor cycling classes often draw outdoor cyclists looking for more time in the saddle.  By speaking in terms of performance and using terms and concepts, including power, watts, rpms, etc., you let this group know that you have the skills and knowledge to help them improve specifically as cyclists.  

In addition, by demonstrating specific stretches and alluding to strength exercises that meet the needs of cyclists, you are sure to attract the interest of those wanting to better their ride inside and outside of the studio.

Related: Get Strong for Cycling: Help Clients Build Full-Body Balance and Lower-Body Strength to Improve Pedaling Power

Share personal inspiration  

You’ve got the mic.  You’ve got the floor. Let your class know the books you’re reading or listening to.  Share some recent statistics or research you’ve read. Let your class in on what inspires you, what keeps you on your ‘A’ game.  

Doing this shows participants that you are a lifelong learner who values keeping up-to-date and staying on the cutting edge of your profession.  You are definitely a trainer they want to hire.

How indoor cycling can help you become a better trainer

The perks don’t end with new clients. As an indoor cycling trainer, you will develop valuable skill sets you can apply beyond cycling class. Here are more benefits:

Learn to work a crowd well

Honing the skill of making more than one person feel important at a time is incredibly valuable.  This prepares you for small group training, whether it is a group of two or 10.

As a group instructor, you gain an eye for picking out movements and issues that need correcting, and you learn how to get people moving safely without spending too much time on the details.  

The details come in time, but you have the skills to move classes and clients forward in a way that feels inclusive and supportive.  You are able to discern when and where to spend more time with someone to help them feel successful, yet remain safe.

Make every word count   

Giving too many instructions and over explaining can be confusing to clients.  It’s key to give clients space to explore an exercise, feel the sensations in their body and self-organize a movement pattern.  

In a cycling class, it is much the same.  With the music blaring and the mic amplifying your voice, a cycling instructor learns to make every word count.  Messages get lost with too much talking, so brief, concise cuing is necessary in class.

This skill will help you get clients doing what you want sooner, with less confusion, and allow you to make the most of your time in each session.

Create fun, engaging experiences  

Pushing yourself to create engaging cycling classes will help you be more mindful of creating engaging, enjoyable one-on-one or small group sessions. You definitely want to be more than a trainer that just stands there and counts.  

Your instructor hat can inspire you to incorporate interactive exercises, where you as the coach actually participate.  Because of cycling classes, you’re much more aware of the energy and vibe created by music. You will likely be moved to pull out some of the songs and tracks that rock in the cycling studio and use them on the training floor for your sessions.

Improve coaching skills  

As an indoor cycling instructor, you learn that people respond differently to various styles of coaching.  What motivates one person may not resonate with another. Instructors develop the skills to engage everyone by using various coaching techniques.  

Successful cycling instructors are versatile in how they move through the room, how they choose their words, and even how they personally interact and engage with participants individually.  

Experience instructing a diverse crowd will increase your understanding of what makes different people quit, push or stay motivated, and you will be able to coach them appropriately.

Personal trainers can surely benefit from teaching indoor cycling classes. Not only can the platform be used to beef up a client roster, but also fine tune and expand skills that make trainers incredible at what they already do.  Lean in, go for it, take advantage of the opportunity and hop on the bike!

Become a Certified Indoor Cycling Instructor (CICI) in as little as 8 weeks with AFAA's new G.E.A.R. Indoor Cycling Instructor Certification.

The Author

Aimee Nicotera

Aimee is a group fitness expert who has taught classes for over 20 years. Her number one goal since she was a teenager was making group fitness fun.


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