I hope this post will answer some of your questions. I promised to follow up and here it is.
In January we began working with a monthly schedule of classes with designated Energy Zones. Initially, we were met with either surprise (by someone who had not looked at our schedule, read the multiple notices, or paid attention as we announced our intentions over the preceding month) or with enthusiasm. This lasted for a few weeks. I watched carefully ? especially since some of you readers had communicated your interest to see how it would work for us. We really, and I mean REALLY wanted it to work.
As I have said before, our facility had been blessed for years by the expert guidance of an outstanding Master Instructor. It is she who gently guided me as I took my first pedal strokes a little over two years ago and it is this same MI who designed our January schedule.
But, life happens. Dissatisfaction began to bubble and churn. It was hard not to take it personally. Each of our 6 (Mad Dogg certified) instructors was approached repeatedly with a combination of complaints and constructive criticism. We persevered. Each of us is dedicated to Spinning® training. We are well aware that we are an official Spinning® facility and we work hard to follow all the rules. Though each of us is very different in our teaching styles, we are unanimous about teaching well.
In fact, we had had a meeting prior to January 1st and had discussed the schedule with our Master Instructor. Therefore, to answer one of the questions posed in a recent comment on my original blog post about the scheduling, ONE person wrote the schedule and did so very carefully. We each simply taught the class assigned to us. Does each of us have a favorite? Of course. Had any of us taught a Recovery Energy Zone class or even a Race Day Energy Zone class before? I don?t think so. I was very proud of our staff as I took a few classes and realized that a huge byproduct of having established this schedule had been to send us all back to our Instructor Manual, to make us dig deep and then expand the boundaries of what we might be comfortable teaching. Clearly we each had grown from the process.
A few weeks into the new schedule we experienced a staff shake-up that left me as the coordinator ? just in time to write the March training schedule. I had been trained well. I had huge support from our staff and a large percentage of our participants. I listened to all suggestions but then had to make decisions based on my own ethics and understanding. Bottom line: our second month into a recommended Spinning® training schedule was not much different from the first. I tried to read the schedule vertically (accommodating people who took class each week on the same day ? every Tuesday, for example) and horizontally (accommodating people who take class several times during the week.) I tried to ?round a few corners and soften a few edges? making it a little more flexible for those who needed to individualize their training. I took the 90 minute Saturday morning class out of the rotation and turned that into a bit of an open-ended class that would vary by whatever the preceding week?s training had looked like and would often mix energy zones, end with a 30 minute Recovery, or become a ?destination ride? based on a road cycling adventure.
So far, so good. WE ARE STILL USING OUR SCHEDULE! Our staff has become more cohesive, our participants feel that their voice has been heard, and everyone ? staff and students ? knows what to expect from each class and comes ready to ride that training ride.
Each week there are indicators that we are in the right space with this ? for now, at least. For example, last week I walked in on several women in the locker room who were saying that to their surprise, they were loving the Recovery Energy Zone classes. Others have told me that they had been afraid of Race Day and were thrilled to have done so well on their first one. Today, for another example, a very strong athlete/cyclist set up her Spinner® just in front of me and hopped on with a very determined look. When I announced that the class was to be in the Endurance EZ, she was stunned as she was ready for an Interval EZ class having thought that was what was scheduled. She quickly regrouped, trained in the EEZ extremely well, and left with a smile saying ?I?m so glad I stayed.?
You didn?t ask for my advice, but I?ll give it to you anyway: TRY IT. YOU DON?T KNOW IF IT WILL WORK UNTIL YOU TRY IT. What we are REALLY looking for is results ? strong, healthy fit riders and individuals who meet their performance goals. Will we still be doing this a year from now? I don?t know. What I do know is that, in spite of some set backs, we have continued and all concerned seem to have grown from this experience. Each and every regular participant now has an even better understanding and appreciation for the Spinning® Energy Zones and seems to be taking more deliberate consideration of his or her own personal training schedules. In addition, we?re having an awful lot of fun!
Stay tuned. Please let us know of your progress as you consider and, perhaps, implement a Spinning® Training Schedule at your facility.
Blog posted by Linda Freeman for www.spinning.com 3-3-2011