Jeff Krabiel is the first Spinning® Master Instructor to have reached the twenty-five-year mark. We appreciated the opportunity to sit down with him to talk about his experiences with the Spinning® program over that time.
How long have you been affiliated with Spinning® and how did you initially get involved with the Spinning® program?
In 1995, I was working as a group exercise instructor at a large fitness facility in Los Angeles. The gym had decided to bring in this new program called Spinning®. The creators of the program came in to present an all-day training on how the program worked and their vision for teaching it.
After the initial training, they came back and taught workshops over the next few weeks. After one of the trainings, a Mad Dogg representative announced that they were looking to recruit instructors to travel throughout the world and introduce other people to Spinning®. I signed up right away!
This year marks my twenty-fifth year as a Spinning® MI. I’m the first to reach that milestone.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the instructors I’ve met over these past twenty-five years. Their positive energy and strength have given me so much. I would never be here without them! Thanks to all of you!
How many Spinning® certification trainings have you taught?
A lot! I would say that I’ve averaged three weekends each month over the last twenty-five years. That’s a conservative estimate because over the first ten years, we worked both days almost every weekend. That equates to about 1,000 weekends in twenty-five years!
What do you like most about being a Spinning® Master Instructor?
Teaching is my profession, so I enjoy the opportunity to break down the important skills and techniques that make this program so wonderful. When I meet people at events and trainings, many of them have amazing enthusiasm and energy, but they are seeking more knowledge of safety, setup and Spinning® riding techniques. I like being able to offer knowledge in those areas.
When you’re not teaching Spinning®, what are you doing?
I’m a preschool education specialist. I work with preschool age children who have developmental challenges. My time during the week is spent planning, teaching and assessing my students’ progress. I’ve also spent a large part of the past fifteen years going to school to complete general and special education credential programs as well as an MS in Early Childhood Special Education. In 2019, I also received a teaching authorization to work with children who have been identified as having an orthopedic impairment.
What tips do you have for new Spinning® instructors getting ready to teach their first class?
Take the time to create your class through individual song selection. You can also take advantage of ready-made profiles available for purchase through Spinning.com or you’ll receive them for free as a SPIN® Member.
Create short segments with specific, uncomplicated objectives that are provided in timeframes of three to four minutes each. On a related note, many new instructors try to overly complicate their classes by including a multitude of transitions in their profiles. I advise them that having one main task or activity per song is more than enough when someone is a beginner.
Create opportunities for your riders to practice skills through repetition rather than complication.
What’s your go-to music?
For Spinning®, I’m all about EDM (Electronic Dance Music). I love the groove and consistency that good EDM songs offer. My favorite artists include Oakenfold, Garrix, Tiesto, and Afrojack.
What is the most important attribute for a Spinning® instructor to have?
A good Spinning® instructor knows how to deliver their cues/prompts in a timely manner. A good teacher prepares their students for upcoming changes/transitions. A good coach knows the potential obstacles that their athletes may soon face and is able to highlight the skills needed to successfully meet those challenges.
What makes you distinct as a Spinning® Instructor?
I bring a unique skill combination to the MI team. I have traveled and presented this program for twenty-five years which has given me immense practical knowledge. I also have an extensive background in formal education and teaching, which allows me to be an authority on developing and delivering high-quality lessons. Along those lines, I enjoy being a mentor to and resource for my MI teammates on lesson planning, priming, prompting, and positive behavior techniques.
What’s your favorite coaching technique?
“Be a timer” … Let your students know where they are and how much longer they’ll be there.
What advice do you have for Spinning® instructors who might want to become a Spinning® MI?
MIs lead trainings that are full of valuable information about the Spinning® program, which we consider to be the best in the world for indoor cycling. A good MI will handle differing opinions that may arise about indoor cycling with tact and grace, all the while making sure the objectives of the Spinning® program are achieved each time he or she instructs.
The worldwide team of Master Instructors for the Spinning® program is made up of 160 experts with demonstrated fitness industry experience, outstanding professionalism and exemplary knowledge of the Spinning® program. It's a rewarding position for top fitness professionals who have a strong desire to train instructors, further Spinning® education and be an overall ambassador to Mad Dogg Athletics and the Spinning® program. Master Instructor Training Camps are held every 2-3 years, and recruiting announcements are made on the Spinning website, social media pages and via newsletters and email blasts. Please visit https://spinning.com/instructors/education/master to read more about application prerequisites and the recruiting process.