End – June 2015 #indoorcycling Playlist

As June 2015 draws to a very successful conclusion, this playlist was featured prominently in my #MondayHillCrushers classes. The focus was on building endurance, stamina and strength through combination seated/standing climbs, jumps and tabata.

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My Review of Momentum Cycling & Fitness #IndoorCycling Studio

Momentum Cycling & Fitness (http://momentumnj.com/, 908-277-1333) is located at 33 Union Pl, Summit, NJ 07901 and Region Captureopened its doors in September 2014. It is on the third floor, accessible by stairs and an elevator. Momentum is a modern fitness studio that offers indoor cycling as well as TRX & personal training classes. The studio is located on Union Place, a busy road with several name-brand stores such as Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Manhattan Bagel, Starbucks and a local diner. Finding metered parking on Union Place is very challenging at best, especially if you are attending a class during normal business hours. You may have better luck finding parking on nearby adjacent streets such as Bank Street, Board Street or Springfield Av. The studio is within walking distance to the NJ Transit Summit train station. Metered parking is free on Sundays. Check out the Summit parking map for additional information (http://momentumnj.com/summit-parking-map).

momentum

Disclaimer

I taught indoor cycling classes at Momentum from September 2014 until February 2015, but I am no longer teaching there.

Overview

The studio was founded by Camellia Redmerski & Nekki Robinson, former Wall Street traders, whose inspiring story can be Camellia_&_Nekki_mediumthumbfound here: http://momentumnj.com/our-story. Their commitment is evidenced by their motto: This is your workout. This is your place. Make it your moment. The studio itself is spacious with on-site daycare, a TRX/HIIT/personal training room and the cycling studio. Momentum is an official Spinning facility and one of the first in NJ to use the advanced Blade Ion bike platform.

The space was renovated and restored before the launch of the studio and includes modern amenities such as changing rooms/lockers, showers, retail mini store, dedicated reception and a large waiting area. Mini lockers are also available and easy to use (digital coded locking system).

Indoor Cycling img-slider1_31_700x312Region Capture4

Momentum uses 30 Spinner Blade Ion bikes with power meters (all are compatible with SPD clips) situated in a three-tier stadium setup. There are two instructor’s bikes (elevated on a platform) near the entrance and close to a new sound system. A lighting system is also in use and adds unique effects that can be controlled by the instructor. A mirrored wall behind the instructor’s bikes is often used to inscribe motivational quotes and updates to the schedule. Several classes are offered per week. A free introductory class is available to new riders. Performance IQ metrics are used (with opt-out option) and can be displayed on one of three large flat screen TVs. Stats can also be emailed to riders for reference during promotional rides or for overall record keeping. The Spinner Blade Ion has an advanced computer that monitors cadence, power, interval duration, heart rate and other parameters (can be paired with a compatible wearable device or smartphone).

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Prices & Process

Reservations can be directly made using the studio’s website (http://momentumnj.com/classes) where you can reserve a specific bike. Momentum uses the common10422014_1117993684881920_7980342593393588089_n interface provided by Mind & Body software which is easy to use on a desktop or mobile device. Momentum offers a variety of class types such as SpinPower (45minutes), SpinPower Hour (60minutes) and regular Spin 45 (45minutes). Prices start at $25 per class with discounts offered for students and multi-class purchases. The “30-day Unlimited” package, at $225, is the most cost effective reducing the class price to about $11.25 based on 5 classes per week. Although the per-class price is somewhat high, Momentum’s direct competition lies a few miles away: Soul Cycle in Short Hills and FlyWheel in Milburn.

Quick Summary

  • Towels are provided as well secure lockers.
  • Additional eucalyptus-cooled towels are available near the entrance to the cycling studio.
  • No shoe rental is offered.
  • Wipes are available.
  • Parking can be difficult. Arrive a few minutes early so that you can circle the block to find a spot.
  • facebook.com/momentumNJ
  • twitter @momentumNJ
  • instagram @momentumsummit
  • further info via email: summit@momentumnj.com

Final Thoughts

Momentum provides a modern Spinning facility with cutting edge tools such as Performance IQ metrics and the Spinner Blade Ion bike. Nekki and Camellia are energetic owners, active in the local community, and both with large families of their own, they have extended that family feeling to their studio. You can typically find them at the reception area, actively engaged in running the business, working with customers, and on occasion attending or teaching a class. Nekki and Camellia are also well known for their community outreach, working with several local organizations to promote important causes by holding fund raising rides and events at the studio. I wish them continued success.

Ride on.

Tom

images courtesy of Momentum Cycling & Fitness

6 Things To Know When Auditioning For #Indoorcycling Instructor Position

I was recently approached by a fellow fitness and indoor cycling instructor who was preparing for an audition at a boutique indoor cycling studio in New York. She asked me for some pointers about preparing for the audition and any tips or suggestions. As I started to think about this, I recalled some of my own auditions and how I prepared. Here is the list of things to know:

Do Your Homework

Learn as much as possible about that studio or facility you are auditioning for. Here’s how:

– Study their website to see where there are gaps in their schedule. See if you can make yourself available for those spots. This is where you become more valuable from the start.

– Learn about their lingo and mission statement.

– Checkout their Twitter, Instagram, Yelp reviews, Rate Your Burn reviews, Glassdoor, Google reviews, and Facebook feeds. The more you know, the better prepared you are.

– Learn about which bike platform they are using. Is it a Spinner Blade Ion with onboard computer? Is it a Real Ryder? Is it a Keiser M3? Also, know the industry lingo: cadence, watts, seated climb, heart rate threshold, bpm, etc.

– Read up on the founders or management, their story and how they established the studio.

– Inquire about attending a class as a guest (or be prepared to pay for the class) before you audition. This will give you firsthand knowledge of the studio’s culture, instructor caliber, music choices and most importantly, the demographic of the riders.

Come Prepared

As I always say when teaching my Project Management classes (my other job that pays the bills!!) people do not plan to fail , they fail to plan. Here’s what to do:

– Bring a backup MP3 player, CD or copy your playlist onto a cloud service (Spotify, Soundcloud, etc.) just in case. After all, one of Murphy’s Laws is that the most import resource (your music) will fail at the worst possible time (during audition). If using batteries, bring fresh ones.

– Create a short playlist for the audition. It is likely that your audition will last about 5 minutes or less. Prepare music for a warmup, climb, combination hills and a cool down. It doesn’t hurt to ask the studio if that is OK or if they would prefer something a bit different.

– Bring a copy of your certifications, your CPR/AED card and your resume. I know you probably emailed all this info to them, but you never know if the person you will audition for is the same one who scheduled the audition. Present these copies before you start auditioning.

– Arrive a bit early to ensure that you can find a parking spot or to check out the neighborhood. If not travelling by car, be aware of rush hour’s impact on mass transit.

– Practice a 20 second summary of your background (aka ” elevator speech”), your capabilities and why (and that is so important) you want to teach at that studio. For example: “ I have a passion for teaching indoor cycling classes, and have been actively doing it for 8 years. I enjoy inspiring my riders to become stronger and help them overcome fitness challenges. I admire XYZ Studio’s mission statement and feel a strong desire to be part of this unique team”

– If using your mobile phone for music, put it on airplane mode. If not, turn it off or mute it!!

Dress The Part

Showing up in non-fitness gear and asking to change may be ok, but I would rather you wear your cycling gear and be ready. However, do not wear your cleats on the subway or while driving. Additionally:

– Make sure you have cycling shoes and also make sure they are compatible with the studio’s bike platform. Ask if the pedals are SPD compatible.

– Bring a towel and a water bottle.

– Do not wear something with a competing studio’s logo.

– Smile, be confident, and make eye contact.

During The Audition

Own the room!! One of the most important things to do is just as you are on the bike and about to start, describe what you are going to do. It is very important to project a clear set of objectives and identify the goals of the ride. Then, start and follow these suggestions:

– Do exactly what you promised to do when you described the goals of the ride.

– Call out cadence numbers, resistance, bpm, etc. If the bike platform does not use power or computer displays, use descriptive narrative such as “I want you to think about the resistance being as heavy as walking through mud…”

– DO NOT do any cotrarindicated or unsafe moves.

– Be energetic, enthusiastic, cue properly and have great form.

– When wrapping up, avoid stretching on the bike – off bike is best.

When Finished

– Wipe down the bike.

– Thank the interviewer.

– Ask about the next steps. They will likely tell you on the spot if things went well or not. If they say they will get back to you, then respond by stating that you will contact them in a week if you do not hear back.

Post Audition: Rate Negotiation

This is somewhat challenging. They may offer you a spot to teach at a rate that is lower than what you are currently making. If you see the potential of growing with that studio and the possibility of going further, then consider this as an opportunity. However, make it clear to them that you will start at that rate, but in 6 months you would like to get to the rate you had in mind. Unless the gap is so wide, that should be feasible.

If, however, they offer you a spot but then ask you how much you want, this is where you have to think about honoring your commitment to the industry and what value you place on your time. Your number should be in line with your experience, certs and where you have worked previously.

Overall be YOU!! Be passionate, show that you love to teach indoor cycling, and exude confidence. Regardless of the result, being true to your personal mission, is ultimately, the only way to be.

Good Luck!!

#RideOn

6 Pet Peeves Of #Indoorcycling Certification Classes/Workshops

Indoor_Cycling_slideshow_2Over the past several years, I have attended numerous indoor cycling workshops and certification classes. I have also attended non-indoor cycling workshops and conferences that focused on general fitness and wellness. Given my background in the IT/Software training industry, I am somewhat more critical than the general public when it comes to evaluating presenters, trainers and speakers. Regardless of the industry, theme or subject, when you are in front of people, there are a few things that you should strive to uphold and not forget. The following is a list of those things that trainers/presenters typically forget – which, in my view, diminishes the quality of the presentation and takes away from the effectiveness of learning:

Arrive Early / Start On Time

This may seem like a no brainer; however, if you’re on time, you’re late. Yes, that is harsh, but arriving early to teach a certification class is a must in my book. As an indoor cycling instructor, when do you arrive to your class? On time? Late? Or, early? You see, I am habitually early to my engagements and I take the extra time to ensure that all equipment and venue setup are what they should be. If not, there is time to address any issues. A few weeks ago, I attended a certification class and the instructor was 20 minutes late and could not start the class until another 20 minutes were spent configuring his laptop and music. There is an element of respect that speaks volumes about your character. So, please, arrive early and start on time.

Have An Outline / Stick To It

There is nothing worse than paying a lot of money for a certification class, then having the instructor start the class with no clear vision about the class objectives, topics and delivery times for these topics. A training outline is an absolute must. Equally important is that, as a subject matter expert, you must adhere to the outline, keep it structured while allowing for questions, but do not deviate so much from the outline that you end up rushing topics that matter. Finally, return to the outline a few times throughout the workshop to remind participants of what topics were covered and how much remains to cover.

Finish Early / Never Finish Late

I absolutely dislike it when the instructor or presenter keeps on going beyond the official end of the class/certification/workshop. Again, this is about respect – respecting participants’ time. As noted in the previous point, a structured outline will help you stay within the workshop’s timeframe. No structure leads to chaos. And chaos, leads to finishing late. Of course, wrapping up a few minutes early is always welcomed and in fact, encouraged! In the extreme case of needing to finish late, please let the participants know so that they are prepared (especially if they have made travel arrangements, such as transportation pickups, flights, etc.).

Never Badmouth Competition / Rise Above

A hallmark of good instructors is their ability to avoid commenting on sensitive topics that may lead to drawn out discussions (such as contraindicated moves). You can diffuse the situation by taking these questions “on the sidelines”. This shows maturity and can easily bring you back to your outline. While questions should be welcomed at all times, keep the answers brief and succinct. Avoid the temptation of speaking poorly of other competing certification classes, other instructors, technologies or equipment.

Make Yourself Available / Remain Engaged

Please share with your attendees your contact information and how you can be reached. Speak to the attendees during breaks and after class. As an instructor myself, there are times when I am hungry, need a bathroom break or just want to go home. However, the attendees paid a significant amount of money to be certified and they deserve a few minutes of your time. Make it clear in your outline that you will be available for questions and if there are any questions that need further research, promise you will do so and get back to the person who asked.

Have Backups / Prepare For Murphy’s Law

Although certification materials can be sent to participants in advance, have a backup copy just in case (paper copy, copy on a flash drive, etc.). When using playlists, bring a backup MP3 player, extra batteries, and use your mobile device or keep a copy online just in case it is needed (storing it on Spotify, Soundcloud or other services). I recently attended a CPR/AED recertification workshop where the instructor wanted to stream videos during the class. Guess what? The WiFi at the facility was down, and with no backup videos, the class was a huge mess.

Have you experienced any other pet peeves? Share them…

#RideOn

#IndoorCycling Instructor Wellness System

Wellness is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being. In my research to determine what wellness means to indoor cycling instructors, I came across another definition of wellness, used by the National Wellness Institute – that definition: “Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.”

Therefore, how do we connect wellness (as a choice) to its actual application in indoor cycling? That connection can be explained through my Indoor Cycling Instructor Wellness System, a set of five interdependent elements as described below:

wellness

  • Personal Beliefs: inclusive of personal core values such as spirituality, integrity, dedication and commitment to excellence. The personal belief system varies by instructor but remains the driving force and the motivational principal of overall wellness. With a personal belief system, you become resilient, well grounded and you will garner the respect of your students and peers.
  • Physical Abilities: supplemented by personal beliefs, these abilities propel you to excel at what you do and seek to constantly improve your overall fitness levels, physical strengths, mental tenacity and preparedness.
  • Emotional Connectivity: remaining grounded, compassionate, understanding and keenly aware of the impact of emotions on your students’ workout results. Reaching out to students, knowing their names, listening, offering support, acknowledging their challenges (personal, financial, etc.), encouraging participation and reinforcing positive actions are a few stages along the emotional connectivity roadmap.
  • Vocational Capabilities: are the instructor’s skills, learned abilities and acquired knowledge from training classes, certifications, workshops and continuing education. These capabilities are instrumental in enriching our lives as coaches and leaders. With that vocational knowledge we can also enrich other people’s lives, impart positive change and influence by example.
  • Social Awareness: being aware and accepting that people are shaped by their socioeconomic circumstances, demographics, cultural and personal differences. The common denominator, however, is the desire to improve one’s health through exercise. And that unites us all.

 

This, of course, is based on my personal experiences throughout several years of teaching indoor cycling classes. I believe that this wellness system exists and varies for each instructor. I also believe that regardless of where you teach and the style you have adopted, having a wellness system is critical to your continued success and to your well-being.

 

#RideOn

 

Tom

 

 

 

01June15 #MondayHillCrushers Playlist

Yesterday’s class came at a very stressful personal time for me. I spent sometime putting together this playlist to reflect the state I was in so that I can regain my focus, my edge and my dedication to my Monday Hill Crushers. By the end of the ride, I felt exhilarated, motivated and back on track. Here is the first playlist for the month of June 2015.

#RideOn