How to Become a CycleBar Instructor
The spin (or indoor cycling) craze of the 1990s and 2000s proved that you didn’t need a bicycle, air pump, and perfect weather to burn 400 calories per hour with low-impact exercise. Now, individuals want to know how to become a CycleBar instructor.
But spin classes evolved into much, much more than just a training fad. In 2019, nearly ten million Americans participated in a stationary cycling class.
Maybe you were one of them.
Do you have a passion for fitness and life-changing results?
More importantly, do you have what it takes to be an upbeat, inspiring spin instructor at your local CycleBar studio?
If so, wonderful news! This is your complete guide to becoming a CycleBar instructor.
Make Sure You’re a Good Fit for the Gig
How hard can it possibly be to sit on a flywheel, pedal for 30+ minutes, and shout out encouraging words every once in a while?
It’s not that difficult.
But it also overlooks what spin instructors do by a landslide. So before you continue with the rest of this guide, make sure you have:
A Passion for Fitness
To say a career as a Cyclebar instructor is physically demanding is an understatement.
Many spin instructors lead several 30–50-minute classes per day, ranging from speed intervals to strength focus to endurance challenges.
Incredible cardio and lower-body endurance (and strength) are a must. Rhythm and choreography can be just as vital on the spin bike.
Remember that CycleBar instructors create their themed playlists for every class and match each song’s tempo and length to the day’s ride.
The goal is to have your passion for fitness rub off on your students as they sweat buckets, shred 400+ calories, and leave the studio with a burning sensation in their legs.
A Burning Desire to Lead
Speaking of burning sensations, CycleBar instructors are just as much fitness geeks as they are leaders and motivators.
On top of a passion for health, wellness, and fueling that same fire in students, spin teachers also need:
- Strong communication skills
- An upbeat, high-energy, and contagious personality
- A motivational or inspirational spark
- Perseverance and grit
- Empathy (to inspire newer students)
Become a Certified Spin Instructor
CycleBar doesn’t outwardly say that all prospective coaches need an indoor spin certification.
But these courses can teach you the ropes and prepare you for a successful gig at CycleBar (or any spin studio, for that matter):
G.E.A.R. — which stands for Goals, Energy, Accountability, and Results — is the Athletic & Fitness Association of America’s latest spin instructor certification.
This eight-week online program will train you in the physiology of cycling, how to piece together a playlist, and how to engage an entire class of cyclists.
ISSA’s Certified Indoor Cycling Instructor
The ISSA’s course puts a more results-oriented emphasis on training.
This training program will help you master the equipment and grasp the principles of human anatomy and physiology. It also comes with a free exam for accreditation with the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT).
Get a Referral
This next step is optional, though at least one CycleBar studio on Indeed admits it’ll get your foot in the door: snagging a referral. Knowing a current instructor doubles your odds of interviewing for an instructor position.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should start befriending CycleBar instructors purely to get a job (that would be selfish). However, if you genuinely believe your destiny involves becoming an indoor cycling instructor, making yourself a regular face at your local CycleBar studio is a solid start.
Be an active member of the class, leave your heart on the flywheel, introduce yourself to your CycleBar instructor, and strike up casual conversations with them after classes. Essentially, let them know that you’re serious about the routine.
Choose Your Preferred CycleBar Gym
Each studio within the CycleBar franchise is independently owned and operated by a different franchise owner. What does that mean for you?
You will need to decide on your preferred studio before you apply.
Of course, the “obvious” choice is the one closest to home. But you can also select a new studio preparing for its grand opening, the CycleBar closest to your full-time job, or the one you already attend as a member.
Complete the Official Audition Form or Apply Online
Congratulations! By now, you’re about halfway through the process and inching closer to your dream gig as a CycleBar instructor.
If you want to “join the revolution” and snag an audition, you’ll first need to fill out the official application form on the CycleBar website.
Be ready to share:
- Your first & last name
- Email address
- Phone number
- Your physical address
- Your indoor cycling instructor history (or the number of classes you’ve taken in the last six months)
- Whether you’ve attended a CycleBar class
- How many classes per week you can teach
- Why you’d be a great fit for the gig
- Your greatest life passion
- Your preferred studio
After reviewing your application, the studio may reach out to schedule an audition. After all, anyone can hop on a flywheel and attend a spin class. But it takes a special type of person to lead a class of 20+ through a 45-minute ride and encourage them to come back the next day!
Nail the Audition & CycleBar Bootcamp
CycleBar splits the interview process into two pieces: passing the audition and completing the four-day Bootcamp instructor training.
Here’s a look at what each one entails:
The audition itself is essentially a sample ride. So during your audition, you’ll start with a fast run right out of the saddle (at 80–90 BPM) while also proving you can adapt to changing beats, transitions, and climbs while remaining positive and upbeat.
Keep in mind the audition is filmed.
CycleBar’s corporate office will review your audition and decide whether you’re a good fit for Bootcamp.
The four-day Bootcamp is reserved for future CycleStars who pass their auditions. CycleBar Bootcamp is the most challenging leg of the entire process, meaning preparation is more important than ever.
In the lead-up to Bootcamp, don’t forget to practice cycling to a 12-song sequence, create playlists on Spotify, and mentally prepare yourself for the journey ahead.
Boot camp typically falls on a Thursday–Sunday and lasts from about 8 AM to 5 PM. However, thanks to the master instructors, you’ll leave the program with the confidence and passion that you’ll need to lead and motivate your future students.
Invest In Tools to Track Finances & Taxes
If you brought the “wow factor,” you can officially call yourself a “CycleStar” and start preparing for the business side of things. It’s at this phase where many instructors find themselves in brand new territory.
Unlike your traditional 9-to-5, you may now be an “independent contractor” in charge of tracking your earnings, expenses, deductions, and taxes.
To play on the safe side, you’ll need:
The Self-Employed version of Quickbooks is — hands-down — the best way to stay on top of your finances as an independent contractor.
With Quickbooks, you can easily sort your expenses and income to monitor your earnings while also maximizing your deductions at the end of the year.
The more deductible expenses you rack up, the lower your taxable income. As a spin instructor, business expenses may include a Spotify Premium subscription, continuing education courses, marketing costs, and insurance.
This software also calculates your estimated quarterly taxes to stay on top of your dues throughout the year.
Pro tip: Make a habit of logging your direct deposits and business expenses in Quickbooks as soon as possible. That way, you’re not chasing down receipts or emailing CycleBar in April asking for a copy of your pay.
Unless you’re an accountant-turned-fitness-instructor, handling your finances can feel like a blur.
Hiring an accountant or a bookkeeper is the best way to correctly file your taxes and record income and business expenses.
Consider Liability Insurance for Spin Instructors
As a lead instructor in a spin class, injuries or property damage are bound to happen at some point (though still rare). Therefore, investing in insurance is the best way to protect yourself financially when worst comes to worst.
Even if your CycleBar studio doesn’t require it, you should still consider:
General Liability Insurance
In the indoor cycling world, general liability insurance is geared toward injuries and property damage. General liability policies typically cover accidents.
For example, these policies would apply if a participant strains their lower back in class, forcing them to see a physical therapist or breaking their CycleBar bike’s digital screen.
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance — on the other hand — applies to situations where your expertise is called into question when damages occur. In simpler terms, it covers professional malpractice.
Examples include jokingly telling a participant to try a wheelie, causing them to topple over on the bike, or playing the 12-sequence playlist loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage.
Remember that these policies only really apply if these things happen due to your instructions. However, we’re all human, and we can all make mistakes, so it pays to be prepared for it ahead of time.
If you’re an independent contractor rather than a CycleBar employee, you also miss out on the typical worker’s compensation policies. Straining your back or injuring your knee could put you out of commission for weeks with no pay.
Market Your Spin Classes
Once you’ve secured the gig and handled the financial and legal aspects, you’re ready to expand your customer base and fill those saddles. Now, this is where your contagious, upbeat personality will shine outside of the studio.
Market or promote your upcoming spin classes with:
Social Media Advertising
In the 21st century, the #1 place to advertise your spin classes is none other than social media. Start by creating a professional business Facebook page, Instagram profile, Twitter, what have you.
Remember to post videos and photos regularly to convince your followers that your CycleBar class is the place to be. Show off your themed rides, star-studded playlists, and participants having a blast.
Or run ads for upcoming themed rides or summer fitness challenges.
Flyers are a bit old-school, but there’s no doubt they still work.
Print out flyers to hype up your spin class and hang them in places your ideal customers hang out. Think about posting them at a nearby college, a health-conscious grocery store, or the local community center.
Don’t forget to put your full name, club address, and dates and times of your classes on the flyers!
Sometimes, the best conversation-starters are eye-catching shirts that encourage people to ask questions or Google them later.
Whether it’s a shirt reading, “I rode 500 miles last week. Ask me how.” or simply displaying the CycleBar logo, T-shirts are a simple way to generate interest.
Truly Engaging & Fun Classes
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a full-time CycleStar teaching four classes per day or a part-time instructor once a week. The simplest way to build your following is to become an exciting, welcoming, and inspiring coach.
Turn your studio into a family-like atmosphere where attendees can feel confident and proud of their efforts on the bike. Then, once they fall head over heels for your class, they’ll gladly spread the word to their friends and family.
Becoming a CycleStar instructor will land you in a fulfilling career where you can practice your passion while playing a hand in how each student progresses.
If you’re ready to teach your first indoor cycling class at CycleBar, this guide will walk you through the entire process from start to finish.
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