Teach cycling and rowing like a pro!
If you’re about to start teaching a class that includes both indoor cycling and indoor rowing, here are some tips.
Stay away from the bicycle. To handle all the variables in a cycling / rowing class, you will need to be on your feet, moving around the room.
Are you going to warm up? Bike stretches will not work in a split class. Decide whether you will start with a full-class stretching and warm-up, or have the participants take care of that on their own. Active isolation stretching is the most efficient of its kind, it warms up the body while stretching, but they all take time to train.
Plan your workouts ahead of time. You will need a specific and detailed rowing training, along with your planned cycling training. They do not have to work in parallel. That is, a 6:00 flat on the bike does not have to run in sync with a 6:00 interval on the rowing ergometer (erg). You can if you prefer.
Feel the differences between the two workouts. Rowing workouts are often rigidly scheduled. That makes them effective and easy to indicate. But some of the nastiest cycling workouts I’ve ever done were created by an instructor who was primarily a rower. His classes seemed created with a calculator and a slide rule (a what?). Instead, use cycling workouts that are similar to the ones you are running now. So you can shape your rowing workouts without alienating your riders.
Equip your music for motorcycles. It is less important to match the music with a rowing exercise, so keep handling your music as you have done so far. There are exceptions, mostly performance related, but in general this is true.
Memorize the steps to configure your erg monitor. Concept 2 Models D and E use a complex procedure to establish time or distance. You will have to indicate it all the time. If you change half of the distance time workout, prepare to repeat. Example: “Press Select Workout. Press New Workout. Press Time Intervals. DO NOT set the time yet! Use the back arrow to go back to the” tens “column. Set that to 1. Now use the” ones “column arrow “. Change it to 0.” [At this point you have to cue setting the rest interval.] “Now press the check mark at the bottom of the screen.”
That long description sets the timer for a 10 minute interval. If you set the column “ones” first to 0, the default will be “: 20” (20 seconds) automatic. That spoils everything and you will have to spend time changing it.
Note: The above signs are an illustration. You are not done until you have set the rest interval (assuming you want repeated intervals). If you hit the check mark in the middle of the process, you have to start over. It will happen.
Don’t kill the Concept 2 people. All of the above is why the simple Model C was wonderful, but you will get used to the D / E. And you will remember the signs. I wrote the procedure from memory.
Always advise the rowers first. Let’s say you’ve decided to run the workouts in parallel format, which is easier for you. Separate the groups into your team. Instruct the rowers as the riders move their legs. Tell the rowers what to do during their warm-up (let’s say it’s 10 minutes). Easy warm-up shortcut: ask them to press “Just Row.” They row as instructed and stop when the computer clock hits 10:00. As you row, you run a 10-minute bike warm-up. Once the warm-up is done, the riders roll and recover while you indicate rowing training and set up the monitor.
This approach synchronizes the major changes for the two groups. The intervals will be the same length, but what the groups do during the intervals can be as similar or as different as you like.
Create a timeline. If you like multitasking, feel free to create workouts that don’t look alike at all. You may need some kind of timeline to keep track of what is happening. If you’re a fan of spreadsheets, that approach will be fun for you. If you are able to mentally keep track of two different workouts without a cheat sheet, go for it.
A timeline could be just a basic record with 3-4 columns. The minutes (0:00 to 30:00) go in the left column, the rowing exercises in the next, the cycling training in the third column, and perhaps notes and messages for you in the fourth column. Use a stopwatch. You’ll check your watch and know exactly what everyone should be doing at any given time.
All this planning makes improvising and modifying so much easier. You have your plan, but you still feel ready to change when time or circumstances call for it.
At the 30 minute mark, switch teams. The change will take a few minutes, so shorten the warm-up, but give everyone a chance to get their target muscles used to the new activity in the second half of the class. Reset your watch and repeat the workout body.
If you can do all of this AND deliver content (exercise physiology, technique, and training philosophy), your classes will be engaging and informative, and will appeal to a broad base.