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What indoor cycling instructor certification do I need?


Over the 8 years I’ve published, “what indoor cycling instructor certification do I need?” has to be the #1 question of all time. It’s similar to the second most popular question asking “where can I get certified as a FILL IN THE BLANK instructor?”

Over time I learned everyone was essentially asking me for direction on how to land their first Indoor Cycling job as an Instructor.

There’s a misperception in our industry that “X” Cycling Certification = Automatic Job, so the thought process is #1 first I need to get certified. Unfortunately if you guess wrong you could end up wasting your time and money.

After being asked this so many times I decided to write an article that I could link to and save a few keystrokes when sending my response.

Where can I get certified as a “Spin®” “Schwinn®” or any other type of Indoor Cycling Instructor?

I get the “Where can I get certified as a “Spin®”,”Schwinn®” or simply an Indoor Cycling Instructor?” question a lot. While trying to be helpful, more often than not my response is “I’m sorry, but you are asking the wrong person.” “The person you want to ask is the manager at the club where you would like to teach.”

Many people skip that step – here’s why you shouldn’t… read more

My point here is that each club or studio has different requirements.

  1. Official Spinning® Studios require Mad Dogg certified Instructors.
  2. Many of the new, non-traditional studios (Full Psycle, CycleBar, Flywheel, SoulCycle etc…) have no certification requirements – they hire for passion and personality and will train you on the class format they expect Instructors to deliver.
  3. Life Time Fitness requires Instructors have a nationally recognised Indoor Cycling certification from; Schwinn, Spinning®, Stages, Keiser, Cycling Fusion and Heart Zones to name a few.
  4. Depending on region, many YMCA’s only hire certified Group Fitness Instructors (ACE, AFAA, CanFitPro) who also have an Indoor Cycling cert.

So can you understand how you could make a mistake by taking a Schwinn training, when the only studio you’d consider teaching at requires a Spin® cert?

All that said, if you feel you need (or have been told you need) some unspecified form of certification*, I would suggest attending a one day Spinning orientation.

*There’s a second misconception in our industry where people misuse the term “certification” in the context of Indoor Cycling. Most programs only offer an orientation – typically a one day workshop where there’s no real test/final exam. To be truly “certified” in the fitness world, you need your ACE or AFAA.

There is one exception – Cycling Fusion offers an actual certification that does include a test you need to complete and pass before getting your certificate. This Indoor Cycling Instructor certification is available as an online course and I highly recommend it. Cycling Fusion also offers very comprehensive online training for teaching with Power / Watts.



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