Sunday, February 24, 2008

Spin vs. Step

One of my most favorite clips is George Carlin's comparison of baseball & football. I will never approach the excellence of this genius comarative piece - but, after years of teaching step and now having just learned to teach spin, I am taking a very remote stab:

Step students arrive early to set up their steps and glare at you if you are 2 minutes late.
Spin students don't care if the instructor is there when they arrive; they just hop on their bikes and start pedaling furiously, paying no mind to when the spin instructor saunters in 5 minutes late and takes his/her time setting up the bike while the students vigorously drive their own workouts.

Step instructors
cue each and every motion in advance, breathlessly fitting in techniques on form and posture while simultaneously verbalizing each movement as well as thinking ahead to the next 8-count.
Spin instructors stroll around the room, shouting out a cue every 3-4 minutes if they need to while the students furiously sweat and go forth, heads' down.

Step students will tell you if you've missed a beat or miscued once out of literally hundreds of cues within the class. They will tell you this as you are trying to cue and keep the class going for the other 15 students who will grimace if you miss a beat for them.
Spin students will gratefully embrace the opportunity to have worked off 5% of their body fat in one class while you looked at your notes and fixed your bike and music in between the total of 5 sets of instructions you gave for the entire class.

Step students will demand modifications and alternatives.
Spin students will self-adjust.

Step instructors must monitor their class for heart rate and rates of perceived exertion, taking time out to assess the class and explain complex, customized heart rate calculations to students while they impatiently wait for the class to recommence.
Spin instructors simply demand that their students buy and wear their own heart rate monitors and adjust their idividual workouts accordingly.

Step students
will demand new and increasingly demanding choreography.
Spin students will have no idea that you simply rearranged a series of hills & flats from your last class...because really, isn't that all you have to play with anyway?