We put a spotlight on common questions that instructors all around the world have, and we get the answers from a Master Instructor! This month, we look at rhythm riding and how to incorporate it in our rides.
Question: What is rhythm riding? I’ve been receiving some requests from riders, so all info and ideas are welcome!
Answer: “Rhythm riding is riding to the beat,” explains Josh Taylor, Spinning Master Instructor and Brand Ambassador. As the leader of the main event rides at the World Spinning® and Sports Conditioning conference for the last six years, he has become an expert in crafting spectacular rides with music and rhythm. “It has always been part of the Spinning® program. There is nothing wrong with doing so, as long as you are within a safe and effect cadence range and are riding with proper form.”
The easiest way to initiate rhythm riding is by matching a song’s beats per minute to your desired cadence range. Remember that safe cadence ranges should be within 60-110 RPM. For instance, if your simulating a hill at 60 RPM, a song with a cadence of 60 or 120 beats per minute sets an exact beat at which students can pedal.
“With that said, it’s very important to note that riding off the beat is also part of the Spinning® program,” Josh adds. “There can and will be times when the ‘effort’ should become the primary focus and the music should then provide the ‘energy’ or ‘motivation’ needed for that intensity.”
In addition to rhythm riding, great instructors also coach students to find their own rhythm, as we all have our own inner metronome set to our natural tempo giving us the freedom to choose between following the music’s tempo or our own pace. It is important to understand that riding on or off the beat is a method that can assist some riders in setting their inner metronome. Just as there are times being on the beat can be useful, there are equally times when going off beat or without a beat is advantageous.
This concept of rhythm riding is explained in greater detail in the new Becoming a Rockstar Instructor course, which provides a comprehensive dive into making instructors even better at coaching, music, speech, class design and delivery.
“Remember that a Spinning® class can be highly effective if done right,” Josh concludes. It’s your job as an instructor to provide a safe, effective, and fun ride that should always have focus or goal associated with it.”