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How to Become a Spin Instructor: Ultimate Guide

Whether you’re a qualified fitness professional looking to progress your career, or you’re just curious about what a being a spin instructor involves, we’re going to take you through step by step, how you can become a spin instructor yourself

So, you’ve seen a spin instructor in action. They’re filled with unrivalled energy, all the riders in the class love them… and now you’re hungry to fill their shoes.

Why wouldn’t you be? After all, they seem like a fitness god when they’re up there on their pedestal. All the whooping and cheering seems pretty validating too.

How popular is spin?

To give you an insight into how popular spin actually is and to get an idea of how in demand your role might be, here’s a snippet from our research:

The demand for spin instructors in the UK is on the rise as the workout soars in popularity. In many advertised Personal Trainer roles on Indeed, the largest job platform in the world, employers are asking for PTs and gym instructors that can lead group exercise sessions, and spinning is the most popular in this category.

What you need to Become a Spin Instructor

If you’ve landed on this post, then it’s clear that you have a passion for fitness and want to learn more about the career possibilities within the industry.

Let’s start with the personality traits and skills to become a spin instructor:

If the answer is a resounding YES to all of these questions, then you’ll want to stick around to find out how to start your career in indoor cycling.

Qualifications

If you want to become a spin instructor, then you’ll need a Level 2 Fitness Instructing qualification and a level 2 in Exercise to Music qualification, which we provide here at OriGym. The level 2 certificate in fitness instructing will serve as an ideal foundation to your development as a fitness professional and is the pre-requisite requirement to obtaining the Spin CPD qualification.

If you’re already a Level 2 gym instructor or Level 3 personal trainer and you’re looking to take your career to the next level, then you’re certainly in the right place. The first step that you should take from here is to choose a course provider for your Spin CPD qualification.

To make your choice easier, keep in mind that all Indoor Cycling courses are CPDs. A CPD is a ‘Continuous Professional Development’ course, and they are usually completed in 1-2 days. They are added modules of either your level 2 fitness instructing or level 2 exercise to music qualifications. CPDs are independent qualifications in their own right and come with either or both REPs points or CIMSPA credits depending on the provider you elect to study via. Indoor cycling CPDs can vary in the number of REPs or CIMSPA points that you get depending if it is a one day or two day spin instructor course you decide to attend.

A CPD in spinning will increase your chances of employability. An employer would be likely to edge towards an applicant who was able to instruct spin classes at their gym rather than one that had less well-rounded skills.

You need to make yourself stand out in order to maximise your earnings.

Keep in mind that it makes no difference if you train with Mad Dogg Athletics, Les Mills, or for a CPD at an independent training provider. CPDs in this sector differ very marginally, so it will be similar wherever you choose to complete it. Employers just want to see that you’re qualified to fulfil their job description, so if your qualifications are accredited once you become a spin instructor, then you’re set to go.

We will cover everything you need to know about getting qualified and what career opportunities you’ll have in this ultimate guide to becoming a spin instructor, so check out the next section!

How to get certified

Within the fitness industry, there exists a world of trademarks as well as governing and developmental bodies. Don’t let this scare you away! We’re going to break it all down for you to make it nice and easy to understand.

Trademarks

You may already know this, but there is one difference between Spinning® by Mad Dogg Athletics®, RPM® by Les Mills, and courses by training providers through governing bodies such as Active IQ’s Level 2 Award in Instructing Studio Cycling, or YMCA Awards’ Level 2 Award in Instructing Group Indoor Cycling Sessions. This is that Spinning and RPM are trademarked terms for indoor cycling.

This means that indoor cycling/spinning as an activity is not trademarked. Therefore, it doesn’t make a difference whether an instructor has Spin® or indoor cycling qualifications, as they are both CPDs and equal in the eyes of employers.

When browsing indoor cycling CPDs, make sure that they are accredited by CIMPSA and REPS, or that their qualification is awarded by a governing body like Active IQ, which are approved by Ofqual. This is another important factor to keep in mind.

With the confusion of ‘trademarks’ cleared up, let’s take a look at the different indoor cycling / spin courses you can get qualified in….

Become a Spin Instructor with Spinning®/Mad Dogg Athletics®

If you’re interested in the Spinning world of indoor cycling, then we’re going to talk you through exactly how to become a spin instructor this way. Spinning has gained a cult following over the past 25 years, similarly to other brands like CrossFit. This explains why it is so popular as an indoor cycling organisation.

With Mad Dogg Athletics, there is a hierarchy scale of spin instructors that can seem intimidating at first, but here’s what it boils down to:

If you want to progress to Level 3 (Elite), then you need to complete the course you didn’t pick. This means that you need both ‘Becoming a Rockstar’ and ‘SPINPower’ to progress to Level 3 (Elite).

So, how do you gain your Spinning Instructor Certification in the first place?

If you navigate to the become an instructor page, then click on ‘Live Training’, you’ll be able to search for instructor training courses local to you.  After selecting ‘UK’, we found courses in Manchester, London, Thornton-Cleveleys and Jersey for over the next few months, which is quite limited, but the courses do vary in locations and the times of the year that they operate.

It’s as simple as that really. Once you’ve completed your live training, then you can take your online examination and become a spin instructor.

However, once you become certified, you need to receive 14 SPIN CECs (Continuing Education Credits) every two years to maintain your qualification. This does cost to upkeep, whereas a CPD in indoor cycling belongs to you for like, and no re-certification is required.

How much are you looking to spend?

Are you prepared to pay to keep your qualifications?     

It’s a lot to take in if you’re new to the world of group exercise classes, let alone the unique world of SPIN. We’re hoping you feel a little more caught up by now, to start seeing which option is best for you personally.

When weighing up indoor cycling courses, keep where you’re planning to teach in mind. If you believe instructing for SPIN with Mad Dogg Athletics is the right pathway for you after reading this section, then why not go for it?

If you want to weigh up the pros and cons of other courses, then stick with us for the rest of our ultimate guide to help you become a spin instructor…

Become a spin instructor with indoor cycling qualifications

As we mentioned before, there are alternative routes to become a spin instructor that you won’t want to overlook when making the decision of which course to take.

What are the benefits of taking different courses?

Right off the bat, a main benefit to giving the matter some thought is that being qualified under a governing body such as Active IQ, YMCA Awards, NCFE, or Focus Awards can broaden your horizons when it comes to working as a spin class instructor.

Why is this?

In the UK, sometimes gyms prefer courses that aren’t specific to a certain indoor cycling studio or organization, as they value the governing bodies and have their own guidelines and preferences when it comes to the way they like their indoor cycling classes to be instructed.

This doesn’t mean that other qualifications can’t get you to where you want to be, but it all boils down to what you have in mind when it comes to selecting a venue to instruct at.

Perhaps you’re already working at a gym as a personal trainer and want to become a spin instructor at their venue?

This could mean that an indoor cycling CPD other than Spinning or Les Mills would be best for you, as you could grab your qualifications quickly, rather than waiting for the next available training session. You could maximize your earnings twice as fast this way.

Maybe you’re working in another industry, or in another setting in the fitness world, and you’re looking to teach spin classes alongside this?

This also points to other courses rather than a large spin organisation, unless you have a certain studio local to you, or that you have your eye on; the main reason being that these courses could be less demanding on your time and your money.

We’ll talk more about the jobs that are out there later in this guide, but let’s focus on the courses for now.

Governing bodies and their qualifications

The governing bodies are the organisations that your qualification will be awarded under. You complete your qualification at a course provider, but it is the actual awarding body that is shown on your certificate that you will show to prospective employers.

The courses completed under these bodies are marginally different, but very similar fundamentally as they must all follow the Ofqual government guidelines and criteria for qualifications. This makes any of these spin qualifications equal in the eyes of the employer and creates standardisation of qualifications across the fitness industry.

Always check before jumping onto an indoor cycling course that it comes with both REPs and CIMSPA accreditation as any reputable provider should have. Accreditations are different to qualifications. The qualification is what we mentioned earlier, who your certificate is approved via, and an accreditation is a stamp of approval to that training provider that delivers your qualifications to say your certificate has met and surpassed industry standards. This is why some training providers, although delivering the same qualification, can have different accreditations to their certificates, depending if they have met REPs or CIMSPA’s approval process. This is why you should always double check!

You’ll want to look out for one of these if you’re searching for a reliable course provider, and/or you’ll want to make sure that the course is REPs or CIMPSA accredited/recognised. Their websites or course information should boast the following badges:

CIMPSA (The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) and REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals) are the accreditation bodies who work for the benefit of exercise professionals and their clients by recognising fitness qualifications.

They exist to ensure that only those who hold appropriate qualifications are allowed to practise as fitness professionals.

If your course provider does hold these badges, then you should be in safe hands.

However, if you want to double check then we suggest looking up reviews of the courses, as well as the providers. You can find reliable reviews on sites like Feefo and Trustpilot.com.

LES MILLS

If you’re up-to-date on the fitness industry, then you’ll know what Les Mills is. If not, then not to worry. All will be revealed in this section of our ultimate guide.

Les Mills International is an internationally accredited company that has taken the fitness world by storm since 1997. They specialise in exercise to music workouts and deliver them across the globe. As you can probably tell from this guide, they also distribute various training programmes to those wishing to develop their career in the fitness industry.

What do they provide?

Their indoor cycling class is named RPM and claims to be ‘easier than riding a bike’.

To gain a group exercise (GroupEX) qualification from Les Mills, you need your Level 2 Fitness Instructor qualification, and an Exercise to Music qualification, which you can gain at OriGym across 10 locations in the UK.

Les Mills qualifications are sought after and desired by employers because of the course’s good reputation and popularity.

Time:

  • 3-4 months

Teaching method:

  • Classroom & Online

Prices:

  • GroupEx Award + 1 Les Mills module: £800
  • GroupEx Award + 2 Les Mills modules: £1,016

These prices can seem intimidating, so keep this in mind when browsing, and weight up whether you want to pay out for the trademarked qualification.

If you have a scan on Indeed at ‘indoor cycling’ jobs, there are a few where a Les Mills qualification could improve your chances. Are any of these jobs local to you? Are they with companies that you would specifically like to work for?

Les Mills also give an option to learn more about careers with them as a Tribe Coach. This is something to consider if you’re set on them as a provider, but remember your budget and weigh up the pros and cons.

What will you learn?

Using data from different accredited courses in indoor cycling, we’ve compiled the following list:

As you can see from this list, the courses typically cover both the practical and more technical qualities of the role. You can rest assured that if you follow our advice when selecting a course and pick one that is properly recognised, then you’ll start your new role armed with all the skills you need.

If you want to know about specific routines that you will learn, they are usually vigorous and involve sitting and standing up whilst pedalling, varying levels of resistance, a good mixture of intense and slow speed, and different tensions.

The experience should be challenging like biking outdoors, but with: with steep hills, climbs, sprints, reverse climbs, and warmups and cooldowns.

Many instructors view spin routines as a dance and develop their own narratives for workouts. Maybe take a leaf out of their book, and have a think about how you can become a spin instructor that creates killer routines? (You want to knock your rider’s socks off).

What are the benefits of spin?

Spin is a thrilling exercise regime that keeps the riders motivated during the exercise and encourages them to turn up for every session. It is important to understand its benefits so that you can let your clients know what they are working for (or recommend it to prospective clients).

Spinning provides the riders that were used to cycling on their own in the gym with an active, engaging alternative. After all, cycling alone can be quite mundane; it can mean staring at a wall with no interaction whatsoever.

Having a group exercise instructor there to make them strive for their best, along with other riders there for competition/encouragement have proven to have a positive effect. The added autonomy of being in control of the resistance of their own bikes is also appealing for riders, as they’re not being told exactly what to do, and have the power to create a more intense workout for themselves.

In terms of the physical benefits of spin, the list is plentiful:

Paired with the knowledge that you already have from your Level 3 Personal Training diploma, you can tailor spinning routines to target these areas for your clients and make a real difference when it comes to their fitness goals.

It’s a good idea to make them aware of the benefits during sessions, as you normally would in PT. Don’t info-dump on them but slip in here and there what area of the body they’re working, and the results they’ll get if they push it to the limit. It’ll push them to work harder for you, making your sessions rewarding.

It will also get them the results that they want, so they’ll be satisfied with your instructing. Win.

Spin instructor careers

So, we’ve talked you through how to get your qualifications, as well as how to decide where to take them. As this is an ultimate guide on how to become a spin instructor, how could we miss out the career options?

We analysed three major UK job websites, and came back with the following data:

We know what you’re thinking, but don’t panic yet.

The reason that we achieved these results is that most well-paid spin instructor careers fall under the job title of ‘gym instructor’.

This is because many of the gyms and leisure facilities that hire gym instructors expect them to be qualified to teach group exercise classes. They hire them as ‘gym instructors’ rather than specifically ‘spin instructors’, as teaching spin classes is seen as an extra responsibility along with PT.

Is this a good thing? Certainly. If you’re qualified in multiple areas of gym instructing when browsing spin instructor careers, then that means you’re able to make the most of it. Your earning potential increases with certain qualifications, and when you become a spin instructor, you’re essentially sitting on a gold mine.

Who hires spin instructors?

The main employers are as follows:

  • Gyms
  • Spa & Leisure Centres
  • Organisations such as Spinning and Les Mills
  • Independent spin studios (there are a lot of these in London)

What spin instructor salary would you earn?

A spin instructor salary can vary depending on what career route you choose. When added onto what you earn as a personal trainer in the UK, it is as follows:

As you can see, this type of wage would be brilliant when added onto your current earnings and adds a new dimension to attracting clients. If you want to maximize your spin instructor salary, then freelance from gym to gym is another good option.

But more on freelancing when you become a spin instructor below…

Freelancing

This works similarly to how supply teachers work for schools; you can work for a collection of different gyms at a time, and even gain your own slot at each gym. A viable choice in the world of spin instructor careers.

This is a great way to increase your earnings, as gyms usually employ spin instructors on a part-time basis anyway due to the sheer volume of classes, and they always require class cover due to risk of injury or illness to employed trainers.

Why not make the most of this, and go part-time at different gyms?

It’s also a brilliant option if you wish to become a spin instructor alongside other commitments, as it provides you with flexibility and autonomy when it comes to how many hours you wish to work. One of the beauties of working in the fitness sector sector!

Spin Instructor Insurance

Yes, we know what you’re thinking when you see the word. Another hurdle to jump or cost to factor in when you become a spin instructor.

But fear not, we’re going to make finding your spin instructor insurance as hassle-free as possible and cost effective. Here’s our list of trusty insurers that can offer you reasonable prices (and good quality insurance):

AND if you do investigate them and wish to look elsewhere for whatever reason, just be sure to check out reviews and what you’re covered for with other providers. You want to be sure that there aren’t any loop holes that you could fall into when finding your spin instructor insurance.

Having spin instructor insurance is a must in your industry, so be sure to get covered before you start running classes.

Become a spin instructor in 2019: what’s new?

So, now you pretty much know everything that you need to know about how to become a spin instructor, from accreditation and qualifications, through to how much you can earn as a spin instructor.

We like to go the extra mile, so here’s what you need to get up to scratch on before you step into the spin studio.

We highly recommend checking these out before reading our next section, as not only will they give you a great insight into where the world of spinning is heading, but they could also be classed as your competitors….The fitness world is changed drastically over the past 10 years and the next 10 look like they will be equally as quick….

Become a Spin Instructor on YouTube

We’ve shown you how to become a spin instructor legally, and how to land your first role. However, we haven’t shown you how you can potentially monetize your skills in your spare time (especially in 2019).

In the online fitness world, one platform snares thousands of viewers every day. That platform is YouTube.

Online users love video content. If they’re looking for a workout, they want the whole lot from start to finish, not just a rushed explanation. Why don’t you make use of this, and put some time aside each week to make some quality content?

You could wipe out your poor-quality competitors easily with your expert knowledge, and rake in the subscribers.

Here’s an example of a successful YouTube fitness channel, Blogilates (owned by Cassey Ho). Her videos range from around 50K-200K views, and she has around 4,400,000 subscribers.

Her content is around 10 minutes long on average, and she uploads 2-3 times a week.

That’s 20-30 minutes of filming each week, and you don’t need perfectly edited videos for workouts if they’re high-res and engaging. Throw a good playlist on as background music. What’s stopping you?

According to SocialBlade (which is irritating with its ranges, but is technically accurate), Cassey earns £1.3K-£20.5K a month. With £1.3K being her lowest measure of revenue for the month, this is impressive.

We’re not saying it’s easy to make it to this point but if you’re thorough in your competitor research and follow the steps below, then you’re off to a good start.

Once you’ve created your channel and began experimenting with content, you should check out YouTube Creators. Head over to ‘Learn and Connect’, ‘Academy’, and then search ‘Health and Fitness’.

This gives you some invaluable pointers, including demographics (who is viewing your videos, so that you can tailor them towards them), and tips on what you can experiment with. Google Trends is one example, which gives you popular seasonal topics to target.

Why not put together a couple of exclusive routines that showcase your talent and energy? This could be invaluable to your career.

Not only will you be able to monetize your videos as your subscribers grow, but you’ll also have a portfolio of your best work to produce to prospective employers. Or even better, you might get discovered on the platform.

Before you go!

You’ve reached the end of our ultimate guide on how to become a spin instructor. Well done! Hopefully now you feel like you have a much better idea about what the job entails, and what sort of options there are out there for you.

Ask yourself: what’s your plan of action?

Whether it’s contacting some different course providers, or ordering a new spin bike and making some killer content for your spinning YouTube channel, we want to know!

Comment below to let us know what you’re doing next, and be sure to share this post and let your friends know about your next career move.

If you don’t have any fitness qualifications yet but you want to become a spin instructor, check out our UK leading personal trainer courses, and get started with your spinning career!