Schwinn Certification Review: How I Became a Spinning Instructor

Realizing that I got my indoor cycling Schwinn certification back in 2015 to officially become a spinning instructor, this review is long, long overdue! I want to share my experience with you today to help those interested in the Schwinn certification know what to expect.

For background, I passed my ACE Fitness group exercise certification test in 2010, and started teaching strength and step, plus subbing spin classes every once in a blue moon. In 2015, one of my gyms needed a new permanent instructor for an evening spin class, and I jumped at the opportunity. The only caveat: I needed to get a spinning certification. Every gym has a different policy — some need just a general group exercise certification and others have more specific requirements. So, it’s a good idea to check with the gym(s) you want to teach at before getting new certifications.

I had taken a couple Schwinn classes at the SCW Mania convention that same year, and had already fallen in love with the brand. With that in mind, I knew I wanted to take a Schwinn certification course. Up until then, I had been dragging my feet because of the extra costs, but I learned that there’s only a one-time fee to get your Schwinn certification — no extra costs associated with continuing education! Woo!

So, I signed up for a course with Shannon Fable at Crunch Fitness in San Francisco.

Shannon Fable

Shannon is an IDEA and ACE Instructor of the Year and a fitness business and programming consultant. She’s helped brands such as Anytime Fitness, Schwinn®, POWER SYSTEMS®, ACE and BOSU® over the past 20 years. Shannon is a member of the ACE Board of Directors, is the owner of GroupEx PRO®, a cloud based group fitness management tool, and Balletone®.

I loved Shannon’s presentation style. She was truly authentic and genuine, which is rare in this industry. I give major props to Schwinn for how they select their master instructors. They are some of the best in the biz and will get you pumped to be teaching spin classes.

The Schwinn Certification Training Details

  • Time: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Breaks: The day is jam-packed. We had a lunch break, and a few quick bathroom breaks.
  • What to Bring:
    • Snacks
    • Lunch (unless there’s a place nearby to grab something)
    • Water (most gyms will have faucets to fill your bottles)
    • Towels (you can usually grab some from the front desk at the gym)
    • Pens/pencils
    • They’ll give you a workbook to take notes, but you might also want to bring your own notebook
    • Clipboard (optional; makes it easier to write without a desk)
    • Sweatshirt (when not riding, a lot of the rooms can get cold)
    • Spin shoes (if you have them)
    • Come dressed in workout clothes, ready to ride
    • Change of clothes (optional; if you tend to sweat a lot, might be nice to have a change of clothes for after the first ride)
  • Cost: $229
  • CECs (continuing education credits): 1.20 ACE CECs, .08 NASM CECs and 8.00 AFAA CEUs

The Schwinn Certification Review

Schwinn Certification Workbook

Overall, the training was great. I was nervous about taking the class with a bunch of really experienced riders, but the class was much more diverse than I expected. There are people that have never taught a single class before, and there are others that have been teaching for decades. Most of the participants there were really nice and made the group/partner work fun.

The morning kicked off with an overview of the technical stuff — bike functions, how to use the monitors/consoles, and body mechanics on the bikes. We went through how to fit users for the bikes in both a “quick fit” and “high performance fit”. This was one of my favorite parts, because it’s one of the most important elements of teaching spinning classes. The bike fit will make or break someone’s experience in your class, so this formal training was critical.

Then, we talked through class planning, cueing, music and motivation. Shannon did recommend avoiding asking participants for song suggestions, because then you’ll be stuck playing whatever song they suggest, whether it’s good or bad — funny, ’cause it’s true!

And, if your class moans and groans when you play a certain song, you can say, “Alright, we’ve played a bunch of different songs here today. This next one is for me, because I love it!”

Of course, we also did two rides throughout the day to practice and experience what we were learning.

Would I recommend Schwinn Cycling?

As you can probably tell, I loved getting my Schwinn certification to officially become a spinning instructor, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in teaching. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much experience with the other spinning certification programs, so I can’t really compare them for you today. I can say that my experience with Schwinn and as a spinning instructor has been excellent.

Since I already had a class lined up, I was able to dive right in to teaching, and have made the money back that it cost to take the course. I love teaching spin classes, there’s something unique about being stationed on a bike that allows instructors to get creative with how we motivate the class. Participants are able to get more introspective, so we can tap into personalized, goal-oriented motivational cues.

If you’re interested in taking a Schwinn certification workshop, check out their event calendar here.

You may also like my recent Valentine’s Day spin workout and playlist, or check out other group exercise tips.