Becoming A Spin Instructor in San Francisco

So after quitting my journalist job, I’ve decided that my next career move is to become a full-time spin instructor in San Francisco.

Well, my “main” job will still be a full-time dog parent to lil’ Bamboo. I figured that being a spin instructor would offer me free periods in the day to be home to take care of the pup.

Because I was rather new to San Francisco, I had to do some research into the spinning scene here. So I signed up with Class Pass which allowed me to take classes at different partnering studios.

In the span of less than a month, with the help of Class Pass as well as my own connections, I managed to visit almost all the major brands in the city. Here’s a list of them:

  1. Flywheel
  2. Wheel House
  3. Bodyrok
  4. Uforia
  5. Crunch Fitness
  6. Core40
  7. Glow Yoga
  8. OM Power
  9. Lavation
  10. Equinox

Well my home gym is 24Hour Fitness. It is where I learned from my spin teachers, Christina and Tracey, who are veteran spin instructors each with more than a decade of teaching experience.

I am also a member of the Bay Club and took some spin classes there.

So you see, I did quite a lot of “homework” to try to find out where I can/should find work.

Actually there are two other brands that I haven’t had the chance to visit: Cardio-Tone and the famous/infamous SoulCycle.

Currently, there are two rather distinct schools of thought when it comes to what people can/should do on the bike. The first school is the more “traditional” group that hopes to keep spinning focused on the cycling, while the second school, what I call the more “dancey” group, tries to include dance moves as well as arm exercise with weighted equipments into the workout.

If you look back at the list above, the first four studios (as well as SoulCycle) are definitely the more dancey ones. From number six to 10, including Bay Club and 24Hour Fitness, these are the more traditional studios. Crunch Fitness in my opinion is kind of in the middle cause it manages a diverse group of instructors and so it actually holds both types of classes.

At the moment I’m already talking to three studios that I’m more comfortable teaching at. Their style is more similar to what I’m used to, which is the more traditional style.

One reason that pushed me to want to become an instructor — besides really enjoying the workout and being able to do it on a daily basis — was actually my experiences with bad instructors. By that I mean instructors who are boring, who play bad music, who aren’t motivating, who use negative encouragement, so on and so forth. During some of those classes, I had thought to myself, Gosh, even I can do better than that. That’s when I started considering the possibility of becoming a spin instructor.

On the other hand, I have also met a couple of instructors who inspire me. They are energetic on the bike, motivating, and they give good cues, use blood-pumpin’ music and engage with the class. I also prefer the instructor to stay on the bike for the whole ride and work hard along with the class. Slowly I learned about what I like and what I don’t, and how I would instruct my own class.

The thought of me being an instructor was of course really intimidating at first because I’m entering a whole new business that I have little knowledge and experience with. Should I do it? Am I really up for it? Am I gonna be good enough? These are some questions that I constantly ask myself.

But then I realised that there will never be the most right time to do something that’s new. You’ll never be totally and completely ready for something that you have never done before. So you can’t wait until you’re without any fear and anxiety to jump into something. Because you’ll always be afraid and anxious when you’re taking a risk with something new. If you ain’t doing it afraid, then it’s not a risk.

Also, I learned that you can’t just sit there and try to use your willpower to push your boundaries. Your comfort zone will only expand when you take a step out of it. By putting one foot in front of the other, one step at a time into the unknown, you grow stronger, even if that fear and anxiousness still lingers in your heart.

You know what they say: Fake it till you make it. So even if you have to do something afraid, do it anyway. Do it nonetheless. Just do it.