Indoor cycling instructors have myriad tools for group training with the evolution of technology, interactive gaming, and cycling platforms complementing “bikes in the room.” In the July 22 webinar “How POWERFUL is your Indoor Cycling Program?” sponsored by NIRSA Silver Partner Life Fitness, attendees learned how to harness power-based training along with these tools to create instructor- and user-friendly programming that’s fun, interactive, and results driven.

The webinar was packed with tangible tools and ideas for creating unforgettable indoor cycling experiences and effective programming. If you’re an indoor cycling instructor or operate a facility that features this type of programming, take a few minutes to register for the recorded content, which is free to NIRSA members and nonmembers alike. The webinar recording is accessible for 60 days in NIRSA Connect.

On the rise: Cycling and social fitness

With the benefit of 26 years of experience in the indoor cycling industry, presenter Mike Michels, Life Fitness ICG Development Manager, overviewed the history of indoor cycling trends from its rise in the mid-1990s to its explosive growth in the last five years.

Mike cited data showing overall cycling activities were up 52% in 2020, and 76% of the Gen-Z and Millennial population is seeking social fitness experiences. That means campus rec centers have an opportunity to take advantage of indoor cycling trends to create programs that are motivating and community building for the students they serve.

Using power for user-friendly, metric-driven instruction

In the webinar, Mike defined “power” and then detailed the impact of zone, heart rate, and power training systems on specific physiological outcomes unique to individual cyclists. The science behind these types of training and the wealth of metrics available with cycling platforms can be overwhelming to instructors.

Mike explained ICG’s Coach By Color system, a tool to coach more effectively and appropriately by making data-driven programming user friendly for instructors as well as more inclusive for class participants. By creating color zones customized from their individual power thresholds, beginner and advanced cyclists alike can ride side by side at intensity levels unique to their own physiology.

This results in workouts more effectively tailored to the individual even in a group setting, and motivation arising from competition can occur through fun digital experiences like interactive gaming and leaderboards—instead of competing to ride at an intensity that may be inappropriate for an individual’s level of cycling fitness.

‘Game-changing’ indoor cycling at ECU

Steven A. Trotter, MS, Associate Director of Wellness & Fitness East Carolina University, shared his facility’s experience using these tools to create memorable indoor cycling programing for its students, whether classes feature live or virtual instruction. To Steven, “it’s been game changing.”

“Our job, specifically with group fitness instructors, is that ‘exertainment’,” Steven said in the webinar. “We’re not only there just to educate and motivate, but we have to add that entertainment piece if we want people to come back.”

Learn more about Steven’s real-world application of these concepts and how to leverage power for your indoor cycling programs by watching the webinar recording today.


  • For more information about the Associate Showcase as part of NIRSA’s Ideas in Motion virtual roundtables, please contact NIRSA Expo & Corporate Relations Coordinator Kelley Hungerford.
NIRSA Expo & Corporate Relations Coordinator at | NIRSA Profile

Kelley Hungerford is currently the NIRSA Expo and Corporate Relations Coordinator at NIRSA.