Why You Should Try a Hydrobike Class .. Hydro-what?

When I first heard about hydrobike classes I will admit to scratching my head. A bike .. in the water? I could neither envision it nor understand how that would work.

Let’s fast forward a bit. I love fitness trainings and I love to teach so, when presented the opportunity to learn how to teach hydrobike classes I decided to attend.

What is a hydrobike class like? I am sure that there is a formal description but I’ll give you my two cents. It’s not indoor cycling and it’s not aqua aerobics. It’s almost as if the two had a baby and the child was an evolved hybrid of sorts .. 🙂

After the training was over with, while I knew the gist of how to teach the class I was still a bit nervous .. I just could not wrap my brain around it. So, I opted to attend a class while a fellow instructor was teaching in order to see a full class taught. That helped .. so much .. although the class was ‘full’ so instead of riding a bike I jogged in the pool and observed the class.

Ok .. I was finally ready to teach it.

Officially being in the teaching rotation my first class time happened. I walked in prepared start to finish. Everyone was set up, we got the bikes into the pool (something about throwing the bikes into the pool is very therapeutic .. heh), I hopped on, and we started to warm up.

After the warm up we started right into the meat of the workout. And … about a minute later I realized this …

Hydrobike is no joke.

I was seriously winded and fighting the water. It was uncomfortable, challenging, and energetic. I never feel like I conquer the spin / indoor cycling bike but I have a grasp on my workouts when I am on them.

So .. how does it work?

The hydrobike has no resistance knob on it, so you never change the tension to find hills, or flats. The resistance is controlled by the rate at which you pedal. Faster legs = more tension. So when I went all out on that first song, the water fought me back, big time.

A bonus to the scenario is this .. you’re working in water so, when cycling was low impact, this is even lower impact.

Like any class you control the workout. You change speed, change positions, and, something new, can incorporate water weights / upper body movements into the equation. You can even change your body position relative to the bike to alter the workout.

Note: As a spinning instructor I had a hard time grasping the things that are considered big “NOs” in spin .. but I kept / keep reminding myself that this in not spinning .. 🙂

After teaching it a few times I can definitely say that it’s been a positive addition to my teaching regimen. It’s a different workout for the legs and change is always good for avoiding those dreaded fitness plateaus. I highly recommend people trying it, if the opportunity is there.

What do you need for class?

  • Bathing suit (a one piece bathing suit) OR just wear a tank top / shirt and shorts
    • If you wear a tank top / shirt and shorts you’ll want them to be form fitting otherwise they’ll drag with the weight of the water.
    • Most people seem to wear tanks and shorts .. I wear a bathing suit and shorts about half the time. The other times it is a tank top and shorts.
  • Shoes that you can wear in the pool
    • You’ll actually strap into the pedals, like you do in regular indoor cycling classes so you need shoes. Water shoes, old shoes, .. something that you don’t mind getting wet. If you do it barefoot you may miss some of the benefits of the workout.
  • Water bottle
  • Towel .. to dry off with 🙂

Some people may need other items (ear plugs, etc) but those are at least the basics to get you through class.

I hope this helps and I really hope that you try it out!

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to follow me on social media!



Spinning / Indoor Cycling – 60 Minute Interval Profile 25 strength / 75 endurance (60-11-11)

My classes are still going through the New Year’s Progressive Profiles for one more round and this profile is the start of the change back into the strength profile.

The playlist is below (it won’t show the non-Spotify music) and I’ll break it down a bit more below it 🙂

The bulk of the class is working at endurance / non-hill pace except for 3 songs in the middle. It’s enough to throw your rhythm off and then make you restart back into the faster pace!

Warm Up – Sugar – Maroon 5. Love!

Endurance – Jealousy – We used this as movement in and out of the saddle to really warm up the legs.

Seated Flat – Welcome to Africa – This is a great seated flat. When the music takes off I squeeze two surges in, with a 16 count break in between. Then two more during the rest of the song.

Endurance – Freak On (Peter G ReWerk) – I like this remix! It’s a bit old school, and then a bit older school. It’s a fun tune for spinning

Seated Flat – Burn it to the Ground – One more seated flat before we switch into the small section of strength

Strength – Uptown Funk (Rhythm Scholar Jungle Funk Remix) – This is a great remix to an overplayed song. It mixes in Jungle Boogie and brings a little old school with it!

Strength – Dance Rock Shake Pop – This is a good song for a seated climb. The tempo and beat is enough to keep you in it, mentally.

Strength – Take Back the Night (Kharrington’s Pump n Pitch remix) – I LOVE this version. It’s a bit more upbeat and keep pushing you through it!

20/10s – House Tabata – Switching back to that flat road on this one. This is a 20/10 version without the ‘coach’ .. I’m a fan of a little bit of cuing but most of the ones I found on Spotify are too much coaching for me. This has none and it’s very obvious to hear the changes. This is treated as a seated flat with surges, for 8 rounds.

Endurance – My Love – This is a great tempo to keep pressing ahead. The legs are tired after both the strength switch and those tabatas!

Endurance – Delirious – This is a great song for movement in and out of the saddle.

Endurance – It’s Not Over – This song goes on forever! There is a 30 second ‘dead spot’ in it but it is WORTH it. This is one of my current favorites!

Endurance – Footloose – Wrapping up class with a fantastic seated flat. This is always a popular, and challenging choice!

Cooldown – Save Room – This is a great song by John Legend!

I have lots of playlists on Spotify .. for seated flats, standing climbs, by BPMs, you name it. Definitely follow me as I’m always adding new music to them!

Thanks for reading!


Feel free to follow me on social media!


Follow Me on Spotify

Things New Spinning Instructors May Not Know

Most spinning / indoor cycling instructors have been trained. We’ve spent hours in workshops, learning body mechanics, how to design classes, and how to be successful coaches. We then spend hours sitting in front of our computers, stressing over classes, trying to get them perfect, from the music to the layout and intent.

We were prepped for all of that and while we walked in really nervous, we knew what to expect. We set the members up, introduce class, tell them our intentions and hit play. Then, we learn a few things in that first class that we did not quite expect.

  • Learning to breathe while teaching spinning / indoor cycling is an adjustment! I remember teaching my first class years and years ago, having everything down pat. About 5 minutes into class I was just trying to calm my nerves and keep my breath while trying to fight a few words out. Tip: Try running and talking, or try practicing to an empty cycle room. The goal is to get your heart rate up and be able to talk. It does not have to be non-stop conversation but enough to coach.
  • Teaching is both very humbling and very rewarding. If you just happen to say something wrong, everyone hears it. If you ‘woo’ during class (like I do) or are a heavy breather, everyone hears it. Guess what .. they get used to it .. and it’s no big deal. It’s humbling to be in front of a class but worth it, knowing that you are helping people along whatever fitness journey that they are on. Sometimes it ends up in everyone having a good laugh 🙂
  • You will put more pressure on yourself over every class than the class will ever put on you. We spend hours creating classes, wanting them to be challenging, inspiring, and just plain out perfect. We put the mic on that first time, teach the class, and hope that they enjoyed it. We put so much more stress on ourselves, on being perfect, than they ever put on us. We will always strive for perfection but that pressure gets better, I promise!

I could add more, and will do so in a later post. Teaching is one of the better decisions that I’ve personally made in my life.

To this day I’ll still have my nervous moments but I honestly believe that it’s a sign that we care and we want to give them a great class!

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to follow me on social media!


Spinning / Indoor Cycling – Progressive Class Profiles: Strength to Fast Pace and Back

When we switch over to a new year, like many other spinning / indoor cycling instructors I tend to tweak my class profiles a bit to account for new people adjusting while still keeping the challenge ‘alive’ for the regular members.

We finished last year with a series of periods .. i.e. an almost 2 month long strength period, then about the same amount of time spent of fast profiles and speedwork, and finally wrapping up with an interval based period to finish the year. While I’m planning to get back to that soon I started a progressive fast / flat to strength type pyramid progression.

Let me see if I can explain….

Spinning / Indoor Cycling New Year's Profile progression - from fast / flats to strength, back down, and then repeat
Spinning / Indoor Cycling New Year’s Profile progression – from fast / flats to strength, back down, and then repeat

So … We ended 2014 with intervals, and more specifically a fast / flat modified endurance profile .. as in 0% strength / climbing with fast tempos and speedwork drills.

The way it works is that the profiles are made up of:

  • a percentage of strength work
  • a percentage of fast / flat endurance or speed work

… totalling 100% of the class, except for the first 2 and last 2 songs.*  With each class, one percentage increases by 25% and the other decreases.

So, on the last class of last year it was 100% fast / flats and 0% strength. The first class of 2015 was 75% fast / flats and 25% strength. Each class changes the percentage until we are at 100% strength and 0% fast / flats (which was actually the class I did tonight). Then, we start tapering it back down to fast / flats … then back up again.

The way it looks is like this:

  • 0% strength and 100% fast / flats (last day of 2014)
  • 25% strength and 75%  fast / flats
  • 50% strength and 50% fast / flats
  • 75% strength and 25% fast / flats
  • 100% strength and 0% fast / flats
  • 75% strength and 25% fast / flats
  • 50% strength and 50% fast / flats
  • 25% strength and 75% fast / flats
  • … and now you’re back at the beginning

My goal is to cycle through this twice, then switch back into a focused period of work. This gives the new people adequate time to adjust to class / the workout and it’s also keeping the class progressive and challenging to the veterans.

I am on Spotify (feel free to add me and I’ll follow right back!) and I’ve even marked my classes with weird percentages (you’ll see 25str/75end which means 25% strength and 75% flats / endurance).. which tell me where the profile is on the progression easily, without digging my profile notes out.

Anyway, I’ve been enjoying this as I like to have a plan in place 🙂 … Also, it has been great on the legs as each class is changing / progressing and it’s been a bit more challenging to keep up with the changing styles. I thought that in case someone could benefit from this I would post it for the masses to read!

Please let me know what you think (if I have any glaring typos!), and if you have any questions. One of my goals is to blog a bit more about spinning / indoor cycling as it’s something I am very passionate about, along with everyone else … so if there are topics you are interested in discussing, let me know and I’ll get them going!

Also, keep a look out and add my blog if you’d like … I will be posting profiles here as well!

*NOTE: In my progression I don’t count the warm up and cool down — they don’t count! 🙂  Also, I like to start strength rides with a seated flat to get the heart rate up … and my ‘thing’ is that I always end class with a seated flat no matter what I’m teaching. So, in my percentages I may not count the first 2 song types, and the last 2 for those reasons 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to follow me on social media!