If you're about to start teaching a class that includes both indoor cycling and indoor rowing, here are a few tips.
Stay off the bike. To handle all the variables in a cycling / rowing class, you'll need to be on your feet, moving around the room.
Will you warm up? On-bike stretches will not work in a split class. Decide whether you'll begin with a full-class stretch and warm-up, or have the participants take care of that on their own. Active Isolation Stretching is the most efficient in class – it warms the body as you stretch – but they all take up training time.
Pre-plan your trainings. You'll need a specific and detailed rowing workout, along with your planned cycling workout. They do not have to run parallel. That is, a 6:00 flat on the bike does not have to run in sync with a 6:00 interval on the rowing ergometer (erg). They can if you prefer.
Feel the differences between the two workouts. Rowing workouts are often rigidly timed. That makes them effective and easy to cue. But some of the most unpleasant cycling workouts I've ever done were created by an instructor who was primarily a rower. His classes seemed to be created with a calculator and a slide rule (a what?). Instead, use cycling workouts that are similar to the ones you run now. Then you can mold your rowing workouts without alienating your riders.
Gear your music for the bikes. It's less important to match music to a rowing drill, so keep handling your music the way you have been. There are exceptions – mostly performance-related – but generally this holds true.
Memorize the steps for setting the erg monitor. Concept 2 Models D and E use a complex procedure for setting time or distance. You'll have to cue it every time. If you switch mid-workout from time to distance, be prepared to re-cue. Example: Press Select Workout Press New Workout Press Intervals Time DO NOT set the time yet! Use the Back Arrow to go back to the "tens" column. Set that for 1. Now use the Forward Arrow to get to the "Ones" column. Change that to 0. " [At this point you have to cue setting the rest interval.] "Now press the check mark at the bottom of the screen."
That lengthy description sets the timer for a 10-minute interval. If they set the "ones" column first to 0, it will default to an automatic ": 20" (20 seconds). That messes up everything, and you'll have to spend time changing it.
Note: The above cues are an illustration. You're not done till you've set the rest interval (assuming you want repeating intervals). If you press the check mark midway through the process, you have to begin again. It will happen.
Do not kill the Concept 2 people. All of the above is why the simple Model C was wonderful, but you'll get used to the D / E. And you will remember the cues. I wrote the procedure from memory.
Always cue the rowers first. Let's say you've decided to run the workouts in parallel format, which is easier for you. Separate the groups on their equipment. Cue the rowers while the riders rolled their legs. Tell the rowers what to do during their warm-up (say it's 10 minutes). Easy warm-up shortcut: Have them press "Just Row". They row as instructed and stop when the computer clock reaches 10:00. While they row, you run a 10-minute bike warm-up. Once the warm-up is done, the riders roll and recover while you cue the rowing training – and setting the monitor.
This approach syncs the major changes for the two groups. The interviews will be of the same duration, but what the groups do during the interviews can be as similar or as different as you like.
Create a timeline. If you like multitasking, feel free to create workouts that do not resemble each other at all. You may need some sort of timeline to track what's happening. If you're a spreadsheet geek, that approach will be fun for you. If you're able to keep track of two different workouts mentally with no cheat-sheet, just go for it.
A timeline could be just a basic log with 3 to 4 columns. Minutes (0:00 to 30:00) go in the left column, rowing drills in the next, the cycling workout in the third column, and perhaps notes and prompts for you in the fourth column. Use a stopwatch. You'll check your watch and know exactly what everyone should be doing at any given minute.
All of this planning makes improving and modifying a lot easier. You have your plan, yet still feel ready to change whenever time or circumstances call for it.
At the 30-minute mark, switch equipment. The change will take a few minutes, so shorten the warm-up, but give everyone a chance to accoust the target muscles to the new activity for the second half of the class. Re-start your watch and repeat the body of the training.
If you can manage to do all of this and deliver content – exercise physiology, technique, and training philosophy – your classes will be engaging and informative, and appealing to a broad base.