Cycle and Chitchat: Interview with a Spin instructor

We sprinted. We sweated. We sang along to the top 40 jams blasting from the speakers. And then, after we survived Caitlin Shneider’s spinning class, we sat down with her to discuss the daily life of a fitness instructor and the importance of a healthy mind and body. Caitlin is currently a junior at U of M who moonlights as a cycling instructor at Vie Fitness in downtown Ann Arbor. She was able to give us awesome insight on how one balances fitness and academics in a busy college lifestyle.

SHEI: How did you get your start in athletics, and what made you choose spinning in particular?

CS: I have always been involved in athletics and last summer, I fell in love with spinning when I was working in New York. It’s such a great stress reliever and a fun cardio workout at the same time. After spinning there, I decided to get certified to teach, auditioned at Vie and got the job! It’s a fantastic way to positively influence those around me and give back to the community.

(photo credit: Cellik Adams)

(photo credit: Cellik Adams)

SHEI: Is it hard to balance school and work?

CS: Well first and foremost, I’m a student, so I have to prioritize and schedule my spinning with my schoolwork. I currently teach three classes a week, and spend six hours weekly preparing for them. I choose music for my playlist, then, test the ride with the playlist to make sure it flows. I’ll bring my speakers to the IM with a friend, hop on a bike, and coach her through the workout!

SHEI: So, what are a few songs that have been getting you pumped up?

CS: Right now, I can’t get enough of “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That” by Robert Randolph & The Family Band, and “Get Up”, by Bingo Players and Far East Movement.

Caitlin on the podium at Vie (photo credit: Cellik Adams)

Caitlin on the podium at Vie (photo credit: Cellik Adams)

SHEI: Can you guide us through a typical workout?

CS: I start with a five minute warm up, then transition into a climb with resistance. I do some jumps- where you transition in and out of the saddle, and sprint intervals to get your heart rate up. Sometimes I do anaerobic work too- like going breathless for short lengths of time. We end with a few minutes of cool down after 45 minutes of work.

SHEI: What activities do you enjoy when you aren’t in the spin studio?

CS: I love hiking and running for fun! I also make a point to work in some weightlifting as well.

SHEI: So, what does one wear to a spin class?

CS: I usually wear Under Armour spandex, a Lululemon headband and tank, and Shimano cycling cleats. Outside of the studio, I mix in some J. Crew or Nordstrom, but you will usually find me in Lululemon workout clothes.

(photo credit: Cellik Adams)

(photo credit: Cellik Adams)

SHEI: Do you have a personal fitness mantra?

CS: The thing that I really emphasize most is that the only person that can push yourself is you. Really give it your all so you can feel satisfied when you go to bed at night.

Caitlin’s optimistic outlook and insight for college students really show that it is possible for students to find that sweet balance of schoolwork and sports.

Special thanks to Caitlin Shneider!