Zac Smith has been cycling indoors for over 12 years and teaching for 8 years. His love for biking developed as a child when his father would take him on Saturday morning bike rides to get ice cream at the local Dairy Queen. Fast forward 15 years and Zac was addicted to fitness and indoor cycling.
How did you become an indoor cycling instructor?:
I fell in love with indoor cycling during my time in college at Florida State University (FSU). I had just purchased my first road bike and was looking for a way to train indoors while I prepared to participate in various triathlons. After graduation, I moved to the DC area where I joined Vida Fitness. I was quickly recruited by the Vida staff to join the team and share my love of indoor cycling with the Vida community.
What do you see as the biggest fitness benefits of indoor cycling?:
Indoor cycling provides a high energy, calorie burning workout in a relatively short amount of time. The music, the lights, and the class energy always kept me coming back for more!
What are the essential elements of a good indoor cycling class?:
Great music and an awesome instructor are KEY elements for a great class. The music keeps the positive vibes flowing while the instructor knows just how hard to push each student.
How do you curate playlists for class? Share one with us!:
Finding great music for class is very difficult and time consuming. Most of my music is pulled from DJs and friends who have great taste in high energy music. I'm always looking for songs with a strong, fast beat to keep the class energized and everyone on their toes.
What is the biggest mistake you see cyclers make in class?:
Bad form. Having great form is key to developing your skill set as a cyclist. Proper form is crucial for opening up your chest and airway while preventing injury to your knees. Your back should be flat, shoulders back and down, and feet flat against the pedals.
Please offer advice for someone considering indoor cycling as a form of exercise. Any first class tips?:
As a baseline, students should look for Instructors who really care about their individual performance and push them to their limits. I'd encourage students to find an instructor who matches their personal style and preference. Do you like the boot camp style of coaching, or do you prefer to be challenged by softer, yogi type encouragement? Do you like blaring pop music or steady house music? Whatever your preference, there is an instructor that will match your style.
Do you have an essential article of indoor cycling-related gear? What is it?:
I never cycle without my heart rate monitor. It is crucial for me and my clients to design my workout and know how much harder I need to work. This is the only way to adequately gauge your exertion level and know when you can be pushed further.
Where/when can folks come take a class with you?:
I teach at Vida Fitness Metropole on Saturday mornings at 11:30am and Vida Fitness U Street on Friday mornings at 6:30am. Both are great classes and an awesome week to kick start your weekend.