For Jacob Click, there is no place he would rather be than on his bike.
The 14-year-old, who is in the eighth grade at St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth Schools, likes that you can hop on the saddle and "let out all your emotions out in a class."
The class he speaks of is his own.
Click is a certified Spinning instructor, having gone through a weekend workshop and passed a test, and leads a class geared toward teens at Spiece Fitness, 5310 Merchandise Drive. He has been teaching the indoor cycling class with music popular among his peers for about six months.
"He's got a pretty good reputation," says his mother, Lisa Click, who is also the group fitness coordinator at Spiece. "He's built himself a great class."
Click first became a group fitness instructor in 2012 when his mom took him along to a certification for Group Core, a 30-minute class that targets the body from shoulders to hips.
"I thought, 'Who knows? We'll see what he thinks,' " she says. "He did it … and kind of started integrating himself into the instructor team and the culture at Spiece, becoming more interested in fit, being fit and eating healthy."
When he didn't make the basketball team, Lisa Click suggested he try Spinning, as he had taken her classes.
"He said, 'OK, that sounds great.' "
Workout: Spinning for Teens
Gear: "Water and yourself" are all you need, Click says.
If you take the class regularly, though, he advises that indoor cycling shoes and a heart rate monitor are helpful. He currently wears a Polar FT2, which costs about $60, but is hoping to upgrade to the Polar Loop – a more comprehensive fitness tracker that costs $109.95.
Routine: He teaches Spinning at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday and takes part in sports performance training and Olympic weight lifting three times a week at Spiece. On Sundays, he has lineman training for football.
Favorite workout: Click likes to teach strength and interval rides. A class with a strength focus that uses a higher resistance on the bike, "lower cadence and a long, constant challenge on the bike," according to the Spinning website.
"They're a little harder and more motivational," he says.
Benefits: Partnered with sports training and Olympic weight lifting, Click says Spinning has made him a better football player.
"I've gotten faster, stronger and better at getting through the line," he says.
His mother says that in addition to physical changes, teaching has improved his self confidence.
Balance: "It's mostly just hard," Jacob says of trying to juggle school work, sports activities and fitness. He says he does use his time a bit better than before, but it can still be difficult.
Goal: Click hopes to play football at Bishop Dwenger High School, where he will attend next year.
Motivation: "(My mom) was a big motivational factor. She's been doing this for just about my entire life," Click says.