"It's gorgeous outside, why are you here?"
"Your class is a lot more efficient workout for me, than riding outdoors."
My question was directed at my class in general, but I was looking at Jim, a buddy of mine when I said it. Jim is a member of what I called the A-Team, the regular participants to my Monday 5:45AM class. Jim is a typical A-type personality; a high-powered attorney who has more money than time. If you spend a few minutes talking to him you'd realize he's pretty much a no-nonsense guy and I'm guessing Jim had some court date or other appointment that morning. Otherwise he would normally be out on his bike.
Are your students looking for efficiency in your class?
I'm going to start by suggesting that the time of day your class occurs attracts a specific type of person:
- Early morning classes, in my opinion, are filled with people looking for efficiency. Like my friend Jim they want to go in, work out and get off to work at a set time. We (I'm including myself in this A-Team) are very structured in our schedules. Every Monday morning as I leave the club I hold the door for another friend, Dr Block, who's just arriving to the club... every Monday this happens without fail.
- Midmorning classes tend to be social events, attracting a large number of women... which is why many of us call these housewives classes.
- Noon classes are back to efficiency... Students want to get in and out within the prescribed length of time.
- Evening classes seem to be a hybrid of both efficiency and social. If you teach evening classes you may recognize members who appear to have nowhere else to go at the end of the day... and those who blast off 10 seconds after the end.
So if you're teaching either early morning, or noon classes I feel it's important that you recognize your student's need for efficiency and deliver on it.
Here are a few suggestions from a habitual early a.m. Instructor:
- Start on time. I've been in a lot of morning classes where it's obvious the instructor is expecting a number of late arrivals. Teach to everyone who's there on time!
- Demonstrate discipline as the Instructor. People looking for efficiency tend to be well organized themselves. If you are stumbling around, with no clear sense of direction, you'll frustrate your students.
- Keep your communication clear and concise. As I discussed in an earlier post where the microphone had quit early in class, because I had already laid out the class plan students new exactly what to do.
- Encourage early arrivers to lead themselves through a self-directed warm-up.
- Minimize the duration of your planned warm-up. I'm not suggesting you yell GO! at 5:46 am and then pound them for the next 60 min. But rather impress upon everyone, in the spirit of efficiency, to increase their work-load as quickly as they can comfortably do so.
- Teach long efforts near threshold. My experience is that people want to feel that they've time in class has been productive, but not feel trashed at the end of an early a.m. class. Despite everyone's best efforts, we're still warming up 30 min. into class. Long efforts give your students a chance to adapt, as their bodies allow.
- Minimize recovery between efforts. I rarely take my students above threshold in the morning class... but I may keep them just below it for 20 or more minute. I'll described it as riding in your Performance Zone â„¢ where I encourage students work as hard as they comfortable, for the specified length of time.
- Discourage the chatter. Efficient people do not appreciate distractions, while they are focused on a task. Believe me, many of the your students look at their participation in your class as a task to be completed within the specified length of time. Long efforts up near threshold, with minimal recoveries in between, will keep most everyone focused and above the Chatty Zoneâ„¢.
Did I miss anything [wlm_firstname]?
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Love the photos John.
Connecting to your riders is – in my opinion – an instructors primary objective if one wants to be successful. Doing so is a matter of knowing them. Your understanding of who attends which prime time classes is key to knowing how to relate to that crowd.
This is quadruply important if you are subbing.
I have classes at 0600 and 1800. On Wednesday I have both.
John you are spot on with your description of these riders. Early birds want to be in and out. Give them a good structured work out. Late classes are definitely more social and giving the stragglers a few minutes to get in from work will not wrinkle anyones bike shorts.
It is clear in an evening class (more social crowd) who the efficient riders are. They’re chafing at the bit to start on time and have everyone shut up. They would be more at home early but it is not convenient for them to ride in the morning. Ironically I almost never see the social types early.
I am not agrea with your E point warm-up is adapted to the workout (training) so you can not shorter it unless you want go to a profile more crechendo or where you will not go to high … than there is the point F long steady effort … it is not because you teach at early morning or to a certain population that you do not have to provide variety.
When I was teaching early classe, there were 45minutes and it were mostly a shorter version of the 60minutes one, but I was never cutting the warm-up or cool-down. I was perhaps adding some intensity and energy at the end of the classe compare to the later classe but that is all.
Yes we can say that early crow is more “hardcore” but we sometime have to slow them … if we are training them versus working out.
Custumer love profesionalism and enthousiam those are the 2 most important thing at the time you have those all riders who want to work will follow you.
Than you bring other skills: group connection, individu connection, variety (that is the one where there is NO limit, every change can make a classe different: music, voice, profile, presentation of profile, volume of music, light in the room, people in the room, you feeling as instructor, …), …
Pascal I think I’m reading that you see how E and F are interrelated. My profile typically doesn’t include hard efforts above threshold or high resistance climbing, especially early in the class. So I’m not concerned about needing to have everyone sweating at the 10 minute mark. Early long efforts above T1 (aerobic threshold) simply become part of the warm-up.