"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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Encourage early arrivers to lead themselves through a self-directed warm-up.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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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