Have you have ever faced this dichotomy in your class?
Two riders, call them Bob and Susan (not their real names) are sitting front, center, smiling at you. You know them both and what you know about them causes you to almost freeze with indecision about how you will coach the class.
Here's some background on the two:
Bob is 40 years old and a somewhat competitive cyclist. Bob comes to your class to get stronger/fitter/faster (which is what he wants) so he needs to Train ~ 80% of his time in ZONE 1 to develop aerobically and the remaining 20% in ZONE 3 - above AT/LT. From a Training perspective, Bob should spend as little time in ZONE 2 as possible (junk miles). But the upper part of ZONE 2 is exactly where Bob performs during (long/fast club ride, RR or TT) so Bob's training in ZONEs 1 & 3 is to make him stronger in ZONE 2 when he is competing. Bob also understands that the hard work in ZONE 3 will leave him a bit trashed - which he accepts as the cost of getting stronger.
Susan is a 40 year old Mother of three kids who isn't training for anything, unless you count her continuous battle maintaining her body composition at an acceptable level. She's in your class to burn calories...specifically body fat if at all possible. She wants to leave your class with the energy she needs for the rest of her day while also not having her sugar stores depleted to the point where her low blood sugar level has her stopping at the doughnut shop. I would argue that Susan needs to spend the majority of the class in ZONE 2. There is where she can maintain the highest level of intensity for the longest period of time, without feeling exhausted, needing to recover and eating everything she sees after class.
With few exceptions, the majority of our classes are made of students are more like Susan than Bob... and arguably the #1 reason people come to class is for weight management.
Does it then make sense that we design classes much more for Susan?
Are we boring/alienating Susan when we sit there and proudly explain how our class is scientifically designed to help Bob?
In her post about not teaching to the squeaky wheel, Cameron Chinatti lays out some excellent points on how no one at your facility should be valued higher than anyone else. Easier said then done. I find myself wanting to teach to a class of Bob's, even while smiling back at Susan.
What do you do in this situation [wlm_firstname]?
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