We’ve all been there, slipping out of a morning class 15 minutes early to make an 8 a.m. meeting, or quietly attempting to roll up your mat and tip-toe out of yoga mid-downward dog to get the kids at school. It can feel like life gets in the way of a workout — so as an instructor, how do you deliver an impactful class condensed into a timeframe that works for everyone?
Finding the perfect class length is as important to running a successful class as creating a great workout. From your early risers to your weekend warriors, different days and times of the week call for different class lengths. So before you add another workout to your teaching schedule, here are a few helpful timing tips to keep in mind.
Keep a pulse on your class
Knowing your class is key. Just as you read the room to know when to pump up the intensity or cool it down, keeping an eye on early exits can also be an indicator. Some studios poll members about class lengths they’d like to see, take time to chat with students before or after class, or ask members to voice their preferences via social media. While a few minutes may not seem like a big deal, the impact 15 minutes can make to a hurried student can mean the difference between a one-time visitor and a regular.
Consider your environment, location and the general vibe you’re trying to create in each class. The more you know your audience, the more you can fine-tune your workouts.
Be flexible throughout the day
While not everyone is working a 9-to-5 schedule anymore, chances are those early morning gym-goers have somewhere to be when the workout is over. Consider shortening classes during high commute times (early morning, lunchtime, early evening). This way, your members can feel like they’re getting in a full sweat without having to leave early — and you can accommodate others with more flexible schedules during other hours of the day.
Think students are worried a condensed class isn’t as effective? There’s plenty of science behind shorter, more intense workouts being beneficial to your health. Even a 30-minute sweat session can get your class starting off the day with a clearer mindset than worrying about how to skip out unnoticed.
Mix things up
Want the best of both worlds? Mix it up throughout the week. Add a 45 or 30-minute class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and keep your regular schedule Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Try offering express yoga over lunch to give members the option to get away from their workday for a bit. Experimenting with your class lengths is a great way to get a feel for your community, prospective users and target audience.
Finding the ideal class length is a win-win — leaving you with a class full of people who can be fully present instead of keeping their eyes on the clock.