"We try to change your lifestyle," he said. "You're in it until you quit."

The classes are for women and men, but women far outnumber the men and seem to "outlast" the men, Falcon said.

On Oct. 21, only one man was exercising, entrepreneur Darrell Middleton, 45, of Mount Washington.

"If I didn't have to bring my daughter to school, I'd be in bed," Middleton said.

Many clients said they come because they believe in Falcon.

"When you wake up early in the morning, you kind of need a decent personality," said T. Rowe Price employee Katie Drew, 47, of Timonium, lifting a 30-pound bag of weights.

"I hate waking up early and I hate exercising, but I love this class," Buchalter said. "I like coach Falcon and the people who come here. It's an interesting mix of exercises — and he's funny."

"If you fall off the apple cart, he calls you and says where are you," said Brinda Nair, 37, of Homeland, an administrator at Johns Hopkins Hospital. "It feels like somebody wants you to be there. And I've lost 10 pounds."

Some were coming for the first time — "to get back into shape," said Jo Funk, 55, of Mount Washington. "I'm a social worker. I sit in my seat all day long."

The early hour was daunting, she admitted.

"I never get up at 5:30 and now I'm doing this," she said.

Funk said she wasn't afraid, though, if only because, "It's too early in the morning."

Melissa Hall, 26, came from Owings Mills.

"It was a really good price," said Hall, who usually works out alone. "I thought it would be a good challenge."

"It's not about weight. It's about building my upper body," said Shani Rosenbaum, 33, of Mount Washington, wearing a T-shirt that said, "Train insane or remain the same."

Rosenbaum said she didn't like her previous exercise program as much as she likes Believers. "I love it," she said. "I'm not going anywhere."

Neither was Falcon. As the class emptied out, the coach was just getting started and said his day wouldn't end until 8 p.m.

"I gotta keep going," he said. "I gotta push."