Group X: Adjusting Your Class Schedule
When should a group fitness director make changes to the class schedule? I recommend reviewing your schedule quarterly to maintain a balanced offering, while at the same time, keeping the schedule new and fresh. I ask myself the following questions during my quarterly assessment:
- How long have these classes been in place?
- How long have the instructors been in place?
- What is the average member participation per class? *It is important to eliminate holiday weeks or weekends from your average.
- What new classes or trends should be added to the schedule?
- Does the time slot make sense?
- Is the class type resonating with members?
- Is the instructor’s personality meshing with the members?
When I find a class is not performing, prior to adjusting the schedule, I reach out to members to get their feedback. I have never found a member that is resistant to telling me what they want or need in their group fitness schedule. Talking to members may help determine a more convenient time, a more desired class or a different instructor. For example, a boot camp class might not work in a morning time slot, because what members want is a yoga class. Don’t be afraid to try something new using the information you have gathered.
Remember, your job is to offer a balanced and exciting program. You are also tasked with keeping the classes challenging. I have worked with group fitness directors who are hesitant to modify class offerings because of possible member backlash. Change is a good thing and in time, the members will adapt.
Joseph Duffy has been in the fitness industry since 1990. He has taught group fitness classes at multiple clubs, and currently is the director of group fitness at Boom Fitness. Duffy has his own consulting business that assists owners with building group fitness programs from the ground up, as well as providing scheduling and staffing input. He can be reached at email@example.com.