I am a group exercise director. My small club has 6am classes 5 days a week. Truth be told they are spoiled and don’t need 5 days a week. They should only really have 3-4 days a week. There is one instructor they like who teaches Tuesday/Thursday 6am. She also teaches Monday/Friday noon and Monday/Tuesday/Thursday evening. My Friday 6am spin class has opened up and I have given it to a VERY qualified, awesome instructor who I highly respect. My members don’t want her because they want the popular instructor. I know that I need variety in my programming. Plus, the popular instructor is also a personal trainer and needs to have some availability to book clients in that time. Also, if I don’t have a variety of instructors I will never be able to find subs when I need some. How can I educate my members (who are trying to hide in anonymity) that if they give this great instructor a chance they can get a great workout? They don’t need only this popular instructor.
We understand your need to serve your members. It seems you have thought of the well-being on not only your prime members, but your gym, instructors, and everyone else. So for that, I applaud you for not losing sight of anything.
You just have to work in the new instructors slowly. I agree with the recommendation to have the popular instructor help initiate the other instructor. But for long term success, I think you need to implement what your planning and monitor the situation. Put the new instructor in the time slot, as well as other slots during the week. Or maybe establish a cap on how classes they can teach per week so they can all get classes but still have time for PT.
Also, work in subs occasionally, even if they’re not needed, just so they stay up to speed, stay fresh, and get to know the whole membership base rather than their own schedule.
In my experience, both current and past, the early morning crowd is VERY demanding in every gym, often with entitlement issues, feeling they have rights rather than privileges, etc. They are the ones who show up every single day at the same time and do the same things.
So although you want to please them to keep them happy and at your gym, and keep that consistent cash flow where its at, keep in mind they are usually the last ones to leave your gym or make any changes to their habits. I would use that to your advantage.