A note from Spinning® Master Instructor Pru Comben on dealing with lower class numbers over periods of the summer time.
Riding Out the Summer Slump
It's that time of the year again- summer, well apart from all the rain! A time when our classes see a drop in numbers as our riders head out on vacations. But as fitness instructors, how do we handle this slump? It's important to remember that this is a yearly occurrence and to be prepared for it. In this blog post, we'll discuss some tips on how to navigate through the summer slump and still keep our classes engaging, challenging, and fun.
Firstly, accept it as a trend. It's important to remember that we can't control our riders' schedules, and we can't tie them to their bikes. So, it's inevitable that our classes will see a drop in numbers during the summer. As a fitness instructor, it's easy to fret about dwindling numbers, but it's important to remember that this is just a trend that we must accept. Good gym managers are prepared for this drop and have strategies in place to keep their classes engaging and fun.
Secondly, don't remark on it. It's important to avoid making remarks such as "only eight people today" or "where is everyone?". Instead, celebrate the riders who are present and acknowledge the effort they've made to come to your class. A simple "thank you for coming today" can go a long way in fostering a positive class environment.
Thirdly, be prepared to change your training plans. If you normally follow a periodized training plan, it may be necessary to put those plans on hold until the fall when class participation numbers pick back up. In the meantime, have some fun with your classes and try new things. For example, you could do themed rides like beach rides, or have a DJ come in and play some upbeat music. The possibilities are endless, and the idea is to keep your classes interesting and fun.
Fourthly, give your classes a sense of continuity. While it's important to mix things up during the summer, it's also important to give your riders a sense of what's coming next. For example, if you did a tough Strength EZ™ ride on Monday, let them know that next week you'll be doing anaerobic interval training. By giving your riders a preview of what's to come, they'll have a reason to come back and ride with you.
Navigating through the summer slump can be difficult, but it's important to remember that it's just a trend. By accepting it, avoiding negative remarks, being prepared to change your training plans, and giving your classes a sense of continuity, you can keep your classes engaging and fun through the summer months.