gails blog




“The only things that stand between a person, and what they want in life are the will to try it, and the faith to believe it’s possible”

Thank you all for your support, and your input on my 1st Blog.  Wow! I am glad to see that I had tapped into many of the same frustrations that we all feel in the Fitness Industry these days.

So now this is my Blog #2. I had originally had planned on writing about ”The Last of The Group Exercise Dinosaurs”.  I thought it was time to give many of my fellow colleagues support, and appreciation for all their hard work these past years in staying true to the “Art” of teaching. Instead, I have decided to share a link with all of you. I believe this is bigger than all of us. Next month I will Blog on ”The Last of The Group Exercise Dinosaurs”. So stay tuned…….

Get the tissue boxes out!! Click on the link below.

With Fondest Regards

Change the way you look at things,and things will change”

The Bannister Works/The Bannister Method

The Code


The Code

Written By: Gail Bannister-Munn –

The Bannister Method

The Code, what is the Code?

1-   Do you arrive to class on the second the class is supposed to start?

2-   Do you end your classes late, and have no concerns for the other classes following your class?

3-   Do you leave the studio unaware if the studio is re-set back to a neat, clean, visual setting for new potential members to view on club tour?

4-   Do you return phone calls when your team members are seeking help, or do you make a mental note of instructors who “WILL NOT” cover for you, when you are looking for coverage?

5-   Do you wait for the next instructor to show before leaving the studio to ensure that the next class of members has an instructor?

6-   Do you tell your members when you will be away, and there will be a sub?

7-   Do you adhere to branded programs profiles, Time, profiles, programs ETC?

8-   Do you listen to the member’s feedback/opinions vs., working with your supervisor and trying to work as a team and standing as one voice?

9- Do you set your director supervisors mangers up for failure by discussing internal company rules or policies?

10-Do you use members to get your point across to management?

I will address all these questions, and try to show you a different perspective of customer service, you may agree, or disagree, however, remember this is customer service 150%.  Remember we are placed in a class to provide quality, and care to our members. Most importantly, you are paid to provide a service to the company you were hired to work.

The Code Answers:

Q1&2: Arriving to class exactly on time is unprofessional.  You must arrive to class at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time for three main reasons:

1.    Management needs to know you are in the facility.

2.    If the members do not see you, they will complain at the front desk, and you will have a reputation of always being late,

3.    You need to make sure your studio is set, and ready for the scheduled workout, (e.g. boxing bags hanging that need to be removed, equipment in the studio that needs to be removed out the way for movement etc.)

These items will delay the start of your class. Keeping in mind you still have to wire up your headset that takes about 5 mins. This will now delay you, annoy the next class of members, and the instructor following you.

Q3: Leaving a studio messy after your class sends a hard message of how you conduct your personal life, and business. Take a moment and clean up after yourself.  Members will appreciate your attempt to make their environment a clean, and safe working environment. Many times classes may follow after your class; it is still your responsibility to clean up after your members so that the next class enters safely.

Q4: Have you noticed recently when you send an e-mail for coverage, no one responds back to you “yes” or “no”. However, the classes always get covered.  Why Is that?  I will tell you why, The Group Exercise Directors call in favors to get YOUR classes covered, because you do not cover.  Reasons for this: no team building, no relationship building.

  • Maybe I am dating myself, back in my day; we could not wait to jump on class coverage. We wanted to show our skills to other classes to build our permanent classes. It was our opportunity to shine, under someone else’s dime. Call it showing off….however it worked to keep us all on our game of teaching.  We learned from each other, we synergized with each other, we helped each other, we played together, and most importantly, we communicated among each other, and made amazing friendships, and bonds that last a lifetime!!!

Q5: Now let’s think about this for a minute. I know we all have personal lives, and craziness going on day to day. How many of you would have stayed, and covered the next class?  How many of you sick/not feeling well, would have done four to five classes to help out your group exercise team, or Group Exercise Directors????

These days, we forget the code of customer service, and why we are in this profession. When I started as a group exercise instructor, we could not leave until the next instructor arrived to teach his/her class. In the 21st century, these customer service rules/policies/values are not different from the past. So why then do instructors come, and go unaware of classes, or of their colleague’s names.

I will tell you why… cares to take the time to build team building, or camaraderie among colleagues.

Bailing out another colleague shows you are a team player. Covering a class should NOT be viewed as a chore, and I better be compensated for my time.  After all, based on the economy, these last minute class emergencies do not happen often.  Even subbing classes these days, are far, and few.  So jump on the opportunity, big, or small, it will help you grow, most importantly; you may get some new faces in your own permanent classes. So next time you see someone seeking help for coverage, respond back, “Yes or No” it will go a long way for when you need coverage. You know, as well as I do, you have a running list of instructors who you will never cover for, because they never cover for you, or respond back to you.

Q6:  Telling your members you will be away is another reason why you do not get help for your classes. Why would anyone cover for you, if they continuously show up to cover your classes and there are only 3 to 4 members?  They know your class attendance is about 30+ members!! Would you continue to help “YOU”?

So stop doing it, and you will see more support from your colleagues.

Q7: We all know branded programs can be a challenge.   However, the program must be adhered.  Your company has invested money and you are paid to teach the program. It is not your job to change, add on, update, and be creative, or run classes longer than it’s designated program time. Teach what is asked of you. Remember you are replaceable. If you cannot follow class format, and teach the branded program class with passion, then have someone else fill that time slot.

The class is not for you.

Q8: Listening to members feedback that will influence you against your peers, management, or your direct supervisor are signs of trying to be loved, or popular instructor by the members.  We all want to be a popular Instructor.  However, jeopardizing your relationship with your team, or boss is not a great idea.

Yes, we want to show compassion to all of our members. However, they do not pay your salary, and again, you are replaceable.  It does not matter how popular you are to the members, at the end of the day your job is to work with your team, represent your team, and be a valuable employee to your supervisor.  Your can be friendly to your members, however, they are NOT your friends. At some point enough, is enough!

So next time before you say “NO” think of The CODE.

If Attitudes are contagious…Is YOURS worth catching????

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