How to Become a Group Fitness Instructor

Have you ever wanted to get started as a group fitness instructor? Have you ever imagined yourself at the front of the class actually teaching those fitness classes that you love so much? My name is Holly Hierman and I have been teaching group fitness since 2001. It is a great way to make a little extra money while getting your workout at the same time. Another benefit is not having to pay for gym membership.

Here are some key things that you need to know before becoming a group fitness instructor. A lot of people believe that you need go to college or take extensive certifications in order to teach fitness classes. I have a degree in kinesiology, with an emphasis on fitness, knowing that health and wellness was the path I was on, but by no means do you need a college degree to teach group fitness classes. Here are some tips to get started in teaching group fitness.

Think to yourself where you would like to teach, it is very helpful to know where you might want to teach in order to find out what classes they offer and what certifications may be required. Look at the gym’s group fitness schedule, find out if they need subs, that way you can see different formats and figure out what you like best. It is a lot easier to get hired on once you are sub.

My next tip is to contact the club that you would like to teach at and ask to speak to the person in charge of group fitness classes Let them know you are a new instructor and would like to know what is needed in order to apply. Gyms often times have different certifications so this is going to be key in making sure you have what the various gyms require. I can tell you from experience that most clubs require a certain CPR certification with defibrillator training as well. It is up to you to then find out what specific certifications are needed for the format you are interested in teaching.

Be sure to have all the required certifications before you begin the application process. It is also a great idea to find out all the information you can on the various gyms you plan on applying to. It is very appealing to hiring managers when the applicant is well prepared and has done their research. I know for myself, I now run my own home based business where I do have four employees and when I am interviewing people i ask what they know about my company. It’s good to know all you can about the job and about the gym.

Many clubs now require a primary certification from a nationally recognized certifying body like AFFA and ACE. Be sure to ask each gym what is required. Some gyms will take a group fitness certification or personal training certification, showing that you have the foundation of form and technique. It didn’t matter that I had a college degree in kinesiology, I still needed the certification in order to teach in that club.

Next you will need to find out if there are certifications for the formats you would like to teach, If it is a branded format, like BodyPump for instance, not just anyone can walk into a club and teach BodyPump. You will need to be certified in branded formats ensuring that you can correctly teach the class. Some of the branded formats include TurboKick, PiYo, Country Heat, and BodyPump. These branded formats give you all the music and choreography and you learn their routines. It saves you a lot of time if you were going to come up with your own music and routines. Some gyms have bootcamp and yoga classes that don’t require certification, but be sure you are aware of requirements.

Before you go gathering up all these certifications look at the specific gym location to see what classes they offer and figure out what is really important to you with regards to teaching group fitness classes. You may want to find out what they pay for instructors, there are not many ways to make a lot of money in fitness. Most gyms pay $20 per hour, but keep in mind that that one hour you teach the class does not include drive time, practicing your choreography so keep this in mind when looking at locations.

There are certainly perks to teaching, like I mentioned earlier I have not paid for a gym membership since I started teaching group fitness. I used to teach because I needed the extra money, but now I do it as a hobby and it holds me accountable to my workout. If you are looking to make more money, check into corporate wellness programs, they tend to pay better and won’t take a toll on you body by trying to teach as many classes as your body can handle.

These tips will help you in becoming a group fitness instructor, starting with where you want to teach, specific location and which gym. Then you will look at the group fitness schedules of clubs you are interested in to see what formats they offer and which ones you may want to teach. Contact Group Fitness Supervisor and find out what specific certifications are required for instructors. Often times they will want you to audition for their group fitness manager so be sure to ask about audition requirements.

Hope these tips help you on your journey to becoming group fitness instructors. Have a blessed day!

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