How to Be a Great Fitness Instructor

Hi. Holly Hierman here. I have been teaching for over 20 years.  At age fifteen, I began coaching gymnastics and continued this for ten years.

Along with teaching group fitness since the year 2000, I also have certified people on how to become fitness instructors in various formats including PiYo, Turbo Kick, Hip Hop Hustle and All-Star Presenter Camp.

During these certification courses, we taught people the absolute most important things it takes to be a successful fitness instructor.  Cute clothes, makeup, and being in shape are all a bonus when you’re teaching fitness classes and definitely help you become a great fitness instructor.  A fantastic attitude is a definite plus in what makes a successful fitness instructor, too! The number one skill you have to master in order to be a great fitness instructor is Cueing! What is Cueing? It’s your your ability to lead the class.

If you are a really good instructor, you are going to give your class ample time, ahead of time, so they know what’s coming next. It is not as easy as it sounds. It is not just demonstrating the upcoming moves.

While teaching children gymnastics, I learned to break things down to the simplest form.  From the years of teaching little kids how to understand and follow what I was teaching, this gave me lots of experience that I was able to use in my group fitness classes too!

The concept of cueing, and verbally explaining what to do and how to do it, was something I was familiar with. And you need to become very familiar with explaining things in a simple manner, if you want to become an outstanding group exercise instructor.

You may be in wonderful shape, have a fantastic body, perfect nutrition and wonderful form… but if you can’t effectively teach someone that’s brand new what to do and break it down for them, then you are going to struggle.

Have you ever had a bad teacher?  I liken it to when I tried to learn to surf, my teacher handed me a surfboard and said “follow me” and he got on his surfboard and took off.  Needless to say, I am still not able to surf.  Now, this “follow me” technique may work for some, but it isn’t the most effective way to teach someone and have them feel successful.

Break down what is coming next for your students with the use of verbal cues, hand signals, step by step instructions using as few words as possible, all while speaking in a voice with a deep tone.  This is my most important factor in becoming a great instructor.  It is not difficult to become a fitness instructor, once you master cueing, it’s like riding a bike, you will always have the skill.

Since becoming a mom, and making my children my number one priority, I no longer teach fitness certifications but I still love teaching fitness classes and have a passion for this subject.  I will be doing more posts relating to this topic and look forward to helping you become rockstar group exercise instructors.

Have a great day!

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