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A Guide on How to Become a Group Fitness Instructor

If you're considering becoming a group fitness instructor, read this guide first. It'll give you the inside scoop on what it takes to become one and teach classes for personal training studios and gyms.

Eric LeClair
October 12, 2021
TLDR;
If you're considering becoming a group fitness instructor, read this guide first. It'll give you the inside scoop on what it takes to become one.
group fitness instructor
Photographer: Gabin Vallet | Source: Unsplash

Becoming a group fitness instructor is growing in popularity. From yoga and Zumba to indoor cycling to cross-training, there is something for everyone, no matter their age, strengths, and fitness level. Most people joining these group fitness classes want to get fit and have fun while they do so.

Whether you train in gyms or independently or just getting into fitness, a career as a group fitness instructor can open up many avenues of earnings. If you are wondering how to become a fitness instructor, here is a quick guide to get you started.

What Do You Mean by Group Fitness Instructor?

A group fitness instructor is a professional who organizes and leads group exercise classes. It can be any type of class, such as yoga, Zumba, boxercise, HIIT, spin classes, and more. These classes became popular in the 1980s and 1990s and are still growing in demand. Becoming a group fitness instructor has never been more lucrative than it is now. But is becoming a fitness instructor better than being a personal trainer?

Personal Trainer vs. Group Instructor

A personal trainer helps individuals achieve certain fitness goals on a one-on-one basis and has several clients booked one after the other throughout the day. Unlike a personal trainer who can be a little introverted, a group fitness instructor needs to be a leader and be able to light up a room with their personality. As a personal trainer, you can see a lot of clients, and earning potential is huge, but it can also burn you out. On the other hand, group fitness instructors work more manageable hours and even maintain another full-time job.

How to Get Certified to Teach Fitness Classes?

There are a number of different ways to get group fitness instructor certification, depending on your specialty. For some workouts, you need specific fitness instructors training before starting teaching as there are valid for teaching a particular type of workout or even a specific business type. For example, CrossFit Level 1 certificate is needed to become a CrossFit instructor, and you can only teach at fitness studios registered with them.

In other fitness classes, you need to find fitness instructor courses managed or certified by their governing body. All you have to do is find a place offering such certification near you and enroll yourself. For general certification, you can look for group instructor courses from the Athletics and Fitness Association of America or the American Council on Exercise. These courses will require you to complete a certain amount of CEUs, so you remain up-to-date.

What to Do Once You Have Group Exercise Instructor Certification?

Once you receive your group instructor training, you need to use it! If you are working in another industry, it might take you a bit of time to find a job that fits into your schedule. There are gyms and fitness studios that offer apprenticeship programs where you can receive on-the-job experience. Then, there are others where certain fitness instructor requirements need to be fulfilled. You might need to give a full class audition before they hire you. Even if you do not get a job right away, you can offer group exercise classes in your community to hone your skills or to people online. Ensure you practice even after you have started teaching group fitness classes.

How Much Can A Fitness Instructor Make?

How much do fitness instructors make in a year should not be the only deciding factor when choosing a group fitness instructor as a career choice. But it has a lot of importance. How much a fitness instructor earns will depend on a number of factors such as class attendance, location, time of the day, and the years of experience one has. It is not uncommon for group fitness instructors to do teach classes part-time while having a full-time job.

Eric LeClair

Eric LeClair works on the Marketing Team at PushPress. Eric has been a CrossFit Affiliate owner for 16 years. He's built three separate gyms and developed over 20 staff members to run operations at those facilities. He's a Veteran of the US Army, married with two little kids, and spends lots of time with his two boxers backpacking and exploring new adventures!

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