How to Teach Fitness Classes

Teaching fitness classes is the perfect job for exercise aficionados who want to help others get active. Rehearsing your class and practicing your leadership style will help your class run as smoothly as possible. As the instructor, how the class runs is up to you—you set the tone and intensity, so how you present yourself is important! Taking time to plan beforehand and take fitness teaching training will help you become the best instructor you can be for your classes.

Get certified as a fitness instructor. Most gyms like to hire instructors with recognized credentials. Train for a certification registered with the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) to strengthen your teaching skills and increase your professionalism.

  • Some fitness instructors also get certified in CPR or first aid in case of emergencies during their class.
  • In Canada, all certifications require Basic First Aid and CPR as a prerequisite before you can even take the instructor training.
  • Look for fitness instructor openings at your local gym. Apply for an open job listing or contact gyms directly to see if any of them need new instructors. If not, talk to them about volunteer opportunities. Some gyms look for instructors to teach classes for free or in exchange for a membership.

Find a workout mentor who can advise you on your teaching skills. Ask a more experienced fitness instructor if they could sit in on one of your classes. Have them take notes on what you’re doing well and where you could improve for future classes.

  • It’s best to have a formal mentor who has a certification that allows them to provide formal and written feedback about your performance. They will have a fee for their services, but you will know that you are getting good and appropriate advice.
  • Some areas may not require formal mentors to have a certification, so check the laws for your area.
  • Attend other instructors’ classes to learn new techniques. Everyone’s teaching style is different, and you might learn new ways of motivating clients or organizing your classes. Sample a few classes at your gym and take notes afterward about what you liked, what you didn’t like, and how you can adapt your classes based on your experience

Attend a fitness instructor convention. Register for a well-known fitness instructor convention to connect with other instructors and attend helpful teaching workshops. Getting to know more fitness instructors can expand your network and list of resources for teaching classes.

  • Read the convention schedule beforehand so you know where the classes most relevant to your interests will be.

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