A fitness instructor teaches, guides, and encourages groups or individuals during activities and exercise routines. Most of the time, fitness instructors teach clients how to execute exercises and monitor their progress. They also help clients reach their fitness goals, provide them with information about lifestyle, manage their weight, and monitor their food intake. Good fitness will adjust fitness programs to ensure that clients reach their goals while maintaining safety regulations.
One of the first things you should do is determine what type of fitness instructor you want to become. Below are the common types of fitness instructors;
- Personal trainer – here, you will be dealing with individual clients or families. As a fitness instructor, you may have to travel to your client’s homes and work around their schedules. Most of the time, you work with one client at a time. Therefore, you will have to tailor fitness programs for each client.
- Group fitness instructor – here, you will be working with a group in a studio or outdoor setting. It involves the use of equipment. As a group fitness instructor, you can lead clients in exercises like Zumba, cycling, and dancing. You will also have to offer some specialized attention to each person in the group for better results.
- Specialist instructor – here, you get to focus on a single discipline. For instance, you can master one type of workouts like yoga, pilates, or spin classes. Here, you will be working in a studio that specializes in a particular discipline. You will need special certification for your field of focus.
- Health and wellness coach – here, you will focus on clients’ health, daily routines, eating habits, and making life changes for overall wellness. Your role will help clients get in shape, maintain healthy lifestyles, take care of their bodies and achieve all-around wellness.
When determining the type of fitness instructor you want to become, you need to examine each of the options carefully. That way, you can make an informed decision.
Find out the duties of a fitness instructor
After you have figured out what type of fitness instructor you want to be, the next thing you should do if you are looking to start a fitness training career is to research your would-be duties. Below are the primary responsibilities of a fitness instructor;
- A fitness instructor’s main duty is to work with individuals or groups demonstrating exercise routines and activities. This also involves teaching participants how to avoid injuries while partaking in exercise routines.
- As a fitness instructor, you will also have to provide your clients with instructions like breathing and using exercise equipment properly.
- In a fitness class, music is just as important as the exercise routine and instructions. Therefore, another duty of a fitness instructor is to choose the best music selection for fitness sessions. The right choice of music will help the group or individual get energized and motivated.
- If you are to work as a fitness instructor for individual clients, you will also have to offer one-on-one consultations. In such cases, you will have to work around your clients’ schedules.
With this information, you can go into the business fully aware of what is expected of you. This means that you will also get the chance to prepare for your duties before taking on clients.
Enroll in a training program
After you have all the necessary knowledge of the roles and duties, you may need some training so that you can provide the best services. The good thing about this career is that you do not need a college degree. You can become a fitness instructor by simply completing a non-degree college or certification program. Most of these courses cover the basics of fitness training like cycling, dancing, and strength training. This step is important whether you want to start your own business or get employed. Most employers prefer trainers with certification.
You can also go a step further and get a degree. With a degree in any health-related major, you will have better chances of getting employed in this field. If you decide to take this route, you can get a degree in exercise science, physical education, or behavioural health science, among other health-related areas. Note that you do not need to have this level of education. You can, most of the time, become a fitness instructor with a high school diploma or an associate. However, a degree will give you an edge in the competitive industry. It is also worth noting that the level of education you need depends on the type of fitness instructor you want to become. For instance, if you’re going to become a health and wellness coach, you may need a degree in nutrition, fitness, nursing, healthcare, or psychology. On the other hand, to become a personal trainer, you require a high school diploma and associate certificate.
Acquire the necessary certification
Note that certification is not mandatory. This is especially the case if you are looking to become a self-employed fitness instructor. However, while some employers may not care about certification, most of them prefer it. Before you look for a certificate, you need to check your laws to see which certification programs are credible. The internet is a great tool for this purpose.
Once you have completed the steps mentioned above, you can go ahead and look for a job as a fitness instructor. You can also start your practice if that’s the route you wish to take. You can work at a gym, health club, or hospital.
Simon joined Gymcatch as a founding team member and oversees the commercial, legal and regulatory parts of the business. After studying history at Bristol University Simon converted to law at BPP in London. He trained at Norton Rose where he gained multi-jurisdictional corporate, finance and commercial experience. Outside of work, Simon spends his time running and walking in the Derbyshire Dales, ruining recipes and following the meteoric rise of Burton Albion Football Club.