Want to Become a Fitness Instructor? 5 Tips From a Pro

Have you ever dreamed about becoming a group fitness instructor? If the answer is yes, I know exactly how you feel. I was in your shoes four years ago. We are inspired and motivated by some of the leaders in our lives: our parents, professors, and, of course, instructors. Whether you’re having a not-so-great week or are dragging yourself out of a recent workout rut, they’re the ones we often turn to in order to motivate ourselves to get back in the game. If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve got you covered.

How to become a fitness instructor

After three years, I’ve learned some of the best information you’ll need to not only become an instructor, but to crush it as one, too!

Get certified

In this industry, knowledge is power. I’m a firm believer that educating yourself is a lifelong process. I started with a personal training certification to make sure I had a full foundation of the material I would be required to interpret for instruction. However, that’s not the only way to succeed. Do your research online, and check into the studios or gyms you are looking into to teach to see which ones are required. Some of the more popular ones are NASM, ACE, AFAA, TRX and Schwinn.

Practice makes perfect

Just like you would for a presentation at the office or a huge exam, you need to practice your skills (and workouts!). Try running them alone first. I used to spend hours at the gym running through workout variations to make sure I make the best possible set: a carefully thought-out choreography, challenging circuit and the right way to explain it. Next, incorporate some of your fitfam friends and industry professionals. Getting a full picture of how you instruct is the best way to make improvements to how you communicate your personal voice and knowledge to your students. The more you can become self-aware and in sync with your how your leadership is being received by your audience, the better of an instructor you’ll be.

Find your voice

Each of us has been inspired by different reasons to take the first step toward becoming an instructor, so take a moment to reflect on your own story, and start building that confident voice right from the heart. My voice was centered around my professional u-turn: A few years into my professional career in finance, I felt as if something was missing. I realized my calling was for something a bit more meaningful. Today, I consider myself blessed to do what I love: to motivate and kick others out of their comfort zones in order to realize their true potential. When you take a running leap in the direction of your instincts, I can tell you that nothing but good things can come of it.

Ask us after class to chat

Before I made the decision to switch industries, I made sure I sought out those already in the industry who would give me an honest answer on everything. Before I made the switch, I made sure I had everything on track—from the certifications to the expenses for equipment and workout wear. I also learned from other instructors, from the tricks of the trade in verbalizing your workout to finding and mixing music. The ongoing mentorship I have with those in the industry has shaped me to where I am today, and I am forever grateful for that.

Don’t be afraid to fail

This is one of the most important of all, next to education. If you constantly concentrate on what you might screw up, you’ll always be one step behind when it comes to presenting to your fitness audience. All of us have a slip-up now and again, and that’s totally normal. That’s how we learn and get better. Be proud of what you do accomplish, and stress that to your students. It’s exactly what got you here in the first place, and it’s the reason why you’ll rock it on the mic.