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How to Become A Certified Group Fitness Instructor

Updated on January 14, 2013

Having Fun, Getting Fit, and Helping Others

Everywhere you look, you are bombarded by images promoting fast weight-loss, miracle-diets, and rock-hard bodies. I have tried my fair share of these products and ''fads" and realized too late that it does take hard work and exercise. After joining my local gym, I fell in love with fitness! I eventually made the decision to become a group fitness instructor. I am a work from home parent with 5 children under the age of 10 and in desperate need of motivation to get lose weight, to get healthy, and to grab some quality "mommy time"! The decision to become a certified group fitness instructor isn't for everyone but I thought that maybe I would compile the information that I found to make it easier for others to start their path to a rewarding career!

First decision first...What style of group fitness do you want to teach? You will need to decide because there are differences between certifications and licenses. My best advice is to visit your gym, find something that you like to participate in, then talk to your gym management and group instructors to find out what is necessary to begin teaching. You can choose a group fitness certification which requires you to create your own choreography and demands a bit more learning, a specialized certification (i.e. Spinning, cardio step, bootcamp), or you can choose from a broad variety of pre-choreographed programs. Selecting the latter will involve less learning time and will limit the styles of which you can teach.

If you have selected The Group Fitness Certification, there are many to choose from as well as a variety of ways to obtain the certification. Speak to your local gym manager to see what licenses or certifications they may require. You may also want to look into First Aid and CPR training as many gyms will require it. The cost will be anywhere from $99 and up depending on your study method. Many will allow you to learn online then attend a workshop where you will take a traditional pencil and paper test and then a practical test where you display your knowledge of movements, body parts, and form. Others allow virtual learning and testing. They will all require continuing education credits which can be obtained in many ways. Some of the most popular certifications are available at the A.F.A.A., A.C.E Fitness and American Sport and Fitness These will also provide information on specialized certifications for yoga, spinning, bootcamp, cardio step, and others.

The other route is licenses. These are available from companies like Zumba, Flirty Girl Fitness, turbo kick and many others (I plan to break these down in another blog). These will only require a short day or two of learning choreography and technique. The costs vary and are anywhere from $199 and up. Be sure to look into long term costs. Most will all allow you to use logos and provide some advertising power but some will require further costs. Many gyms will allow you to teach with only these licenses and a CPR certification.

No matter which vehicle you choose to get to the destination of staying fit and helping others to do the same, you are beginning a rewarding fitness career and making an impact on the lives of those around you. I hope that I have helped to put some of the decision making information in one place for you and I plan to cover these more fully in later blogs. The Fitness Industry is booming and becoming a Group Fitness Instructor is one way to earn money, have fun, and get fit.


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