How to Get Started in Group Fitness in 5 Steps

How to Get Started in Group Fitness in 5 Steps

1: Obtain a Nationally Accredited Primary Certification

Obtaining your primary group fitness certification is a must and ideally comes first. A primary certification in group fitness prepares for you for the “role” of being a group fitness instructor. It provides the information you need to be competent in general fitness classes (e.g., cardio, strength, flexibility, etc.). In addition, you will learn the basics of exercise programming, cueing and music.  

2: Identify your Format(s)

You’ll next need to determine which types of classes you’d like to teach. Again, ideally, this decision is based primarily on your personal preference and natural skillset. However, you may also want to consider what type of specialization might be required to get your foot in the door as an instructor.  

Be sure to begin your research by taking classes. If you’re already a group fitness groupie, expand your palate by trying new classes, instructors and environments to get a better sense of the available options. Consider what it would be like to teach the format versus participate. You will find some classes are a better fit for you to lead than others, even if you love taking the class.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, determine if additional training is necessary. Many formats require format-specific (or, sometimes called specialty training) certifications. The facility where you want to work may conduct the trainings in-house, or you may obtain the qualification through a third-party organization. Examples include indoor cycling certifying organizations, Zumba, Les Mills formats such as BODYPUMP or GRIT, HIGH Fitness and SoulBody fitness.

3: Carefully Vet Opportunities

Most instructors begin their careers working for a facility, but there are also options to be self-employed. Teaching at a facility usually provides a steady flow of potential clients, exposure to a wide variety of class formats, access to formal and informal mentors, education opportunities and a community. Be sure to explore all employment options and opportunities that exist for you to remain independent.

Be sure to determine whether teaching in-person or virtually is a better fit for you. Depending on where you choose to teach, you might decide to hone your skills in both.

4: Prepare for Opportunities

Step 4 is actually a bunch of little steps that, combined, prepare you for the many opportunities that exist for group fitness instructors. It’s less of a box that you tick and then forget about but, rather, tasks that you start doing and continue doing throughout your career to be ready for the wide world of fitness.

Begin by connecting to a network. Check with your primary group fitness certifying and specialty certification organizations, as well as with independent group fitness leaders to find formal and informal networking opportunities. A network can help you fill in the gaps between what you learned in your formal education and the skills you need to make it in the group fitness world.

Another excellent resource for filling in the gaps is a mentor. Do your best to find one that can help you navigate the industry and coach you on your unique path. You can find mentors at local clubs or studios, as well as in many of the networking groups described above.

More specifically, prepare for auditions and interviews by practicing, recording and watching yourself teach. If possible, ask for feedback from instructors, as well as trusted friends and family members. Then, practice some more with their respective feedback in mind. The more time you spend rehearsing, the better off you will be for the audition and your first class.

One additional preparation step is to obtain (and then maintain) professional liability insurance. Whether you plan to teach clients virtually or in person, liability insurance is an investment you make for your peace of mind should ever be sued by a client or participant for injury or damages. Even if you plan to work at a club, studio or another establishment, carrying your own policy is a good idea. 

5: Plan Your Path for Growth

While your recertification is probably two years away, set out on your professional journey armed with a growth plan. Both formal and informal education is helpful for pursuing new opportunities and improving the experience for your current participants. The best instructors are those who commit to being lifelong learners. 

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Top 5 reasons people become a personal trainer


Personal training is about helping people reach their health and fitness goals. Most individuals seeking the guidance of a personal trainer want to improve their general fitness, reduce pain, improve their athletic performance or lose weight. With 70% of the U.S. population considered to be overweight or obese, the need for personal training services is more important than ever!

There are obvious health risks associated with being overweight, but there is also the aspect of people lacking confidence and feeling apprehensive about their body.

Whatever the reasons, people are in need of help and motivation when it comes to safely and effectively incorporating exercise into their regular routine. When they look for help, they will turn to a fitness professional who has a passion for sharing knowledge and changing people’s lives!


The continued rise of people who are overweight or obese has driven the weight loss industry to reach an astounding $2 billion dollars. Fueled by the need for healthier living, the personal training industry is expected to continue to grow by more than 16% between 2015 and 2020.

Fitness professionals who can help clients reduce their weight and reach their goals safely and efficiently are currently and will continue to be in high demand.


With the growing industry comes growing pay for the professionals within that industry. Fitness professionals have witnessed their mean incomes grow 26% from 2010-2014. With the demand for personal trainers continuing to increase, you can expect incomes to rise as well.

This shows that while the industry continues to expand and the outlook remains high for all fitness professionals, it is important to seek education and certification from the right organization!


Schedules can be flexible as you work with your client base to determine training times and availability. You can be your own boss as an independent trainer, guiding your own schedule and business. The industry is also open to entrepreneurs who have the drive and ambition to build their own brand and business.


Many people want to become fitness experts. As a successful fitness professional, you can become the go-to individual for a community’s health and fitness needs, ranging from the local gym to the media. Through strong business development and a commitment to success, you can even grow to become a national expert as well.

There are many reasons to become a personal trainer. The most important is a passion for fitness with a focus of helping people. The first step to your new and rewarding career is to begin your educational journey. By growing your knowledge, you will be on the path to developing the skills necessary to guarantee success in your career.


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Top 5 reasons to hire a Personal Trainer

1 – Expert Workout Advice – A personal trainer will help you define achievable goals and plan how to meet them. They will create a workout routine specific to your goals and needs while also making allowances for your current physical condition and medical background.

2 – Avoid Injury – Having a trainer demonstrate the correct form, and watch you complete each exercise to ensure you are completing the move in a safe way, will help to avoid any potential injury. Also, your trainer will plan your workouts to maximize the benefits and reduce the possibility of injury or overtraining.

3 – Motivation – Ever feel like you can’t do one more rep or keep going for one more minute? A trainer will push you (safely) to do just one (or two!) more.

4 – Support – Your trainer will be your biggest cheerleader and source of encouragement. I know most trainers became certified for the same reason I did because we want you to succeed in meeting your goals and live a happy and healthy life. A trainer will work with you to overcome any resistance or barriers to creating a healthier life and meeting your health goals.

5 – Focus On You – If you have a unique medical concern, a trainer can work with your physician, physical therapist or other health care provider to plan a safe and efficient program that will speed your recovery or enable you to reach your health goals.

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personal trainer

Nav ne jausmas, kuram no neskaitāmajiem instruktoriem sava ķermeņa slīpēšanu lai uztic? Šāda jautājuma esamība jau vien liecina par lielisku startu. Šajā publikācijā lasi, pēc kādiem kritērijiem īsto „mentoru” izvēlēties.

Vienmēr paturi prātā: tavs personīgais treneris ir cilvēks, no kura atkarīgs tavs fiziskais stāvoklis un veselība – augsta kompetence un profesionālisms ir pamatu pamats. Cilvēks, kas pārzin tava ķermeņa īpatnības, tā sagatavotības līmeni, kā arī vingrinājumu tehnikas trenažieru zālē vai grupu nodarbībās, tikt pie vēlamā rezultāta palīdzēs krietni ātrāk.

Iesākumā iekal prātā, ka personīgais treneris ir obligāts nosacījums produktīvai sportošanai. Viņš ir galvenais palīgs ceļā uz perfekto svaru un augumu. Bez trenera iztikt spēj ja nu vienīgi… pats treneris. Bez šāda speciālista, nepārzinot konkrētu izpildes tehniku un trenažieru darbības principu, tu vari lieti sev kaitēt. Tā kā esam tendēti uz rezultātu, un nevis traumām, piedomāsim pie tā, kur lai cienīgu kandidatūru atrod.

Kam būtu jāpievērš uzmanība

Būtiskākais trenera darba kvalitātes rādītājs ir nevis tas, kā izskatās viņš pats, bet gan viņa darba augļi – klienti. Lai gan šis apgalvojums ir diskutējams, daiļrunīgākais apliecinājums profesionālismam ir rezultāti. Ja tava trenera mācekļi ir slaidi, plakanu vēderu un augstu trenētu pēcpusi, tātad, izvēli esi izdarījis pareizo.

Īsts profesionālis ne vien sniedz rekomendācijas, bet gan izmēģina tos uz sevis. Treneris, kas netrenējas pats – indikators, ka ir vērts piedomāt par tā nomaiņu.

Esi vērīgs jau pirmajā treniņā. Ja treneris, neizzinot tavu potenciālu un neiztaujājot par tavu veselības stāvokli, uzveļ tev pamatīgu slodzi uzreiz, diez vai viņš saprot, ko dara. Vai arī uzreiz sāk veidot tievēšanas treniņu plānu. Lai sastādītu kompetentu apmācību programmu, vispareizāk, lai pirmās nedēļas garumā viņš ieņemtu vērotāja pozīciju, novērtējot tavas iespējas. Ja uzdevumu izpildes laikā sajūti sāpes, konsultējies ar ārstu.

Kad esiet viens otru atraduši

Nespēlē pasīvo lomu pats sevā izrādē: ja treniņu programma ir sastādīta tev – tev ir visas tiesības piedalīties tās pilnveidē. Ja vēlies panākt ar treneri absolūto sapratni, uzdod jautājumus, izrādi iniciatīvu. Esi godīgs: nevaino viņu par liekajiem kilogramiem, ja slepeni aizraujies ar saldumiem – šādi tu ievedīsi treneri strupceļā. Stāsti par visu: par rezultātiem, par sasniegumiem, toskait arī par slodzes laikā sajusto diskomfortu.

Ja neesi savā trenerī vēl pietiekami pārliecinājies, tikt skaidrībā ar izvēles pareizību var līdzēt pāris jautājumi. Neuzkrītoši uzdod tos sarunā ar treneri. Palūdz pastāstīt par gaidāmo treniņu plānu – viņam būtu jāizklāsta pilns iepriekš sastādītais treniņu plāns, nevis jāģenerē idejas no vietas.

Būtiski arī, lai treneris izklāsta, kā vislabāk pēc treniņiem atjaunoties – vai ir vērts pavadīt brīvo dienu uz dīvāna vai veltīt to nesteidzīgam kardio.

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6 Things You Should Stop Hiding From Your Personal Trainer

A great trainer can be so inspiring and motivating—and ridiculously fit—that it’s easy to be less than honest about your nacho-centric diet or your boredom with her workout plan. But here’s the deal: Working with a personal trainer is about improving your health, and you wouldn’t lie or withhold information from your doctor and expect her to treat you effectively, right?
“You cannot give your trainer too much information,” says personal trainer Hannah Davis, CSCS, founder of Body by Hannah and author of Operation Bikini Body Training Program. Davis starts each new client relationship with a detailed questionnaire; the answers to which help her understand her clients’ real and perceived strengths and weaknesses. And this shouldn’t be a one-time conversation, she says. At the beginning and end of each workout, check in and volunteer relevant info, even if your trainer hasn’t asked. Here, the six things Davis says you just gotta divulge to your personal trainer to get the most out of those sessions—even if it makes you more uncomfortable than using the thigh adductor machine.

1. Your personal life is a little crazy right now.

If a family member is sick or you’re transitioning to a new job or home, your head is not going to be 100 percent at the gym. You don’t have to give your trainer any details you don’t feel comfortable sharing, but let him know you’re stressed. You know that’s trickling down to the way you eat, sleep and train, so your trainer needs a heads up so they can adjust your workouts accordingly. “I’m there to help your physical body, but because it’s very connected to the emotional self, it’s important that we address both in order to get the best physical results,” says Davis.

2. What you actually thought of the workout you just did.

Personal trainers are working for you, as the boss you need to give feedback on what you think of their performance. So don’t keep your trainer in the dark about the moves you’re less than fond of—though we can’t guarantee they’ll completely nix them. “If you absolutely hate an exercise, tell me! You should enjoy your workouts and there are many ways to work the same muscle group,” says Davis. Explore your options with your trainer until you find something that’s effective and fun.

3. Everything you’re really eating. And drinking.

Most of the time we don’t even think we’re lying about this stuff—we just do a lot of generalizing. And while not all trainers are nutritionists, they need to know what you’re putting into your body. Get granular about it. Does “healthy eating” include details about your daily sugary Starbucks habit? Davis says learning about these diet details usually leads to a breakthrough in her clients’ training. “Once a client can be totally honest about how they eat, I can help them make small changes that add up and help them get the most from their training sessions.”

4. When you’re more than sore.

If you continue to say your workout was great—and ignore that stabbing sensation in your foot—your trainer will continue to create your workouts based on the progress it appears you’re making, or you should be making. When that injury comes on full force, you’re going to be set back more than if you’d asked for a modification from the start. “Generally, a client won’t tell me their knee or shoulder hurts until I figure it out on my own, or it becomes just too unbearable,” says Davis. “Then, I am able to address it with corrective exercise techniques and when it gets better, they’re able to get stronger and build more muscle.” Of course, always address sharp pains or if something doesn’t feel quite right in the moment.

5. When someone you’re close with isn’t on board.

A mini cheering squad makes all the difference when you’re making a major physical change or lifestyle commitment. If your friends, family, roommates or S.O. isn’t providing that support, your trainer wants to know. When this happens, Davis says she works with her client to find ways to keep them motivated and accountable or she creates a plan to get the other person on board.

6. Your biggest fears.

Even if those fears are about the program you’re starting. Davis says this is one of the best insights she can have into how to help her clients improve the physical and mental aspects of their training. “Is it that it didn’t work last time? Are you afraid to fail? Are you afraid of heavy weights? I want to know!”

Does your trainer know the answers to all of these questions? If not, time to start sharing. Don’t be afraid to get personal—it’ll only make your workouts better for the both of you.

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10 Things Your Personal Trainer Won’t Tell You

Sometimes it can feel nearly impossible to get yourself in shape, which is why personal trainers are so helpful. Not only do they give you that extra push, but you also get the benefits of their expert knowledge and experience. Even with their guidance, however, your efforts will be in vain if you aren’t following the right diet and fitness regimen for you. To find out exactly how you can improve your fitness routine, WD spoke with top-notch personal trainers for their secrets to getting the most out of your workout and living an overall healthier life.

1. Set realistic goals and be confident.
Before starting your path to a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to be realistic about how much time you have for the results you want, and how you can achieve them. Colleen Faltus, private trainer at The Sports Club/LA in Boston, suggests compiling “a list of both short- and long-term goals. This will keep you motivated to accomplish and surpass them; it will give you focus and add some variety to your workout.” Another trick to staying focused? Be confident! Trainer Bill Trimble, founder of the workout program Extreme Bill Trimble, says, “if you’re not confident and determined you can achieve your goals, you won’t. Make sure you try to stay positive and keep your head up, even on those rough days.”

2. Get specific about what you want to achieve.
Although you may think your trainer will automatically know what you want, that isn’t the case. Trimble says telling your trainer exactly what your goals are is the key to success. A weight-loss plan, for instance, will be different from a plan for someone trying to build muscle. Your trainer will design a routine based on your individual needs and lifestyle, so letting him or her know exactly what you want up front will help you get the most out of the experience.

3. Have fun!
“Working out should be enjoyable. Your personal trainer is there to push you a little bit, but not intimidate,” says Trimble. During your initial consultation, talk with your trainer about activities you enjoy, your schedule and exercises you don’t particularly like. This way, he or she can devise a routine you’ll love. Another key factor to having fun is variation. “Incorporating other elements of fitness besides cardio will increase the likelihood of faster and more efficient weight loss,” explains Faltus. Another plus? You’re less likely to become bored if you try new things.

4. Performing each exercise correctly is imperative, so watch your form.
To achieve the best possible results and stay injury-free, follow your trainer’s instructions about proper form. This is especially important if you’re doing an at-home workout on your own. “Model the video or demonstration exactly, paying special attention to the trainer’s breathing technique and form,” Trimble urges.

5. You should begin to see results within 12 weeks.
Depending on your workout plan, the three-month mark can be a good indicator of how you’re doing. “In about 90 days, you should be able to notice results—whether it be that your jeans are a little looser, your quality of sleep is better or you just feel good all around,” Trimble says. Many people lose motivation if they don’t see results sooner, but you’re changing your physique, so 12 weeks is about how long it will take before your workouts begin building lean muscle.

6. Communication is the key to success.
As with any relationship, communication is vital when it comes to a healthy and happy experience. Faltus recommends giving your trainer feedback about how you are or aren’t liking the exercises, what is or isn’t working and anything else that’s on your mind. Most often, your trainer will check in with you before and after the workout. So use the opportunity to talk! “You know your body better than anyone else, so speak up at each session and your experience will be that much more enjoyable and exciting,” Faltus says.

7. You’re going to have bad days.
“You’re going to fall off the wagon and have off days at some point,” says Trimble. “But get right back up and begin again without getting discouraged.” The biggest problem trainers see in their clients is that their emotional confidence starts to dwindle when something goes wrong. “You have to believe in yourself and [believe] you can do it,” Trimble says. So, if you splurge on your eating one weekend, don’t beat yourself up—just give it your all during your Monday workout session.

8. If you don’t have a trainer, you can still stay motivated.
On those mornings when you just can’t get yourself out of bed, it’d be pretty nice to have a trainer waiting for you at the gym. But you don’t need a trainer if you know how to find motivation elsewhere. For one thing, Trimble recommends working out with a partner for extra encouragement. He also suggests choosing a fun workout so you’ll look forward to it. “These days, so many programs are easily accessible, such as at-home boot camp workouts, circuit training, online videos and specific plans such as the P90X workout.” And perhaps most important, be consistent. If you exercise on the same days every week, not only can you schedule around your workout, but you’ll be more likely not to miss it.

9. You have to eat right, too.
Personal trainers aren’t miracle workers, so after you leave the gym, make sure you follow the diet plan you’ve established for yourself (or with the help of a dietician). One way Trimble helps his clients eat right is by encouraging them to keep a food journal. “Nutrition can be a problem, so writing it down and being able to look at it with my clients is helpful,” he says. Not only will you be able to discuss what you’re eating with your trainer, but you’ll also become more aware of your food choices—and rethink that second piece of cake! One way Faltus suggests you start a good nutrition plan? Let yourself cheat. “Eating balanced meals filled with fruits, vegetables, grains and protein will prove successful in the long run. But remember to give yourself a ‘cheat’ nutrition day on the weekends.”

10. You’re probably not getting enough sleep.
“Lack of sleep causes a decrease in energy and motivation to accomplish both short- and long-term goals.” Not only are proper sleeping habits important for you mentally, but if you don’t rest your muscles properly before and after a good workout, you risk injury. Faltus says to “adjust your sleep schedule and get both quality sleep and a decent quantity of sleep. You’ll notice the difference in your overall performance, and your muscles will thank you too.” For some tips on how you can destress and unwind before bed to sleep better, click here.


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5 things a good personal trainer would never do

In every field, there will be a few different ways of doing things. Although other careers will have people doing things differently, all with the end result being positive, there are some things a personal trainer really shouldn’t ever do. When it comes to being a Personal Trainer, some things are non-negotiable as they can lead to injuries, bad experiences for clients and eventually, the loss of a client base for your business. Australian Institute of Fitness Victoria Fitness Coach, Christopher Meggyesy, lays down the 5 things a great Personal Trainer would never be caught doing.


A great personal trainer’s client focus doesn’t ever waiver. There are some Personal Trainers out there that remind me of Dory from Finding Nemo; very easily distracted. Your clients are paying for YOUR time. From the moment you greet your 10:30 client to the moment they leave, the great PT is 100% about their training. Whether it’s fixing technique, handing their client a water bottle, or just being the motivation they need, it’s all about your client. Whoever it is that just walked in the gym, they can wait. If you’re a personal trainer and you are constantly getting tied up with other things, checking your phone or chatting with other people during a client’s session, you may find some clients parting ways with you and finding someone new.


The great PT will have every moment of the training session accounted for prior to beginning the session. It’s pretty obvious when the PT is umming and ahing about what’s next for the client, they’re winging it. A PT should know what is happening at each minute, what will be covered and how to get the best workout completed specific to the client within the time they have booked with them. If a PT seems to be lost, chances are they aren’t really sure of what the client needs in order for them to reach their goals. Remember, those who fail to plan, plan to fail.


Every client is different, aren’t they? They have each got their own little quirks, health concerns, and movement deficiencies. So why are there so many cookie cutter programs out there? Each program should be tailored to the client’s needs, that’s part of what your client is paying you for. One of the first things a personal trainer should be doing within the first session is asking what a client’s needs and wants are, what their goals are, what they hope to achieve and also ask about the client’s past history with exercise. A PT should understand completely what a client is capable of doing (and not doing) and working on the areas they wish to work on in order to achieve their goals. Because everyone has different goals, everyone’s session should look and feel different.


iPhones, Android phones, Windows phones, even your old Nokia! No matter what the brand, having one in your hand while you’re taking a session, regardless of the intention, just looks like a distraction. You may very well be timing your client with your stopwatch app, but to the outside world and any future clients that may see your session, they can’t tell the difference between timing a client, and swiping right on Tinder. Clients are paying for the time and attention of a trainer for a reason. The best PT’s should ditch their phone for the whole session and their focus directly on the client at all times.


Let’s face it, you are your own brand. Prospective clients start forming opinions about you the second they see you. In that first second, how are you marketing yourself? That first second might come when you turn up for your 5:30am client on a Monday morning, and a brand new member to the gym sees you as you walk in the door. Do you look (and smell) like you just rolled out of bed, or do you look clean, neat and tidy with an awesome smile? Ask yourself, who are you more likely to hand over your hard money earned to? Someone who looks and acts like a professional, or the slob that just rolled out of bed? Feeling and looking fit and healthy is going to also rub off on the client’s. A client is going to feel more motivated to get up early and get a great workout completed if their PT looks like they’ve already completed it and are now feeling (and looking) fantastic.

A trainer should be there to help, motivate, assist when needed and provide the right training and fitness advice possible for each and every client. Getting to know a client is a must-have and being able to provide the right workout for each client is a necessity. If you’re a PT and you find yourself doing some of the above things, it may be time to step back and take a look at your role and look at ways you can address them and help your clients to reach their full potential once more. If you’re a client and are noticing some of these “red flags” with your own trainer, it may be time to take a look at other trainers in the area who may be able to help you succeed. 


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