Author: Amber French
I have worked with hundreds of fitness instructors over the years. Some are great, some not so much…. But all of them have their own story as to why they became an instructor. Lots have weathered their own health recovery journey. A few just need to pay the bills (they don’t tend to last very long) and others just want to help. You don’t need to be outgoing and coordinated. The best instructors find their own strengths and build on them instead of trying to emulate what they see on TV or in other instructor’s classes.
You can take courses and gain your certification fairly quickly. Most reputable programs require you take in-class and practical components. After you have completed the program you will need to pass an exam that covers both the theoretical and hands-on components. (See CanFitPro for a great general fitness instructor certification course www.canfitpro.com). CanFitPro offers not only a great foundation for group fitness instruction they offer great specialized add-ons like pre/post natal fitness and they throw the best Fitness Conference in Canada.
Quite a few of my instructors find a medium they fall in love with and pursue teaching and perfecting their craft in only that one area. Yoga, Pilates and Zumba instructors tend to have that primary focus.
The biggest bang for your buck (if you are only concerned about the paycheck) is a general fitness instructor course that allows you to have insurance and teach most types of fitness classes. But I recommend following your passion and letting the money follow (your students can tell what your true intentions are).
I LOVE the yoga instructor framework. Most recognized teaching programs in the yoga world need to be recognized as an official teaching program by the Yoga Alliance. In order for a school or studio to be recognized they must submit their training syllabus for review and agree to maintain a curriculum that meets Yoga Alliance Standards. Check them out and find a studio that can train you and get your dreams started. www.yogaalliance.org
Yoga instructor’s that have participated in their programs usually hit the ground running. They must do a minimum of 200 hundred hours of training including real life hands on experience. Studios like Power Yoga Canada www.poweryogacanada.com offer 2 week intensives or programs that span several weekends over a period of months. These programs not only set you up for a great teaching career they can be life changing for your own practice.
Other disciplines like spin (indoor cycling) and Pre/post natal fitness have their own processes and are great for adding on to a more comprehensive program. A really great instructor never stops learning.
You can take courses, once you are certified, that teach you how to work with special populations like seniors or rehab patients. There are great courses that teach you how to incorporate new equipment/props into your classes. They are great for keeping your classes’ relevant and top notch.
The most important thing a want-to-be instructor can do is immerse themselves in the culture of Group Fitness. Take classes all the time, take notes, try new things, develop your own style, review your classes for safety, functionality and fun. And once you are certified and have taken hours of classes to hone your skills. Continue to learn and keep yourself fresh. It is the best thing you can do for yourself and for your students.
If this is calling you. Don’t hesitate. Follow your dream.