What is a group fitness instructor?
Have you ever been in a group fitness class and thought, “Hey, this is fun! I wish I could lead this”? Group fitness instructors are needed and used in virtually every area of fitness out there. Zumba, indoor cycling, CrossFit, yoga, boot camp, kickboxing, pilates; you name it, group fitness instructors are on hand. While many of these areas do not need to be completed in a group setting, many people find that taking part in a class makes them work harder and learn faster since they have more than one person to learn from.
The most successful fitness instructors are high-energy, outgoing, friendly, and self-described “people people.” In addition to having certain characteristics, group instructors must also be very knowledgeable in any class they lead. Most of these people must also be certified. Sometimes the hardest part is deciding which activity to instruct. There are so many different training classes available: strength training, dance fitness, aqua class, mind body class, and bodyweight training to name a few.
When it comes to certification, most people who take classes prefer to be taught by someone who is certified. Those who are not certified may sometimes be inexperienced, which can lead to unsafe and inefficient instruction. When looking for a class, look for instructors who are certified by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA). NCAA-accredited agencies have the highest level of teaching and education, and are the most respected in their field. These include:
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
The American Council on Exercise (ACE)
National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)
National Sports and Exercise Trainers Association (NESTA)
International Association of Fitness Professionals (IFPA)
Additionally, there are some associations that are not NCAA certified, but still have good reputations among personal trainers: the International Sports Science Association (ISSA), the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), and The American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA). ).
Many group instructors find that they can (and want) to learn more than one style of fitness. A general certification will qualify most people to lead most cardio classes, but a more specialized certification is recommended to learn more about that particular area. Certification can also vary from place to place; Some gyms only require the general certification, while others are more strict and require additional certification. Sometimes this depends on the liability/insurance disclaimer.
Those interested in participating in a group fitness class should also know that instructors have different styles. All instructors choose their own music and usually design their own exercise routine. However, all classes typically have a warm-up session at the beginning of class and a cool-down routine at the end of class.