Lessons in Teaching Group Fitness

January 22, 2018

It has been about a year and a half now since I first obtained my Group Fitness instruction certification and I’m so happy with my decision to pursue it. There have definitely been some moments where I’ve had to figure out how to juggle it all: working full-time, family life with time for my young kids, training for various races, and teaching! But overall, I’ve been happy with my recent balance.

I am certified in general group fitness which technically means I can teach ‘anything’, however, I personally have preferred to focus on certain areas. I have taught Piyo Live, Barre Above, Cycle Beat, and water aerobics. Piyo Live still remains my favorite by far… partially because I teach it so often! But I love the music, the flow of the classes and perfect balance of movement, and of course, the participants! I have a dedicated group of regulars who are a pleasure to teach, and I love encouraging new participants who come to class.

I think the biggest thing that I deal with is the guilt of balancing home-life with my teaching schedule. Thankfully, the class times that I now take on make for a comfortable balance, and I also consider that much of what I teach makes for excellent cross training with all of the running that I do.

But ultimately, I have to admit, that teaching and the journey to become a fitness instructor gave me so much confidence and has impacted my attitude and outlook in both my professional and personal life. I used to be terrified about public speaking, or just being in front of a room of people. When I decided that I wanted to teach, I realized that I needed to get past that fear. It has definitely taken practice to get comfortable with it, but I have been able to take it into my professional life as well. Now, when I have presentations for work where I start to feel my nerves getting the best of me, I remind myself that I’m able to stand in front of a room of 40 people and teach a class and demonstrate movements… if I can do that, then surely a one hour presentation is doable. It’s also taught me that preparation is key; the more prepared I am and the better I know my content (again, personal and professional), the less nervous I feel about delivering it.

If you’ve been contemplating teaching group fitness and you’re on the fence about getting certified in fitness instruction, I cannot recommend it enough. I think there certainly needs to be more hands on training with new instructors, but you also will only learn by doing. Regularly going to classes, trying different workouts, and learning what I have liked and would change has been so important to keeping up with how I also teach my classes. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for tips from instructors and get their opinion on the type of class you want to teach and their recommendations about pursuing it, or even how to get more practice time in.

What is your favorite group fitness workout? What is a new one that you want to try?

If you are in the Raleigh area and want to try one of my PiYo Live classes, here’s where you can find me (as of January 2018, make sure you check the facility schedule for the most up to date information!):

Tuesdays at 6:30pm at Ladies Fitness and Wellness
Every other Wednesday at 5:30pm at AE Finley YMCA
Saturdays at 9am at AE Finley YMCA

I also teach Barre occasionally based on scheduling availability at the Y. Both of the above mentioned facilities have a great assortment of classes to choose from, so make sure you check them out!

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