Wondering How to Become a Group Exercise Instructor?

In my opinion (and probably many other contributors here on GXunited), teaching group fitness classes is one the best jobs around! We get to connect with clients on a daily basis, help them reach their fitness goals, learn new choreography, create great playlists, and do something we are passionate about day in and day out. Although it is an extremely fun and rewarding job, it still takes a lot of hard work on the front end to make each class a great experience for our participants. We didn’t just step out of the front row of class one day and slap on the microphone. There are a lot of things to consider and steps to take before becoming a group fitness instructor. The craft can take years to master and there is always room for growth and improvement no matter how long you’ve been teaching. In the video below, I discuss the first steps to becoming a group fitness instructor and the things you should know about the job before you jump in.

Step 1:

Take a wide variety of classes and decide which class formats really speak to you.

Step 2:

Talk to group fitness managers and studio owners in your area to find out what formats they need instructors for and what certifications they require.

Step 3:

Find a mentor to help guide you in your early days of teaching and team teach with you if possible.

Step 4:

Understand the prep work that goes into teaching group fitness classes.

  • Obtaining the correct certifications for different formats.
  • Developing class plans.
  • Learning, creating, and practicing choreography.
  • Finding music.
  • Maintaining your CPR, continuing education credits, and liability insurance.
  • Arriving early to set-up for class.
  • Staying late to talk to students.
  • Promoting your classes in the community to develop a following.
Step 5:

Get certified! If you need help finding a certification, check out the amazing certification database on GXUnited.

Step 6:

Start teaching as a substitute or be prepared to teach at non-prime time slots.

Step 7:

Be prepared to practice A LOT in the beginning!

If it is truly your passion, the prep work required to teach a great group fitness class is more than worth it! Still interested in becoming an instructor? Great! I encourage you to follow these steps, find a mentor, and check out the amazing resources available to you through GXUnited!

Lauren George, M.S.

Lauren George, M.S.

Co-Creator, Enhanced Barre Above Program; Owner, Clemson Fitness Company

Lauren has had a passion for movement and fitness since a young age. She began teaching group fitness classes in college where her first love was step aerobics. Since her beginning in step, she has pursued certifications through Power Pilates, Balanced Body Pilates (Reformer level 1-3, & Apparatus level 1-3), Schwinn, YogaFit, Kettlebell AMPD, QiDANCE, Balletone®, and TRX.

After finishing her undergraduate work in Sports Management at Texas A&M University, Lauren completed a master's degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies at The University of North Texas. During her 12 years in the fitness industry, she has had the pleasure of managing the group fitness programs at The Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center, Florida State University, and ToddPilates Fitness in Austin.

In 2015, she combined her love of dance, Pilates, and group fitness to create PulsePointe barre, which has since become part of the Barre Above® program. Lauren George is the co-creator of the enhanced Barre Above® program, a Balletone® Master Trainer, and is the owner of Clemson Fitness Company, in Clemson, SC. Lauren was named Empower! Fusion Education Partner of the Year in 2018.

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MS: Recreation and Leisure Studies
BS: Sport Management

AFAA: Certified Group Fitness Instructor
ACE: Certified Personal Trainer
Balanced Body Pilates Apparatus & Reformer Level 1, 2 & 3
PowerPilates Mat
YogaFit Level 1 & 3

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Wondering How to Become a Group Exercise Instructor?

by Lauren George, M.S. Time to Read: 2 min