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Five Things to Consider when Becoming a Fitness Instructor

  • December 23, 2013
  • By Brittany
Five Things to Consider when Becoming a Fitness Instructor

Hi guys!  I have an awesome guest post today for you from Nellie at Brooklyn Active Mama.  She is one of the warmest and friendliest people I have ever met, plus she is the epitome of the super-mom that can do it all!  I hope you enjoy the post she has for you today!

Hey everyone! I am so excited to be here as a sub while Brittany is off in Australia having a fantastic time! Even though Brittany and I both live in NYC we met for the first time in Portland at Fitbloggin 13! We both share a love for fitness and we both are Zumba instructors. Today I am here to talking about 5 things you may want to consider before becoming a fitness instructor. I wish someone told me these things before I started teaching!

1) You have to teach even when you don’t want to: We have ALL had those days where we are simply too tired to workout.  We may not have slept well the night before, or may even be incredibly sore from the workout the day before–when you commit to teaching a fitness class you have to do it no matter what. You not only have to show up, but you have to be 100% every single time!

2) People may not show up: Unless you are taking over a previously popular class and you are intensely familiar with what the regulars like, there will be a growing period where you have to build your own following. It takes time to build true regulars, so it is best to manage your expectations once you land your dream class. Don’t be surprised if you start out small, word of mouth is powerful, which leads me to my next point…

3) Be your own PR: In order to get the people in your class you have to remind them it’s happening constantly! A really great way to keep the students coming to your class is to make a connection with them. You can exchange email addresses, become Facebook friends, etc. Tell them to bring a friend, word of mouth is fantastic–the more new people come, the more you can make them a believer!

4) You have to keep it fresh: So now that you have got these amazing regulars in your class weekly you have to make sure you don’t bore them.  Doing the same routine can be boring, even for you! I personally try to incorporate 1-2 new songs for Zumba per week, but if I can’t, I’ll throw in a retired song to spice things up. Fitness tends to get very routine, so keeping your moves and music fresh helps!

5) Come prepared… For anything: A few months ago, I was a participant in a Zumba class when a woman behind me collapsed into a seizure. Thank goodness we had medical personnel in class with us to assist. If they hadn’t been there it would have been the sole responsibility of the instructor to come to the rescue. As a fitness instructor you have to make sure that you are prepared for anything and everything as you are the first responder to any situation.

Have you ever thought about becoming a fitness instructor? If you already teach, what other tips would you add to this list?


By Brittany, December 23, 2013
  • The Dose of Reality
    December 24, 2013

    I love Nellie and her blog! How fun to see there here!!
    You know, I never thought about the fact that you have to show up no matter what…feeling tired…not feeling great…it doesn’t matter. You have to be there and enthusiastic no matter what. GAH! I think that first one would make it a no-go for me!! –Lisa

  • Michelle
    December 24, 2013

    These are great tips. I have a good friend who is a fitness instructor and I never really thought about any of these, but she does all of them! She is definitely an awesome PR person and her classes are always full. And I remember an instance where she had to deal with a medical emergency as well. I don’t go to her class, because I don’t belong to that gym, but I always hear rave reviews from people I know that do. Nellie, I can tell from your posts that you are an awesome instructor…you make me feel uplifted!

  • Carla
    December 24, 2013

    Nellie, I needed this before! I struggle with no one coming to my class. I am uber sensitive and I just can’t deal with it. I also think that mentioning that not everyone will really put out the effort in your class is worth mentioning. That can be frustrating as well.

    • Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama
      December 24, 2013

      Thats so true Carla, that can be so frustrating. Here you are working trying to motivate your students and they are giving less than 50%! I have definitely learned to meet them where they are though.

  • Paige@FitNotFad
    December 24, 2013

    Wow these are all really great points! Especially number one…I want to become a personal trainer or yoga instructor at some point but it’s easy to forget that sometimes you reaaaaaally don’t want to work out and you juts have to anyway! Definitely something to consider 🙂

  • Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady
    December 24, 2013

    I love all of your tips! They are so true! Excellent post! You have totally inspired a prompt for a post too! Thanks boo!

  • Cassandre
    December 24, 2013

    i am not a fitness instructor but i would be an absolute wreck if no one shows up. but you know i believe in PR and marketing. if it’s done right, people will come 🙂 your class is so much and keeps me on my toes literally!

  • KalleyC
    December 26, 2013

    First, I love Nellie and her blog! She’s is just awesome! Second, these are great tips for sure. Not only can they be applied to fitness but to a lot of aspects of life. I homeschool and It’s true, you have to change it up a bit so you don’t bore anyone. I need to get to one of her classes, since I’m in NYC too!

  • Terri
    December 27, 2013

    I needed to see this post. I’m in the process of getting my pole dancing and zumba certification. I never ever thought about teaching even when you don’t want to!!! It’s definitely great motivation though.

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