Get Your Own Group Fitness Class

LifeTimeFitness-JennyFordFunny how my own group fitness class didn’t fall out of the sky after I got my group fitness certification.  It was a bit surprising actually. Wasn’t getting certified supposed to be the hard part? I diligently started dropping my resume to different fitness facilities.  This route was not super effective.  What did work was continually talking with fitness instructors and the Group Fitness Director at the gym I was a member of, reminding them I was looking to take on some classes.

A girl in my neighborhood was looking for a water aerobics instructor at the swimming pool she managed.  I had never taught water aerobics, nor did I really know much about the format.  She offered me the position, and I told her I’d think about it.

I did a lot of research, started attending water aerobics classes, and got my hands on every type of book ever written about water aerobics.  I studied a ton, practiced, and put a class together.  I decided that any teaching experience was better than none.  I accepted the class — and as a bonus my boys got free swim lessons!

Don’t be afraid to take on classes that you don’t necessarily have a huge passion for.  By taking on a water aerobics class, I got practical experience, and found I actually enjoyed teaching the format.  Funny thing–you become more valuable as an instructor when you are qualified to teach more than one or two formats, AND have experience teaching them.

There are many different routes to getting hired as a fitness instructor, but boy oh boy, if a gym is in a real pinch and you have your certification, you could be hired on the spot!  It’s ALL about timing!  One day I got a call from an instructor who said she knew of a step class that was suddenly available.  My diligence paid off! The instructor had to walk away from the class for personal issues, which happens more than you think.  The Group Fitness Director already knew me, and I went right in and got hired.  BAM!!!  Just like that, I was teaching another class.

I continued dropping my resume to gyms, but this time around I had more experience, and could teach a number of formats.  I got a call to come in for an audition at a top-notch facility who needed a water aerobics instructor, immediately!  (I’ve since learned that there can be a lot of turnover in Aqua Departments.)  After my audition, I was offered the class.

Be dilligent with networking, and communicate with fitness professionals A LOT!  Don’t let up!  It takes plenty of endurance to teach a fitness class–just use that same diligence and endurance to get yourself a class.

(Now that you know how to get yourself a fitness class, read the 5 Skills it Takes to Be a Superstar Instructor.)

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Below you’ll find my Latin Zoom workout. It was featured at Shape.com. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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