Can Personal Trainers Teach Group Fitness Classes? | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Can Personal Trainers Teach Group Fitness Classes?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Being a certified personal trainer allows you to work in many different fitness-related positions.
  • You need to be passionate about teaching if you want to be a group fitness instructor.
  • There are many types of exercise classes a certified personal trainer can teach.
  • As a group fitness instructor, you’re able to help make positive changes within a large group of people.

From being your own boss to helping people change their lives for the better, there are so many benefits that come with being a personal trainer.

When you make the decision to become a trainer, you also need to decide where you want to work. Do you want to teach one-on-one classes, or would you prefer to teach group classes? Once you’ve made your decision, sign up for a demo of our All-In-One Fitness Business Management Software to train anyone, anywhere in the world!

Making Positive Changes

Probably one of the most rewarding aspects of being a personal trainer is knowing that you can help your clients make positive lifestyle changes.

Think about it: A new client comes to you depressed about their body shape. Their self-esteem has hit rock bottom, and they are ready to give up. With your encouragement, you help them lose weight and build muscle. Their self-confidence skyrockets, and you feel great. Now just imagine if you took your passion for fitness and applied it to the masses?

Working with one client at a time is easy, but if you’re thinking of teaching group classes, there are a few things to consider.

At the gym, you will probably encounter two different sections: one for group fitness and one for those who choose to work out alone or with personal trainers.

While both are important for helping gym members get in shape, both go about it in a completely different way. As a result, many personal trainers have separated themselves and focus on only one of these worlds. In this scenario, there is no right or wrong — only what is most comfortable for you.

Teaching group classes is a brilliant business opportunity, but you need to have the right type of personality and certification. When you decide to teach group fitness sessions, you’re responsible for guiding your group through a choreographed exercise lesson while providing ongoing motivation.

Instructing groups is the perfect position for someone who loves interacting with many people at once and has a high-energy personality. Even as a yoga instructor, you need to relate to your clients both individually and together as one unit. Successfully teaching group classes is something that you perfect over time.

Is Teaching Group Exercise Classes Difficult?

With the appropriate certification, you are able to share your knowledge and passion for a healthy lifestyle with the masses. Working as a group fitness instructor also allows flexibility in your schedule.

Depending on where you work, you are usually busiest early in the morning, late afternoon, or in the evening. Typically, you will spend your day teaching various exercises classes, which require a solid understanding of each movement and how it benefits the group.

It’s your job to lead the class, but you also need to be on the lookout for group members who appear to be struggling. In most classes, you are working out along with the group members. Being attentive and conscious of everyone in your class is the foundation of being a successful group fitness instructor. For the right person, teaching fitness classes can be extremely rewarding, both physically and mentally.

The following classes typically range between 30 to 90 minutes a session:

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Is Being Certified Necessary?

One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching group classes is seeing the positive physical changes that happen when someone attends class regularly. Watching someone reach their fitness goals is a wonderful feeling, especially when the same individual wasn’t able to exercise for more than five minutes without stopping when they first joined.

Having personal trainer certification helps you understand the kinesiology behind the process, which allows you to create classes that produce results.

Let Your Passion Dictate Your Path

As much as you love working out and helping others, you need to be mindful of your own health and physical limitations. Setting a good example and following a healthy lifestyle will energize you for each class. But the most important thing to do listen to your body.

According to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, you can safely teach up to 12 classes per week with no more than two of those being high-impact in any given day.

Above all else, dedicated group fitness instructors do it because they love it, not because they get paid. Being a certified personal trainer doesn’t necessarily make someone the best candidate for teaching large groups. It takes dedication, an outgoing personality, and a realistic outlook. And although it may seem glamorous on television, it takes a lot more than a killer pair of yoga pants to be successful.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I become a personal trainer?

You become a personal trainer by becoming studying for, taking, and passing a personal training certification exam.

Is it hard to become a personal trainer?

The level of difficulty to become a personal trainer depends on which certification you choose to obtain — some certifying agencies are harder to become certified with than others and some may require extra pre-requisites like a college degree.

Can I become a personal trainer without studying for the exam?

It is unlikely that you will pass your personal training exam for any agency if you do not study thoroughly for the exam beforehand.

How do I find clients?

Most personal trainers initially find their clients by working for a gym.

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