Ultimate Guide on How to Become a Fitness Instructor

A fitness instructor is one of the most engaging jobs that require a strong mind, athletic body, and sports skills. It’s not only about getting people fit. It’s about helping them develop in many areas of daily life, like being more confident, healthier and in a better mood. There seem to be multiple types of fitness instructors and ways of ‘teaching’ clients. Therefore, before you pick your method, it’s worth paying attention to basic rules. Hopefully, this article will show you where to start and which ideas you should examine first. So, let’s see how to become a fitness instructor!

Who is a fitness instructor?

Let’s try to define what exactly a fitness instructor is. One of the primary responsibilities of this profession is to conduct training and fitness programs individually and in groups.

These actions aim to engage clients to work on themselves in terms of weight loss, health improvement (for the heart and blood circulation), or body improvement, for example, building muscle tissue.

Fitness trainers support the development and implementation of their programs and help maintain the organization’s goals. 

When having a personal training job, they must consider individual approaches to each client. Why?

The answer is simple. We all have different bodies, fitness goals, and, most importantly, physical endurance. Some programs won’t fit some people, but that’s okay. The fitness instructor’s job is to find the best training match for each person. A one-size-fits-all approach is not the case here.

Of course, some programs are performed in groups and put their expectations and goals in advance. 

If this all sounds like your cup of tea, it’s time to find out how to begin with it.

How to become a fitness instructor: GUIDE

Knowing that the fitness business is your thing, it’s only the first step to a fitness career. We have prepared six main points you need to examine before diving into. So, let’s dig deeper.

#1 Decide on what type of fitness instructor you want to be

Of the most popular types of fitness instructors, we can find five and there include:

  • Nutritionist 鈥 the main job is to give the best professional diet advice and customize it to the client’s health and food preferences.
  • Health and wellness coach – this position’s purpose is to advise on changing lifestyle, what a person can follow, and what you should avoid to improve quality of life and health.
  • Group fitness instructor 鈥 this instructor runs exercise programs in groups in a fitness studio. These can include strength training, dance training, and other types of classes.
  • Personal trainer – the duties are extensive, including assessing the client’s fitness and health, preparing individual workout plans, or monitoring the user’s progress.
  • Specialty instructors 鈥 people who struggle with obesity, can benefit from this help and care during weight loss. We can observe 13% obese and 39% overweight worldwide. It’s one factor that influences the demand for a specialty instructor.

#2 Find your niche

The second step is to know your market the best you can. Check where the most significant demand for your profession is. Also, you want to be a fitness trainer, get a personal trainer certification, and start working with people (it doesn鈥檛 have to be a full-time job at the beginning) to check if this niche is a right fit for you. Practice is the only way to find it out.

Moreover, compare the needs and estimate which one will bring you the most profits, satisfaction, and fun! It would be best to look at the market for a given service and where the most people are needed.

#3 Get certifications or a degree

Fitness instructors should have at least a high school diploma. Some also consider candidates with college degrees in exercise science, physical education, kinesiology, or similar education credits.

If you don’t have an undergraduate degree, don’t worry. 

You can try courses that will also provide you with the relevant requirements and personal training certifications. This way, you can help people to achieve their fitness goals.

What’s more, the required types of certification exams are CPR and AED. Thanks to them, you can be sure that your skills are sufficient to provide first aid in a client’s accident.

#4 Gain experience

Along with obtaining fitness instructor certifications and starting work, you gain experience. You slowly learn how to approach individuals or a group of people so that achieving goals is effective.

Pay special attention to your potential clients; what way of work suits them best and where you feel best. In case of complications, look for golden means to find a balance.

#5 Always learn new things

The work of successful trainers is continuous development and strengthening of your motivational skills. You have to remember that to your clients; you are somehow a role model. They turned to you for help, which is why it’s so important how you interact with them to build a relationship.

Don’t stand still, do training and courses, not only those related to fitness but also the approach to the client, healthy eating, and mental health. 

As a trainer, you share essential values with your pupils, so you must convince them that what you say is truthful and safe.

#6 Use software for better management

You may want to open your fitness club as a fitness professional grows. However, the management of such a place is challenging and time-consuming.

That’s why it’s worth investing in software that can make your life easier. Our choice is WodGuru, software made for smaller fitness centers and other businesses related to the sport. 馃弸锔忊嶁檧锔

The Fitness business is one of the specializations that require you to commit and devote a massive amount of your time. Consequently, some of your responsibilities may slip your mind. That鈥檚 why software like this is a huge help.

With WodGuru, you can automate activities like scheduling and entering quick registration via the website. As a result, customers will have an easier task during registration, and your employees will access the essential information. 


馃殌 Free ebook!

Online Membership Sales Booster

This free ebook will allow your gym members to buy and extend their memberships on their own at any time of the day or night, and it will save you a lot of time that you spend on manual invoicing!

*Only for gym owners!

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In addition, you will quickly inform users about a change in the training plan, its cancellation, or the replacement of the trainer. Check out the other WodGuru features!

Moreover, WodGuru offers a mobile application, thanks to which you will always be available and more credible in the eyes of your customers. Therefore, it’s an ideal solution for people who want to replace manual work and save time. Also, with an app you have easy access to your client base.

馃挭馃徎 Learn more about effective club member software and its ten key features

Best practices for fitness instructors

Beyond basic requirements, we need to emphasize things that help you develop a strong relationship with customers and improve your performance.

01 Your body might be your business card

Working in the fitness industry may involve several important aspects, including an athletic body.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be muscular in all cases, but, e.g., in the case of a personal trainer, it’s a perfect showcase and a catch for potential customers. However, don’t forget the importance of approaching people and transferring knowledge during training.

02 Build a relationship with participants

Being a fitness instructor is also being a decent human. It would be best if you treated clients in such a way that you gain their trust.

Otherwise, your club members may not share their concerns with you, which can lead to an unsatisfactory assessment and a possible loss of the client.

Make sure each client is treated individually, and do a detailed interview about his preferences and needs. For example, you can change the batch of exercises, which, according to the client, is inappropriate or too complex.

how to become a fitness instructor example
picture source: unDraw.co

03 Develop your soft skills and be approachable

Developing your soft skills is an integral part of the work of a fitness instructor. It helps to be more successful and increases the number of satisfied customers with fitness classes. Let’s look at five essential features to support you achieve this:

  • Communication – the ability to communicate with the client in a convincing, engaging and, most importantly, compassionate way. Communication isn’t only about expressing your opinion as a fitness instructor but about being able to listen to what the other person wants to say. In this way, the client feels heard and in a safe place. You also need to take care of your online presence and how professional it looks 鈥 you might use tools like PixelCut to adjust your creatives.
  • Passion – being a fitness trainer is not only about getting the job done. There must be something more – passion. It’s where you leave your whole heart behind, so you are better at inspiring and motivating others to keep up their workout routine.
  • Empathy – working in the fitness industry doesn’t mean a positive attitude 24 hours a day. It also means that you consider your client’s well-being and act to improve their well-being by understanding them.
  • Patience – don’t expect everyone to make great progress in a short time. Of course, there will be exceptions, and you will watch the client smoothly jump from one fitness level to the next.

    However, in most cases, it will be a process that requires care and detailed observation. Don’t impose too much pressure on clients. It can affect building the morality of your organization and, most of all, the client’s attitude.
  • Time management –  personal training business means working with many people at the same time. It is a big challenge if you aren’t used to receiving many triggers. Appropriate organization and time management skills will facilitate scheduling, ensuring specific time for each task. Your time management tools, such as WodGuru, are also invaluable.

馃挕 Proper motivation and dedication can bring you more income and, most importantly, the possibility of self-improvement.

04 Motivate others with your attitude

One of your main tasks is to motivate the people you care for. You must ensure that your actions and words don’t backfire.

Remember that someone can be inspired by something different, another way of choosing words. Of course, you cannot subordinate all your behavior to the client; you need to find balance.

A negative attitude spreads negative thoughts but works the same way with positive feelings. So use it and transfer the motivation to your customers.

here is how to become a fitness instructor
picture source: unDraw.co

05 Make sure participants are safe and healthy

There is nothing more dangerous than too demanding a fitness instructor. Before starting a training series, you should check the client’s health.

Additionally, any exercises that require special devices or accessories should be adapted to the client’s weight and current capabilities. If you set up an overly demanding training plan for a client, they’ll likely get discouraged.

However, if you establish training that doesn’t offer much for an advanced athlete, you may face criticism and dissatisfaction.

馃挕 Did you know that using WodGuru you can also be a virtual fitness instructor?

Become a fitness instructor – summing up 

The work of a fitness instructor seems complicated at first glance. However, the profession seems more straightforward with the right approach and meeting a few requirements.

The key is passion, commitment, continuous training sessions in this field, and a proper tool like WodGuru to manage your time and schedule.

By combining all of them, you can provide an amazing experience for your future trainees!

In the end, fitness requires motivation that can unite people and motivate them to achieve goals. And if you want your fitness participants to track their progress and be updated with your fitness classes, check out WodGuru and sign up for free. 

How to become a fitness instructor FAQ

Is it worth it to workout with a fitness instructor?

A big yes! A fitness instructor helps to set goals and provides motivation and awareness of what is needed the most. Together with a fitness instructor, you can focus on yourself, assess your health, improve your quality of life and ultimately reduce healthcare costs.

What’s the difference between a fitness instructor and a personal trainer?

One of the biggest differences between a fitness instructor and a personal trainer is that the former is accountable to the entire gym community (for example they conduct exercise classes) and the personal trainer to individual clients.

It is also estimated that the salaries of personal trainers may be slightly higher than fitness instructors.

What are fitness instructor responsibilities?

Responsibilities may include customer service, registering gym membership, and guiding potential customers. Fitness instructors and fitness trainers organize and implement fitness programs for groups and also individuals.

Additionally, they might do administrative and marketing tasks, such as social media management.

What should a fitness instructor know?

It would be best if you had sufficient knowledge of the human body and muscles to perform well as a fitness instructor. Additionally, tracking trends and the market is necessary to run a well-functioning business. Finally, don’t forget about the psychological aspects, while exercising, clients train both the body and the mind.

What to do to be a better fitness instructor?

Keep developing. Look for new solutions, fitness certifications, training, and motivating guides to improve your work. Take care of your soft skills that help maintain a good relationship with your client.

Stay on top of trends and surprise your customers with new opportunities and training programs.

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