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E: Becoming a Group Fitness Instructor & Pumpkin Seeds

Posted Oct 31 2010 4:00am

Hello and HAPPY HALLOWEEN! And a very special Happy Birthday to my awesome Daddy! We are going out to celebrate this morning at brunch- can’t wait.

Since I started this blog, one of the questions I get most often is:  How can I get certified to teach group fitness classes? I wanted to share my experiences/what worked for me.

Christmas 2009 009

(sweaty mess during a Body Attack Launch)

Why did I want to become an instructor? I have been taking group fitness classes for a very long time! My Mom has always been big into group fitness and encouraged my sister and I to be active. When we lived near San Francisco, our gym offered group fitness kids classes and my sister and I would go every now and again. I still remember doing our first “number” to Cold Hearted Snake. Anyways, these first experiences taught me to love group fitness and I have been addicted ever since.

P1080332 (Body Step launch)

How did I start out? When I lived in MD, the head group fitness instructor at my gym asked if I would be interested in training to become an instructor and, of course, I jumped at the opportunity. I started with Turbo Kick & hip hop and then moved onto the Les Mills programs . I am now certified in and teach Body Step, Attack and Pump.

(group shot from another Body Step launch)

How do you get certified? Certification requirements depend on upon the gym you're teaching at. I would recommend that you talk to whoever the group fitness manager is at your gym and find out what their requirements are. Most gyms require you to be CPR certified. Some also require first aid training. If you're teaching free style classes, they usually require you to have general group fitness certification which you gain through either an online/study at home or in class program. You can check out ACE , AFAA , and AFPA for more information (there are tons of other associations that offer this type of certification as well, but these three are more well known).

(Body Pump)

Les Mills classes require you go through a full weekend certification for EACH of their programs. When you are done with the weekend, you receive one of three grades (pass, pass withheld, or re-sit). Given you get a pass or pass withheld, you will go back to your gym and team teach with other already certified instructors for a given period of time. Then you have to submit a video of you teaching a full class and then you get another score (which either requires you to continue to team teach, resubmit your video, or allows you to teach fully on your own). My gym does not require general group fitness certification if you teach Les Mills because their requirements are so high.


(Red, White & Blue Body Attack launch)

Teaching is SO much fun! But it is A LOT of work (especially when you're first starting out). If you're interested in trying it out, I think you should definitely give it a go! Again, this is just general information that worked for me. Let me know what questions you have!

As a side note- how has your weekend been? Ours has been pretty good. Josh is a little sick, so we’ve mostly been hanging around the house. Luckily, this has allowed me to get a lot of cooking/baking & cleaning/errands in. We finally carved our pumpkins (they are pretty sad looking- Josh and I are not artistic ;)). The best part of pumpkin carving is cooking up the seeds. I rinsed & dried mine, covered them in a little olive oil, chili powder and a pinch of salt and baked them at 250 degrees for one hour:

pumseeds 002  
Party time tonight! Details to come :).

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