How Do I Break into the Fitness Industry?

I’ve had several people come to me for advice on how to break into the fitness industry lately, so I thought now was as good a time as any to discuss it here on the blog.

It’s no secret that I LOVE teaching group fitness – and that I have aspirations to someday make fitness more than just my love, but also my life. If you’ve taken a few moments to check out Who Am I?, you’ll know that this wasn’t always the case. But thanks to a few good instructors and personal trainers, I’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot – and to be fortunate enough to share my passion with others several times a week.

So … thinking becoming a group fitness instructor or personal trainer might be the next logical step for you? Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you’re getting started.

  • Figure out what you really want to do. The certification process is separate for instructors and trainers  – and it isn’t cheap. Remember that while trainers can take on clients with just one certification (though many have more than just one), group fitness often involves multiple certifications (I general certification, as well as any specialty certifications – I am currently certified through Spinning, Keiser, Piloxing and PiYo in addition to my general group exercise).
  • Remember that it’s not over once you’re certified. Most certifications need to be renewed either annually or every other year – and many require a certain number of continuing education hours prior to paying your renewal fee.
  • Take classes and/or work with a trainer. Make yourself visible at the club you hope to work at. From a group fitness perspective, many clubs like to hire their own members (they’ve already seen what you can do – and they already know and love you) – your own instructor is a great place to start for tips and help talking to the right people.

Getting started on a career in fitness may be intimidating – but if you love fitness enough to want to share it, you’re already off to a great start. As I’m sure all instructors would agree – teaching a class is 100 times better than just taking a class (it’s SO MUCH FUN). And think about how great you’ll feel when you have people in your classes or the clients you train telling you how much you’ve changed their lives. There is truly no better feeling in the world.

8 thoughts on “How Do I Break into the Fitness Industry?

  1. Teaching group fitness IS an absolute blast. I used to teach classes, let my certs go for a few years (rough patch in life) but am back at it. I start teaching again next week at my local Y. So excited. Yes, expensive too! You nailed that part. Ouch. But totally worth it. 🙂

  2. Great post. My sister-in-law is a PT. She started with basic certification, but found that many specializations were necessary to further her career. She now specializes in Kettle ball, Pilates and Kick boxing.

  3. Great post!

    I am thinking of getting my PT certification through NASM. I have heard great things and most of the trainers at my gym went through NASM. I want to focus on women’s weight loss and women’s fitness, which luckily NASM also provides certification for! Woot, wooh!! Haha, Do you mind me asking whom you received your certification through? I am always open to other options.

  4. Great post Sarah! It’s like you read my mind. I’ve fallen so in love with group fitness classes that I think it’s something I’d definitely like to pursue in the future…I just feel like I need to be in better shape before I could teach a class, you know what I mean? Where did you start – getting your general group certification first?

    • You definitely should! Nobody ever feels like they are in good enough shape to do it – but if you have the want to do it, you’ll be great 🙂 I actually started with a PiYo certification – they needed an instructor and I had a strong Pilates background, so the group fitness at my gym at the time (still an XSport, but in Illinois) pushed me to get certified. I’d go general group x first, and if you know what you want to do, do the research on it. Talk to your instructors – depending on what you’re looking for, there will be someone to help get you through the process (I’ve had a couple girls get certified in Piloxing, and I’ve helped them with practice and given tips… now I’m just waiting for them to audition so I can get a day off once in a while!!)

  5. Pingback: My Students are Becoming Instructors. I Feel Like a Proud Mama. | Strong-Fit-Beautiful

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