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Certification Steps To Become A Group Exercise Instructor

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Certification Steps To Become A Group Exercise Instructor

Group exercise classes are extremely popular and effective. They provide motivation, support, and accountability. Many people choose to do group exercise classes in order to meet new people and build a community while staying fit and active in a fun environment. The best part about group exercise classes is that people of all levels can participate in a safe and effective fitness program. In addition, the instructor can teach multiple people at one time and optimize the volume of clients.

Some of the many examples of group classes one can teach are:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Tai Chi
  • CrossFit
  • Boot Camp
  • Sports Conditioning and Group Strength Classes
  • Kickboxing
  • Step Aerobics
  • Zumba and other Dance-type classes
  • Spinning
  • TRX
  • Equipment-based classes such as Kettlebells

Multiple programs are available to become certified as a Group Exercise Instructor. Here are a few of the programs and the requirements you need to complete to become certified:

  1. Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA): Whether you decide to teach free-form and/or pre-choreographed fitness programs, the AFAA offers a fully-accredited, globally recognized, gold standard certification course. Requirements include:
    1. CPR and AED certification
    2. 1-3 months of pre-study materials
    3. One-day certification review and practicum workshop (you also have the option to take the course online)
    4. Exam review and voucher
    5. Written and practical certification exam
    6. Prior group exercise experience is recommended but not required

 

  1. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM): ACSM provides world recognized gold standard for certification. Requirements include:
    1. CPR and AED certification
    2. Pre-study materials including a demonstration video
    3. Pre-workshop 2-hour webinar
    4. 2-day workshop
    5. Exam review and voucher
    6. Written and practical certification exam

 

  1. American Council on Exercise (ACE): ACE group fitness instructor certification is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and approved for use in other countries. Requirements include:
    1. CPR and AED certification
    2. Pre-study materials including group fitness instructor manual
    3. Exam review and voucher
    4. Complete package of study materials
    5. Written and practical certification exam
    6. Recommended to have previous experience and a mentor in your fitness class of choice
  2. American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA): Nationally and internationally recognized group fitness instructor certification. Requirements include:
    1. CPR and AED certification
    2. Pre-study materials including books and instructional DVD
    3. Exam review and voucher
    4. Complete package of study materials
    5. Written and practical certification exam
  3. National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA): NETA provides the only NCCA accredited group exercise certification that includes hands-on training according to the website. Requirements include:
    1. CPR and AED certification
    2. 1 month or more of pre-study materials
    3. 1-day exam preparation workshop
    4. Exam review and voucher
    5. Written and practical certification exam

Remember: after you get certified, practice makes perfect. Continue to get as much experience as you can and work on your communication skills when teaching in front of the class. Remain confident, positive, and flexible so you can relate to your clients and help them succeed with their fitness goals. Most of all, have fun!

Sarah Koszyk is the founder of Family. Food. Fiesta. A family-based wellness program and recipe blog where she also conducts cooking videos with kids and provides families with healthy living tips. She is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach where she specializes in sports nutrition and adult and pediatric weight management. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. Sarah is also in charge of hiring employees and contractors.

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