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Follow This Student’s Journey to Fitness Instructor

Summer Jones is the true embodiment of motivation, especially when it comes to fitness. She’s a fitness instructor at a place called CAMP in Tampa, Florida. She teaches multiple classes a day, while also in her master’s program and being a teaching assistant at the University of South Florida (USF). Talk about a full schedule! Fitness is something that Summer started as her own journey, but she began sharing her passion with others through teaching classes while she was in high school. Summer continues to motivate others through her lively and inspirational teaching methods, bringing motivation and joy into her client’s everyday lives!

HerCampus (HC): What inspired you to become a fitness instructor and how did you start that journey?

Summer Jones (SJ): I started taking Pure Barre classes my junior year of high school and absolutely fell in love with the classes and my instructors. I knew from my very first class that I wanted to be just like them one day. I started by taking as many classes as I could, and then when I began college, I completed a group fitness instructor course and got ACE certified to teach group fitness classes. From there, I continued to get more certifications and kept teaching as much as possible! That’s how I got to where I am today!

HC: What types of fitness classes do you teach and where?

SJ: Currently, I teach Cycle, Heated full, Upper Body, Lower Body and Pilates classes. I teach at a studio in South Tampa called CAMP!

HC: How do you stay motivated while also motivating others to work out each day?

SJ: Sometimes it’s difficult, especially if I have a very busy week. The thing that motivates me the most is knowing I get to provide an oasis for other busy people for a short period of time each day! If they can take the time to show up for me, I will show up just as hard for them. 

HC: What is something you have gained from your experience as an instructor?

SJ: I have gained such an incredible community in South Tampa from my fitness instructor journey! I’ve been at quite a few different studios, ranging from the campus recreation center at USF to CAMP. Everyone I have met and created a bond with makes the experience even better. Fun fact, one of my clients actually helped me get my full-time position post-graduation in accounting!

HC: How do you balance teaching your workout classes with the other aspects of your life?

SJ: I work two other jobs right now as well as finishing up my master’s program. Teaching classes almost feels more like a break from real life rather than another job, which is a huge plus! I spend a lot of time in the car going from place to place, so I usually use that time to find new music to use in the playlists I create for my classes. Whenever I have downtime, I plan out my classes. Taking workout classes from other instructors also helps inspire me to try new moves in my own classes.

HC: Do you have any other advice for someone looking to enter the fitness or instructing world?

SJ: I think my biggest piece of advice for anyone wanting to become an instructor is to be aware of all the components that come with teaching an exercise class. It’s not just about the workout, but about the attitude you have, the advice you can give and the overall vibe you can create for people in one short hour and for anyone looking to work out more or take group fitness classes, my biggest advice is to not take it super seriously! The goal is to have fun and to get your mind off all the other things going on in your life. I truly believe that my mental health has improved just as much as my physical health from teaching and taking fitness classes.

Summer is a true inspiration, from teaching workout classes to getting her master’s degree in accounting, she truly does it all. Her dedication and positive attitude can be seen from the minute you step into her workout class!

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Catherine Leavy is a junior at Florida State University, studying Editing, Writing and Media. For Catherine, writing is not only a passion but a form of creative expression. She plans to work in editing and publishing after graduating from Florida State.
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