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Wellness > Health

Lessons from a Newbie Fitness Instructor

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Valdosta chapter.

If you’ve ever considered teaching group fitness, here’s seven things I’ve learned as a new fitness instructor you might want to know…

Girl doing push up

1) Teach what you love.

They say the best exercise is the exercise you enjoy doing, and teaching exercise is no different. Find what you enjoy doing and master your form. Cardio class gives you energy for days, but yoga puts you to sleep? HIIT makes you want to crawl in the corner and die, while Pilates leaves you feeling amazing? Listen to those intuitions. The exercise you love doing becomes the exercise you love teaching.

2) It’s OKAY to mess up.

Plan something, and it doesn’t work out? Mess up and forget an exercise mid-class? Fall, slip or stumble? It is OKAY! Your class needs to see your human too. You didn’t become a superhuman when you become a fitness instructor. Laugh it off, nobody is perfect!

3) Someone will always refuse to put there A$$ down during planks.

No matter how many times you announce “Keep your body flat!” “Pull in those glutes!” or “Keep those elbows tight!” some people will refuse corrections for exercises and keep on with their cringe-worthy form.

5) Don’t forget where you started.

Not that long ago, I was pretty out of shape, new to fitness and pretty intimidated by most workouts I’d fly through now. 30-second plank? Death. Minute Plank? No way in hell. When you are working out all the time, it’s easy to forget just how hard things were when you started your journey. Don’t forget some people showing up to your classes may not have worked out in months, years or ever, and some things are going to be REALLY hard for them. Remind your participants that every little thing they do is building a stronger body for tomorrow, and they are awesome for just showing up today.

6) Energy is EVERYTHING.

The class feeds off the instructor’s energy and enthusiasm. As an instructor, your energy sets the atmosphere for the class. Challenge the group to push themselves but never make them feel judged or shamed for going at their own pace. You are their encourager, cheerleader and motivator. Don’t take that lightly. 

7) Modifications Modifications Modifications

People will be coming to classes at all different levels of fitness. Don’t let anyone walk out of the room feeling defeated.

two women working out
Photo by bruce mars from Pexels


Julia Harris

Valdosta '20

Virgo Energy, Fitness Instructor, Kale Enthusiast