How Can You Become a Fitness Instructor?


Quick Answer

Become a fitness instructor by having a minimum of a high school diploma, becoming certified, and working with experienced instructors before setting out alone. Many employers want instructors who have degrees in a field such as exercise science, so you help your chances of employment if you go that route.

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Full Answer

Many instructors get associate or bachelor's degrees in fields such as kinesiology, physical education and exercise science. They study nutrition, group fitness and exercise techniques. Many aspiring instructors take classes to become certified and work with experienced instructors before they work with clients by themselves.

Most fitness instructors need at least CPR certification, and while no specific classes and training are required to take a certification exam, candidates have books, CDs and workshops, among other techniques, to help them prepare. All certification exams have a written component, and some also have practical components. The exams gauge a person's grasp of exercise methods, human physiology and ability to assess clients' levels of fitness, among other things.

Becoming a fitness instructor in specific fields such as yoga can require more instruction. For example, Yoga Alliance, as of 2015, mandates at least 200 training hours. Instructors for group classes train, become certified, and try out for positions. Advanced certification in fields such as training athletes is available and requires at least an associate degree.

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