What to Teach in Group Exercise

Andrew Props | 31 Jul 2020

So, you just got your certification to teach group exercise classes. Great! Now the question is, what do you want to teach? This is probably one of the simplest, but most difficult questions to answer. You have been training in the gym for years, you know what you are doing, but you don’t know what to teach in a class setting. That’s okay, this article will help you narrow it down and figure out what you want to teach, or don’t want to teach.

The first question is, what are you certified in? Are you certified as a group exercise instructor? An indoor cycling instructor? Once you know what you can teach, it is easier to move on to what you want to teach. You always need to teach something you are certified to teach and know what you are doing. Second, what demographic do you want to target? Do you want to target everybody? Athletes? Older adults? Decide these two things first and it will make your search for what you want to teach much easier.

If you want to work with everybody or the general population, you need to have a class that will target that demographic. Having a yoga or bootcamp class will target a limited population. You need to think, what kind of class targets everybody? A strength class, core class, cardio class or a combination of these will target the general population. But, in classes that are targeted to the general population, you need to be able to come up with modifications on the fly, so make sure you are comfortable with that.

Classes for the older population are going to be less intense and slower paced than other classes. You have to provide a more helpful type of environment. And be ready to make modifications to certain exercises - many people are training around different conditions and you need to be mindful of that.

Now you need to find what you are passionate about. Do you enjoy strength training and think you can answer any question thrown your way? Then maybe you should think about teaching a strength class or cross training class. Do you really enjoy the mind/body aspect? Then think about teaching yoga or Pilates. Are you an avid cycler? Teach an indoor cycling class. Do you enjoy doing all of these things? Then teach a class that combines different elements of fitness. The possibilities are endless.

Now we can cover a few different types of classes and what they are so you can decide if that is something you like or something you really don’t. That’s part of the process too, figuring out what you don’t want to teach as well.

Zumba is a type of exercise that involves dancing to fast tempo music. The first step to becoming a Zumba instructor is to attend a Zumba training course. You need to be 18 years old and having a background in fitness is preferred.

Yoga and Pilates are both methods of exercise that are low impact. They mainly focus on flexibility, muscular strength and muscular endurance movements. These classes contain more of the mind-body connection than most other strength classes. Both of these classes also require a specialty certification.

Bootcamp, cross training and strength classes are more high intensity. Be ready to provide an upbeat atmosphere. These types of classes will spotlight more advanced exercises and movement which will require a certain amount of cueing. Make sure you are able to spot and correct form in an upbeat class setting to make sure your clients are safe.