HOW TO BECOME A FITNESS INSTRUCTOR
In order to clearly understand whether this is your field of activity, do you have an idea how to become a good instructor in yoga, fitness or how to become a barre instructor try to answer the following questions:
1. How physically fit are you?
This question is ridiculous only at first glance. In this article, we consider your professional path with a long-term goal. The group program instructor is busy with physical exercises for several hours a day. The instructor in the gym physically gets tired less, but psychological fatigue arises from long, close communication with the people to whom he provides services. At the same time, one and the other are obliged to radiate positive, regardless of mood and well-being. Today, as a hobby, such a load brings you pleasure, but will it be so in 5 or 10 years? Try to evaluate your health status and your abilities. And honestly answer yourself to this question. Especially if you are not already 20-25 years old. Or behind the champion's past with almost inevitable serious injuries ... In the end,
It is with endurance, as well as some psychological aspects, that the employer’s desire to hire young instructors, usually not older than 30-35 years, is connected.
2. Are you ready to provide services?
Fitness is a service industry. One of the first places of the true reasons for a customer buying a club card is his acute need for communication and attention. So, the instructor must be initially sociable (ready to provide services with pleasure ), sociable, non-conflict, able to easily find a common language with strangers. Often the instructor has to perform the functions of a personal psychologist, for example, to listen to the problems of the client, which is actually not easy. If you love fitness, but at the same time versatile and constant communication does not bring you pleasure, you are a deep introvert and do not intend to break yourself, it is better to think about a different professional path.
These two conditions for success in the position of fitness instructor are due to nature and are little susceptible to correction. Further, we will talk about what can and should be acquired on the way of a professional instructor CURRENTLY .
3. Is your appearance sporty and fit?
Meet by clothes - everyone knows. It is unlikely that an instructor who could not get himself in proper physical shape will be successful with clients. Muscle hypertrophy is not necessary at all. Your figure should be smart, slender, it is desirable to represent the ideal that a client can achieve by working with such an instructor.
4. Does the “seller" live in you?
Most of the salary of a personal trainer is a percentage of staff sold. Part (very small) will provide you with their minimum, included in the club card. And you will have to earn on the main “piece of the pie”: independently decide the “rebus” about the real motivation of the client and apply active sales skills. Unfortunately, many novice instructors are burdened by this moment, and sometimes it is this reason that leaves our industry. "I can not impose myself!" - The usual answers of such failed specialists. Who did not bother to find out that sales are nothing more than a banal technology with its secrets, when mastered, and, of course, if desired, you can become an instructor with a decent salary.
We came to a very important, often defining condition for success in an instructor career -
5. Are you ready to receive a specialized education, to constantly improve?
The minimum with which instructors are hired today is licensed courses. Such as in the FPA.
Higher (secondary special) specialized education is often made a condition for the admission of an instructor to elite clubs. In fact, today fitness instructors practically DO NOT train them. Fitness instructor and trainer - skier, gymnast, physical education teacher at school, etc. - DIFFERENT specialties. To work in the fitness club you need SPECIAL knowledge and skills. So, in reality, this education does not have the value that many employers attach.
Some fitness clubs still give preference to former athletes, indicating in the requirements for applicants: "the sports title is not lower than the CCM." The logic, at first glance, is clear: he has achieved a lot - he will teach others. But not every athlete can understand the motivation of an ordinary club client, be able to explain to him the intricacies of the training process, and competently answer numerous questions. A coach and an athlete are different goals, different professions! Adjacent, but still different. The trend of a growing separation of the fitness industry and sports from each other is justified.
Until recently, it was not just an “instructor” - practically a guru - that they considered a seasoned pitching, who was able to build muscle mass for himself and a couple of comrades. Today, clubs come not only for the size of triceps - rather, not even for that. For health. For the beauty of forms, which is far from always expressed by hypertrophied muscles. For communication and attention. And all this instructor MUST provide in order to be a specialist in demand.
Among the clients there are many girls who came for a flat tummy and a flexible camp. Office staff suffering from physical inactivity and with a bunch of health abnormalities. Future mothers reached out. During the day, you can meet teenagers and older clients in clubs. Large clubs have baby cards available ...
And EVERY client needs an individual approach! A training program written once for everyone (or for a group of clients) is atavism! After all, the club (and the instructor in the first place) is responsible for the safety of training, at least. Ideally, for their result. This means that a quality education is a necessary element of a career as a fitness instructor.
For competent work with a huge number of DIFFERENT clients, you need deep, versatile knowledge in the methods of fitness training, client psychology, and sales skills. Today, getting them is no longer a problem. At least in the capitals. The fitness education market is saturated with a variety of narrow thematic seminars, for example, .
I would like to separately mention former professional athletes who have completed a career on this path and are looking for work in a related industry. There are many such in fitness: former skiers, swimmers, gymnasts ... An undoubted advantage of such specialists is often the presence of a sports education, which means knowledge of the anatomy, physiology of man. An important point is to be able to switch from the nuances of training with athletes to working with regular fitness club clients. They usually have much less motivation to achieve goals and a variety of deviations in health. The automatic transfer of experience from sports to fitness can be not only not productive, but also dangerous to the health of customers. Therefore, in this case, specialized instructor courses are required.
Attitude towards education is a litmus test of a person’s success in the present and future. Only the willingness to conquer more and more peaks, to delve deeper into professional skill, investing in your education material and temporary resources can make a pro from a beginner. And then - after years. If someone hopes that in fitness there is enough of their own experience, but you can earn money by quietly sitting out the duty hours in the simulator, you are deeply mistaken.
To achieve maximum client results, sooner or later the instructor becomes closely within the framework of one direction, for example, strength training. Or stretching. Or saykla. Nevertheless, each of them solves a limited range of problems. I would like to replace all such “or” with “and”, have in my luggage at least several directions with a good theoretical base and honed in practice. Otherwise, the client goes to other trainers - and money from staff is lost. Yes, and the client himself wants variety: today he is attracted only by simulators, and tomorrow he wants to try himself in something else. And one must be prepared for such a turn in advance. Therefore, good instructors are constantly learning new techniques and related disciplines: functional training, massage, various types of stretching and relaxation ...
The most prepared and experienced become the so-called universal instructorswho are ready to solve almost any client’s tasks, not only in a fitness club, but also at home or in the office, with a minimum set of equipment. They can provide the services of a trainer, and a massage therapist, and a nutritionist, and an exercise therapy specialist ... Ideally, they have a higher specialized (or medical) education and a huge range of specialized programs on narrow training problems. There are few such generalists, but the demand for them is constantly growing. Their income is comparable (and sometimes higher) with the income of top managers of a fitness club. There were agencies recruiting such specialists. They are, in the full sense, personal trainers. They are valued, passed on recommendation, which is the highest assessment of professional excellence.
Most clubs use a category system to separate instructors from their experience and education. And the client pays for personnel according to the category of instructor, and the specialist himself receives a salary based on his category. The instructor usually receives one category or another based on the results of certification (approximately once a year). In our opinion, this is an honest system of remuneration and staff appraisal: you have received a new education, you are improving yourself and your salary is growing accordingly.
Within the framework of our Association, the certification of gym instructors has been developed with the assignment of the titles , which gives their owners additional weight when assessed by employers and customers.
It should be noted that training is not always paid for by the instructor himself. Network clubs almost always provide employees with corporate training, incl. in order to bring the entire instructor building to the common standards of the company. Many clubs are ready to train their specialists in third-party educational companies partially or even completely.
6. Are you ready for work in the evening hours and weekends?
Of course, this is not such an important factor in choosing a profession as the previous ones. But it is worth presenting a future work schedule. It may be called “free,” but you need to be prepared for the fact that the lion's share of the work falls all the same in the evening hours, when the rest, as a rule, is already finishing work. There is a lot of work at the weekend too. Accordingly, it will be more difficult to choose the time for communication with relatives and friends living in the five-day regime from 9 to 18.
If you could answer in the affirmative to all 6 questions, welcome to one of the most demanded professions for today - to help people stay healthy, improve their quality of life and achieve their goals.
Instructor of aerobics / group programs
The most mobile and bright division of the club is group programs. So different that they are assigned to the same training group only because of the format - customers are engaged in a group.
The most in demand clubs today are the direction of "mind & body" (yoga, Pilates); functional training; dance directions.
The requirements for instructors in group programs are for the most part the same as for simulators. In addition, it is necessary to note the presence of good motor skills, coordination, musicality (for so many directions) and - necessarily - charisma. The instructor must be able to ignite, transfer energy, keep the attention and interest of the group, while seeing each of its participants. For this, of course, we need natural data. Excitement, courage or given to a person from God, or not.
The fact that you yourself have been successfully practicing yoga for a long time, doing dancing or kickboxing, etc., does not guarantee that you will become an excellent instructor. Just like not every athlete (even a champion) can become a coach. This NEEDS to learn.
We recommend starting a career in this area up to a maximum of 30 years: too much will need to be mastered, the rhythm of work is physically intense enough, it will be difficult to compete with younger colleagues.
Group members come mainly in two ways - from club customers or from related fields: physical education teachers, dance groups, rhythmic gymnastics, circus art, etc.
Certified physical education teachers (especially with work experience) have every chance of becoming successful instructors, as They have a theoretical base and methodology for delivering information, in other words, they are able to explain. And for a fitness instructor, this is an important quality.
If you are a beginner in the field of professional physically active activities, we advise you to start by getting the so-called base: a course with the basics of anatomy, human physiology, teaching methods in groups. You can get such knowledge and skills in our course . This is a kind of letter for those who want to learn how to write novels. Most of the areas that you will subsequently deal with will be mastered by you much sooner. In addition, usually in every club there is at least one universal instructor who conducts these three types of classes, i.e. After the base, finding a job will not be difficult. (Not to be confused with a universal instructor who owns numerous instructor and related programs, among which there is certainly a strength training. They were discussed in the previous article).
At the end of the training, it makes sense to stay at a small club for internships, where a novice will be happy to take, albeit for a small salary. Here it is - the field of your new activity: hone your group management skills, motivate clients, sell personal training, try new directions, try on what exactly corresponds to your inner state and desire. It is very important for the instructor to burn his work (but not to burn out!).
And only after receiving this new experience, go to conquer new peaks - to auditions in larger and more famous clubs. Kits are almost constant.
If you came to fitness from dance groups and plan to conduct dance directions in the club, basic knowledge is needed choreographic (we don’t touch on the legal side of the issue). You need to adapt to the ability to work with “zero” clients, for whom dance is just a form of leisure for an hour, one of many. Be prepared for differences in methodology, setting hands, feet. Such knowledge can be obtained at relevant seminars of training companies.
New directions are emerging in the West, while training there remains more diverse. Therefore, the most active fitness enthusiasts go to conventions and seminars abroad, the most visited are held in Italy and Germany. Fitness conventions are held in our country: in Moscow (in the framework of MIOFF - in the fall, the International Festival of Physical Culture and Sports "Our choice is a healthy lifestyle!" - in the spring) and in the regions. The format of the convention is designed to more likely demonstrate new types of activities, but does not provide a detailed methodology for their conduct.
Fitness Academy, Wellness Academy, Fitness School, Fitness Express, Pilates Institute ... In many cases, training is paid - in full or in part - by the club if it is interested in developing its instructor. In recent years, a lot of high-quality video material has appeared: training programs, music.
Tours have long been popular in which relaxation is combined with teaching your favorite direction: for example, yoga in India, Egypt, Tunisia, dance destinations in Italy, etc.
Thus, group instructors have many opportunities for professional growth. It would be a desire.
Most often, group instructors go in two ways:
- Breadth. The instructor deeply masters one (eg Belly Dance, squash, boxing in a fitness club) or two directions (eg, yoga + Pilates or martial arts). He is a recognized authority in these areas and conducts these classes in several clubs. He sells good personalized fans to his fans.
- Inland. The instructor works qualitatively in 1-2 clubs, while he leads many areas (strength + step + functional training + stretching). In this case, the advantage is the use of knowledge of a variety of techniques in personal training, which allows you to more effectively solve the problems of a particular client.
Which path you choose, you decide, each of them has the right to exist.
I want to say separately about the career of yoga instructors. Passion for yoga is now firmly in fashion, and it is on the schedule of almost any club. Professional yoga schools are down on maintaining this direction in fitness clubs - and for good reason. In order to have the right to teach yoga, one must practice it for years, and the techniques and approaches in its various schools differ very seriously. In fitness clubs, yoga practice focuses solely on body development. The most commonly used are lightweight versions of hatha yoga or Iyengar yoga.
For a yoga instructor in a fitness club, you need your own, long-term (!) Practice and instructor (or medical) education. Minimum - courses, and then deepening in narrow issues: yoga in a weight loss program, with osteochondrosis, for pregnant women, etc. Education is necessary in order to understand the physiological processes in the body when performing asanas, to correctly and intelligibly convey information to the client. To expand opportunities for rehabilitation of clients, many yoga teachers learn Pilates - and vice versa.