How to Get a Fitness Instructor Certification


If you love working out and would like to motivate others to reach their fitness goals, becoming a group fitness instructor may be the perfect way to earn extra money. Fitness instructors work for private gyms and organizations like the YMCA.

  • Participate in as many group fitness classes as possible to learn different teaching styles and techniques. Doing so will also help you figure out which fitness classes you are most interested in. Examples include aerobics, spinning, cardio kickboxing and body sculpting.

  • Pursue your CPR certification. Check with your local YMCA, Red Cross or American Heart Association to see if they offer classes.

  • Pursue fitness instructor training through a nationally recognized fitness association. The two most popular associations are the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE). If you want to teach at a particular gym, talk to the group fitness manager to see which certification she prefers.

  • Co-teach some fitness classes with a more experienced group fitness instructor, after receiving your certification, to gain experience and confidence.

  • Once you become more experienced as a certified fitness instructor, you might want to pursue advanced training in the class formats you enjoy most. You may also need to take continuing education courses to keep your fitness certification current.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you would like to become a yoga instructor, you'll need to pursue certification through a Yoga Alliance training program. You can search for programs in your area at

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