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Who Is A Group Exercise Instructor, And What Sort Of Clients Do They Work With?

A group of women working out

The fitness industry has gotten saturated that the traditional approach of running businesses doesn’t work anymore. Personal trainers should always seek new opportunities to scale their business and get more clients. Group fitness training has been around for a while, but this industry still has plenty of growth potential due to its adaptive nature.

Group exercise can never be defined by a specific set of workouts which is why with time, it has evolved to incorporate many workout routines and cater to different demographic. Moreover, from the trainer’s perspective, it’s easier to train multiple people at once than to offer individual training, saving time and increasing the income. Here’s all you need to know about group exercise training.

P.S. If you’re interested in getting a group fitness training certification, check out W.I.T.S. Education’s course.

Who Is A Group Exercise Instructor?

A group exercise instructor is someone who arranges and leads group fitness sessions. Traditionally, only a few fitness classes were conducted in a group setting, such as yoga, aerobics, H.I.I.T. training, and spin classes. These days, however, things have changed.

The scope of group fitness classes has increased a lot, and people can find a group class for almost all types of fitness training, be it aerobics or a class for senior citizens. Group classes were initially designed to encourage friendly competition between the group members so they’ll be more eager to pay attention to their fitness. Moreover, it makes it easier for people to learn tough workouts in group settings.

Can A Personal Trainer Become Group Exercise Instructor?

Because personal trainers need specialized certification to become trainers, they already have the skills to deal with different people. Moreover, personal trainers are trained to offer different workout services to their clients.

However, one major difference between certified personal trainers and group exercise instructors is that personal trainers work one-on-one with the clients while group instructors work in group settings. But with a little training, personal trainers can also become group exercise instructors and expand their career prospects.

Pregnant women working out

What Does A Group Exercise Instructor Do?

Leads Exercise Programs

The main duty of a group exercise instructor is to lead exercise programs. But it doesn’t involve just working out in front of the group. Instead, the trainers must ensure that each member learns all the workouts properly, and if anyone falls behind, the trainer must give them extra attention so they can match the pace of the rest of the group.

Similarly, the exercise instructor must design programs keeping the clients’ level in mind. Trainers often design programs that are too advanced or too low for their group. This can lead to physical injuries, or it can delay their progress.

Creates A Welcoming Environment

Since the instructor works with several people at a time, they need to create a welcoming environment for each member. In a group setting, every individual has a different personality, so it’s the trainer’s job to prevent any conflict and ensure that no member gets discriminated against and that everyone feels welcomed.

There could be some policies trainers could implement regarding this, or they can create an accepting environment where someone doesn’t get outcasted if they fall behind or do better than the others. The policies they choose also depend on the demographic they’re catering to. If they’re training kids, it’ll be harder to impose, so a different approach is recommended. But if they’re training an aerobics class, it’ll be a lot easier to have a general policy.

Monitors Each Member’s Progress

Just because it’s a group setting doesn’t mean the instructor isn’t required to pay individual attention. The clients pay them for their services, which include monitoring and improving their fitness levels. If they remain at the same stage, the clients will leave, and the trainers will get a bad reputation.

Even though it’s difficult to keep an eye on everyone, trainers can periodically evaluate each member’s progress to ensure they don’t fall behind. Sometimes, the trainers even arrange additional sessions with certain clients to help them get better in the sessions. The trainers must do one-on-one sessions with the clients regarding their progress and the next steps in their training.

A youth fitness trainer

Maintains A Safe Environment

In any exercise program, safety is the number one priority. If you as the trainer don’t prioritize the clients’ safety, you’ll not only end up with a terrible reputation, but the clients can get badly hurry as well. This can also lead to legal issues in the future. So always design your classes with safety in mind, especially if you’re doing tough training like strength conditioning or working with a vulnerable group of people like kids or the elderly.

The exercise room shouldn’t have unnecessary clutter or contain equipment that’ll hinder the training, for example, exercise machines. If you want to put machines in the room, ensure the room is big enough to accommodate the machines and the people. Besides, you should always have a first aid kit ready in case of minor accidents.

Improve Their Expertise

A trainer’s job is to help clients reach their ideal fitness level, so the trainers must stay on top of the latest developments in their field. Doing so will allow the trainers to offer advanced services, and their clientele will likely stay loyal to the trainer.

Trainers can do this by hiring more staff trained in the latest fitness trends or getting more certifications for different fitness niches such as senior or youth fitness training. This will allow them to learn about the unique requirements of different demographics to cater to a wider demographic. Over time, the trainers can add more specialization to their services and train different groups.

Focus On A Specific Demographic

Even though improving one’s skill is an important part of group exercise training, trainers must also stick to their original demographic when they’re new. If let’s say, you’re training kids or senior citizens. It’s better to offer different training in the same area than to branch out into new segments. This way, it’ll be easier for you to capture a specific niche and grow your presence. Over time, you’ll be able to create a good reputation for yourself.

This will allow you to branch out into different market segments without risking your current clients leaving. Moreover, this will also allow you to become an expert in a niche, increasing your credibility.

A group aerobics class

Clients Group Exercise Instructor Can Work With

Senior Citizens

Senior fitness is a hot field right now, but the main issue is getting the clients motivated. As we age, our motivational and endurance levels decrease drastically. This is why it’s hard for senior citizens to commit to a proper workout routine.

On the other hand, they need to take part in exercise to stay fit and active. Group exercise sessions are a great way to get senior citizens to take part in workouts. Additionally, the group setting increases their social interaction and motivates them to match their peer’s level. It also makes it easier for fitness trainers to design slightly complex workout programs.

Pregnant Women

In the past, expecting women rarely sought the help of exercise for their pregnancies. But now, it’s part of their routine to exercise a few times a week to have an easier pregnancy. Again, a group setting makes it easier for the women to go through with the workout, and because these workouts aren’t difficult, the trainer doesn’t need to deliver the same routine to each client.

Another great thing is that clients can group their clients in terms of their pregnancy stages, so it’ll be even easier for them to lead the exercise class and have everyone on the same page.

Those Who Want Strength Conditioning

Strength and conditioning is a physical performance exercise that improves form. It’s mostly preferred by professional athletes and people who take athletics as a hobby. The exercises use a mixture of strength training, aerobic conditioning, and a few other exercises to help people achieve results.

While professional athletes require one-on-one training, regular people don’t. group exercise instructors can offer these services in small groups of 4 to 5 people. This way, keeping tabs on all the members while training them will be easier. Moreover, strength conditioning is physically demanding, so having other members in a group will boost the client’s motivation.

Those Who Want To Do Aerobics

Aerobics is one of the most popular workout routines in a group setting. It was popularized in the ’80s when people were seen working out to groovy tunes in the gym. Since then, the trend has never died and is still one of the most popular workout forms.

Despite being so popular, new trainers can still make good earnings from offering aerobic group classes. They can also revamp and mix them with other workout routines such as interval training or yoga to create something unique and new for their clients.

A personal trainer with clients

Different Youth Groups

Youth fitness is another emerging field that’s gaining a lot of attention because of the changed lifestyle of today’s kids. The youth need more physical activities to maintain a healthy growth cycle and body. But that doesn’t mean they can be forced to do heavy workouts because their bodies are still weak, and they can end up with permanent damage if pushed too much.

This is why trainers need special certifications such as the youth fitness course offered by W.I.T.S. Education to properly train the kids. The certification allows you to understand the unique needs of your clients and design group exercise programs for different demographic of kids.

Specific Bootcamps

Bootcamps are another way to utilize your group instructor certification. Bootcamps are short fitness training sessions held over 2 to 3 days, sometimes even for weeks. The main reason for boot camps is to accelerate fitness training and help clients achieve faster results. Besides workouts, boot camps also require the trainer to give dietary recommendations to their clients so they can achieve their goals by the end of the camp.

Medical Fitness Clients

Medical fitness has gotten a lot of attention in the past decade. People recovering from injuries or physical traumas can rely on medical fitness to help them improve their physical health. Medical fitness trainers are usually occupational therapists or other similar medical professionals that have experience dealing with patients. The fitness program involves helping people regain control of their movements or helping them get fit again by keeping their unique medical needs in mind.

In a group setting, it’s easier for the trainer to design workout programs because it allows them to consider each member’s needs. Moreover, the members will be more willing to participate with other similar individuals.

Those Who Want To Do Interval Training

Interval training is a form of H.I.I.T. training that involves intense workouts and a dedicated routine. Interval training requires a lot of motivation on the trainer’s part, which is why it’s better if there are more people with similar fitness goals. It allows the trainers to use the group’s momentum to improve the group’s overall performance.

Moreover, group members also benefit from it and try harder. With interval training, trainers can modify the workouts and mix them with other workouts to keep the members interested and motivated.

A group of women working out

Find The Most In-Demand Fitness Certifications With W.I.T.S. Education

Leading fitness training institute W.I.T.S. Education offers a variety of specialized courses to individuals beginning their careers in the fitness sector. Their programs are created with the shifting demands of the fitness market and the needs of the students in mind. You can enroll in a variety of fitness trainer programs, including those for certified personal trainers, group exercise instructors, youth fitness instructors, and many more.

Additionally, their courses include informative online lectures delivered by 5-star teachers and hands-on, in-person labs emphasizing skill development. Besides that, four of their courses have N.C.C.A. accreditation for written and practical skills and accreditation from the American Council of Education. Students can use this to obtain course credits toward their college degrees. So go to their website, look over their courses, and enroll right away!


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