A growing number of personal trainers are expanding there scope and teaching group fitness classes to supplement income and help keep group fitness programs running while instructors are out. I recently witness a nail biting tragedy where a personal trainer was covering a sculpting class a argument broke out in the middle of the class, there were people in the back of the room doing there own thing, no cueing, modifications, or class instruction for that matter. We all know that personal trainers are not group fitness instructors… But, would you let a personal trainer teach classes if you did not have an instructor?
Depending on the personality of the trainer it could work, but usually not because of the different skill sets. I was certified as a personal trainer first and then moved to group fitness. I worked at a gym where there was a group exercise studio and then a small group personal training studio where the personal trainers taught small classes like Kickboxing, core, TRX, etc.
By and large, I noticed that the trainers were not that effective as group instructors. On of the hardest things for me was when I was in the kickboxing class and couldn’t hear the trainer because his back was toward me and the music was so loud. I understand they didn’t have a mic, but these are small things that trainers don’t learn until they have to or care to.
Ultimately, if it’s my space, I would require the certification and/or relevant experience. And, of course, an audition. We have to audition for our jobs and a PT shouldn’t be covering a group class without the director really knowing if they have the skills to make that happen.