i currently teach Zumba in Canada. I discovered that I love teaching fitness classes and would like to add more class types under my belt.
I do not work for a gym and I run my own classes. I am not interested in being employed by a gym. I would just like to offered my existing students other classes. I’m wondering if you would recommend getting a group fitness certification?
Thanks in advance for your opinions!
A top of the line recognized group exercise certification will allow you to branch out in a number of ways. With that you can offer a range of cardio, or cardio and strength classes.
You could get certified in a dozen branded styles, but there are costs to all of this…. the cost of the original training, as well as of yearly upping your rights to use that branded style, and often more for buying the music for that style, not to mention sometimes there is equipment to buy as well. Having ACE or ACSM, or something like that allows you to pay one fee, and offer lots of styles. And if you already have a base of students they are likely to try your new offerings, rather than needing to have the latest thing that may not be what people want next year.
As someone once told me ‘dig deep, not wide’.
One other suggestion I would make, is if you can afford to do so, attend one of the big IDEA conventions. In one place you will have the opportunity to try a huge range of types of classes, and from some of the best teachers in the world. This can help you to have a sense of what types of things really call to you.
Hello Marianna Vakopoulos,
Yes, I would definitely get a group fitness certification, which will teach you more than you may think you need to know. As for specialty classes in demand, I would ask my current clients what they hope to try, who come back with friends and more ideas, to find the most popular answer.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
Some sort of group exercise certification is a must for most fitness formats, including those that you would design for yourself. Since you are in Canada, I believe that the certification available in your area is CanFitPro, right? If I’m correct, they have not only certifications but also very well-presented fitness conferences.
If you are already teaching Zumba, my suggestion would be to consider something that would complement that, but still be interesting to your clients. Could you convince them that some sort of weight training circuit would benefit them? If they’re already doing Zumba (cardio), in order to be healthy, two other things they might need are strength (weight training) or some sort of stretch / recovery / yoga format.
If you have access to the ZIN forum, there’s a current thread about other formats that people are teaching besides Zumba and how popular they are. You have to be logged into the forum, so it doesn’t do me any good to link it from here.
Like the others have already mentioned, a well-recognized group exercise certification will serve you well for general strength and cardio classes. It will give you the basic foundation you need to understand the body during exercise and how to conduct a safe and effective class–plus more. You can also then branch out and add more specialized certifications in other areas, like you have with Zumba.
One note of caution about specialty certifications–be diligent about researching programs offered and knowing what will work for your target market for the long run. You will find many classes that you can teach with a general group exercise certification are now being offered as a “specialty”–and you get to pay for choreography, music, and renewal fees. Some will be good, and others are a waste of your money.
Also, I think it’s great that you are doing this on your own as you’ll have more freedom to teach the way you would like to! Good luck to you.