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!
But your question was, what fitness specialties are in demand? Quite frankly the future as far as demand goes will mostly be in elder/senior fitness and associated medical issues of aging. Being able to successfully work with chronic conditions, injuries, and an aging population will position fitness professionals to make a living. I focus on elder populations, Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions (which I could make more money from, but don’t want to), and corrective exercise. But I also enjoy athletic performance enhancement, which is less in demand. I am very comfortable and get very good results and outcomes in all of these areas.
So you teach Zumba, I am assuming you have been certifited by Zumba for their classes. That is a niche class and it attracts dance enthusiast and dance teachers. But leading group fitness classes is a bit more involved if you want to know what is happening physiologically and what you should be cueing, etc. You have the experience in teaching high tempo classes, now you can start to discover what is happening internally for your clients and learning how to adjust and customize their experience.
I would recommend ACE or ACSM for your group fitness certification. Then follow your instincts for continuing education. I teach some CEC courses for group ex that I believe will soon be copied and bring some fresh ideas to the fitness market. If you think you might be on the Big Island of Hawaii sometime, give me a shout out. Check my website at www.hawaiifitnessacademy.com .
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.
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.