I would start with one of the more nationally recognized certifications such as ACE (http://www.acefitness.org/fitness-certifications/group-fitness-certifica…) or ACSM (http://certification.acsm.org/acsm-certified-group-exercise-instructor). They are both excellent organizations, and I believe any employer would recognize their certification. This is not true with FiTour. If the recreation center is the only place you want to work and they accept FiTour you would probably want their group fitness instructor certification. That said I would encourage you to pursue a more in depth program such as from ACE or ACSM, especially if you would like to expand your teaching. I am not very comfortable with quick online programs such as Fitour.
I want to echo Janet’s words and would encourage you to look at a nationally accredited certification such as ACE or ACSM. Even if the recreation center where you have been asked to teach will accept FiTour, you may not be able to get a teaching position at another club. I can at least speak for the club where I teach.
Often, once you teach at one location, other possibilities may open up to you. Clubs are always looking for good instructors.
I agree with the others about getting a nationally accredited certification. Go for one of the better certifications and you will be happy you did.
In addition, I would suggest finding an instructor who can serve as a mentor to you. There are many skills that go into in teaching fitness classes in (cueing, monitoring the room, suggesting modifications, sometimes teaching to the beat of the music, motivating the class, etc…).
Perhaps take a few classes and find an instructor who has the qualities you admire. A mentor can help “teach you the ropes” and advise you in these areas.
Good luck and have fun–it is very rewarding!
I think most of the instructors (as you can already see) who would respond to this on this site would echo the same thing about getting a respected national certification.
I do understand that you are probably doing a cost/benefit analysis in your head, and if your hope is to teach one class at one center you are wondering whether the extra expense is worth it. I actually know a number of people who are not full time fitness instructors, but they still get certified and keep up their CECs.
A national certification is now pretty standard in the industry. There are some organizations, like the Y, that run their own training programs, which they use as an option to having a national cert. However, most places want something like ACE or ACSM.
So part of the issue is this place may be willing to accept this, but if you want to teach elsewhere it may not be enough. Also there is a question of insurance…. Are you being hired as an employee, or as an independent contractor? You need to see if their insurance will cover you, and if it doesn’t you need to see if you can buy insurance with the certification you get. Accidents can happen and it is professional responsibility to make sure you are covered.
Mentoring is a good idea. Team teaching lets you hone your skills.