Finding a Group Exercise Class and Looking to Teach Group Exercise

The world of being fit can be really challenging, but it is usually motivating to have a group of people to work with. Group exercise classes have proven to be beneficial because you actually have a trainer walk you through all the exercise while doing it with other individuals. 

The type of group exercise you decide to do is important as well as the trainer/instructor for the group exercise class. Are you looking to get fit or are you looking for the perfect group exercise class? Are you looking to teach group exercise and not sure how to go about it or what is required? 

Connie Fesette, director of the Fitness Center at SUNY Plattsburgh, outlined how to find a perfect group exercise class, as well as the requirements needed to teach group fitness classes. 

Fesette said that, to teach group exercise, you will need to train with whoever is in charge of the fitness center in your institution or area. “After the training, you will need to get certified,” Fesette said.

After the certification process you can now be put on the group exercise schedule to teach. If you are interested in teaching group exercise, it may be beneficial to talk to the fitness director at your school to figure out the requirements or go to your local gym that provides group exercise classes. Generally what will happen is that you will train with them, and then you can get certified after that. 

This picture shows a group of people in a yoga class together. Photo by KoolShooters on Pexels.

“As for requirements, you do not need any exact requirements. It’s helpful if you have some kind of exercise foundation, maybe you played in the sports team, just something that kept you motivated,” she said. 

Fessette explained that even if you do not have any experience at all, she is still willing to work with you because sometimes people just started their career as a student at the college level. Let’s say you wanted to get certified in hardbody because you are interested in weight lifting, strength training, then you will  work together with a group exercise coach in the semester through a hardbody class. The company may host a certification or you would get certified on your own through an online venue. You can then get on the exercise schedule and you would get paid to teach a class, she said. 

There’s a wide variety of group exercise classes to try from spin classes to kickboxing classes. You may also find a hardbody class, yoga class or even Zumba class to your liking. However, Fesette is trying to branch out and start some new types of classes.

“This semester I am looking for something different like someone to teach hip hop or an African type of dance or someone to bring a different mode of dance to our group exercise schedule or even something that is going to appeal to students that do not do the group exercise,” she said.

People think group exercise classes always use equipment, but that is not always the case. As you can see, group exercise can be anything and is not just restricted to dance. Someone who may be interested in weight lifting can try a hardbody class, but someone who is interested in dance can go to a yoga or Zumba class. “Dance classes are fun. They are a great exercise. I am always looking for someone to train and get certified and put them on the schedule. As I said before I am always looking for different modes of dance instructors,” Fesette said.

This picture shows a group of people participating together in the same type of group exercise. Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.

In regards to finding the perfect group exercise class, Fesette said that it depends on what you like as well as why you are taking it. Are you taking it to get in shape or are you taking it for fun? What would you like to do? 

Are you more focused on your mind and body and stretching? Maybe yoga is for you. If you are trying to learn more core exercises, maybe the HIIT classes, high intensity interval training, circuit classes or  pilates classes are for you because those are all core foundation training. Maybe you ride a bike a lot during the summer, so you take a spin class in the winter. If you want to get more into martial arts or learn how to kick and punch, maybe a kickboxing class is right for you to learn self defense. Maybe you want more strength, so that hardbody class might be good for you because that works out all the body’s major muscles. If you want to dance and have fun, Zumba might be a good option.

Fesette suggests trying the class more than once before you decide to not go to it again. It is OK if you do not get all the movements down the first time around. She said to go to the same class three to four times before trying a different class. If you stay and make the attempt to learn the movements, it’ll make you feel more motivated to keep trying again. Don’t get defeated after one class, you can always give it another shot, she said.

This is an example of an outdoor group exercise. Photo by Monstera on Pexels.

Group exercise is a fun way to stay fit, dance, stretch and just do what you love with other people with similar interests. If you feel you want to move further to being a group exercise instructor, you can even start with talking to your group exercise instructor. That just may be the beginning of your group exercise teaching journey.

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