Angel Chelik by Angel Chelik

You most likely became a group fitness instructor because you care about people and their health. You thrive off of the energy in the room and pinch yourself that going to “work” means going to such a positive, fun-filled space. In addition to getting paid, here are some unexpected benefits that will make you love teaching even more.

1. Free membership

Whether you teach in a big box gym or a boutique studio, you have the opportunity to take classes and use the facility for free. It’s important to remember that the time you spend teaching is not the time for your own workouts. You’re there to coach, assess and motivate. But taking other classes allows you to shut your brain down and get the sweat on that you love. It’s also a great opportunity to learn from your colleagues. Once I leave class, I like to write down new exercises or even verbal cues that other instructors shared so I can use them in my classes. 

2. Free childcare

This is a big one for people with kiddos. In some cases, having to pay someone to watch your kids while you teach can negate the pay you earn. Working for a gym that provides on-site childcare is a huge bonus—and not just when you’re working. Utilizing childcare allows you the time to get your own workouts in and even take advantage of the amenities of your club. In addition to daytime and evening childcare, some of the major gyms like Lifetime Fitness offer camps during the summer. You’ll receive a hearty discount to these health-focused camps. 

3. Discounts on fitness apparel

Many companies offer discount to health and fitness professionals on everything from clothing to sneakers. The steps to become a fitness ambassador or influencer vary for each company. In some cases, it can be as easy as making a copy of your certification; other companies require you to interview for a yearly position that involves helping with community events, reviewing products, etc.  This article offers more information on participating companies.

4. “Working” vacations

Many all-inclusive resorts offer daily group fitness classes. Fit Bodies, for example, is an amazing organization that places fitness pros at various resorts worldwide. They pay for you and your family to stay at the resort, with all meals and drinks included. In return, you are responsible for airfare, a small gift exchange and, of course, teaching one to two classes per day. The rest of the time is yours. 

5. Networking made easy

Teaching 50 to 100 (or more) participants per week puts you in a position to network with people who can help grow your business. Being knowledgeable and personable will make it easy for members to refer you to potential new clients. You’ll be surprised how often you’ll get approached to do random things like teach a yoga class for a bridal party, lead an onsite fitness class at a church or present a workshop for a local company.

With a group fitness instructor certification, you have the ability to get the most people moving, every day, and to make a tremendous impact on the health and well-being of your community. Find out more about ACE’s Group Fitness Instructor Certification.