In today’s article I review the best Group Fitness Certifications for personal trainers interested in group fitness training. As a certified group exercise instructor and personal trainer for over 10 years, I’ve used multiple of these certifications.
The team at PTPioneer is certified through all the major organizations and we know which group exercise instructor certifications employers like to see on a resume.
Below I compare each group exercise certification based on the following considerations:
- Certification costs and study materials
- The content of each group exercise certification
- Earning potential
- Pros and cons of these group fitness certs
After reading this entire article, there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to choose a group fitness certification with the utmost confidence.
Now, let’s dive into the group fitness instructor certifications!
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From my perspective, the top two group exercise certifications are definitely the ISSA Certified Group Exercise instructor (ISSA-GEI) and the Fitness Mentors Virtual Group Fitness Instructor (FM-VGFI).
However, I do favor ISSA for the following reason.
The ISSA-GEI has extreme value, especially if purchased in the ISSA Elite Trainer package.
There’s no doubt you’ll earn more money once certified as an Elite Trainer than you spent shelling out to cover your overall personal trainer certification cost.
Keep in mind, too, that ISSA occasionally runs deals on their website for the Elite Trainer program, so if it’s up for grabs, consider going for it while you can.
If there’s currently a deal on the Elite Trainer program, it’s pretty tough to pass up.
1) ISSA Certified Group Exercise Instructor (ISSA-GEI)
ISSA Group Exercise Instructor General Information
- Exam cost: $639.20
- Study material cost: $53.27/month for 12 months
- Prerequisites: High School Diploma, CPR/AED
- Exam passing score: 70%
- Exam pass rate: 90%
- Average completion time: 2 months
What is the ISSA Group Exercise Instructor certificate?
The International Sports Sciences Association Certified Group Exercise Instructor (ISSA-GEI) is one of the newer group fitness certifications on the market.
It has a heavy focus on creating effective yet safe programs for a wide variety of clients and abilities.
Highlighted below are some other details you’ll learn from the ISSA-GEI:
- Performing safe fitness assessments
- Effectively programming routines for a variety of clientele
- Different types of classes (i.e. flexibility, endurance, strength, or cardiovascular fitness)
- Choosing the perfect equipment for your specific class and objectives
- Marketing yourself as a group fitness instructor and growing your business
Overall, you’ll learn a great deal.
If you’re truly good at what you do, then class members may become potential personal training clients and vice versa.
ISSA credibility and reputation
The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) was a pioneer of online certifications. They were the first fitness organization approved for distance education in the US. ISSA brings the best value for professionals looking to start with multiple certifications and specializations bundled together.
The ISSA-GEI is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
Founded in 1926, the DEAC is a private, non-profit organization that operates as an institutional accreditor of distance education institutions.
ISSA also has a NCCA-accredited exam you can take through the NCCPT.
ISSA Group Exercise Certification pros and cons
Although this is the newest group fitness certification, it is already one of my top choices for those who envision themselves as successful trainers.
One of the highlights of this program is the wide inclusion of many class styles you will encounter as a trainer. ISSA covers everything from step class to kickboxing, to battle ropes, and kettlebell training.
On the negative side, the online ISSA study videos feel a little old-fashioned. They provide good content, but they’re not as flashy as those from ACE or AFAA.
- Great emphasis on exercise technique and demonstration
- Covers a wide variety of exercise classes
- Elite Trainer package offers the best value in the fitness industry
Expensive by itself
Online videos feel dated
ISSA costs and study materials
As far as cost is concerned, this certification typically ranges between $599 and $799. However, ISSA offers a monthly payment option for those who prefer it.
Although the ISSA-GEI certification is highly reputable and provides outstanding fitness instructor education, it is among one of the cheapest personal training certifications.
When you purchase the ISSA-GEI, you will receive the following:
- The main textbook
- A study workbook to guide you through the textbook
- Access to their online exercise lab (which includes 250 animated exercises)
- Free access to an ISSA-certified group exercise specialist for assistance
- Practice quizzes and tests
- Access to the online student forum,
- A free, professional website designed for you
You can study at your own pace using a wide variety of the study materials provided to you, and whenever you are ready to take the exam, you can hop online and do so.
ISSA-GEI course topics
The course materials are divided into chapters covering:
- Physical Activity
- The Human Body
- Special Populations and Health Concerns
- Exercise and Pregnancy
- Teaching Group Exercise
- Designing a Fitness Class
- Muscle Conditioning
- Step Class
- Hi-Low Aerobics
- Indoor Cycling
- Aquatic Aerobics
- Suspension Training
- Battle Ropes
- High Intensity Interval Training
The book covers a wide range of styles of exercise and movements you may encounter as an exercise instructor, but it doesn’t go too in-depth on each topic. There are also additional videos in the online portal which add to the elements discussed in the book.
Taking the ISSA group fitness certification exam
At the end of each chapter in the book is a short quiz. Once you’ve finished taking all the quizzes, you can take the final exam online. Because the DEAC-exam is open-book, there is a high chance you will pass.
Once you take the at-home open-book final exam you have the option to take the NCCPT exam accredited by the NCCA as well, although you do have to pay the proctoring fee. I would still recommend doing this as NCCA accreditation provides the highest standards or recognition in a fitness certification.
ISSA continuing education, salary, and career prospects
ISSA recertification happens every two years for group fitness instructors. If you get your CEUs through ISSA the recertification fee is waived, which is a nice perk.
Group Exercise Instructors make on average $34,348 per year in the United States, according to Zippia. However, this has a wide variance, depending on location. In California, the average is a whopping $61,660 per year, according to Indeed.com. This is similar to average personal training salary.
One of the nice things ISSA has is their Elite Trainer package, which gives you 3 certifications-in-one. Having a personal training and nutrition certification in addition to group fitness will allow you to work with more clients and charge higher rates in the long-term.
2) Fitness Mentors Virtual Group Fitness Instructor (FM-VGFI)
FM-VGFI General Information
- Exam cost: $499
- Study material cost: $66.58/month for 12 months
- Prerequisites: High School Diploma, CPR/AED
- Exam passing score: Scaled 550/800 – 90/125 Scored Questions
- Exam pass rate: 70% (2022 data)
- Average completion time: 2-6 months
What is the Fitness Mentors Virtual Group Fitness Instructor?
Although Fitness Mentors still has a long way to go before it can claim the same heritage, its strides with its online and entrepreneurial take on fitness have them poised to be the dominant institution in the next phase of fitness.
In my perspective, this alone is what makes FM one of the best online trainer certifications.
Their Virtual Group Fitness Instructor Certification (FM-VGFI) takes the traditional group fitness approach and adapts it to the online fitness sector.
Fitness Mentors credibility and reputation
Fitness Mentors (FM) has built up quite a significant reputation in delivering second to none career guidance and business acceleration strategies to fitness professionals worldwide.
Today, they also offer a suite of excellent health and fitness certifications fully accredited by DEAC.
This puts FM in league with all other legacy certifying agencies such as ISSA, ACE, and NASM.
Fitness Mentors Virtual Group Fitness Instructor Certification pros and cons
This exclusively online course is not only designed to teach you how to become a group exercise instructor but, more so, to help you take over group fitness from across cyberspace.
Especially if you envision yourself as an online trainer, then this course is probably the best for you.
Don’t get me wrong, this has everything that a general live/in-person group exercise certification has, but it includes plenty of information on how to be a successful group exercise coach digitally.
- Unique curriculum with tons of practical knowledge
- Great online library
- Lack of recognition
FM-VGFI costs and study materials
Let’s check out exactly what you’ll get.
The FM V-GFI alone typically costs $499 and comes with the following:
- Certification exam
- Digital textbook
- Video lectures
- Business growth assignments
- Programming templates
- Student support
However, when it comes to Fitness Mentors certification programs, and even other fitness certifications in general, it’s always best to go for entire package deals if you can.
FM deals include at least one additional certification at a significant markdown on both.
For example, the FM Pro bundle would include the FM V-GFI and two other certifications for just $899.
The study materials are pretty good, and that excludes all the extras you’d get with a bundle package.
Like the ISSA-GEI, you can also pick up the FM V-GFI by itself or as part of a package deal.
And package deals are highly recommended if you plan on doing any other type of training, such as personal training, health coaching, etcetera.
Fitness Mentors Group Fitness course topics
The Fitness Mentors course includes chapters on these topics:
- Scope of Practice for the V-GFI
- Theory of Group Fitness
- Anatomy, Physiology and the Study of Human Movement
- Assessments for the Group Fitness Instructor
- Safety Considerations for the Virtual Group Fitness Class
- The Group Fitness Class Blueprint: Format and Program Design
- Virtual Class Set Up: Equipment
- Virtual Class Set Up: Technology & Hosting Platforms (Input from Salut)
- Effective Class Leadership
- Components of Nutrition
- Client Acquisition, Business and Sales
- Legal Guidelines for the V-GFI
Taking the Fitness Mentor Virtual Group Fitness Instructor exam
The exam is a 50-question multiple-choice exam administered entirely online.
You will be allowed to attempt it three times before the retake policy kicks in, and the retake policy requires that you pay $50 to retake the exam.
To pass and eventually become certified, you must score at least 70% overall.
Fitness Mentors continuing education, salary, and career prospects
No continuing education requirements are needed for this certification.
In terms of career prospects, the Fitness Mentors company has much less clout than the other organizations on this list, but I do think in terms of real-world skills, this course gives you a unique skillset compared to these other certifications.
More and more fitness businesses are online-facing and this is the only group exercise certification that will adequately prepare you for that world.
Most of the others on this list are kind of living in the past and the future of fitness is online coaching. For that reason, I do think this certification has huge merits and might even be a good inclusion along with another certification on this list.
3) ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor
ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor
- Exam cost: $489
- Study material cost: $285 – $500
- Prerequisites: CPR/AED, High School Diploma
- Exam passing score: Scaled 550/800 – 90/125 Scored Questions
- Exam pass rate: ~70%
- Average completion time: 3 to 5 months
What is the ACE Group Fitness Instructor certificate?
Over the last couple of decades, group exercise classes have exploded in popularity.
The rise of Zumba, yoga, cross-fit, indoor cycling, and body pump has swept across the nation, and nearly every gym provides various group fitness classes for its members.
At first, general personal trainers used to teach these classes, but they had little to no instruction on how to do so correctly.
This led the American Council on Exercise (ACE) to create its own group fitness instructor certification for a more organized, systematic way to teach these classes to be efficient and fun.
The instructors of those classes needed education on the dynamics of group exercise training, which birthed the ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor certification.
The ACE group fitness instructor handbook teaches an individual how to properly design, construct, choreograph, and safely lead large group classes.
Aside from learning class choreography for more structured classes, you’ll learn methods to get creative with your exercises in classes that aren’t choreographed or structured.
ACE credibility and reputation
Unlike most other certifying agencies out there, the ACE group exercise certification is nonprofit and sticks to its primary goal of helping individuals live exceptional and healthy lives.
ACE was also one of the first group fitness certifications to be NCCA accredited.
NCCA stands for the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and is recognized as the gold standard accreditation in the fitness industry.
Established in 1987 by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), the NCCA is an independent, non-governmental agency that sets the standards for professional certification programs.
NCCA accredited group fitness certifications are highly reputable.
As of right now, there are 13,000 individuals certified with the ACE group fitness certification.
That number is multiplying, but it’s no surprise why.
ACE Group Exercise certification pros and cons
The ACE Group Exercise certification is almost universally known as one of the top group fitness certifications. One of ACE’s highlights are their motivational coaching tips.
ACE includes the most comprehensive exercise psychology tips, which really aid you as a group fitness instructor. Moreover, if you want to know how to inspire and lead a group of people, ACE is your best bet.
On the negative side, ACE doesn’t cover exercise science aspects in as much detail as the other certifications on this list, but as these are group fitness certifications, none of them really do, so this isn’t as much of a drawback.
- ACE IFT® Model is an excellent framework for resistance and aerobic training
- Mover Model® helpful for behavior change
- Lack of comprehensive exercise science
ACE Group Fitness costs and study materials
Right now, as we speak, ACE is offering three separate bundles on their website for the group fitness instructor certification.
The first bundle, the Basic, will cost you $285 and includes the following study materials:
- Primary textbook
- Booklet on the essentials of exercise science
- Booklet to help you “master the manual”
- Access to their online resource center
- Entrance to take their official certification exam
On the other hand, their more expensive bundle, the Plus bundle, will cost you $375.
But even with this option, ACE is still one of the cheapest group fitness certifications on the market.
Finally, the Advantage bundle costs $465.
Their Plus package contains everything the first package does but includes components like a booklet containing sample tests and the “ACE Academy,” a fantastic 12-week series over e-mail.
The best thing about the ACE Academy is that you will have one-on-one access to call or e-mail a qualified ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor.
If you have questions (which I’m sure you will, you will also have access to a private tutor whom you can contact.
ACE Group Fitness Instructor course topics
The ACE Group Fitness Instructor Certification textbook has 11 chapters and 5 appendices:
- Who is the ACE-certified Group Fitness Instructor
- Principles of Pre-class Preparation and Participant Monitoring and Evaluation
- Group Exercise Program Design
- Teaching a Group Exercise Class
- Principles of Adherence and Motivation
- Exercise and Special Populations
- Exercise and Pregnancy
- The Prevention and Management of Common Injuries
- Emergency Procedures
- The Business of Group Fitness
- Legal and Professional Responsibilities
Appendix A- ACE Code of Ethics
B- Group Fitness Instructor Certification Exam Content Outline
C- Effects of Medications on Heart-rate Response
D- Group Fitness Specialties
E- ACE Position Statement on Nutritional Supplements
The overall content is outstanding. Besides learning how to teach classes, you learn about class set-up, music choices for different styles of movement, and how to regress movements for all skill levels.
Taking the ACE-GFI Certification exam
You can take your ACE exam at a center or at home, monitored by a live proctor and your webcam. It has 150 questions, which you have to answer in a few hours.
ACE continuing education, salary, and career prospects
The ACE Group Fitness Instructor Certification is the most famous group exercise certification and I can say with absolute confidence that it is among the best of the lot.
Gyms like to see this cert on a resume.
ACE requires 20 continuing education unit hours, equal to 2.0 continuing education units every 2 years for recertification.
4) AFAA Group Fitness Instructor (AFAA-CGFI)
AFAA Group Exercise Instructor General Information
- Exam cost: $299
- Study material cost: $299 to $859
- Prerequisites: High School Diploma, CPR/AED
- Exam passing score: 70%
- Exam pass rate: 61%
- Average completion time: 3 months
What is the AFAA Group Fitness Instructor certificate?
The Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) offers two different ways to get certified for their group exercise certification – on-site or online.
These two AFAA group exercise certification options aim to extend their reach to as many people worldwide as possible.
Every certifying agency should require their test takers to be monitored to ensure they do not cheat.
And I like that even the online AFAA group exercise practice tests are monitored via webcam to ensure participants don’t cheat.
Enrolled in the AFAA Group Fitness Instructor (AFAA-CGFI) certification program?
AFAA credibility and reputation
The Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) was formed in 1983 and was the first organization to produce standardized national guidelines for training certifications.
The AFAA-CGFI was so popular that a few years ago NASM bought AFAA and now they oversee the certification.
This is certainly a good thing because now you have the clout of both AFAA and NASM, the largest fitness certification provider, known for their NASM CPT certification.
AFAA Group Fitness Certification pros and cons
Overall, the AFAA Group Fitness Certification does a great job covering how to teach classes, motivate a group to workout and plan for any class issues and dynamics.
AFAA now uses NASM’s online study portal, which is among the best in the business.
The actual sections on exercise instruction and how to adapt your teaching to different learning styles is a huge plus with this certification and I find it useful when I teach classes.
On the negative, the special populations section isn’t as comprehensive as some of the other certifications on this list.
AFAA mainly covers strength, HIIT/interval, boot camp, yoga, and cycle workouts in this certification, so if you want to focus on other styles, you may need to look elsewhere.
- Broad coverage of training modalities
- Effectively prepares coaches to design and instruct classes
- Limited corrective exercise training
- Difficult exam
AFAA-GFI costs and study materials
The last time I checked the AFAA website, both the on-site and online AFAA-CGFI courses were $299. However, I have frequently seen discounts on the online version, which they offer for $199.
The AFAA group fitness certification cost includes entrance to the exam and all of the online study materials.
You will have 12 months to take the certification exam after you purchase the package, which, in my perspective, is plenty of time to get all of your studying done.
You can take the AFAA group fitness practice exam, which complements the AFAA group fitness study guide.
Also, I’d say that AFAA offers the right amount of study materials, especially when compared to the limited options offered by ACSM.
They offer 14 different video lectures that can all be accessed online.
The primary textbook is in PDF format, making it easy to access on your tablet or smartphone and encouraging you to study for your AFAA group fitness test wherever you go.
Need some additional guidance?
Another feature of the AFAA-CGFI course is access to a video conference with an AFAA professional instructor.
I have heard that sometimes these can be one-on-one sessions, but more often than not, you will be in a group with other students.
This is pretty cool because you can get answers to many of the questions you may have through these conferences.
You can buy physical textbooks from their website if you prefer them as well.
AFAA Group Fitness Instructor course topics
The AFAA textbook has 13 chapters and 5 appendices:
- The Group Fitness Industry
- Foundations of Exercise Science
- The Human Movement System
- Integrated Fitness
- Teaching Basics
- Teaching Multi-Training and Exercise Technique
- Class Planning and Preparation
- Adapting to Class Dynamics
- Communication and Learning Styles
- Inclusive Instruction for Special Populations
- Class Engagement and Motivation
- Professional and Legal Responsibilities
Appendix A: The Kinetic Chain
Appendix B: Expanded Human Movement Science
Appendix C: Other Systems Related to Human Movement
Appendix D: Chronic Conditions and Expanded Emergencies in the Fitness Environment
Appendix E: Expanded Nutritional Concepts
Taking the AFAA Group Exercise certification exam
The AFAA certification exam has 120 multiple choice questions and a 2 hour time limit.
You need to score at least 70% to pass.
AFAA continuing education, salary, and career prospects
One of the perks of the AFAA Group Fitness Certification is that they offer a job guarantee with their programs, which is something I found useful when first becoming a group fitness instructor.
This should set you up well to start earning an income after passing your exam.
AFAA requires 1.5 CEUS (15 hours) every two years to renew your certification.
5) ACSM Certified Group Exercise Instructor (ACSM-GEI)
ACSM Group Exercise Instructor General Information
- Exam cost: $299 (members), $399 (non-members)
- Study material cost: Test cost + $134.45 (textbooks)
- Prerequisites: High School Diploma, CPR/AED
- Exam passing score: 70%
- Exam pass rate: 75%
- Average completion time: 3 months
What is the ACSM Group Exercise Instructor certificate?
The ACSM Group Exercise Instructor Certification gives you the tools to be able to teach group fitness classes in a gym. You learn multiple class styles, including choreographed and non-choreographed cardio classes, how to mix in strength training with conditioning, and other styles of classes like pilates, cycle, and yoga.
ACSM credibility and reputation
ACSM was the first institution to offer fitness certifications. They are known for their high standards of quality and their certified personal trainer program contains many pieces of information that other reputable certifications have borrowed for their textbooks.
ACSM Exercise Instructor Certification pros and cons
Because ACSM prides itself on its exercise research, you certainly have the opportunity to learn a lot about the fundamentals of exercise science with this certification. Moreover, the risk screening and assessments section of this certification gives you a complete overview of what you’ll need and more as a group instructor.
The special populations section of the ACSM Exercise Instructor Certification is also exceptional.
The best thing that I like about the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Group Exercise Instructor (ACSM-GEI) certification is its strong focus on camaraderie.
There are many ways that you, as the instructor, can raise the motivation in your class and provide a friendly atmosphere in different exercise formats.
This is also the only top group exercise certification that includes pilates in its curriculum.
The main con with this certification is the actual lack of exercise technique instruction when it comes to resistance training. This is a big negative and one of the reasons I shy away from recommending this certification to new trainers. Knowing these form techniques is key as an instructor, so you can teach them properly to class participants.
- Detailed coverage of special populations
- Good exercise science and communication skills
- Only GEI to cover pilates
- No study materials
- Limited exercise technique descriptions
ACSM costs and study materials
Unlike the ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor certification, there is only one package that you can purchase through ACSM.
And that is the ACSM-GEI.
However, two separate costs depend on whether you are a member of ACSM or not, which is similar to all of their other certifications.
Also, the study materials are sold separately from the test.
While the most current cost for members of ACSM is $219, the cost for non-members is $279.
If you do not pass the exam on your first try, retaking it will cost you a steep $150.
ACSM offers two primary textbooks to study for the exam.
The primary manual, titled “Resources for the Group Exercise Instructor,” can be purchased from the ACSM website for $72.99.
The smaller second book, “The Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription,” can also be purchased from the ACSM website for $41.99.
Overall, I think that the ACSM-GEI certification is all right.
This certifying agency is one of the most well-renowned in the fitness industry, not only for its general personal trainer certification but also for its more advanced CSCS certification.
Also, I believe ACSM would be much better off if they packaged the study materials and final exam into one to make it easier for their customers.
And finally, I do not think the ACSM group fitness certification curriculum or study resources are as good as the materials from ISSA or ACE.
They should have an online version of the textbook and study materials because everything is digital these days (and I love my personal training software).
ACSM-GEI course topics
The primary sections of the ACSM-GEI textbook cover the following:
Part 1: Introduction to Group Exercise Instruction
- Profile of Group Exercise Instructor
- Profile of a Group Exercise Participant
Part 2: Leadership and Design
- Class Design and Programming
- Communication Skills
- Choreography, Music, and Cueing in Class Design and Delivery
- Teaching your Class: A Quick Guide
- Hospitality and Conflict Resolution for Group Exercise Instructors
- Guidelines for Special Conditions
- Specialty Classes
- Legal Issues and Responsibilities for Group Exercise Instructor
Part 3: Exercise Science for the Group Exercise Instructor
- Exercise Physiology for Group Exercise Instructors
- Kinesiology, Anatomy, and Biomechanics
- Introduction to Nutrition for Group Exercise Instructors
As I’ve said above, most of the content in this textbook is really useful to learn as a fitness class instructor. I just wish there was more emphasis on resistance exercise technique and programming. These areas of knowledge form the foundation of your practice as a coach.
Taking the ACSM Group Exercise certification exam
The ACSM final exam includes 115 multiple-choice questions.
ACSM assesses you on the following domains:
- Domain I: Class Design 30%
- Domain II: Leadership 25%
- Domain III: Instruction 30%
- Domain IV: Professional Responsibilities 15%
You need 70% or higher on the scored questions to pass.
Overall difficulty of this exam is similar to other group certs.
ACSM continuing education, salary, and career prospects
Salary for this group exercise certification should be similar to that of others on this list. ACSM remains a highly respected organization. While you don’t quite get the same level of recognition as that of ACE, it’s still a top cert.
What are the benefits of obtaining a group fitness certification?
In obtaining a group fitness certification, you will surely gain many essential skills which will help enhance your fitness career and grow your personal training business.
You will be fantastic at working with larger groups and become a much more diverse and skilled personal trainer with one-on-one or smaller groups.
For instance, the active lifestyle and lots of physical activity that group fitness classes encourage will definitely help your clients adopt healthy lifestyles that last a lifetime.
Being certified as a group fitness instructor also opens you up to many opportunities and makes you much more desired as a personal trainer.
You can even choose specific certifications for the classes you desire to teach and/or your niche.
Here are some examples:
- Bootcamp certification
- Barre instructor certification
- Pilates instructor certification
- Step aerobic certification
If you’re a personal trainer, consider looking into personal training for seniors.
You could teach small group fitness classes at local gyms, in their homes, or in their apartment complex gyms or clubhouses.
Once I became certified as a group fitness instructor, I got most of my one-on-one personal training clients to take classes with me.
The biggest win for me was converting members in the group exercise classes into one-on-one personal training clients.
This is where I saw a significant increase in my overall income.
Teaching group fitness classes gives you access to many new leads.
After all, a good personal trainer stays sharp in the fitness game–dedication is key along with coaching skills.
Best group fitness certifications FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How do I become a good group fitness instructor?
Becoming a fitness instructor clients can’t stop raving about requires serious passion. While obtaining a group fitness certification online or in person is easy, you’ll now have to combine the knowledge you obtain with passion and personality.
How do you build a successful fitness class?
Building a successful fitness class takes practice and consistency. All types of fitness certifications provide the foundational tools to become a fitness instructor of value. Establish a good rapport with your community, gym members, and large or small group training clients and maintain professionalism.
What are the most popular group fitness classes?
Throughout many decades, the most popular group fitness classes include the following: pilates, barre, HIIT, kickboxing, BootCamp, Zumba, step aerobics, tai chi, qigong, mixed martial arts, water aerobics and aqua fitness, dance fitness, and even pole fitness.
What are some specialty fitness certifications?
The most sought-after specialty fitness certifications include prenatal, perinatal, postnatal, youth, and senior fitness certifications. There are also fitness certification programs focusing on rehab from injury and/or disease and fitness instructor training programs to work with clients with disabilities.
What makes a great group exercise class?
Whether you’re providing group personal training or putting together your latest group fitness class choreography, one thing makes a great class – and that is you! You can learn a whole lot from your group exercise instructor certification, but the truth is that people will gravitate toward your energy. So bring on high energy, enthusiasm, and positivity.
Which group fitness certification is easiest?
I’d say that the easiest group trainer certification is the ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor certification. In most states, this can be obtained in 3 to 6 months depending on various factors, from your education and experience level to the time you devote to your studies.
What is the best group fitness instructor certification?
While I would definitely recommend the ISSA-GEI as the best one overall, and also one of the cheap group fitness certifications, it’s really up to you. There are plenty of group fitness certifications online and in-person for you to choose from, so make sure the one you pick matches your career goals and fits your needs.
What fitness certification is most recognized?
Out of all the group fitness instructor training programs, the most recognized by almost every gym in the United States is definitely ISSA, and following that, the NASM group fitness certification. I mention both because it’s truly a tie.
Conclusion on the best group fitness certifications
As I mentioned at the beginning of my article, a group fitness certification can open up many doors for you.
You can gain many more clients and therefore make a lot more money by converting class members into personal training clients and vice versa.
Plus, the energy that comes along with leading group exercise classes makes it extremely fun.
(So if you ever questioned, “are fitness instructors happy,” my only answer would be, when are they not!)
While not all certifications mentioned here are equal, any one of them is better than no group instructor certification at all, especially if you are considering teaching a class.
Also, if you’re a personal trainer, obtaining any of the group fitness certifications would fulfill your continuing education credits (CECs) for your CPT and allow you to offer group strength training.
And finally, especially if you decide to work independently, consider personal trainer insurance to protect yourself from any potential legal actions.
Overall, I hope my article on the best group fitness certifications was helpful and that you can now make your choice confidently.
See you after class!