Why Personal Trainers Should Consider Teaching Group Fitness Classes

Even though it has not aired a new episode since May 1998 (yes, it has been that long), it seems as if there is a Seinfeld episode for almost every one of life’s situations. 

One of my personal favorites is the “Worlds Collide” episode, where George Costanza is trying to keep his relationship persona separate from the “Independent George” identity he adopts when hanging out with Jerry, Kramer and Elaine. When Susan, the woman he is dating, contacts Elaine for a casual social outing, George becomes upset because he doesn’t want his “Relationship George” world colliding with the sanctuary of “Independent George.”  

Like George, the commercial fitness industry has two distinctly different, yet parallel worlds that seldom come in contact with one another. Walk into almost any large commercial health club and you will see “Group Fitness World” and “Personal Training World.” Both can be extremely important for helping members receive the benefits of exercise, yet each go about it in completely different ways. As a result, many health and fitness professionals have separated themselves into one of these two worlds, with a number of personal trainers often looking down on group fitness and telling their clients NOT to take classes. (I recently overheard a trainer tell his client to not take an indoor cycling class because it could make her legs big, and my wife, a group fitness instructor, has had students say their trainers told them to stop taking classes if they want to see results.)  

Unlike George, who wants to keep his relationship and independent worlds separate, personal trainers should not only be comfortable with their clients existing in both worlds, they should also consider teaching group fitness classes. As a personal trainer who learned how to teach the year that Seinfeld went off the air, I can attest to the fact that learning how to teach group fitness opens up a variety of career-enhancing opportunities. 

If you are a personal trainer looking to enhance your career or establish a more consistent income stream, here are seven reasons you should consider teaching group fitness: 

1. Marketing opportunities.

Teaching group classes is a way to meet club members who are interested in getting results from their memberships. Members who take your classes are more likely to think of you if they decide to invest in personal training sessions. Personally, I consider teaching group fitness classes as a great opportunity to market my training skills to many potential clients at one time.

2. Your own space.

When teaching group classes, you have dedicated studio space and equipment. This means you’re

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Expert Articles — Courtesy “American Council On Exercise” (ACEfitness.org)

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