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Qualities for a Fitness Instructor

author image Hannah Morgan
A Texas native currently living in Florida, Hannah Morgan has a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science and a Master of Health Education. She is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. Her writing contributions focus primarily on preventive health and fitness related topics.
Qualities for a Fitness Instructor
A fitness instructor with a client. Photo Credit Ron Chapple studios/Hemera/Getty Images

Hiring a fitness instructor is an essential step to reaching and maintaining your goals. These professionals play a vital role in the development of exercise plans, guidance on proper techniques and provide motivation throughout your workouts. Unsafe and uneducated instructors will quickly lose clients and be unable to hold a position. Successful instructors are able to build their clientele and are easily hired at exercise facilities. Every fitness instructor should possess certain qualities in order to effectively and safely do their jobs.

Check for Accredited Certification

The fitness industry is saturated with organizations promising the most prestigious and renowned certifications in the market. When hiring a fitness instructor, it is important to ask with which organization they are credentialed. Seek instructors who are certified through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. Nationally accredited organizations include the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. If they do not hold a certification, move on to a more qualified professional.

Staying Current in Fitness Trends

Although a high school diploma and fitness certification are generally the sole requirements for instructors, finding a trainer with postsecondary education in a fitness-related field is a bonus. Instructors who are currently enrolled in college credit classes, or have completed a degree, will be more knowledgeable and competent in providing fitness advice and direction. Hiring instructors who participate in continuing education classes is also desirable because of the current information they receive on fitness topics.

Determine Your Individual Goals

Though many fitness trainers may have credentials and educational knowledge, practical, hands-on experience is an important quality to look for in your fitness instructor. If you suffer from knee issues, find an instructor who has trained individuals with orthopedic injuries. In addition, if strength gains is your goal, hire a fitness instructor experienced in strength and conditioning rather than one who specializes in weight loss. You may pay more for a more experienced instructor.

Keeping It Professional

Fitness instructors provide a personal service and should conduct themselves with integrity and respect. If you feel your instructor is asking you to perform unsafe exercises, voice your concerns and, if needed, seek instruction from another fitness professional. A good fitness trainer should never make you feel uncomfortable. Pressuring you or making inappropriate comments is unacceptable. Present any issues to the facility manger or begin to search for another fitness instructor.

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