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Definition of a Fitness Instructor

Definition of a Fitness Instructor
A fitness instructor teaches others the fundamentals of physical fitness. Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If you are looking for a career in the fitness industry, there are several options. Consider becoming a fitness instructor if you think you may enjoy teaching others the fundamentals of aerobics and physical fitness. You will be expected to personify a fit, healthy lifestyle as you make a career out of helping others succeed at their fitness goals.

Job Description

A fitness instructor’s main job objective should be to motivate, instruct and lead individuals in routine or specialized exercise programs. At a gym or fitness center, you may work at various hours throughout the day based on the timing of classes and client availability. Generally, you choose which type of fitness program you want to specialize in, such as step aerobics, yoga, Pilates or indoor cycling. You should have knowledge of the class or program you teach, including basic fundamentals of movements, repetitions and the benefits of each exercise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fitness instructors and trainers make, on average, $29,210 annually.

Work Environment

Your work environment will likely be at a gym or fitness center where you and your clients have plenty of room and equipment. As a fitness instructor you may visit different fitness centers, company gyms in office buildings or school gyms for individualized training sessions. Classes are usually 30 to 60 minutes long.


To be a fitness instructor, you should have training and education in order to be credible. Education and experience are important when it comes to selling your classes to clients. Education varies and may include anything from attending training courses and fitness conventions to becoming certified at a local community college. You may wish to purse a degree in health and fitness, exercise science or physical education. Becoming a personal trainer may require advanced certification. An instructor with specialized training in yoga, Pilates and certain fitness equipment may also be appealing to clients.


A career as a fitness instructor can fulfill your dream of helping others succeed with their physical fitness goals. With your background in anatomy, instructional techniques, kinesiology and injury protection, you will be able to motivate clients. Working in a fitness center to gain clients and experience can help you branch out on your own so that you can run your own fitness business. Having your own client database will allow you to travel to clients' homes, set your own hours and establish your own rates to charge for your services.

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