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The Fitness Zone

How to Lead a Fitness Class with Confidence
January 31, 2019

Confidence as a group fitness instructor generally comes through experience. However, for those beginning their careers within the fitness industry, confidence can be achieved through self-belief and a genuine passion for fitness.

Being prepared, attentive to your client's needs, and encouraging people to become their healthiest self is enough motivation to boost confidence and use it to become an outstanding group fitness instructor.

Prepare and plan your class ahead of time

Preparation is the key to leading a fitness class with confidence. Taking time to run through your program and song list ahead of the scheduled class will allow you to make any adjustments or changes.

Having a back-up plan will give you some security if anything does happen to go amiss during your session. Where possible, assess the fitness levels of your group participants and try to work that into your routine.

Come up with options for more advanced members to work at a heavier weight or higher reps or provide beginners with the freedom and option to go at their own pace. While many group fitness classes appear to be spontaneous to participants it’s a good idea to briefly explain the purpose and intended goal of your class before commencing.

Take some time beforehand to assess your program and make the objective clear to the class. This will instil your group’s participants with confidence in you as a trainer, allowing the class to operate with unison and clarity.

Be attentive to your clients

Gaining confidence and success as a group fitness class leader has a lot to do with how you communicate with your participants. Clients will naturally respect you if you are demonstrating sincere compassion and being attentive to their needs. Going in with a drill sergeant mentality will only alienate your class from you and make it harder for clients to feel rapport within the group.

Remember that the class is about them and not you. Be a good listener, offer help to those who need it, observe if members are struggling and encourage clients to do their best. While it’s important to stay professional, try to develop some type of humour too.

For many people, being able to have fun and laugh eases the burden of trying to perform too hard or too fast and makes sessions light and happy. As a personal trainer, you must be genuinely passionate about helping your clients achieve their fitness goals.

Client’s will notice if you are just ‘going through the motions’ and will be able to perceive your actual interest in the training. Go into your fitness class with the mindset of leading each participant to achieve their personal best and helping them to reach their goals.

As soon as you shift your mindset from yourself to the people you are helping to become fit & strong, you gain a natural confidence that will motivate your clients to actively engage in and enjoy your class.

Encourage and inspire

It should go without saying that a good personal trainer is one that encourages and inspires. Keeping positive and building rapport with your class will have clients feeding off your positive energy and keep them coming back. Remind the class of why they’re there for and allow them to keep their goals at the forefront of their mind as they push through your program.

You can encourage and inspire your class by giving them positive reinforcements throughout the class, commending participants who are performing well, and by reminding the group what each exercise is helping to deliver and how it’s going to benefit them.

It’s helpful to also be accessible to your clients and give them personal anecdotes to encourage them. Reiterate why you first started your fitness journey, the challenges you faced, your own personal setbacks. This is a great exercise to remind them that with a little persistence and self-belief, they can and will achieve their fitness goals, too.

To be inspiring, be inspired. Approach your fitness class by doing your best and making workouts enjoyable. Observe which verbal cues your clients respond better to and if possible, arrange a time for discussion after class for those who need to ask questions, go over their goals, or who need extra guidance with certain exercises.

Encourage feedback from clients and try to swallow your pride or ego to allow an opportunity for growth and greater confidence.

Gain confidence as a personal trainer with an education at the Australian Institute of Fitness

Confidence as a personal trainer begins with solid knowledge of the fitness industry. The Australian Institute of Fitness is the industry’s most recognised training provider, allowing students to launch their career as a personal trainer or fitness instructor. Start your journey by exploring personal training course options here. You can choose from:

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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