All of your confessions were so much fun to read! Glad I’m not the only one with some fessing up to do…

Yay, it’s the weekend! Who’s pumped?

HEATHER <—this girl is!

Wednesday was my first day teaching a whole workout to a whole *real* class. As opposed to family or friends, who are in fact real people as well, but it’s different.

The class is called Pump It, which is not Body Pump, but a similar idea. We do full body strength training using the barbell, but also hand weights, bands, medicine balls, body weight… really it’s open for any type of strength training.

I subbed Pump It Friday morning too, so now I’ve got 2 *real* days of that down. PLUS, I subbed for cycle on Friday when I was supposed to be auditioning… Something came up and I was needed so I took the reigns. So much fun!

Today I thought it would be fun to share how I got ready for my first class. I’ve received a ton of emails about getting group fitness certified lately, so I’m hoping this helps out anyone starting to teach, because that first time sure can be scary.


My prep started months and months go when I first began volunteering where I wanted to start teaching. It’s a great way to get an in, but also a wonderful way to learn from other instructors who have been teaching for much longer than you.

I began team teaching in Pump It, starting out with 5 minutes, then eventually getting up to teaching half the class. It was a nice way to ease into teaching.

Plus I got a great idea of what the class is all about and what the participants will be expecting.


For my first class I wrote out what I wanted to do that day so that if I needed to refer back to it I could just take a glance down.

I also got my playlist ready the night before. CDs designed for workout classes are great here too.


Be as ready to teach as you can be. This starts with prepping (see above). Know how to work the music and mic and have your cheat sheet near by if nerves creep up and you forget what your plan was.

Luckily I never had to use my cheat sheet. It’s comforting to know I have it by me. I found by writing and typing out my plan, it really engraved it into my brain and I easily remember it.

Have energy, energy, energy! People around you will feed off your energy and get more excited about the class.

Loving It

While the first time teaching can be scary, try to have fun with it. I know I get wrapped up in what I’m doing during class and I’ll tell them to do one thing when I really meant another. That’s when you just have to laugh and keep going.

Get to know your participants. It’s fun teaching to people you know. To reverse that, share a little story or a bit about yourself… Even if it’s just something silly like what your pet did the other day.

If you teach group fitness, what tips do you have to share? Don’t teach but take? What makes a great instructor to you?



0 thoughts on “Prepping, teaching and truly loving that first group fitness class”

  1. Yayyyyyyyyy! I am so happy for you! Prep ahead and Loving what you do are totally key. My gym has tried to encourage me to teach other classes i dont 100 percent love because i know i wont teach them as well!

  2. Teaching a group fitness class, especially spin or strength, has been a “dream” of mine for a lot of years. I’m hoping to get into it someday soon…especially with a new YMCA opening 2 miles from our house in November 🙂

    Congrats, Heather! I’m sure you’re a phenomenal teacher 🙂

    1. Hi Heather!
      My mom just told me about your blog and it is so awesome! I have really wanted to be a group fitness instructor for many years, but now I just had my baby 3 1/2 months ago and don’t feel quite confident in my fitness level to pursue it. I am trying to get back in shape and I really liked the goals you set for yourself. I should do that too. My question is: were you able to start teaching after you passed the test? Did you have to go and get other “specific” ceritifications too? I really want to do this, but I don’t want it to be a gaping hole for money to fall through.

      1. Hi Mary Lou! So the biggest thing that helped me get into the group fitness teaching world was volunteering at a club I wanted to teach it. It started with shadowing, then I’d slowly start teaching sections of a class. After a few months of that I went through the AFAA group fitness cert (which is pretty much all you need to get started unless you’re only interested in specialities) and got a class + got to begin subbing at the club I started as a volunteer at. Having that in really helped me get my foot in the door and I started to gain experience. If you have a specific place in mind I suggest going and talking to the person in charge of group ex to see what their certification requirements are and the best way to get in… see maybe if someone would want to be your mentor, which is soooo helpful when you’re first starting out. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any more questions!

  3. I remember those first classes you shadowed then taught like it was yesterday!! So glad I could be part of your journey!

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