#Whatsfittrending: What makes a good Fitness Instructor?


My confidence shakes: beneath of mask of smiles, polite exchanges, well-read verbiage, I quake at the thought of being the center of anyone’s attention. Shudder-inducing images spin around a reel of potential: what if I say the wrong thing? What if I’m not encouraging enough? What if my style is too laid-back, or too in-depth? I’m terrible at this.

Our inner dialogue narrates our intentions and creates realities: some actual, some perceived. Confidence is the core of all we do, a practice we learn and the first practice for which we need to care. Confidence is all the difference in how that inner dialogue is mapped and it guides the results when real, live humans are in front of us ready to learn.

Below is a vignette on strengthening your practice as a fitness instructor, leaning into that confidence and challenging yourself.


How is confidence accessed?

Where does your confidence reside? Where does it originate? Something compelled you to choose fitness as a career: some part of you loves health, wellness, fitness and your individual practice enough to inspire your passion to support others on their journey. Harness that: hold it tight, and remember why you chose it. You ARE good at this! Direct your self-talk in aspirational ways. {Read more about Confidence from Psychology today, here.}

Audience Awareness

Keeping your audience

There are a few keys to adult learning theory that might be helpful, like, adults need a reason to be doing and learning something. We crave wholly understanding a process from its basic mechanics to how it supports daily living and wellness. We exercise to be fit, sometimes just because we think we should, so anything you as an instructor can do to compliment us for that, we appreciate. We’re stressed: we come to a fitness class to relieve the pressures of work, families, not feeling good enough ourselves: make us laugh, help us feel worthy and social. {Looking for what to say? Check out links 7, 8 & 9below!}

One of the best classes I ever attended was a hot vinyasa flow yoga class: I was petrified. I had just moved to the area, I knew no one and I was attending a challenging class with a cadre of strangers who probably all knew each other and were all experts, right? Wrong: no one cared that I had to rent my mat or that my knees were slightly bent in downward dog. The teacher created a warm, friendly, welcoming, calm environment right from the beginning. She walked us through every pose and gave us tidbits of encouragement along the way. She was funny at the right times and she knew exactly when to engage some ceiling fans as our hands slid along our mats, lathered in sweat. At the end of the class, we all lay in darkness in savasana and she offered us each a cool cloth scented with lemongrass. “If for any reason you do not wish to have a cloth this evening, please put your hand on your heart and I will know not to offer one.” How sweet, polite and unintrusive is that?! (Incidentally, I accepted a cloth and it was amazing.) The next day I was so sore I could barely walked and I knew I was hooked: now, I’m researching everything I can about yoga and different types of practice.


Segueing to the next point, there is a reason ideologies carry superlatives like innovative, old school, progressive and antiquated: research. The more you read, learn and know about fitness, nutrition and wellness, the more you can share with your clients, so good for you for reading this blog and clicking on the links! You’re helping yourself to best help your clients.

Learn Something New

Research is great – it’s the lifeblood of progress – but continued learning in an environment similar to the one in which you teach recalibrates your perspective. What do you notice about your position as a student? What can you borrow from someone else’s practice to improve your own? How can you challenge yourself to keep things interesting and create new motivation?

I wish you all the best in health and living well – be your most amazing self today!


Some links on fitness teaching

  1. Am I Good Enough to Teach? | Live interview with Michel Besnard


  1. ACE Fitness: 10 tips for increasing your confidence as a group fitness instructor


  1. IDEAfit: How to be a Great Fitness Instructor


  1. {video} Dulcinea Hellings: Confidence building tips– Real HOLLYWOOD Trainer Dulcinea Lee Hellings “Hot and Flirty Fitness”


  1. Peanut Butter Runner: Tips for Becoming a Group Exercise Instructor


  1. Bodybuilding.com: Good instructors and born: great instructors evolove!


  1. Bendiful Blog; Cues and Scripts


  1. Yoga.Lovetoknow: Guided Meditation Scripts


  1. The PTDC: Personal Training Cues



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