The Intrinsic Skills Needed to Be a Fitness Instructor

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Physical fitness is one of the most important keys to a healthy body. It is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. In this modern era, our fast paced lifestyle has led to an unimaginable amount of physical and psychological stress on our minds and bodies. Honestly, there is no magic pill to help you get in shape. The only way out is to keep yourself fit by adopting a suitable fitness routine.

Fitness Instructor

However, getting in shape can be difficult to do on your own.You definitely need a fitness instructor to help you learn the right things to do to achieve a healthy body. However, your fitness instructor should be someone who can leave a lasting impression on your life. If you are a fitness instructor, do you think you will be remembered as an outstanding fitness instructor? Psychologists and educators say that ‘Human beings have a natural propensity to learn; and the role of a teacher is to facilitate such learning. Teaching adults is a challenging task, and with the addition of numerous personal activities and professional responsibilities, the task can become even more complex.

As a fitness instructor, you need to go the extra mile to help people accomplish their fitness goals. In order to succeed, you must create an environment that is welcoming, trusting and motivating. You have to incorporate many different skills in order to provide the best service.

Developing trust

As you teach different forms and movements, the theories behind these movements are also important to explain. However to truly understand it, most people need to feel what it is like to actually perform a movement or exercise routine. Although understanding requires a lot of practice and repetition, it can help your clients believe in what you are teaching them and put their minds at ease. Usually, it does not take very long for them to trust you.

Cultivating the best learning strategy

A skilled trainer is one who chooses to use different training and instructional techniques and can easily adapt and use many different procedures to appropriately teach new exercises. Most importantly, coordinating the learning strategy to adjust actions in relation to others’ actions is crucial to succeed as a fitness instructor.

Motivating people in the workout process

Most adults need to be motivated to learn. Therefore, they have to be interested in learning before they will become motivated. However, you need to keep in mind that each individual will be motivated differently, as everyone has distinctive interests, qualities, experiences, needs and goals.Motivation and fitness must go hand-in-hand.

Critical thinking is a must

Gym-goers need a reason to learn. They want an explanation for every procedure and workout technique. As an instructor, you should be able to use critical thinking and reasoning to explain the ‘why and how’ behind every question they ask and identify the strengths and weaknesses of any alternative solutions or conclusions to problems.

Active listening and speaking

Paying full attention to what others are saying is an important responsibility of a fitness instructor. You need to understand their point of view and ask questions accordingly. On the other hand, it is equally important to talk to your trainees on how to convey information effectively. As a fitness instructor you should always be aware of how your client is performing an exercise and explain how to avoid injuries during their workout.

Stay organized and be well equipped with the right knowledge

Make learning methodical. Your trainees expect you to be thoroughly knowledgeable, especially when it comes to the principles and methods of different fitness routines, exercise prescriptions, instructing individuals and groups and how to measure the effects of training. While teaching any exercise routine, present it in the order as it should actually be performed.

When you present a particular workout routine, you should allow people to come to the right conclusion. Only then can they learn and more easily retain this information.

Know your trainees

The more you know about your trainees, the more effective you can be as an instructor. You may find your class full of people just trying to get in shape, lose weight and get stronger; however, you need to find out more detailed information to be a successful instructor. You should know who these people are and why they are here. What are their underlying motives for attending your workout session? It is not always easy to know your audience, however establishing a good rapport is an essential part of your profession. Your class should become a collaborative effort, and everyone should have a sense of ‘we are in this together.’

The fitness industry is always changing. You need to be creative, motivated and in tune with your fitness sessions. You have to stay up-to-date with the different techniques in continuing education, workout procedures and equipment management. All of this is vital to your relevance as a fitness instructor.


Shannon "The Cannon" Hudson, founder and CEO of 9Round Franchising, LLC - kickboxing franchise, is the current IKF Light Middleweight Kickboxing Champion of the World. He won his title on October 1, 2011 with a 6th round TKO victory. He trains under legendary boxing trainer Xavier Biggs, brother of 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Tyrell Biggs. Shannon began martial arts at the age of seven, and has continued training ever since then. He has a 5th degree Black Belt in Japanese Shotokan Karate and a 4th Degree Black Belt under Joe Lewis's Fighting System JLFS.

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