Gym Instructor


Fitness has emerged both as a lucrative business opportunity and a sustainable career options. It is not just the celebrities and the rich who want to stay fit but the fitness bug has stung a large chunk of professional urbanites.

And what’s exciting is that modern day health clubs are not merely sweat shops where fitness enthusiasts pumped iron in attempt to dispel their worries. Those were the days when ‘bodybuilding’ was in vogue. Now-a-days the concept of fitness has seen a revolutionary change.

Physical fitness is not just about staying healthy, it is also about looking good and leading an active life. The tasks of achieving a healthy body seems simple enough, yet it is not so. One has to follow a regular and a strict fitness regime to achieve this objective. At the same time, it is imperative to seek expert advice of a fitness instructor in this regard.

The role of a fitness instructor is a multifaceted one. The first and foremost responsibility is to guide trainees to get into shape.

Other than gym routines, fitness trainers also have to provide guidance regarding posture, dietary intake, food supplements, latest fitness techniques, and so on. Furthermore, they have to cater to the special needs and requirements of their clients.

Overall, the career path of a fitness instructor is all the time saturated with excitement and verve.

Job Prospects

There is no dearth of employment opportunities for qualified fitness instructors. In fact, the fitness industry is undergoing a phase of boom owing to the massive upsurge of lifestyle related diseases in urban centres. Another factor that is boosting this industry is the increased level of awareness amongst common man with regards to physical fitness and wellness.

There are lots of opportunities for fitness trainers these days. If you want a smug government job then you can head for various government run institutions and sport bodies. There are ample positions for trainers in schools, colleges and universities. Fitness instructors who have earned a postgraduate degree or any other higher qualification can also apply for teaching jobs in different colleges and educational bodies.

In the private sector, the range of employement openings range from five star hotels to innumerable health resorts, spas, sports and fitness clubs. Alternatively, you can start your own gymnasium or a health club or work exclusively as a personal fitness trainer for some celebrity. The opportunities are simply unending.

What Soft Skills Do You Need to Succeed in This Career?

In addition to your education and certification, you need certain soft skills, or personal qualities, to succeed as a fitness trainer. These are the most important ones:

  • Customer Service Skills: One of your goals as a fitness trainer is to understand your clients’ needs and satisfy them.
  • Instructing Skills: You will be responsible for making sure your customers know how to exercise and use equipment correctly. You will do this by carefully explaining and demonstrating proper techniques.
  • Ability to Motivate Others: Many people exercise, not because they love to, but because they need to. Your ability to motivate them will help make the experience more enjoyable.
  • Active Listening Skills: Being tuned into what clients are telling you will help you understand and fulfill their needs.
  • Verbal Communication Skills: The ability to clearly convey information and instructions to your customers is crucial.

Different Roles, Different Names

The role of a fitness instructor can be classified as:
  1. Aerobics instructor — a fitness instructor specializing in aerobic exercises and routines
  2. Clinical exercise specialist — a trainer who works with patients and assists them to overcome and recover from injuries and physical ailments
  3. Group fitness or gym instructor — a person who specializes in imparting the nuances of fitness routines to a group of people
  4. Personal trainer — a fitness trainer who is exclusively associated with a particular client and looks after their fitness schedule, diet and training.
  1. Yoga instructor — A yoga instructor is similar to a group fitness instructor because they typically teach a small-to-large group of students through a physical activity. The only difference is that yoga is more about focusing on posture, breathing exercises, meditation and balance activities.
  2. Lifestyle and weight management consultant — A career as a lifestyle and weight management consultant is often appealing to those interested in becoming more than a personal trainer. This is especially ideal for those looking to set themselves apart from other personal trainers.
  3. Health and wellness coach — At this point you may be wondering what the difference is between a health and wellness coach and a lifestyle and weight management consultant. The main difference between the two is that a health and wellness coach typically guides their clients through making diet changes and information about health and diseases that their client may be at risk for, based on their current health and fitness level or condition.
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    1. Adapted from the manual
      The Right Hand to Eat: 116 Career Choices By Safiya Mustafa Jariwala

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