home | contact us | disclaimer  

Certification Courses and Training as a Fitness or Aerobic Instructor

If you are interested in teaching aerobics exercise classes at a gym, wellness center, or as a personal trainer, you will need to obtain your aerobic instructor certification. Aerobics instructor training programs are designed to teach individuals how to perform basic to advanced aerobics exercises, lead a group of students, train an individual how to perform aerobics exercises, and ensure that students complete each exercise without injuries. Most professional certification programs cover several techniques and types of exercises, including hi/lo impact, circuit training, group exercise modalities and basic aerobics training.

Completing Aerobics Certification

Aerobics certification programs typically include instructor training, aerobics class training, and the completion of a certification examination. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the Aerobics Fitness Association of America (AFAA) do not require instructors to hold a degree in a fitness-related field, but many aspiring instructors do hold either an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in the field before they get their certification.

In order to complete certification requirements, you will need to demonstrate proficiency and perform exercises in the following areas:

  • Physical fitness conditioning
  • Methods for injury avoidance, including stretching and cooling techniques
  • Fitness testing and protocols
  • Using small equipment
  • Types of group fitness class formats
  • Constructing different types of fitness routines
  • Identifying examples of water training principles
  • Completing evaluation forms

Types of Aerobics Teacher Classes

Aerobics teacher classes teach students how to lead a group exercise session, teach students the basics about injury prevention, and ensure that the instructor has a strong working knowledge of several different exercises and techniques.

Some of the most common types of classes, include:

  • Warm up and cool down exercises
  • Cardiorespiratory training
  • Muscular conditioning
  • Flexibility training
  • High/Low impact programs
  • Step training
  • Kickboxing
  • Stationary indoor cycling
  • Water exercises
  • Rebounding
  • Dance-based classes
  • Sports conditioning

Aspiring aerobics teachers are also trained to complete health history forms, develop sample workout routines, and may be reviewed by a group of teachers or instructors to ensure they are maintaining high standards and complying with general rules and regulations.

Types of Aerobics Instructor Training Programs

Several fitness organizations offer official training programs and certification courses, and these can be completed at a registered school, at a trade school, or even online. Some of the most popular types of programs include certification from the:

  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)
  • American Council on Exercise
  • National Association for Fitness Certification
  • International Fitness Association (IFA)
  • American Fitness Professionals and Associates

Teaching methodologies for all these programs vary by organization, and some can be completed entirely online. Online certification programs may require the student to log in a certain number of hours at a gym or studio or complete an internship. This hands-on experience will help the student gain firsthand knowledge and experience working with different types of students, developing workout programs, and leading a class on their own.

The two major certifying bodies in the United States for aerobics instruction are the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the Aerobics Fitness Association of America (AFAA). Certification is typically required to work in a gym, fitness center, wellness center, and to offer personal training instruction as an independent contractor.

Preparing for Aerobic Instructor Certification

In addition to completing the course requirements and obtaining work experience in the field, aspiring instructors will need to stay in good physical shape, monitor their diet, and keep up with the latest fitness trends. Since aerobics instructors make a living by leading several classes each week, they need to be prepare for the physical stress associated with the position.

Most certified instructors lead up to six classes, five to six days per week, so they need to be in very good physical shape and make sure they have enough energy to get through their day. Some choose to branch out into other fitness courses and obtain certification as a Yoga instructor, Pilates instructor, dance class instructor, kickboxing instructor and other specialties.


Back to Certification Courses and Training as a Fitness or Aerobic Instructor