I Want To Become A Group Fitness Instructor

As you may know, I’m a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I love personal training and working with clients one-on-one. But recently, I’ve been thinking about adding on another certification in group fitness.

…but there are so many to choose from!


I know some of you are group fitness instructors, so I’d love to hear your input. Here’s what I’m thinking about:

General Group Fitness Instructor

I could get a group fitness certification right through NASM which would allow me to teach in group settings, which means a variety of classes offered at local gyms and studios. This is probably the most general, and would offer me the ability to work in a lot of different classes. Hmm…

Body Pump Instructor

I’ve done Body Pump a few times and love it. I feel like this would be perfect for me because I love lifting, and I love lifting to group music. Loud music always gets me going, especially in a group atmosphere! I’ve had some instructors who haven’t corrected others’ painfully obvious bad form, which is something I’d like to do. Part of being an instructor is educating others and making sure they don’t hurt themselves right? I really don’t mean to sound holier than thou or anything, but I just don’t like when I see a trainer or instructor, whether it’s in the gym, yoga, etc., who isn’t correcting obvious issues. I get that it’s a large class but I’ve seen some who don’t even walk around to TRY to find these form issues. Okay, rant over… ;)

Spin Instructor

This one I really don’t know about! I love spin, but I just can’t imagine having to bike all out AND be yelling out directions and encouragement at the same time. What if I needed a break?? To all of you spin instructors: how do you do it? I really feel like I’d be huffing and puffing the whole time trying to ride and speak at the same time.

These are my current ideas, but I’m open to others. So please let me know what you think! :)

Are you a fitness instructor? What’s your certification?

Any tips for transitioning from one-on-one training to group fitness?


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5 Things Your Personal Trainer Wants You To Know

How many of you have a personal trainer? I’m actually a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. I got certified in 2010 and re-certified last year with a focus on fitness assessment. Fitness and health are my passion, clearly…hence my blog!

I wanted to share with you all a few things we personal trainers want you to know when you’re in sessions with us. Some of them you may do already or know about already, and some you may not. I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are!

Things Your Personal Trainer Wants You To Know

We hate the word “tone.” “Toning up” doesn’t exist. What people mean when they say they want to be tone is that they want to lose body fat so you can see more muscle. Muscle tone actually refers to whether a muscle is at rest or contracted. From my experience, it seems women use this phrase more, and don’t want to refer to it as building muscle, but that’s what it is! Ladies, don’t be afraid of admitting you want to add muscle and get lean…nothing wrong with that! You won’t “look like a man” I promise.

You need to do the work outside of sessions with us. Just coming to 1 or 2 sessions per week with us won’t make much of a difference. You also need to be doing something those other 5-6 days a week. If you’re not sure how to plan a weekly workout schedule, just ask us! Which leads me to my next point…

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, we love answering them! If you’re not sure what a certain exercise is for or how it will benefit you, don’t be afraid to us. We love to answer questions and start talking about muscles and science-y stuff :-P If we don’t know the answer to a question, we also love doing the research. We are here to help and will gladly find out as much as we can for you.

If something hurts, even a tiny twinge, speak up. If you’re doing a bench press and your shoulder hurts a little, tell us! Don’t wait. We know modifications for every exercise and can modify things depending on what hurts or bothers you. Don’t feel annoying by asking us to do this.

Confidence is key. Be confident when you’re lifting! I can’t tell you how many times I give a client a weight and they say “I can’t do that!” and they end up going through 3 sets no problem. Be confident and you can do it. A lot of it is mental. Which is what we are here for as well, to give you coaching cues and make you confident as you’re lifting. So when you’re lifting alone, remember those cues. When I lift, mentally I am telling myself things like, “Drive it up!” “Chest up shoulders back” “Explode!” Try it – it really helps.

Do you have a personal trainer or work out alone? Do you use mental phrases to help you?

What’s one question you’d like to ask a personal trainer? (hint: might have a Twitter chat on this soon!)


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Yes, I’m a Personal Trainer, But I Admit That…

I got the inspiration for this post from personal trainer Taylor, who writes at LiftingRevolution.com. She has done a series titled, “10 Jaw Dropping Confessions Of A Personal Trainer” and I loved reading her confessions…mostly because I can totally relate!

Sometimes I feel like, as a trainer, I need to live a certain lifestyle when it comes to healthy and fitness…but I definitely have some confessions of my own ;)

Here we go:

I admit that… I have a crazy sweet tooth and “splurge” on a sweet treat 2-3 times per week. Usually something small, like a small cookie, or piece of dark chocolate. It has definitely gotten the best of me though, and there have been times when I just can’t stay away from the Famous Amos cookies in the vending machine at work!

I admit that… I have a love/hate relationship with cardio. Sure, I love to run…but some days I just don’t want to. Though now that it’s warmer I feel like I will run more, but this past winter I had absolutely no desire to run, and I’m totally okay with that. Though my brother, dad and I did get in a good 2 miler yesterday!

I just hate other forms of cardio like the elliptical, biking, stepper, etc. I just get so bored! I’m all about the weightlifting.

I admit that… I will never be a morning person. I have tried SO many times to wake up and work out in the AM but it’s always been a fail. I have slept in my workout clothes, but that has not made me any less apt to hit snooze. I just have way more energy in the evening. Why force something, right?

I admit that… I’m really not a huge fan of vegetables. I’m pretty sure I will never crave them, and I eat them because, well, I have to. I guess there are some I like over others but I can’t think of any that I would say I LOVE. Just sat here staring at the screen trying to think if there’s one I love…nope, I got nothing. Maybe tomatoes?

I admit that… I view the gym as a playground. I love going to the gym to lift. I rarely don’t feel like going due to energy or anything…it’s just something I look forward to every day because I can’t wait to see what my numbers for the day will be. I could probably spend a decent amount of time there, because I like trying new exercises/machines, and challenging myself on different things. I also love trying new classes! It is kind of like a playground for adults right? Or am I just weird…

Which of these things can you relate to?

Do you like veggies? Give me a vegetable suggestion please!


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Excuses…and why I hate them

I found this blog post on Tony Gentilcore’s site (which is actually a guest post written by trainer Mike Anderson)…and I completely agree. As a personal trainer, I have heard a lot of excuses and a lot of groaning. Mike Anderson says:

“We’ve all heard it a million times; hell, most of us have said it that many times. I just can’t do that!

As a trainer, I hear this way more than I’d like to admit to.

I just can’t do another rep!

 A 7 a.m. session? I can’t wake up that early!

 Stop eating muffins and eat more meat?? I just can’t!

Is it really something you can’t do? Or is it something that you’re not willing to do?”

A lot of friends ask me for help or advice on training and healthy eating. When they hear things they have to cut out, they are like “ehhhhh, not sure if I can do that.” Listen, I am ok with you wanting to eat whatever you want, I don’t judge, whatever. BUT the thing I hate is when people don’t take my advice, and then complain about feeling overweight, out of shape, etc. You know what the solution is.

“Get your ass out of bed and go to the gym. Go for a walk – do something!  I don’t care. The extra hour of sleep in the morning isn’t going to make a difference anyway; if you’re that tired, go to bed earlier.”

I’m not a morning person, so I really can’t force you to go to the gym in the mornings ;)

However, I agree with what Mike is saying. If you have your goal in mind, do something every. single. day. to achieve that goal. It doesn’t necessarily have to be working out, it can be saying no to sweets at the office, or getting an extra serving of vegetables each day. If you know what your common excuse is, then do something to stop it.

My common excuse is: I’m too tired, I really don’t feel like going to the gym. So what do I do? As soon as I get home I change and don’t even let myself sit on the couch or in bed. Once I’m at the gym I feel a million times better.

Mike also asks:

“Why are you not willing to do what it takes to get those results?”

Ask yourself this question next time you “can’t” or “won’t.”

I will leave you with a quote from Mike’s post, which I love:

“The worst is when someone says “I can’t do that” without even trying. How do you know what you can or cannot do? The limits to what you can do are set only by your mind; if you just try I bet you’ll surprise yourself with what you’re actually capable of.”

What’s your excuse and what will you do to eliminate them??


About Mike Anderson: Mike is a Boston area personal trainer and currently interning with Boston University Strength and Conditioning. Mike is also finishing his degree in Exercise and Health Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. You can reach him with any questions, comments or notes of affection at michaelkaneanderson@gmail.com. You can also visit his website:  http://commercialgymtrainer.blogspot.com/