Auditioning to teach fitness classes? Here are five tips to help you outshine the rest!

Auditioning to teach fitness classes? Here are five tips to help you outshine the rest!
Before you audition to teach fitness classes, read this for simple tips that can help outshine the rest.

Auditioning to teach fitness classes may not be as easy as you think. There are some specific qualities fitness directors look for when searching for new talent, so if you couple these techniques with your passion, knowledge, and shining personality, you are sure to be a stand out amongst the rest.

The first thing you must do is be early to your audition.  If you have a 9AM appointment, then make it your business to get there at least ten minutes prior to your interview. Why? Because managers are looking to see how you arrive to appointments. If you come breezing in right before your audition starts, chances are you will do the same thing as a fitness instructor. Everyone runs late now and again, but no one likes the instructor who is always late, coming in to the club right at the same time the class begins. This makes a huge difference!

Arriving early to an audition shows that you will also be on time for your classes.

Arriving early to an audition shows that you will also be on time for your classes.

Tip 1: To be early is to be on time. 

Now this next tip is very important and you can even practice this, along with your fitness routine, in the mirror if this is your first time ever auditioning to teach fitness classes.

Tip 2: Introduce yourself to your “class” imagining the room to be full of members excited and ready to exercise with you.

hello_awesome

In your audition, and even afterwards an instructor, whether you’ve taught a class once or a hundred times, always introduce yourself and let the members know you are happy to be their instructor.

This tip is important because chances are, you will be auditioning to teach the class with the hiring manager only, meaning there won’t be any members in the class at all. If that’s the case, you have to imagine that you are teaching to a class full of members who will all be thriving off the energy you give; therefore, if there are no people in the class, you have to be just as excited as if there were 100. It may feel awkward (which is why you should practice before going in) and it may seem corny, but it is so important.

Be energetic! Smile! And more than anything, be yourself, but don’t forget the important step of introducing yourself to the class, also announcing the format you will teach. This shows your manager you are in control and can handle a class all by yourself. If you’ve ever had a doctor come into a room who just starts asking questions without even giving you the courtesy of introducing him or herself to you, then you know how awkward, cold, and unprofessional that is. Remember, no one likes a boring, timid instructor, or not knowing the name of the person who is talking to them. Take the time to say “Hello, My name is [fill in the blank]. Your interviewer will love that!

This next one’s important too, and it’s one of those things that being on time or a scintillating introduction can’t help you with, and that is:

Tip #3: Know Your Craft. 

You have to know the elements of a class which include the warm up, aerobic portion, and cool down. If you come out of the gate doing jumping jacks you can just hang that audition up. Jumping jacks in a warm up are a contraindicated exercise (i.e., unsafe and should not be done) because your body isn’t “warm” enough for an intense move like that–and people do it ALL THE TIME and it’s wrong. Plus, jumping jacks have modifications; something else you MUST know how to provide and demonstrate in a group fitness.

While you don't have to know all 640 muscles of the human body, knowing some baseline anatomical terms shows you are knowledgeable and able to teach others. Mention the muscles you are working in your audition and you will shine!

While you don’t have to know all 640 muscles of the human body, knowing some baseline anatomical terms shows you are knowledgeable and able to teach others. Mention the muscles you are working in your audition and you will shine!

Which takes us to a critical step in the auditioning process:

Tip #4: You have to know how to cue (give verbal instructions) as a group exercise instructor. 

I can’t stress this one enough.

Here is where many would-be instructors get disqualified because it’s obvious from the moment you start moving if you know what you are doing or not. Saying, “four more” and doing more than four is a definite no-no; or, saying something like, “This exercise is great for your quads!”, but then you point to the back of your thighs shows your lack of knowledge as it relates to anatomy. While some health clubs don’t require you to have a national fitness certification to teach classes and may allow you a 3-6 month grace period to receive it, you still need to know the basics to instruct a safe, effective, inspiring fitness classes where no one will suffer at your hands, and I’m sure you don’t want that either.

This last tip is something I’m not sure WHY people don’t know this for an audition, but since I’ve experienced this several times recently while auditioning people who want to teach fitness classes, I must share this with you.

Tip #5: ONLY DO WHAT YOU ARE ASKED TO DO. 

Let your light shine in your audition. Like attracts like, so if the hiring manager is fun and friendly then you know you are in the right place. Remember, you are "interviewing" the club as well.

Let your light shine in your audition. Like attracts like, so if the hiring manager is fun and friendly then you know you are in the right place. Remember, you are “interviewing” the club as well.

Nothing more, nothing less. This means, if the hiring manager asks you to demonstrate how you would teach a basic matt Pilates class, for example, don’t start doing sun salutations. You may think that a sun salutation is part of your workout, which it can be depending upon how you introduce it, but if you are asked to do exercises on a matt, do that. The same is true if you are asked to demonstrate what you would do in a boot camp class. Don’t start doing a step aerobics routine. Do what you are asked to do. Don’t be overly creative. Don’t think you’re showing your extra special talent by doing something unique because you just may be showing you don’t know how to follow simple directions, and trust me when I tell you, no fitness director has a gazillion hours to answer the questions of an instructor who can’t follow simple directions to teach a few hours a week. That’s an indication that you are more of a headache than help. Follow the manager’s directions.

This last piece isn’t a tip but it’s equally as important as all the others, and that is…

HAVE FUN!

Group fitness instructors are a unique, excitable, fun loving, friendly bunch who thrive off of creating and sharing positive energy, laughter, and joy. Your desire to teach classes by showing up for an audition shows your initiative and confidence to help others–now all you have to do is practice, practice, practice…and have shine.

In FITNESS and In Health,

Elana

******

Don’t miss any of my blogs. Subscribe to “In FITNESS and In Health” by typing your email address in the box and then click the “create subscription” button to have my latest blogs sent directly to your inbox. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time. Thank you!

About Me: I am an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor with a graduate degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from the California University of Pennsylvania. For almost twenty years, I have been teaching group fitness classes, and also worked for a spell as a trainer having earned my ACE personal training certification. After umpteen sessions of clients asking me, “How many more?” and repeating the number of reps back to me as if they were deaf, “I have to do 20!?!?!”, I decided hang up my hat as trainer and pursue group fitness exclusively, teaching classes to my heart’s desire without hearing complaints or getting last minute cancellations.

Keep the conversation going on my Facebook page  "In FITNESS and In Health". Why vow to live in sickness, when you can live IN FITNESS and In Health!

Keep the conversation going on my Facebook page “In FITNESS and In Health”. Why vow to live in sickness, when you can live IN FITNESS and In Health!

While I am proud of the accomplishments I’ve made in fitness, I’m most proud of being a happily married wife and mom of six daughters who provide more challenging workouts than I’ve ever had in any gym trying to keep up with schedules, outings, and beaus.  Add to that, my other passions, which are writing, teaching (in the classroom), and worshipping God, and I am one happy camper.  I am also a proud two-time graduate of DePaul University with an undergraduate degree in English and graduate degree in Writing–which is the first place I was told “You are really ARE a writer” in my first semester class by Professor Linda Hillman. Thank you DePaul!

For more information on becoming an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, click here. AFAA is the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.

For more information on becoming certified by the American Council on Exercise, click here.

 Here’s another blog I wrote on “5 Signs of an Outstanding Group Fitness Instructor.

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger

    Elana Anthony

    I am a wife and mother blessed to have six daughters who fill my home with love and laughter. My passion is writing and teaching, but most especially inspiring people to live healthy lives in my faith-filled fitness classes. My dream is to have my own faith and fitness TV show where people from all the world collectively join together on our "temple" building project of enjoying optimal health. I am a certified group fitness instructor by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), and earned graduate degrees in Writing from DePaul University, in addition to a degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from the California University of Pennsylvania. I have seen and experienced the hand of God work and move in my life, and consider it an honor and blessing to be saved to serve.

  • Recent posts

  • Tags

  • Advertisement: