The role of a fitness instructor can be very rewarding. Once you are trained and qualified, you will be able to work in a variety of settings. For example, you could work with individuals on a one-on-one level. Alternatively you could get a job working in one of the many fitness centres in South Africa.
What Does a Fitness Instructor Do?
A fitness instructor will work with clients to help them achieve their fitness goals. The instructor will also have been trained in the safest forms of exercise for each client at every stage of their fitness. For instance, some people might be able to tackle more challenging exercises from the very beginning, while others will be better with more basic tasks.
A fitness instructor performs a vital function in keeping people fit. This is because – say medical experts at the University of Minnesota – keeping fit and healthy has loads for benefits. Among others, these are:
- Helping clients sleep better,
- Allowing clients to keep in shape, and
- Giving clients the opportunity to strengthen themselves and avoid injury.
What Kind of Training is Required to Become a Fitness Instructor?
In order to embark on this career, you need to have a recognised qualification in personal training. There are various courses available, from advanced diploma courses to personal trainer certification qualifications as well as a gym/fitness instructor course. Ideally a good first step to take is to embark on a course in Exercise Science if you don’t already have a background in anatomy and physiology.
The type of course you will choose will depend on the exact type of career you want as a fitness instructor
It also depends on where you want to work. However in all cases you should ensure the course you choose is accredited by the the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). This will assure you that your qualification will be recognised when it comes to applying for suitable jobs. Several different training centres have been approved by SAQA to provide accredited courses in South Africa.
What Kinds of Jobs are Available and What do They Entail?
To become a fitness instructor there are several avenues you can go down. Some people work with individuals to help them achieve a desired goal for example:
- To lose weight, or
- To become fitter and/or stronger.
In other cases fitness instructors take group classes in one or more areas. For example, these could be in:
There are many possibilities in this area.
In fact, once you qualify as a fitness instructor with a basic qualification, you can think about furthering your fitness education by training in a particular specialist subject. For example, you might learn how to teach Pilates or how to become a Kettlebell trainer.
Indeed most fitness instructors focus on specialising in one or two areas, rather than trying to cover everything. It means you will be more employable as you can act as a general fitness instructor as well as taking classes in those specific subjects.
So you can see that attaining your first accredited qualification is just the beginning of what can be a very rewarding career. Explore the world of a fitness instructor now and think about whether this job could be ideal for you.
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