Aerobics instructors lead fitness classes. These fitness leaders lead classes
of 10 to 100 fitness enthusiasts through a series of exercises.
They teach the students how to perform the moves and ask the students to
follow their example. They're responsible for planning safe and effective
classes to meet the needs of their clients and answering fitness-related questions
from their students.
Most fitness leaders only teach part time because aerobics are so strenuous.
Those who work full time in the fitness industry may spend the rest of the
day doing other duties.
If they work at a health club, they may have administrative duties or work
in sales at the club shop. Or they may work at sports equipment companies,
or help to design and manufacture athletic equipment.
Some of the best aerobics instructors travel around the country teaching
other fitness leaders how to improve their skills.
The physical requirements for this field are high -- you have to be fit.
The stereotype of the beautiful, super-slim aerobics instructor is a dated
one, say instructors. Even seniors or those with disabilities can lead an
"The only requirement a leader needs is a level of fitness appropriate
to the class they are teaching," says fitness program coordinator Sharon Meredith.
The new image of the aerobics instructor has created diverse aerobics programs.
Fitness leaders now specialize in many different types of classes, including:
- - Aqua-fitness
- - Third age -- teaching seniors
- - Personal training
- - Adapted fitness -- for amputees or those with physical disabilities
- - Step choreography
- - High or low impact
- - Funk
- - Stretch
- - Kickboxing
- - Yoga
- - Boot camp
- - Pilates
- - Salsa and Zumba
Aerobics instructors usually work in community centers, facilities like
the YMCA and the YWCA, or private health clubs or gyms.
Most fitness instructors work part time while holding down full-time jobs
in other areas. "I would guess that 80 percent of fitness leaders do this
as a hobby, on the side of another regular job," says Meredith.
"It can be tempting to teach a large number of classes per week to earn
more money. But you can't forget that when you teach a class, you're working
out your body, and you don't want to overexert yourself," says Gary Johnson,
an aerobics instructor in Portland, Oregon.
Instructors work when there are classes to teach. This may mean somewhat
irregular hours, including early morning, evening and weekend work.
There is a chance of injury in this field.
The more you know about fitness, the less likely you'll hurt yourself.
Well-trained fitness leaders know when enough is enough. "If you're an educated
instructor, you can monitor yourself and monitor your participants, so that
you don't overtrain," says Johnson.