Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors
On the Job
Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors help people get in shape. They teach aerobics classes or set up individual training programs.
Did you know that the most common New Year's resolution is to lose weight? This is often followed by other fitness goals, such as "eat better" and "exercise more." These are worthy goals, and can have very positive effects if they are achieved. However, it's not always easy to stick to an exercise routine, especially if it's not something you're used to doing. Sometimes, it's best to work with an expert to jumpstart your personal fitness goals. Turning to an aerobics instructor or fitness trainer can give you the motivation needed to get in shape, and more importantly, STAY in shape.Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors usually work at gyms and sports clubs. Fitness trainers usually work one-on-one with clients and gym users. They show people how to properly use fitness equipment, such as free weights, weight machines, stationary bikes, and treadmills. They test an individual's fitness level, such as heart rate, to see what exercise they can handle. They also test a person's skill and ability level. For example, a person who has knee problems would most likely be advised to do low-impact aerobic activities.
Fitness trainers also teach people to make sure they are breathing properly during exercise. They also show people how to exert themselves so that they can get in better shape. Often, they teach people about their target and maximum heart rates. Then, they observe clients and participants to make sure they have proper form. Trainers often make corrections to make sure that participants don't hurt themselves. If a person has progressed, they often make changes to the fitness program so that it is more challenging.
In addition, fitness trainers often talk to people about how to eat better and make better lifestyle choices. They may construct eating plans for clients and monitor their weight loss. They also talk to clients and participants about proper workout clothes and shoes.
As you might expect, aerobics instructors teach fitness classes. They teach a variety of classes, including step, kickboxing, and interval training. They plan routines for participants to follow, making sure that all muscles are exercised. Music is a key part of a successful fitness class. Instructors spend time picking music that is fun and has the right tempo. Since all types of people take fitness classes, it is important for aerobics instructors to offer alternatives for those who cannot do all the moves.
Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors may also be responsible for maintaining and storing equipment. They often sell memberships to fitness clubs and keep track of new members. In addition, some organize and lead tournaments, such as tennis, golf, or racquetball.
Occasionally, clients or participants may injure themselves. Because of this, fitness trainers and aerobics instructors are trained in CPR and first aid. They may, on rare occasions, have to treat minor injuries or refer people to doctors.
The following list of occupational tasks is specific to this career.
- Show people how to properly use exercise equipment. Explain the rules for different sports and fitness activities.
- Plan exercise routines, including music and different types of movements for different muscles.
- Teach participants how to properly breathe and exert themselves during exercise.
- Evaluate a person's needs, abilities, and physical condition. Based on this information, develop a specific training program.
- Monitor participants' progress and make changes to fitness programs as needed.
- Observe participants, making corrections to their form when necessary.
- Talk to participants about nutrition, weight loss, and lifestyle issues.
- Maintain fitness equipment.
- Advise clients about proper clothing and shoes.
- Promote health clubs through membership sales. Keep records of members.
- Organize, lead, and referee indoor and outdoor games such as volleyball, baseball, and basketball. May organize and lead competitions and tournaments.
- May occasionally give emergency first aid and treat minor injuries. When needed, refer people to physicians.
People in this career perform the following list of tasks, but the tasks are common to many occupations.
- Perform activities that use the whole body.
- Update and use job-related knowledge.
- Establish and maintain relationships.
- Get information needed to do the job.
- Think creatively.
- Coach others.
- Assist and care for others.
- Perform for or work with the public.
- Communicate with supervisors, peers, or subordinates.
- Teach others.
- Handle and move objects.
- Organize, plan, and prioritize work.
- Inspect equipment, structures, or materials.
- Develop and build teams.
- Monitor events, materials, and surroundings.
- Develop goals and strategies.
- Make decisions and solve problems.
- Schedule work and activities.
- Communicate with people from outside the organization.
- Coordinate the work and activities of others.
In a typical work setting, people in this career:
- Have a high level of communication with others. They constantly interact with clients, participants, and other trainers.
- Communicate with others in person on a daily basis. They communicate less often by telephone. Trainers may need to contact clients to set up appointments, but most of the time, they talk face-to-face.
- Speak in front of large groups on a daily basis. This is especially true for aerobics instructors, who lead various types of fitness classes.
- May work in a group or as part of a team. This is especially true for those who work for a fitness center.
- Are responsible for the health and safety of their clients or class participants.
- Are somewhat responsible for the results of training. However, ultimately clients and participants are responsible for following a fitness regimen.
- Almost always work indoors. On rare occasions may work outdoors.
- Work very near others, often within a few feet or closer. They help clients with proper form and technique.
- Strive to be accurate and exact when performing the job. It is important to teach clients and individuals proper form so they don't injure themselves.
- Regularly make decisions that affect others. They rarely consult a supervisor before deciding a fitness plan or designing a class.
- Set most goals, tasks, and priorities without consulting a supervisor.
- Abide by strict deadlines on a daily basis. It is important to keep classes and appointments within the set time frame.
- Repeat the same movements over and over.
- Generally work a set schedule.
- Most work less than 40 hours a week. Fitness trainers are more likely to work closer to 40 hours, while aerobics instructors usually teach a few classes per week.
- May work evenings and weekends.
Physical Work Conditions
In a typical work setting, people in this career:
- Walk, run, or stand for long periods of time, usually during training sessions or aerobics classes.
- Bend or twist their body.
- Repeat the same movements.
- Use their hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools, or controls.
- Use stomach and lower back muscles to support the body for long periods without getting tired.
- Coordinate movement of several parts of the body, such as arms and legs, while the body is moving.
- Be physically active for long periods without getting tired or out of breath.
- Bend, stretch, twist, or reach out.
- Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
- Use muscles for extended periods without getting tired.
- Use muscles to lift, push, pull, or carry heavy objects.
- Understand the speech of another person.
- Move two or more limbs together (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while remaining in place.
- Keep or regain the body's balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
- Hold the arm and hand in one position or hold the hand steady while moving the arm.
- See details of objects whether they are nearby or far away.
- Use fingers or hands to grasp, move, or assemble objects.
- Move arms and legs quickly.
- Quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out.
- Focus on one source of sound and ignore others.
- Use muscles to jump, sprint, or throw objects.
- See differences between colors, shades, and brightness.
- Hear sounds and recognize the difference between them.
People in this career frequently:
It is important for people in this career to be able to:
It is not as important, but still necessary, for people in this career to be able to:
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.