Becoming a Fitness Instructor
First off, I can’t believe that it’s been 6 MONTHS since I’ve written a blog post. I think the fact that it’s been so long naturally showcases how busy my life has been. It feels so good to be writing again.
ANYWAYS, as the social community grows online and I continue to develop my wellness brand, I’ve found that a lot of you guys find value in content that I post about fitness, and quite a few of you have reached out over the past 6 months asking about becoming a fitness instructor – what the process looked like, how to show interest at the studio that you want to teach at, how to approach studio owners, what auditions are like, etc. Although the answer to these questions will be different depending on the person that you ask, I thought it might be beneficial for me to answer them in the best way that I can!
Going through training to become a spin instructor 2 years ago was truly one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. It’s led me to become a stronger and more spiritual person, and it has challenged me in so many ways. If any of you are thinking about going through the process (whether to become a yoga instructor, spin instructor, trainer, etc.), I would tell you to flipping GO FOR IT! But, I understand any hesitations and questions you might have, so let’s talk about these things and how you can take action in response to them.
I’ve divided the following into SITUATION vs. ACTION so that we can look at the timeline of the audition process and see what actions you can take throughout. Check it out:
Situation: You love your workout studio and hear that they are going to be hosting auditions soon for new instructors.
Taking Action: HELL YES! This is exciting. If you don’t already know the people working the front desk, introduce yourself! If you aren’t already taking time to chat with riders or yogis next to you in class, start doing so. If you haven’t personally met your instructors, tell them your name! This is the time to make yourself known to the people at the studio and show that you are invested in their community! Likely, every studio is looking for instructors and trainers that are willing to chat it up with studio attendants and invest in the community even outside of teaching.
Taking Action Pt. 2: Once you’ve introduced yourself to the front desk, make an effort to meet the studio owner(s). Tell them how long you’ve been attending classes there, and let them know what it is about the studio that you love so much. Finally, let them know you’re interested in auditioning and you’d like to know what information they need from you beforehand. Also, ask them how you can best prepare!
Situation: Auditions are a few weeks away and you’ve started prepping.
Taking Action: During preparation for your audition, take note of how other instructors at the studio cue movements or breathing, how they foreshadow movements or transitions, what motivational cues they use, and what type of language is appropriate. Adding some of this studio flare to your audition will show your familiarity with the teaching style of the studio.
Taking Action Pt. 2: As much as you want it to go perfectly, your audition will likely involve a few awkward moments or slip-ups. You’re human, duh; and you’re also going to be nervous. The more that you practice your routine at a local gym or in your home, the more comfortable you will be when it comes time to audition. Practice cueing movements or sequences with the music that you’ll be using, and make sure that you familiarize yourself with the rhythm of your songs if you’re going into beat-based teaching.
Situation: It’s the day of auditions.
Taking Action: LET’S GOOOOOO. Time to do this thing for real. First things first – when you walk into the studio and check in with the front desk, introduce yourself to the other people auditioning and chat it up a little bit. This is another chance (and the most important one!) to show that you’re interested in involving yourself in the studio’s community. No studio is going to want instructors that sit in the corner or behind the desk and don’t talk to incoming riders, yogis or customers. When you leave the lobby and enter the studio space, warm-up a little bit on your own if you aren’t led through a warm-up by an instructor. You’ll be glad you did!
Situation: Your name’s called and it’s your turn to audition.
Taking Action: BE YOURSELF. I honestly think this is the most important piece. The best thing that you can do is get up in front of everyone and just be YOU. I like to think that a majority of studios are looking for trainers and instructors that have a little grit, spunk or quirkiness to them. Personality is everything! Say something funny and lighthearted, or be honest about your nervousness but say that you’re ready to kick some ass anyways, etc. Introduce yourself authentically and tell them why you’re so excited to be auditioning with THIS studio specifically!
Taking Action Pt. 2: Do the damn thing. You’ve hopefully practiced over and over again and are super familiar with the movements, sequences, and/or music. Use a strong, confident voice (it’s better to be too loud than too quiet, I think!), over exaggerate movements or poses, and don’t forget to add a little personality! If you mess up, own it. Laugh it off and move onto the next thing. When you’re audition is over, finish with enthusiasm and say thank you for the opportunity to get up there and do your thing!
Situation: Exiting the studio and following-up.
Taking Action: When auditions are said and done, thank the front desk and say goodbye to the people that you met during the process. Unless you’re truly in a hurry to get somewhere else, don’t rush out! Take your time getting your things together and exit with grace.
Taking Action Pt. 2: Keep attending classes at the studio! Even if it’s just once a week, make sure that you’re staying present while waiting to hear back about auditions. Stay friendly, positive and engaged while in class and while chatting with other people in the studio community.
Situation: YOU GOT THE JOB.
Taking Action: HALLELUJAH! Congratulations! This is flipping huge and you should be so proud of yourself. Keep doing what you’re doing and let the studio guide you with next steps. Also, start to get to know the other instructors better! There is a good chance that these people will become your best friends.
Situation: Not this time around.
Taking Action: If you didn’t get the instructor or trainer position, IT IS OKAY. You should still be so proud of yourself for preparing and auditioning like you did. This does NOT mean that you aren’t meant to be an instructor. This means that there are some things you need to work on and that a second round of auditions might be what it takes to get you to through the finish line! If you are truly passionate about becoming an instructor at this studio, then ask the people who attended your audition for feedback! How can you improve? What could you focus on? How did you sound on the mic? How was your cueing? Etc.
Taking Action Pt. 2: Keep yourself involved in the community! Keep attending classes and showing up with a positive attitude. When you continue to show up and be present regardless of being told “no” the first time around with auditions, you stand out to the studio as someone who is persistent, confident and not caught up in any egotistic bullshit. Never gossip or talk poorly about the studio and its decision to not take you as an instructor because chances are it’ll get back to the owners somehow. Keep being you, focus on improving, and have faith that it will work out the second time around if it’s supposed to! If you really want it, you’ll be willing to work and show up for it.
Becoming a fitness instructor – regardless of what the process looks like – is stressful and challenging but incredibly rewarding. Once you are involved in the fitness community professionally, you’ll truly never want to leave! There is something so special about advocating for physical wellness. I firmly believe that by leading people in physical fitness, you’re helping them become better versions of themselves. AND, if you have the opportunity to merge emotional and spiritual wellness with your practice, your job becomes even more meaningful.
As a fitness instructor, you are a leader. People look up to you and consider you an example of what physical wellness it. However, even if you don’t get the chance to be a fitness instructor, know that you can still set an example at your favorite studios by showcasing confidence, friendliness, and strong work ethic regardless. People gravitate towards other people who give off good vibes and have a willingness to grow. If that’s you, then you’ll live a good ass life and you’ll forever be valued in your fitness community.