3 Surprising Things No One Ever Told You About Being an Instructor

October 12, 2014

Fitness Instructors
Five years of teaching! Hoo-RAH! There’s a lot to learn in any new field, and we all know that no industry is pure confetti and roses. What really happens behind the scenes? If you have ever wanted to become an instructor (whether fitness or dance or something else) then here are three surprising things you may want to know!

1. It’s competitive.

You know how there are only so many classes to take at the gym, and there isn’t class at every hour of every day? Yeah, that’s because instructors are competing to teach that format at that specific time.

And guess what — more than one teacher wants to teach that class you’re taking.

And guess what else, there are applications to fill out, auditions to make and politics to deal with in order to get your most ideal teaching schedule.

But such is life, right? Not everything is handed to you in life, and everyone has a family they’re trying to take care of and a career to build. People will be people, no matter what industry you’re in. The important thing is to become a fitness instructor for the great impact you can make on peoples’ lives, and for your own personal fulfillment.

2. It can put you WAY off track on your personal fitness goals.

This wasn’t such a surprise at the beginning, until I got into teaching fitness classes two years ago and realized how often instructors hurt themselves for the sake of teaching and earning money. Don’t get me wrong — your teachers do genuinely care about you, love it when you come to class, and want you to achieve your fitness goals. We just don’t always set the best example, behind closed doors.

I started teaching fitness classes regularly and hit a plateau like nobody’s business in my personal weight loss journey. I stopped losing weight and I was tired all the time.

Other instructors were getting injured and requesting subs left and right. Instructors were overworking themselves, teaching and subbing sometimes 8-10 times a week, in addition to grueling weekend workshops as they try to get certified for additional formats.

People were getting surgeries, and physical therapy and acupuncture, having lower energy and looking really sallow in the face just for the sake of teaching.

Some instructors will advocate this type of behavior for the sake of popularity or income, and others will make the necessary changes they need to be healthy role models for the families, students, and friends.

It’s part of growing up, really — you have to do what it takes to create the life you want, and sometimes what it takes is putting your own goals on the back burner for a little while.

The decision is yours, and you can make it work for YOU!

3. It will open the doors to opportunities you didn’t even know you wanted.

A little back story in case you didn’t know this about me: I started teaching in 2009, before my last year of architecture school.

I got tired of not having any opportunity to dance unless I was surrounded by very hormone-driven 14-year olds (don’t hate, you know that’s why you haven’t signed up for dance classes at your local studio!). So I figure, why not teach my own class. Thus began Beginning Hip Hop Dance for Adults, a free workshop series that was meant for adults who have always wanted to try hip hop dance but never had the chance.

Long story short, I really fell in LOVE with teaching. Yep, they painfully shy, introverted nerdy girl suddenly wanted to reach out to people, and that’s where it all began for me.

Fast forward five years and I’ve quit my full-time, fully-benefited job to brave the entrepreneur world.

Teaching your passion makes you feel good, makes your students feel good, and in the long run — makes the world a better place. It gives everyone more opportunity, more ideas, and more courage to try things they’ve never done before. 

Of course, there’s a lot more to being an instructor than only one blog post can cover. Regardless of how you make it work for you, or how people treat you when you come into the teaching industry — it is a very demanding, yet very rewarding line of work.

I believe you have what it takes if you’ve ever wanted to give it a try.

So try, okay?

I believe in YOU!


Are you an instructor? What surprising things have you learned in your profession? Share in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

  1. Great points! I’m a yoga instructor and totally agree with all three. I’d like to say that yoga is not that competitive, but it is, particularly if there are not very many studios around.

    You really have to be creative & build a little following of people who adore you. 🙂

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}