Money & LOTS of time would be my ideal answer, but it’s more than that. Read on.
Training to be licensed in any fitness format is only as expensive as you make it – whether financially or physically. On the financial front there is the cost of your training (of course), but there are loopholes many don’t know about i.e. licensing fees, monthly dues, insurance, marketing materials, and so much more that I won’t bore you with. Additionally, there is the physical price you pay. As a brand new instructor you have to factor in the fact that you know nothing…well, you know stuff, you obviously just trained and got licensed, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to go and teach your new format the day after; you now have to practice, which takes time.
In short, the more you’re willing to pay (money), the more you will train and the more you will learn and enhance your skills. On the other hand, the more you’re willing to practice (time) the more you can offer your classes and the better you will become.
As many of you know I’m VERY active on social media and make no qualms about sharing my thoughts on topics from what to feed your cat to how many hours of sleep you should be getting.
This said, I always find it very interesting the reactions and comments I get on my posts talking about what I’m doing to prepare myself for my classes (see my latest Facebook post below)
In this post I’m talking about prepping for my first Aqua Zumba class. Mind, I’ve been a Zumba instructor for over 2 years, but have never taught this format before, let alone ANY aqua fitness class. Therefore, for me, I have to take my time to learn the music, then the choreography and THEN go teach it. Granted, yes I know how to effectively learn and teach Zumba, but because this format is different it’s going to take more time. How much time? Well, here’s where I’m faced with a challenge – I’m giving myself FIVE weeks to learn 45 minutes worth of music, choreography, cuing and all while keeping my informal, quirky personality to make the class fun.
Sounds easy right? Nope. Learning the music is the easy part. On average it takes a good instructor about TWO MONTHS to be ready to teach a new format with learning the music to practicing the steps over and over again. What a lot of people fail to remember is many fitness instructors don’t teach full time. They have families and real lives outside of the gym so TIME isn’t always available. For me personally, practicing means a lot of late nights, wasted lunch hours at my 9-5, no rest days and forget weekends. If my head-buds are in my head for more than an hour or I’m forced to be somewhere where I can’t be practicing, I’m likely listening to my new playlist making sure I have everything ingrained in my brain.
Being a fitness instructor isn’t an easy feat, but its worth it (at last to me) in the satisfaction and gratification you get from your participants at the end of a class. Don’t ever make being an instructor merely about making a quick buck because you’ll be sorely disappointed if you do!