According to EMD UK’s 2016 Working in Fitness Survey, price is the number one barrier preventing group exercise instructors from embarking on further training and development.

More than 60% cited cost/value for money as the number one reason for not undertaking training over the previous 12 months, and over three-quarters (76.2%), said that financial costs would prevent them from taking up training in the future.

Image showing the top three reasons why group exercise instructors don't take future training taken from the EMD UK Working in Fitness Survey 2016
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70.2% of group exercise instructors completely self-fund their training – and it’s not always cheap. Depending on the types of courses and their duration, group exercise instructor training can cost anywhere from £50 to over £1,000.

This cost barrier is evidently a significant one. Nearly 81% of group exercise instructors interviewed for the survey expressed that they were either “quite interested” or “very interested” in further training, indicating that the vast majority of instructors would otherwise be ready and willing to take the necessary steps to develop their career, if it weren’t for the costs associated with them.

Image showing training statistics from the 2016 Working in Fitness Survey
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3 Reasons Group Exercise Instructors Need to Invest in Training and Personal Development

As a self-employed group exercise instructor, you are also a business owner. And smart business owners know that investing in development doesn’t cost – it pays.

Group exercise instructors need to look past the initial costs of training and make a commitment to developing their business and career.

Here are three reasons why group exercise instructors need to invest in training and personal development.

  1. Stand Out from the Crowd

Today, there are more fitness options available to potential clients than ever before. From personal trainers hard-selling their services on social media, to online courses, specialised studios, low-cost clubs, and of course other group exercise instructors and organisations – your group exercise offering is just one fitness option amongst a great many.

In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to be providing exceptional fitness experiences that can’t be matched anywhere else – and only by investing in your own training and personal development will you attain the skills required to deliver excellence at every turn.

The more training and qualifications you have, the more you will be able to set yourself apart in this increasingly competitive marketplace. Your achievements will indicate your level of expertise and professionalism to potential new members, and you’ll be able to advertise them on your website, social media channels and other marketing materials. This will help you to win the trust of prospects, who will be reassured that you are not just another “cowboy” exploiting a market trend for personal gain, but a qualified and professional group exercise instructor who is able to provide exceptional experiences and truly help individuals achieve their fitness goals.

  1. Deliver Personalised Experiences

Effective group exercise instructors do more than simply shout out instructions from the front of a room. Rather, they have the skills required to cater for various fitness levels and abilities, and modify exercise plans – often on the fly – to cater for individual needs.

For example, you may turn up to lead your group exercise class one day and find that there are a number of injuries in the room. This may mean that you have to abandon the routine you had planned and come up with alternative movements for the session on the spot. In such a case, you’ll need more than just a strong knowledge of your usual programme. You will need enough learning in the bank to be able to provide alternative training as and when it’s needed – yet still deliver excellence, even when you may not have had time to prepare.

In addition, the more training and qualifications you have, the more you will be able to cater for and deliver, personalised services to people of many different levels, abilities and experiences. They will ultimately gravitate towards the fitness group which provides the options most welcoming and accommodating to them.

When you invest in training and personal development, you will be much better equipped to modify exercise plans to cater for individual needs, and may even be able to set up additional classes for specialised groups with their own specific requirements – opening the door for additional revenue-generating opportunities.

  1. Increase Your Earning Power

As a professional group exercise instructor, one of the most tangible benefits of investing in your education and personal development is that you will be able to open new revenue streams based on demand.

The key to maximising your investment in this regard is by selecting the specific programmes that existing and potential members are interested in. By hand-selecting new group exercise options, you will be able to hone in on emerging group exercise trends and maximise the potential for additional revenue generation. Consider conducting a survey – and you could use social media for this – to find out which new group exercise programmes your community would be interested in, and then choose the most appropriate training programme for yourself based on the results.

EMD UK – Supporting the Growth and Development of Group Exercise Instructors

As your national governing body for group exercise, one of the key things we do at EMD UK is provide ongoing training and support packages for group exercise instructors to help them boost their careers, continue to deliver excellence, and increase participation in group exercise up and down the country.

Our training programmes help group exercise instructors continue their professional development, improve their CVs and achieve new qualifications. In addition, our great value insurance and support packages are designed to offer a range of practical resources and special discounts to help group exercise instructors save money while they continue to deliver first-rate classes and experiences for their participants.

Acknowledging the fact that costs are one of the biggest barriers in the way of group exercise instructors investing in training, the EMD UK Open Bursary also gives instructors a helping hand with training fees. Group exercise instructors can get up to £50 of funding towards courses recognised qualifications.

The EMD UK website is also a fantastic marketing and business resource for group exercise instructors looking to further their careers and get their name out there, offering everything from tips on how to promote an event to help with filling out tax assessments – and much more besides.

If you’re a group exercise instructor and need help with training, endorsement and development, promoting a class, applying for a bursary, or require further support in getting more people in your area involved with group exercise, get in touch with EMD UK today to find out what we can do for you.