Become a Group Fitness Instructor

5 easy steps!

Turn your passion for fitness into an exciting career by becoming a group fitness instructor. Help people reach their health and fitness goals and make healthy life choices to build stronger and healthier communities.

STEP 1: Basic Theory (30 hours)

This introductory YMCA Basic Theory Fitness course serves as the first step in the YMCA Fitness Instructor Training program. The objective of the course is to teach participants the fundamentals of fitness instruction before they take the certification course of their choice.

Participants will learn about the following topics:

  • Anatomy and physiology;
  • Training principles;
  • Mechanics of movement;
  • Nutrition;
  • Leading and planning fitness programs;
  • Healthy lifestyle habits;
  • Exercise design;
  • Legal issues.

STEP 2a: Group Fitness Certifications (practical courses)

Select the type of Group Fitness Certification that you would like to obtain from the following choices:

GROUP CHOREOGRAPHY

The objective of this course is to teach fitness instructors how to lead safe, effective and dynamic choreography-based classes. Participants will learn about the following topics:

  • Class components;
  • Basic movements;
  • Communication tools for class management;
  • Choreography techniques;
  • Guidelines for safe and effective classes;
  • Basic muscle strengthening;
  • Stretching and relaxation exercises.

GROUP STRENGTH

The objective of this course is to teach fitness instructors how to lead safe, effective and dynamic group strength classes. Participants will learn about the following topics:

  • Components of a strength training and stretching class;
  • Basic training principles;
  • Strength training and motivation techniques; 
  • Strength training equipment;
  • Basic resistance training exercises;
  • Stretching and relaxation exercises.

GROUP CYCLE

The objective of this course is to teach fitness instructors how to lead safe, effective and dynamic group cycle classes. Participants will learn about the following topics:

  • Class components;
  • Principles of interval training;
  • Types of cycling rides;
  • Basic stretching exercises.

STEP 2b: Older Adults Certification - Functional Training for aging adults* (optional)

OLDER ADULTS (Provincial certification - Québec)

The objective of this course is to teach fitness instructors how to lead safe, effective and dynamic group classes for seniors. Participants will learn about the following topics:

Theory – 10 hours

  • Fitness and aging;
  • Benefits of physical activity;
  • Obstacles to physical activity;
  • Working with older adults;
  • Class components;

Practical – 14 hours:

  • Warm-up;
  • Cardiovascular component;
  • Muscular component;
  • Stretching and relaxation exercises;
  • Progressions and regressions.

* To obtain an Older Adults - Functional Training for aging adults certification, participants must first complete the Basic Theory, a Group Choreography, Group Strength or an Individual Conditioning YMCA certification course.

STEP 3: Internship (5 hours)

Participants must complete a 5-hour internship before taking the practical exam. 

Step 4: Heartsaver® CPR AED certification

Participants must hold a valid Heartsaver® CPR AED with Child Module or with Child & Infant Modules certification in order to obtain their Group Fitness Certification.

We highly recommend participants complete the CPR certification prior to taking the practical exam.

Step 5: Practical Exam

Participants must pass a practical exam (by appointment with a YMCA FIT Trainer).

Price Information

This information applies to the 2019 session.

Description Members1 Non-members1
Basic Theory2 (30 hours) $250 $287.50
Group Choreography (40 hours) $345 $396.75
Group Strength (30 hours) $285 $327.75
Group Cycle (16 hours) $205 $235.75
Older Adults - Functional Training for aging adults (24 hours) $250 $287.50

Taxes not included. F.I.T. manuals are included in the price. YMCA Members: 15% discount on regular price.
The Basic Theory course is a prerequisite for all Group Fitness Certification courses except for the Aquatic Fitness course. The Basic Theory course may be taken simultaneously with the certification course of your choice, if the calendar of courses permits it.