Working in gyms, health clubs and fitness centres, Gym instructors ensure that clients exercise safely and effectively. Many gym instructors also teach group exercise classes, for example circuit training, aerobics or spinning. Other duties may include inductions with new members, and the design of personal workout programmes.
More advanced gym instructors can also choose to work with specialist groups of clients, such as the elderly, children, or those with disabilities. In smaller clubs instructors may also carry out routine duties, such as reception, sales, maintenance, health and safety checks and pool operations.
The qualification yardstick for all gym instructors is a nationally recognised qualification at level 2, which allows entry on the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). REPs has been set up to provide a system of industry-based qualifications and practical competency. Fitness professionals are required to work within an established code of practice.
There are hundreds of colleges and private training providers offering xcourses, but it is essential to be sure that they lead to a recognised qualification. The following Level 2 qualifications give full entry to REPS:
Central YMCA Qualifications (CYQ) Certificate in Fitness Instructing (gym, exercise to music and aqua)
OCR Certificate in Teaching Exercise and Fitness (exercise to music, gym, and aqua)
Premier IQ Certificate in Gym Instructing
You will also need to hold a current first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate. Those wishing to advance can work towards a Level 3 Advanced Instructor qualification.
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