Employing Student Instructors for Group Fitness

student instructors

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If your fitness offerings suddenly shifted online during the pandemic, you’ve most likely enlisted a group of student employees to engage your community. Now more than ever it is important to have a well-versed team of student instructors who can continue to lead your group fitness with confidence and connect participants with their campus rec center community, both virtually and live.   

Your rec center serves a dual role for your employees as a place of leisure and a learning environment equipped with mentorship opportunities for students interested in fitness. Channel the energy of your students eager to join the personal and group training field, and give them the exposure, the space and the tools to grow into their role. Educating students to become instructors establishes an emphasis on wellness and an active culture, aligning with the mission of your rec center. Connecting students with a varied group of both participants and other instructors expands the students’ network with people who can impact their training career moving forward while fostering community for all students involved.  

To maximize the value of having student instructors teach your classes, students should go through proper training and certification to prepare for this opportunity. Training courses for group fitness are more than a deep dive into programming, they are a chance to educate students on the basics of facilitating classes including coaching and cueing tipsthe logistics of setting up the space, and learning how to use the equipment correctly to exemplify proper technique.

A variety of fitness equipment suppliers employ “Master Trainers” that can train soon-to-be student instructors to execute their programming and teach the “why” behind the exercise. With this guidanceyour student instructors will ensure your campus community participates in purposeful workouts meant to target specific muscle groups and movements to fit the desired goal of the class.  

With this investment in training, you will empower your student instructors and set them up for success to lead fitness classes with confidence, either virtually or live, and continue to build deeper connections between students and their campus rec facility even in less than ideal circumstances.  


Becky Jalbert is the global product manager for group training at Matrix Fitness. For more information, email becky.jalbert@johnsonfit.com

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