Group exercise has been the mainstay of health clubs for decades and provides the backbone of many operators’ studio timetables.
With the compelling evidence that group exercise helps encourage people to get started and stay committed to regular exercise, group exercise instructors are vitally important.
That being the case, it’s extraordinary to think that it’s been over 10 years since Skills Active developed the original Level 2 Group Exercise qualification.
Since then the industry and group exercise have both changed dramatically, leaving traditional training outdated.
Training for fitness professionals has recently been under scrutiny, and rightly so.
Across the board, new specifications are coming in to ensure we raise standards, remain professional and respond to the changing demands of health club members, many of whom are being encouraged to try group exercise as a welcoming, supportive start to their personal fitness journey.
It has never been more important for group exercise instructors to be able to teach a broad range of people in the same class, with confidence.
And it’s not just the participants that present a wide range of challenges to instructors: the scope of classes – from outdoor bootcamps to indoor circuits and popular licenced workouts such as Zumba and Les Mills – also creates opportunities and challenges for them.
In response to the changing landscape and the greater rigour required by training providers and assessors, we recently looked afresh at our Level 2 qualification.
The first thing we did was to split out the gym instructor and group exercise instructor strands into two separate pathways – allowing us to deliver each in greater depth with greater detail.
We partnered with EMD UK, the national governing body for group training, to develop a robust and fit-for-purpose Level 2 Group Training qualification. It’s designed to give instructors a dynamic and flexible learning path, combining teaching units, based on the type of group training they want to deliver.
This includes Group Training for classes like HIIT and circuits and Group Training to Music.
EMD UK has these exclusively until December 2018, at which time they will become available to others across the industry.
The concept of group exercise has been around for years, with the style of workouts responding to both fitness and fashion trends.
Group exercise will remain key to the sector for many years to come and we must ensure our instructors are highly-qualified, confident and competent to deliver effective, safe and engaging sessions.