3 Tips To Overcome Your Fear Of Teaching Group Fitness Classes

Having a fear of teaching group fitness classes is not uncommon and, far from being a limiter, should be recognised as a source of motivation to deliver a great experience for members. So, the first step towards taking control of your fears is to recognise what they are and how to deal with them.

Following are some of the most common fears that prevent people from taking the leap towards a career they’ll love.

Fear from not being qualified enough 

When I was first started out, I had no idea what it meant to be qualified to teach group fitness. All I knew was that I had been exercising on my own for years, and decided that I wanted to share my passion with others. So, I did what any other newbie would do: I searched the web for information on how I could become a group fitness instructor. Each time I came across a site that talked about qualifications, job descriptions, and licenses, I was left feeling more confused than before. It seemed like there was a different list of prerequisites for every certification out there. 

What I eventually realised was that I needed to speak to a group fitness instructor – someone who had been in the trenches before me, who knew the landscape, as well as the things ‘you really need to know’ to teach a class.

Often courses are full of information that is ‘good to know’ but not crucial for teaching a class. Once I understood the actual necessary skills that I would need to learn to succeed, it became easier to overcome the challenge of feeling that I didn’t know enough.

Fear of the unknown

Teaching a class, or a new type of class, for the first time is nerve-racking and stressful. There are so many things you must remember, you probably can’t sleep the night before, and there’s bound to be someone in the crowd who will be unsure of your ability to deliver. The good news is that the more classes you teach, the easier it gets!

The fear of teaching group fitness is real, but to minimise those fears and the mental anguish they can cause, you need to think about why you love working out and what inspires you to want to help others do the same. When you figure out your true motivation and passion – and share it with your students – you will be well placed to create the career of your dreams.

Warm up the room with movements that will be like the workout that you are planning to do, but with a little less intensity. It's important to get the heart rate up before starting any kind of group exercise class. If you are going to do a standard floor-based workout, then perform some of the exercises that you will be doing in the main body of the class so that the participants become familiar with the movement patterns. This also saves you having to come up with a separate set of exercises.

Cover your material thoroughly and make sure it's appropriate for the level of your class participants. For example, if you're teaching a high-level boot camp class, you'll need to be much more specific about the exercises you're demonstrating to ensure everyone understands what you're doing. Make sure you know what form and function each exercise is supposed to be achieving so that everyone can get the most out of their workout.

Plan your stretch and class ending, as this is often the part of the class that many instructors neglect but the part that participants remember the most. Even if your class did not go exactly to plan, a well-planned stretch sequence can salvage your confidence with how you delivered the workout.


Marietta Mehanni

Marietta is a group fitness specialist consultant, who has been actively engaged in educating fitness instructors in both the Australian and International communities for 30+ years. Learn more at