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Group Fitness Instructor - Advanced Certificate

Do you enjoy exercise? Interested in teaching others the fundamentals of fitness and leading by example?

A group fitness instructor teaches a variety of specialties such as yoga, boot camp, or cardio kickboxing for a range of ages and skill levels. They use different leadership techniques to foster group camaraderie, support, and motivation to enhance muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, balance, cardiovascular fitness, and body composition.

About the Program

The group fitness instructor advanced certificate is fast-paced program designed to prepare you for American Council on Exercise certification. ACE textbooks and other resources are used, so as a graduate you will have both the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to sit for and take the national group exercise instructor certification exam on campus.

Learning human anatomy, exercise physiology, injury prevention, and cueing techniques, you will develop skills necessary to teach a variety of safe and effective group exercise class formats. Building on the knowledge of each class session, you will design and lead group exercise sessions. This experience will culminate in leading a full one-hour of exercise to a group of participants.

What are students saying?

"The health fitness programs were a great fit for me. I was able to complete them in a short period of time and build a career." – Christina Egan

"This is a great field. I love working with people and helping them see they can make themselves better by their own actions." – Samuel Whyte

"I have always wanted to do this, and my instructors taught me to believe in myself." – Michelle Rousseau

Careers and Job Outlook

Group fitness instructors work in fitness facilities, over live video, or outdoors. Almost all group fitness instructors and personal trainers work in physical fitness facilities, health clubs, and fitness centers located in the amusement and recreation industry or in civic and social organizations.

Employment is expected to grow by 24 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. As businesses and insurance organizations continue to recognize the benefits of health and fitness programs for their employees, incentives to join gyms or other fitness facilities will increase the need for workers in these areas.

The national average pay for fitness trainers is $31,090 per year, or $14.95 per hour.

Source: 2012-13 Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics at

The average yearly earnings for a fitness instructor in Michigan is $29,750.

Source: Michigan Department of Career Development, 2010 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates of Michigan Occupational Information System

Find Out More

Have questions or want more information? Contact:

Kara Jimenez, PhD
Associate Professor Lifelong Wellness

Group Fitness Instructor - Advanced Certificate

Program Code: CSA.35740

Today's fitness industry is rapidly growing. Being a group exercise instructor is no longer about teaching aerobics. The modern group fitness instructor may be expected to teach a variety of specialties such as step aerobics, indoor cycling, yoga, Pilates, cardio kickboxing, weight training and conditioning, stability ball, and senior or child fitness classes. This program will offer the education and certification to teach safe and effective exercise to a wide variety of populations. An understanding of human anatomy and physiology will also be included. Upon completion of this program, you will be eligible to sit for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) certification exam.

Basic Program Requirements

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
BIO 101W4Introduction to Anatomy And Physiology OR ______________
BIO 152W(4)Human Anatomy & Physiology I OR ______________
BIO 140W(5)Essentials Of Human Anatomy & Physiology ______________
COM 1123Any Approved Fundamentals of Oral Communication ______________
HSC 1402Basic Medical Emergencies ______________
OR ______________
LWT 165(1)HeartSaver First Aid with CPR AND ______________
LWT 170(1)Basic Life Support for the Health Care Provider ______________
LWA 1511Kick Boxing ______________
LWA 1521.5Astanga Yoga ______________
LWA 1531Dance Aerobics OR ______________
LWA 157(1)Step Aerobics ______________
LWA 156W1Stability Ball Training ______________
LWA 1581Pilates ______________
LW 220W1Lifelong Wellness OR ______________
LW 221W(2)Fitness and Wellness ______________
LWT 2103Nutrition: The Science of Optimal Living OR ______________
LW 222(3)The Science of Nutrition and Exercise ______________
LWT 2303Theory of Strength and Conditioning ______________
LWT 2424Group Fitness Instructor ______________
25.5/27.5Total Credits Required For Certificate


1 - Current CPR certification is required for admission to the program and must be maintained throughout the program.

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