I joined my first gym at 13-years-old. I remember walking in for the first time completely overwhelmed with the equipment, music, and buff guys at the squat rack. Over time I fell into a groove, taking cycling and boxing classes, designing my own workouts from articles I found online, and asking other gym goers and instructors for tips on form. The gym became my haven, and I’d head over a few days a week after school.
Group Fitness Instructor Opportunity
Fifteen years later things haven’t changed too much. But, my focus has. I’ve wanted to be a group fitness instructor for as long as I can remember. There’s something special about the group experience. The community, energy, and sweaty fun always keep me coming back. So, after over fifteen years of taking classes, mental noting exercises, cueing, and form, I have decided to take the mic and pursue teaching full-time (well, as full-time as I can be once Baby B joins the party!).
Teaching is a lot different than participating in class. You can read all day, but when you’re standing in front of a group of people, you need to be able to coach and adapt. I credit yoga teacher training for giving me the confidence to cue, coach, and stand in front of a group of people confidently.
Do you need certifications to teach? Definitely. I completed my NASM CPT certification a few years ago and have kept up with continuing education through additional courses, classes, and conferences (such as IDEA). I am also obtaining my Group Fitness Certification through AFAA (studying right now!), and plan to take courses in TRX Training, Pre & Post Natal (Girls Gone Strong is the best by far), Corrective Exercise, and Health Coaching and Nutrition (such as Precision Nutrition). Just like any profession it is crucial to read, read, read and stay on top of industry trends. I also hope to take this knowledge to grow professionally as a coach and mentor to other women.
Teaching While Pregnant
Never say never. For the longest time I made excuses about why I shouldn’t pursue fitness. Post-bikini competitions my body confidence sank when the “perfect body” I worked so hard for disappeared. In order to get pregnant I had to gain weight and fat, pull back on my workouts, and focus my energy on our IVF journey. I somehow felt that without the “perfect body” I would be unable to guide others on their journeys. But, I have learned that a six-pack does NOT define a trainer’s knowledge or commitment.
So here I am now four months pregnant and heading straight into uncharted territory. Since joining the Burn Boot Camp family I’ve already had a few moments where I struggle to demo certain exercises. But luckily I’m surrounded by amazing women, most of whom are moms themselves. It is truly the perfect place to start my new fitness adventure!
Pregnancy Weeks 16-17
Fitness aside, our little pomegranate is doing great! Earlier this week at the doctor he was moving around. I have a feeling this baby boy is going to be active, just like his momma. Heading into week 17 I’m in full on maternity wear mode and rocking a mini bump. Thank goodness for stretchy pants.
I am still working out, albeit at a different intensity. It’s getting harder and harder to run and I’ve eliminated certain exercises from my routine (e.g. crunches or heavy rotation). I take more breaks, add in more rest days, and practice yoga three days a week (or as often as I can). I listen to my body and go with the flow (pun intended).
I am thankful everyday for Baby B, everyone’s support, and the amazing opportunities that lie ahead.