AFAA Group Fitness Instructor Photo
AFAA Group Fitness Instructor

This course is 100% online | Start anytime!

This course is 100% online | Start anytime!



Note: This course is non-credit. Colleges and universities generally only accept credit bearing courses as transferrable. View our Continuing Education FAQ Page to learn more about the difference between for-credit and non-credit courses. View our Degrees and Certificates page to explore for-credit degree and certificate options offered through CCC.



Online Fitness Instructor Training


Become a Certified Fitness Instructor


Group fitness instructors lead classes, workshops and experiences in which people work together to attain and improve their physical fitness. They work in gyms, fitness centers and residence facilities. They may also work from a distance using group communication technology. In this 100% online course, you will learn the skills needed to become a certified group fitness instructor.


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Job Outlook for Group Fitness Instructors


  • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job demand for fitness trainers and instructors is set to grow by 15% between now and 2029, triple the overall growth rate for all jobs. The BLS cites a growing awareness of the role fitness plays in health and longevity as a driver for this strong growth.
  • The BLS states that fitness trainers and instructors earn $19.42 per hour or $40,390 per year, on average. According to, group fitness trainers who serve specialized client groups or focus on a certain type of exercise often earn $35-40 per hour or more.


Group Fitness Instructor FAQs



Group Fitness Instructors organize and lead group exercise classes. The exercises may range from aerobics, stretching and muscle toning to Pilates, dance and self-defense. Instructors gather the groups, plan the exercise routine and schedule and lead the group through the training.



Credentials such as the certification offered by the Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) signal that you are a dedicated professional with high standards and objectives. Certification also ensures your employer and prospective students that you have been trained across the range of exercise modalities; you understand their benefits, impacts on the human body; and you know the best exercises to help a group improve their fitness. This course includes the AFAA certification exam fee.



Although the Coronavirus health crisis had an impact on every industry and sector where people gather together, the fitness industry has proven resilient in its flexibility and commitment to its members. Many gyms and fitness organizations moved from in-person group exercises to online alternatives. Forbes reports that technologies such as Peloton, Mirror and many more have transformed the fitness industry and may ultimately lead to a renewal in group fitness.


Course Objectives

  • Demonstrate comprehension of fundamental scientific concepts related to exercise science
  • Design a well-structured and balanced fitness class or workout for a diverse group of participants that is both safe and effective
  • Demonstrate comprehension of key instruction and presentation skills necessary for effective group instruction
  • Demonstrate key traits of professionalism as a group fitness instructor
  • Demonstrate the key skills and knowledge required to be a competent group fitness instructor
  • Pass AFAA Group Fitness Instructor certification test and earn a nationally accredited certification


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Prerequisites and Requirements


The AFAA-GFI course itself is available to all candidates interested in furthering their education in the field of group fitness. In order to take the AFAA-GFI credentialing exam, candidates must be 18 years or older and meet one of the following eligibility requirements:

  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Must have current Emergency Cardiac Care (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Certification prior to sitting for the exam. (All CPR/AED courses must have a hands-on training component. AFAA will not accept a CPR/AED certification card from an online provider.)



The Group Fitness Industry
Foundations of Exercise Science
The Human Movement System
Integrated Fitness
Teaching Basics
Teaching: Multi-training and Exercise Technique
Class Planning and Preparation
Adapting to Class Dynamics
Communication and Learning
Inclusive Instruction for Special Populations
Class Engagement and Motivation
Professional and Legal Responsibilities




This is not an instructor facilitated course; however, support will be provided through email, online forms, and phone.


Registration and Enrollment


This course is open enrollment. You can register and begin any time.


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