A method to the madness

There’s something to be said for doing what you love, regardless of pay, versus doing what you do because it pays the bills.

Now, let me preface this by saying that my “PR Goddess” day job does indeed pay the bills and is something I think I’m pretty darn good at, don’t get me wrong. But, I am struck by how much I’m loving this Kick experience, regardless of whatever pay I end up making as a result.

Which made me think – there must be a reason being a group fitness instructor isn’t exactly a well-paying side gig (at least from what I’ve heard).  And the reason I’ve come up with? To commit to teaching a group fitness class, you have to love it regardless and not be looking to make an extra buck or two. Good thing I very much fall into that camp!

As my sister pointed out on our commute to the office this morning, teaching a group fitness class involves so much more than just that hour or two each week you’re in the gym actually teaching the class. There are countless hours practicing each week, prepping your tracks and amping yourself up for the big show. Never mind all of the training that goes into being a fitness instructor to begin with (as you all have witnessed right here with me!).

So while it might appear that gyms are just cheap and not willing to pay much for group fitness instructors, the truth is, I think there’s a method to the madness. I think that’s how they find those passionate, energized and motivating instructors that will pass that passion and energy on to their students. THAT is what makes a good instructor a great one.

Anyway, that’s my take but I’d love your opinions too, especially if you are a group fitness instructor. I’m wondering if pay varies by gym or if its pretty standard that pay rates are pretty low. Again – I don’t want this to sound like I’m in it for the money because I’m very clearly not, I would honestly teach Kick for free because I love it that much and it feeds my need to share my passion for fitness with others (along with this blog of course!). My convo with my sis this morning just got me thinking, that’s all…

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9 thoughts on “A method to the madness

  1. Your rationale makes sense. I always thought that instructors got paid ~$100/class, but I just made that up in my head and went with it.

    Long story short, when my last gym was closing due to bankruptcy, my favorite yoga instructor told me that she teaches b/c she loves to, not b/c she makes much money. I think she makes ~$20-25/class, which I thought was low. Just goes to show that you really have to love teaching to spend time driving there/practicing/teaching/etc!

  2. I think that with most instructor type jobs (teaching in general then ballet, dance as well) don’t pay a great deal. It’s totally about doing something from the heart. I think personal trainers make more, but you really have to build up a clientele.

  3. i totally agree. I love helping others realize their pontential whether in the classroom(i was a preschool teacher for 2 years) or in my classes. And I think it is awesome that I get paid to exercise. I was going to be there anyway and I have always wanted a workout buddy…well now I have anywhere from 6-20 buddies! And they get me there on days when I don’t want to go! I love putting together my classes just as much as I love teaching them too. my gym pays $17 and up depending on how many certifications you have…which I believe is on the low end….but i will take it!

    • So interesting, I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels this way (or that the per class rate is around $17-25 bucks give or take). You’re right- getting paid to workout, hell why not,right?? 🙂

  4. When I was a gym member, I always had total girl crushes on all the instructors!! I think fitness instructors are so cool!! Anyway, I think you’re exactly right – it takes someone who knows what they’re doing and LOVES what they’re doing to be a good instructor. Just like YOU!! 🙂

    • HAHA you are a riot Em! A girl crush – but I totally know what you mean! We all had a total girl crush on our Kick trainer, Natalie. She rocked!! Thanks for the vote of confidence, you are the best! 🙂

  5. I appreciate instructors who get you motivated without the annoying yelling and screaming. You can tell when an instructor LOVES teaching and when they HAVE to teach. The way you write about becoming an instructor, you can tell you are inspired to help others reach their fitness goals.

    • Aw you are so sweet for saying that! I guess in all of this craziness, I’ve sort of gotten so wrapped up in it all that I forgot just how passionate I am about this endeavor. Thank you for noticing and reminding me 🙂

      IntheSkinny – 40 classes in two weeks? that is nuts! you must’ve been pooped!

  6. I got paid $22/class…I started at $18 and it went up when I got more certifications and became exclusive to the club. I did payroll and the highest I ever saw anyone was $25. I will say a few summers ago I taught enough classes to pay my house payment. It was killer – 40 classes in two weeks, but fun!

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