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Thread: NON-Certified Instructors?!?

  1. #1

    Angry NON-Certified Instructors?!?

    Hello everyone. Just found out, one of the gyms I teach at, has allowed a person to teach a class that is NOT certified to teach Spinning class.(she is a certified group instuctor) I have a huge range of emotions over this, not one of them good. In all of my usual "overthinking", it dawned on me, this may not be that unusual. Do you know of facilities that allow ppl to teach that are not actually certified? The safety of this is so alarming to me. I am at a crossroad on what to do. But above all else, I KNOW she and the Club are putting members at risk of potential injury. We put time, effort in what we do, let alone the $$$, education in this is a MUST. I know what my heart is telling me to do, am I over-reacting? HELP!

  2. Default

    I don't think that this situation rare - it happens a lot. Small studios, large studios, big-box fitness chains - they are all prone to it. Some work around it with words. The Group Exercise co-ordinator will give a two-hour 'orientation' to someone who has been trained in step or box-fit, even though the Group Ex is not a trainer. Ultimately it is a management decision. They are responsible for risk management and responsible for the results of any legal action.
    Work and train smart, not hard. But be smart enough to know that sometimes it does take hard work to accomplish your goals.

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  3. #3


    Ok, Thank you, helps me to understand.

  4. #4


    While I agree that as instructors we put time and money into certifications, I feel that obtaining a certification doesn't necessarily make a good instructor. Great teachers are made from much more than an 8 hour workshop. It takes an investment of time and dedication to be good at anything. I would also argue that those who get a certification aren't necessarily safe. It's common practice for group fitness instructors to teach many types of classes without certifications. A certification is a good place to start, but a phenomenal teacher finds inspiration from other instructors, their own experience, websites like these, videos etc.
    It is ritous to believe that just because she doesn't have a certification she is putting members at risk of injury.

  5. #5


    Not trying to be ritous, just see the potential risk and felt a concern.

  6. #6


    I say this because I hold many certifications and I teach a great number of classes. I hold six certs including a Spinning cert and I teach 15 classes a week. With the exception of my NASM personal training and Yoga Fit certs, I would say that the others are useful and look good on my resume but not completely necessary. Going to WSSC was by far more valuable than getting my spinning cert. I wouldn't say my Spinning cert made me safer but was a part of the process of my Spin instructor journey. Let's face it, learning to set up a bike isn't rocket science and can be taught relatively easy.

  7. #7


    You think it isn't rocket science but I've seen many instr. set ppl. up wrong. I use to be a coord. & would interview ppl. to teach. I would have them set me up, some were way off. Because you do it all the time it seems easy but it isn't. Most ppl. if they don't know will set someone too low on the bike, I see it all the time. I think you need to be cert. to get the basic moves set up & safety issues down. That, I agree, does not make a good instr., that comes w/ practice & continuing to learn what you can. Confer. are a great tool but most if not cert. in that area will not go to the WSSC.
    One of the gyms I work at make you have a cert. at first but will let you teach if you don't keep it up but keep your grp. or PT cert. up to date, they feel that is more important.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Somewhere in the US


    Most of the instructors who teach cycle at my locations do not hold a cycle certification. Just group ex and then want to jump on the bandwagon of teaching copious formats.

    Like others I've seen poor teaching and bad bike setup from those without a cert.

    I agree with Cycleguy.
    Cycle Happy!
    Cycle Instructor Emeritus
    Star 3 Spinning Instructor
    Schwinn Certified Cycle Instructor
    AFAA Primary Certification

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    I have my certification and was certified along with a friend who has since become the manager at the facility where I teach. She has let her own certification lapse yet continues to teach. i think I am the only one who knows this (aside from the club owner - maybe) and it bothers me too that I am required to get and pay for the certification for them yet the clubs own manager isnt held to the same standards. Is it necessary? Not necessarily to be a good instructor as others have said in prior posts to this question, but I agree that the set up and knowing what proper form is, is some of the valuable information I did learn from my certification and constant teaching/watching of my students. I know there is nothing I can say or do at my own club but it does irk me the double standard! I'll just pedal harder to work out my frustrations tomorrow morning!!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Oakmont, PA near Pittsburgh
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by Sienna View Post
    A certification is a good place to start, but a phenomenal teacher finds inspiration from other instructors, their own experience, websites like these, videos etc.
    This is very well put Sienna. I can spend hours creating one class, then practicing it 2 or 3 times before I ever "share it". How I arrived here from where I first started is the culmination of so many things, but a solid education on the essentials or fundamentals was clearly the place to begin.
    Gene (Gino) Nacey
    Master Heart Zones Instructor
    Spinning Instructor
    USA Cycling Coach
    Owner, Global Ride Training Center &
    Global Ride Productions (virtual cycling DVDs)
    Founder, Cycling Fusion

    Always finish strong!

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  11. Default

    I have wavered on this topic in the past but i do agree with most of what is said here.

    Basically, I don't believe an 8 hour orientation says you know how to teach or that you even care to follow what is taught to you. I have seen too many certified instructors have no f'in idea how to set someone up on a bike or teach without contraindicated moves. On the flips side I have seen some non-certified instructors do quite well in class. However, taking the step to get certified does kind of show a commitment.

    I think you find your best instructors are those that take the time to learn how to instruct safely with an eye on improving your fitness level and motivating you to reach new heights.

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