Gym instructors are those guys that you see walking around your local gym floor teaching classes, helping people with exercises, and showing them equipment, but other than that, why are gym instructors important?
Is there anything else that they bring to a gym and are they really that important?
In this article, I’ll be answering just that question with the top ten reasons that gym instructors should (in my opinion) be hired to work in every gym.
You may have never needed to use a gym instructor yourself, maybe you said no to all the free inductions that were given to you by the gym when you joined because you already know your stuff.
If you are a seasoned gym-goer, I can totally understand why you might think gym instructors are a bit of a waste of time, after all, they are only showing people how to use the resistance machines, and they even have drawings on them, so why would anyone need more help than that?
Well, as you will see below, there are a lot of really important reasons for gym instructors to be working in gyms, and even if you don’t think you’ll need an instructor’s help, there are plenty of people who rely on them completely. There’s also a bunch of reasons you need them that you may not know about!
It takes a lot for a gym instructor to become successful, so it might be worthwhile seeing what they need to go through and what it’s like actually being hired as one by reading the articles below too.
Top ten reasons gym instructors are important
- Increase new gym goers confidence
- Are great for people who can’t afford a PT
- Help members feel welcome
- Stop people from hurting themselves
- Give basic nutritional and exercise advice
- Keep members engaged through classes
- Keep the gym clean and tidy
- Are first aid responders
- Open and close the gym on time
- Make sure the gym equipment is safe to use
Gym instructors Increase new gym goers confidence
A lot of people really don’t like the idea of going to a gym, and not just because they don’t like the idea of exercise.
For some, walking into a gym and seeing people training hard, sweating, and making noises can make them feel very uncomfortable. There is also the fact that people can be very self-conscious of the way they look, and if they see lots of people that are in much better shape than them, they can feel very intimidated.
It’s up to a gym instructor to make sure that every single member that joins the gym feels welcome, and gives them all the tools they need and assurance that there is always someone that can help them if they need it.
Should they need to, they can also explain that everybody starts somewhere and that they have made a very important first step by joining the gym in the first place.
They are also great for people who can’t afford a PT
Personal trainers are the fastest and best way to help a person achieve the results they are looking for in a gym.
They are crazy expensive!
I know this, because I have been a PT for well over ten years, and I know that I’m expensive. PTs offer a premium service that most people don’t have the luxury to be able to afford, so to them, a gym instructor is the next best thing.
A gym instructor will give you nutritional advice (only very basic info of course), and they will also write you up exercise programs that tie into your goals.
Sure, they may only give you the most basic tips, write programs for basic equipment and they won’t be able to sit with you through all your sessions to monitor you, but having someone that a person can ask for fitness advice whenever they need is very important to a lot of people.
These days, you can find just about everything you need online in terms of fitness advice, but some people prefer to have a 1-2-1, face-to-face conversation with a fitness professional, and this is exactly where a gym instructor comes in.
They help members feel welcome
Imagine you were really nervous about joining a gym, you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re worried about hurting yourself and you’re nervous about embarrassing yourself.
Now, also imagine that when you get to the gym on your first day, there is no one there to greet you, no one to ask how you are or if you need any help with anything.
As a newcomer to fitness, this would be a pretty terrible start, and a gym instructor stops this from happening. They are the people that greet members as they come in, walk around the gym floor to make sure everyone is ok and is always there to offer advice when needed.
I always made sure that I knew as many gym members by their first name as possible, because welcoming someone to the gym by their first name is a really quick and easy way to show them that they are a very welcome addition.
They stop people from hurting themselves
One of the most important things that a gym instructor does is make sure that people aren’t going to hurt themselves whilst exercising.
Gyms can be dangerous places, and people do some crazy things that could very easily injure them. It’s up to the instructor to keep a close eye on everyone on the gym floor to make sure no one is exercising in a dangerous way, or in a way that could hurt others.
A great example of this is when I had to tell a person that they weren’t allowed to squat with 60kg on their backs whilst they were on a balance board, it was insanely dangerous and could not only hurt them but also seriously injured someone else. These are the sorts of silly things they look out for.
Most of the time, it’s more often that people aren’t using exercise equipment correctly, so it’s just a matter of teaching them how to, but silly things do happen and they are always on the lookout for this.
They can give basic nutritional and exercise advice
Gym instructors are allowed to give you basic exercise and nutrition advice as part of your membership. The information is not basic because they aren’t educated in the topics, more than likely they know a lot more than they are allowed to tell, but there is a strict limit as to how detailed an instructor’s advice to members can be.
This is down to their level of certification, insurance, and all that sort of thing.
However, the advice they do give is the kind that most people need to hear, for example, they can listen to what a person eats on a daily basis and advise which parts of the day need to be altered to reduce calorie consumption. They can also advise how many sets and reps of what exercises should be completed to achieve specific fitness goals.
All they can’t do is be really specific with their advice, so they wouldn’t be able to tell you what to swap in your diet, or write up a full meal plan.
They keep members engaged through classes
I used to love teaching gym floor classes and regularly had 30 or so members attend the lunchtime sessions.
This shows that despite some people not liking the idea of going to classes, a lot of people really do enjoy them.
They create a great sense of community in the gym, with members regularly attending the same classes together and working in pairs or groups. This makes it a lot more fun for people as they know that they can go to the gym, have a tough workout, and make some friends along the way too.
Even if people only go to the gym for the classes, gym instructors will always make sure they have a great workout and get good value from their memberships, whilst making sure that the classes are as fun as they can possibly be.
They keep the gym clean and tidy
Without a doubt, one of the least glamourous parts of any gym instructor’s day is cleaning the equipment down.
Speaking from experience, it’s not the nicest part of the job, but making sure that the equipment stays clean before the next rush of members is really important. Gyms are sweaty places, and without the fitness team making sure it’s all kept clean and tidy throughout the day, a gym would become a pretty gross place very quickly.
We used to thoroughly clean down all the equipment twice a day, after the morning and lunchtime peak periods and the cleaners would come in the evenings to do it once more before the next morning.
Gym instructors will also make sure that things like the towels bins are regularly being emptied and clean towels re-stocked at reception to make for a more pleasant experience. No one wants to walk into a mountain of dirty towels in a changing room, and without the fitness team, that’s exactly what you’d get.
That goes for equipment left lying around all over the gym floor too. During and after each peak period of the day, the fitness team will be walking the gym floor, putting away weights and other equipment making the gym a tidier and importantly, safer place to exercise in.
They are all first aid responders
As part of their certification program, every gym instructor must be first aid qualified, and for any gym, with a pool without lifeguards (yes these actually exist) they will need to have basic lifeguard certifications too.
Accidents happen, and gyms can be dangerous places even if the members are using the equipment correctly. The fitness team is always present on the gym floor so that they can react whenever they are needed to help an injured person.
Basic CPR and first aid certificates are mandatory for all gym instructors in the UK and are true for many states in the USA too.
It’s a vitally important part of any gym instructor’s role that they not only know how to perform basic first aid and CPR, but they have the confidence to use it too. This is why role-play scenarios are used when being trained.
They open and close the gym on time
Very basic, but very important.
The fitness team is responsible for always making sure there is someone assigned to open and close the gym on time each day.
Near enough every time I opened the gym at 6am, there would be a good thirty or so people waiting to come in and get their workouts complete before starting work. Imagine if there was no one there to make sure everything was opened up and ready to go for the members that can only train in the mornings, you would ruin their whole day!
The same goes for making sure the gyms are locked up and closed on time. Safety checks need to be carried out and signed off as well as setting alarms and safely depositing the cash from the tills each night. Not exciting, but an important role that is usually carried out by gym instructors and the fitness team in general.
They make sure the gym equipment is safe to use
The absolute last thing a member or a gym wants is to have a piece of equipment that could be potentially dangerous.
There are many pieces of equipment in a gym that could lead to a potential injury if they are not regularly maintained and checked for any defects.
It’s the responsibility of the fitness team and gym instructors to regularly check each and every piece of equipment to make sure they are safe to use and report any issues that need to be repaired, even putting a popular piece of equipment out of use if needs be.
The fitness team is given sheets that need to be checked off for each piece of equipment to say they are safe, so they will be looking for things like frayed cables, loose handles, or any malfunctions in the equipment.
It’s then up to them to make sure that the maintenance companies are called and booked in to make any repairs as quickly as they can to avoid any disruption to the gym members.
So there you go, I hope this article has shown you just how important gym instructors are to the facilities they work in.
They aren’t just there to stand around chatting to the reception team and teaching a few classes, the whole gym runs smoothly because of them.
They help the members to reach their goals, feel welcome, and not give up on their fitness journeys, and they also help to keep the gym clean tidy, and safe for everybody to use.
Without them, the gyms would not run and people wouldn’t have a safe place to work out, it’s as simple as that.
If you’d like to know a little more about what it’s like to actually work as a fitness instructor, check out the article below.
Have a great day!
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