I received another email asking how to start teaching fitness education courses.
I think that this is the third one I have received.
I am guessing it is a sign that I need to do a blog post on it.
So let’s give this a go.
Where it All Started
Way back in 1997, I graduated from university. I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University.
While I was working in a physical therapy clinic, I realized that I had not learned much about practical skills while in school. I learned quite a lot about anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, etc. But I did not learn much like this: you have this injury or problem, so do this exercise.
I learned a lot about the exercise side of things on the job, from the physical therapists I worked with, from other Kinesiologists, and from my own research.
My boss at the time saw all of the work that I was doing and asked if I wanted to do an in-service for the physical therapy clinic.
I said, “Sure” and gave it a go.
I worked on a presentation about exercises with the stability ball for clients with injuries.
I was worried about presenting in front of all the physical therapists. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to answer their questions. I worried if they would like what I had to present. I worried if they would care about what I had to present.
My worries were wasted, as the in-service went well and was well recieved by all.
I found that I really enjoyed the research, turning the research into practice, and the teaching side of things.
Since I already had the first presentation done, I contacted the university I graduated from and asked if they would like me to present a two-hour course to the Kinesiology students at Simon Fraser University.
The university like the idea and so did the students. We set aside an evening and I presented the same course that I had presented at the physical therapy clinic.
The students had fun. I had fun. I really enjoyed presenting and wanted to find out how I could do more.
That led to all of my courses and then to the creation of Exercises For Injuries.
I think now I have 14 main courses with a focus on exercises and injuries. I can’t remember how many courses I have taught and how many fitness professionals have attended, but I still look forward to each presentation that I do.
It’s funny to look back at the two pictures above. In the one at the very top, you can see me demonstrating some of the exercises to the students. In the one just above this, you can see me chatting about the shoulder. Even way back then, I was excited about the shoulder.
Let me share some tips with you on how to get started teaching fitness education courses.
#1 – What Is Your Specialization?
You need to focus on something. As you know, mine is exercises and injuries. There was a time that I lost focus and started doing all kinds of fitness education courses. Doing everything will end up spreading you too thin and makes it difficult for people to know what you are best in.
You need to find out what your specialization is.
You can do this by:
- Looking at the clients that you love working with.
- Figuring out what aspect of fitness excites you most.
- Deciding what part of fitness you want to be the leader in.
After you have done this, it will be easier for you to determine who you can approach to help out.
#2 – Do Some In-services
Now that you have your specialization, you can ask some fitness centres, physical therapy clinics, or recreation centres if they would be interested in an in-service on your specialization.
Let’s say you love dumbbell training. You like thinking of different and unique ways to use dumbbells to exercise with. You find most people use dumbells for boring bodybuilding exercises but you have developed ways that you can use dumbbells that are exciting, fun, unique, different, and which lead to faster results.
You can approach a fitness centre and ask if you could talk to the person in charge of staff education. When you meet him or her, introduce yourself, let them know your specialization, share your idea with them, and ask if you could do a free in-service for their staff one evening. Most fitness centre managers are always looking for fun and exciting things for their staff – especially if it does not cost them anything.
Yes, at the start, you will have to do things for free or for a small honorarium.
Doing a few in-services at no charge will give you practice on presenting, will give you a chance to test things out, and will allow you to get feedback from people so that you can improve.
If I were to do it over again, this is how I would start.
From this point, you can have your own weekend courses or present at conferences.
Let me know if you want me to talk about the next step in presenting fitness education courses.
Rick Kaselj, MS
P.S. – If you want to check out the fitness education courses that I present: