Working as a Fitness Leader

Fitness Leaders are people who instruct and/or otherwise facilitate other people to undertake activities intended to improve or maintain individuals level of physical (and sometimes mental) well-being.

The job of being a Fitness Leader has changed greatly over the past few decades, and looks certain to continue changing.

In the mid 20th century, fitness leaders were fewer in number, and often just amateur fitness enthusiasts conducting exercise classes in a community centre or hall. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, public interest in fitness increased, as did the capacity of people in more affluent countries to pay people to help them improve their level of fitness.

Growth in interest, demand and economic potential has led the industry to develop in different ways in different countries. What was once dominated by amateurs and volunteers, has blossomed into an industry that employs people in a wide range of roles (e.g. "Gym Managers", "Life Coaches", Personal Trainers, "Health Consultants", "Fitness Leaders",  "Recreation Officers" etc.).

Getting Started with Quality Learning

The process of training to be a Fitness Leader and associated registration schemes vary from country to country, and time to time. However, most fitness leader registration schemes are "minimalist" and courses leading to registration are commonly a very basic first step. Also - most people who rake that first step, don't last for any length of time working as a fitness leader.

We are different - our Fitness Leaders Certificate course is much more substantial and sets the graduate up with knowledge and skills well beyond the basic fitness leader. If you are serious - get registered with a basic course, but do this as well to set yourself up as something much better than a basic fitness leader. 

The Fitness Leaders Certificate course is designed to provide students with the tools to develop their knowledge of the science of anatomy and physiology, and an understanding of how the elements of the body (muscles, bones etc.) work together to produce movement (biomechanics).  Students will then study the design and delivery of fitness programs.

The course was originally developed when registration standards were higher than they are today. Because we believe in developing students for long-term engagement and career paths, we have maintained and updated the original course. This provides a far better foundation for a serious career in the fitness industry.

Concerns over legal liability have made it important for these fitness deliverers and their employers to be protected against legal action from disgruntled clients.

Appropriate legal protection may be achieved through various means:

  1. By acquiring skills and knowledge which show an unchallengeable capacity to do the job.
  2. Insurance -A professional indemnity policy to protect against any impact from a law suit.
  3. Statements relating to Liability -Displayed notices or membership contracts which clients are clearly advised of limited liability prior to using any offered services.
  4. Registrations and Memberships -Joining an appropriate professional association and/or registering as a fitness leader under an accreditation scheme can provide an indication that the leader is maintaining professional standing.

CAUTION: Registration as a Fitness Leader alone may not provide adequate legal protection. Registration simply means you have satisfied what a government or industry body has determined as being required for their registration; but if the courts determine you were still not competent to have done something you may still loose a legal challenge.

What Do You Need to Be a Good Fitness Leader

  1. The best training you can get - study a quality course which provides you with a foundation of knowledge about how the body works as well as how to design and provide fitness programs.
  2. Professional Indemnity Insurance - you will need to have a good training background to obtain appropriate insurance.
  3. In some countries and some situations, it may be desirable to gain registration through an accreditation scheme. Accreditation in one country does not mean accreditation in other countries. Accreditation usually is a result of meeting "minimum" standards set by either industry or government; but be aware that this does not mean you have the best training.
  4. You may often need to do one course to "qualify" for being registered or accredited as a fitness leader; and other courses to develop knowledge and skills that will enable you to do the best job, and offer employers things that your industry colleagues cannot match.

We Are Here to Help You Embark on Your Chosen Career Path

Studying with ACS provides you with up-to-date courses, delivered in a flexible manner to fit around your existing commitments. Our courses have been developed over many years, and are designed to be relevant to the real world. Our courses not only teach you your chosen subject, but encourage and develop your capacity for learning, researching, and networking.

Students are supported and guided in their studies by our highly experienced, specialist tutors. Our tutors are highly qualified and have extensive experience of working within their fields.

You can start studying with us at any time - get in touch with us today to plan your studies to suit your career goals.

Submit your questions to our expert Health, Fitness and Recreation tutors, or

Phone us on (in Australia) 07 5562 1088 (International) +61 7 5562 1088