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Group Fitness Instructor Certification (AFAA-CGFI)

NCCA-Accredited. Gold Standard in Group Fitness Since 1983.

Starting at: $399 $299 | $22/month

GROUP FITNESS INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION (AFAA-CGFI)

Study from home. Become certified from home. Teach classes from home. Course now available 100% online featuring our NEW state-of-the-art, digital learning platform.

⇓ Enroll Now ⇓

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How It Works


Turn your passion for fitness into a career by becoming a Certified Group Fitness Instructor. In order to become certified, you must pass an NCCA-accredited certification exam. The course content is designed to prepare you to pass this exam. The course is designed to be self-paced, and has been designed to walk you through the necessary knowledge needed to successfully pass this exam.

Step 1:
Study Your Online Course Material

Step 2:
Pass Your Proctored, NCCA-Accredited Exam

Step 3:
Become an AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor!

What You'll Learn


When you enroll in our Group Fitness Certification Program, you're gaining the benefit of decades of experience in preparing the best instructors in the industry. For generations, we've provided those in our programs with practical skills and hands-on experience needed to inspire and motivate class participants to strive to create happier and healthier lives. As times have changed so have we, adopting a world-class online learning platform that allows you to study and get certified. From the comfort of your own home. With each program, you'll learn:

  • How to design, choreograph and lead a group fitness class.
  • Training on modalities, including: strength and resistance, hiit and interval, boot camp, yoga, cycle and more.
  • Essentials of exercise and physiology.
  • Foundations of nutrition and healthy eating.
  • How to adapt for special populations, like pregnant and senior participants.
  • Business skills and professional responsibilities.

Course Curriculum


Do you have a passion for fitness? Are you looking to help change lives for the better? Eager to learn all you can about teaching group classes? Then you are qualified to become a Group Fitness Instructor.

Our certification requires no previous experience to take and complete. We provide you with everything you need to master the material and learn how to thrive in the industry.

Module 1: The Group Fitness Industry

Learn about the state of health and fitness today. This understanding will provide insight into why your pursuit of a career in fitness will help you become so influential in improving the lives of others.

Module 2: Foundations of Exercise Science

Helping others reach their fitness goals requires the knowledge to analyze the basics of human movement thoroughly. Biomechanics and the interactions of the muscle action spectrum provide you with the language of exercise science and a foundational understanding of the human body.

Module 3: The Human Movement System

Armed with the basics of biomechanics, you can now begin to learn the functions of the Human Movement System (also referred to as the kinetic chain). The kinetic chain is comprised of three different, yet intimately interwoven, systems that allow our bodies to move. The knowledge related to these systems and their interactions will help you guide the individuals you work with to move safely and effectively.

Module 4: Integrated Fitness

Integrated fitness is the foundation for the successful development of any fitness program, combining multiple types of exercise to help participants achieve their goals. Through the application of the various components of integrated fitness, you can design safer, more effective fitness classes.

Module 5: Teaching Basics

Using the principles of integrated fitness, you may now begin to piece together the five components of a workout for a unified class flow. Through an in-depth exploration of each of the five components (intro, movement prep, the body of the workout, transition, and outro), you can identify the various considerations for the most popular formats, including training intensities and appropriate exercise selection.

Module 6: Teaching: Multi-training and Exercise Technique

One precious resource for an aspiring Group Fitness Instructor is a vast inventory of exercises that might be useful across multiple formats. Additionally, instructors should be familiar with the appropriate technique for each exercise they offer, as well as be prepared to offer modifications to accommodate participants' needs.

Module 7: Class Planning and Preparation

After understanding integrated fitness, the components of a workout, and appropriate exercises across popular formats, instructors can apply their knowledge in the classroom. Thoughtful class planning allows instructors the opportunity to refine the intended outcomes of their classes by selecting elements such as music, equipment, and movement options to best suit their intended goals.

Module 8: Adapting to Class Dynamics

Instructors must do more than simply plan for their classes. They must also be prepared to encounter unexpected variables the day-of. Knowing how to respond to numerous situations, from surprise visitors to medical emergencies, will help you in your efforts to provide a safe and inclusive experience for everyone. Diligent classroom set-up can help avert complications before they begin.

Module 9: Communication and Learning

While in-depth knowledge of proper exercise execution and workout design is essential for all Group Fitness Instructors, the test of a genuinely successful instructor lies in connecting with participants through their preferred learning styles and active cueing. Generally speaking, the best way to connect with participants is by providing participant-centered instruction that acknowledges individual needs while still serving the group.

Module 10: Inclusive Instruction for Special Populations

Participant-centered instruction requires an understanding of the various levels of conditioning that may affect an individual’s performance in a group workout. By understanding the various considerations and modifications available, you can provide support for every participant without singling them out or sacrificing the quality of a workout.

Module 11: Class Engagement and Motivation

Effective instructors do more than offer safe movement experiences. They connect with their participants, which engages and motivates them to continue returning time and time again. By motivating every participant in a way that empowers them to meet their goals, you'll build value for your participants.

Module 12: Professional and Legal Responsibilities

As with any career, there are legal, ethical, and professional expectations for certified Group Fitness Instructors. Included in these expectations is the need for continued educational and experiential development, as well as methods for self-care to help you sustain and thrive.

Module 13: Nutrition

Achieving optimal health and fitness goes beyond human movement, it also encompasses nutrition. Nutrition is an evolving and quickly changing science. As new research is conducted, new information provides fresh insights that may influence the work you do as a Group Fitness Instructor. This module will provide you the basic nutritional information you will need for discussions with participants, as well as to benefit your health and well-being.

After the completion of the course, you will take a proctored final exam. This exam can be taken online, through a live-remote proctor, or in-person at one of our many testing facilities. The test consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. You will have 120 minutes to complete the exam. To pass, you need a score of 70% or higher. To register for your exam, please see our Exam Information page.

You have six months from your date of purchase to pass your exam. If you missed your deadline or failed your initial exam attempt, a retest for the exam can be purchased. Requirements and limitations for retesting are described in the Candidate Handbook. Please contact the Member Services team for additional details regarding pricing and limitations.

How does training from the comfort of your own home sound? This program now comes with exclusive bonus content. Learn how to train and manage clients virtually. Learn everything from setting up equipment, creating digital programs, taking payments and more! Course includes 5 in-depth lessons, a 10-part video series, and more.

Fitness Trends Come and Go. A Group Fitness Certification is the Foundation.


Group fitness formats have gained and waned in popularity through the years. With a Group Fitness Certification you'll learn foundational teaching skills, empowering you to adapt quickly and easily to new exercise formats.

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

  • Aerobics

  • Home Workout

  • Racquetball

  • Step

  • Jazzercise

  • Karate

  • Trampoline

  • Dance Cardio

  • Spinning

  • Home Workout

  • TaeBo

  • Gaming Consoles

  • Wearable Devices

  • Barre

  • Functional Training

  • Cardio Kickboxing

  • P90x

  • SoulCycle

  • Bootcamps

  • Crossfit

  • Shape-Ups

  • Social Media Influencers

  • Cycle

  • Virtual Training

  • Zumba

  • Barre

  • Hiit

  • Yoga

  • Pilates

Group Fitness Instructor Certification

What's Included


High-Quality, Learning Resources

Preview Cueing Video: Bent Over Dumbbell Cobra Cueing

Includes:

  • Lecture Videos
  • Demo Videos
  • Exercise Videos
  • Cueing Videos
  • Infographics
  • Class Planning Templates

“I really enjoyed the course especially the correcting cue videos where it breaks down seeing & correcting improper form.”

- Jeri-Lynn H., CA


NEW! High-End, Digital Learning Portal

Includes:

  • 100% online course; study from the comfort of your own home
  • Beautiful, high-end content delivery system. Easily access. your content across all devices.

“I was very impressed with the material from the GFI course. It was laid out well, easy to follow, and extremely informative. I feel much more confident in delivering a great exercise experience for my clients!”

- Amy C., TX


Digital and Hardcopy Textbook

Includes:

  • 347-Pages of expert, evidence-based content
  • Digital textbook included in all four packages, hardcopy textbook available as an optional upgrade

“I highly recommend getting the text book as for me it was helpful to have it on the go and to take notes in.”

- Daisy S, MN


Practice Exams & Quizzes

Includes:

  • 18 Practice Quizzes & 1 Practice Exam
  • Unlimited attempts on all quizzes and practice exam
  • Quizzes have no time limit, the practice exam is 120 mins

“I felt the most helpful resources in preparing for the exam were the Domain Quizzes and Practice Exam. I took those multiple times.”

- Marissa S., IL


Job Guaranteed

Start your fitness journey off with confidence.

When you enroll in the AFAA-GFI Self-Study, Premium Self-Study, or All-Inclusive programs, you are guaranteed to find a job in a club within 90 days, or you'll get a refund.

Terms and conditions apply and can be found in the Candidate Handbook.


Recertify for Life

Keep your knowledge up to date, and show your commitment to excellence.

With our Recertify for Life program, you never have to worry about recertification fees. You can focus on what’s important, the learning.

In addition, get other exclusive benefits such as:

  • 30% discount on AFAA Specializations
  • Exclusive pre-sale offers on new AFAA products
  • Free shipping on orders of $100 or more*

Hear from Our Fitness Instructors


Awesome Certification

"The book and all the learning materials were so helpful and on point. Loved taking the practice test and quizzes to get a better understanding on what the exam was like. I studied hard for 8 weeks, took many practice tests, did flashcards every night, and I passed the exam on my first attempt. This certification has opened many doors for me, thank you AFAA!”

Gloria R., NV

Highly Recommend

“The course was great for overall group fitness training education. The content, quizzes, and final exam prep is all I needed to pass my Certification exam. I was expecting questions on the exam to be different than the practice exam but everything I needed was included in this course! I would highly recommend this AFAA Group Fitness Training Course!”

Steve O., MN

Great Experience

“The AFAA GFI course was a great experience. After teaching a pre-choreographed class for several years, I wanted to learn more about the group fitness industry and the science behind it. The GFI course delivered just that, in an easy, informative way.”

Lauren A., UT

Empowered

“The GFI course empowered me to become a confident instructor and provided me with all the knowledge I needed to offer well balanced and attractive classes to my future participants. I am so happy I took the course and I cannot wait to start teaching and employ everything I learned!”

Margot K., NH

Feeling Confident

“This was the perfect course for me! I am a stay-at-home mom of two young kids and I was able to stay on track and work at my own pace to accomplish it. I finished feeling confident and ready to start my journey as a GFI!”

Gabrielle G., PA

Excited To Continue My Journey

“There were quite a few options for me to select when it came to exploring obtaining my group fitness certification and by far I am very happy I decided to go with AFAA…. I am excited to continue my journey as a professional in the Fitness Industry and will definitely select AFAA moving forward.”

Pia A., OH

Better Engage Participants

“I was serious about enhancing my Instruction to better engage participants and provide a more balanced experience. GFI gave me the knowledge and tools to do just that. I look forward to applying what I have learned.”

LaQuinta S., FL

Very Useful

"Well-structured course both for beginners in fitness industry and for intermediate trainers. Most of all I’m thankful for muscle anatomy block and for common imbalances description. These are very useful to improve our clients life."

Valery F., Ukraine

I Feel More Well-Rounded

“The GFI course gave me a breadth of knowledge for teaching group fitness classes. Before taking the course, I only had a specialty certification, but now I feel much more well-rounded in my abilities to teach a fun, safe, and a challenging fitness class.”

Daciana E., Bermuda

Easy To Use

“I purchased the textbook to go along with the GFI course. Both were very helpful toward my getting certified as a Group Fitness Instructor. While working on an iPad it was nice to be able to have the text to thumb through. The GFI course was easy to use and the customer service was prompt and quite helpful!”

Ashley T., GA

Learned More Than I Expected

“I learned more than I expected about exercise science, anatomy, and everything from course design to professional practice. The course is clear, well organized, and solidly prepared me for the certification exam.”

Jessica H., CA

Great Program

“AFAA’s GFI course is great! It teaches you the basics and helps to progress your knowledge along the way! They show you how to create your own workouts, cue participants effectively, and how to put yourself out there professionally!”

Lashun L., AL

Very Well Structured

“The materials are very well structured. The contents and the layout are very good and motivating to learn. I have bought the manual and it will be a great reference in the future if I want to clarify something.”

Bridget L., AZ

Highly Recommend

“I highly recommend the AFAA GFI course. I have been an instructor for over 20 years and I still learn so much from this course. It also gives me that extra spark of confidence and validation; I love going through the course and thinking, ‘hey, that’s me!"

Dina T., Egypt

AFAA Rocks

"Since I started with AFAA I’ve really been so confident in what I can do as a group fitness instructor, I’ll always recommend AFAA to anyone, AFAA rocks.”

Demetrius, H., CT

Well Organized

“Taking the AFAA group fitness course was straight-forward and attainable. The information is well organized, and the quizzes at the end of each module are helpful to be sure you are retaining the information.”

Carly D., NY

Learn How & Why

“This AFAA course brings light to the exciting world of being a group fitness instructor. Not only did I learn how to teach participants, but I learned why to teach that way and what is going on within the body.”

Marissa W., IL

Very Excited

“I am a ballet instructor looking to broaden my teaching to other facilities than just dance studios. NASM’s Group Fitness Instructor certification will enable me to do just that. I am very excited about the doors that will open for me as a result of this course!”

Georgia R., KY

Easy to Follow

“I loved working through this course. It was super easy to follow and I liked that on each module there was specific terms highlighted to make the content easier to understand. I will continue to study through these courses.”

Jayne S., CO

Very Impressed

“I was very impressed with the material from the GFI course. It was laid out well, easy to follow, and extremely informative. I feel much more confident in delivering a great exercise experience for my clients!”

Amy C., TX

Built New Skills

“The GFI course was well presented. The course material covered a wide variety of fitness formats, teaching techniques, biomechanics and nutrition in-depth. I gained a deeper understanding of my previous knowledge and built new skills set for future professional use.”

Dorothy E., PA

Thorough and Cost Effective

“The AFAA course is thorough and cost effective. I would recommend (and have) that all group exercise instructors take this course for personal and professional development!”

Andreana N., MI

Comprehensive

"I chose the AFAA Certification because of its reputation for completely preparing someone looking to become a Fitness Trainer. I found the course and materials absolutely comprehensive and gave me the confidence I need to have the job of my dreams.”

Lik H., Singapore

Great Information

“This course provided great information on formatting classes for populations with various fitness levels. I feel that the information allowed me to more confidently lead my class in a safe journey to greater physical health.”

Stacey J., NJ

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Compare GFI Packages


Save up to 30% on programs below.
Plus, call 800-446-2322 to start for $0 down and moke no payments until November*

 

Select a package
  • BASIC
  • SELF-STUDY
  • PREMIUM SELF-STUDY
  • ALL-INCLUSIVE
Select a package
  • BASIC
  • SELF-STUDY
  • PREMIUM SELF-STUDY
  • ALL-INCLUSIVE
 
 

 

BASIC


$31 /month

Interest-free payment plans


or

$399

()

SHOW FEATURES

  • 100% Online Course

  • NCCA Accredited Exam Exams can be administered both in-person and online, depending on your individual state requirements. See our Exam Information page to learn more about remote proctoring options.

  • Digital Textbook

  • Learning Videos

  • Practice Exams & Quizzes

  • Job Guarantee

  • Bonus Course: Fundamentals of Virtual Coaching

  • Exam Retest

  • Hardcover Textbook

  • Access To Experts

  • Recertify for Life

$31 /month

* $49 down + 11 payments

SIGN UP

 

SELF-STUDY


$82 /month

Interest-free payment plans


or

$948

()

SHOW FEATURES

  • 100% Online Course

  • NCCA Accredited Exam Exams can be administered both in-person and online, depending on your individual state requirements. See our Exam Information page to learn more about remote proctoring options.

  • Digital Textbook

  • Learning Videos

  • Practice Exams & Quizzes

  • Job Guarantee Upon successful completion of your AFAA-GFI exam, AFAA guarantees that you will get a job within 90 days or the cost of the Job Guarantee will be refunded to you. Terms and conditions apply to the Job Guarantee can be found in the Candidate Handbook.

  • Bonus Course: Fundamentals of Virtual Coaching Learn everything you need to know to train and coach your clients from the comfort of your own home. From equipment set up, programming workouts for a digital format, utilizing apps, taking payment, and more!

  • Exam Retest

  • Hardcover Textbook

  • Access To Experts

  • Recertify for Life

$82 /month

* $49 down + 11 payments

SIGN UP

MOST POPULAR

PREMIUM SELF-STUDY


$50 /month

Interest-free payment plans


or

$599

()

SHOW FEATURES

  • 100% Online Course

  • NCCA Accredited Exam Exams can be administered both in-person and online, depending on your individual state requirements. See our Exam Information page to learn more about remote proctoring options.

  • Digital Textbook

  • Learning Videos

  • Practice Exams & Quizzes

  • Job Guarantee Upon successful completion of your AFAA-GFI exam, AFAA guarantees that you will get a job within 90 days or the cost of the Job Guarantee will be refunded to you. Terms and conditions apply to the Job Guarantee can be found in the Candidate Handbook.

  • Bonus Course: Fundamentals of Virtual Coaching Learn everything you need to know to train and coach your clients from the comfort of your own home. From equipment set up, programming workouts for a digital format, utilizing apps, taking payment, and more!

  • Exam Retest

  • Hardcover Textbook

  • Access To Experts Gain access to our AFAA coaches, who can help answer questions and offer assistance during the course.

  • Recertify for Life

$50 /month

* $49 down + 11 payments

SIGN UP

BEST VALUE

ALL-INCLUSIVE


$69 /month

Interest-free payment plans


or

$799

()

SHOW FEATURES

  • 100% Online Course

  • NCCA Accredited Exam Exams can be administered both in-person and online, depending on your individual state requirements. See our Exam Information page to learn more about remote proctoring options.

  • Digital Textbook

  • Learning Videos

  • Practice Exams & Quizzes

  • Job Guarantee Upon successful completion of your AFAA-GFI exam, AFAA guarantees that you will get a job within 90 days or the cost of the Job Guarantee will be refunded to you. Terms and conditions apply to the Job Guarantee can be found in the Candidate Handbook.

  • Bonus Course: Fundamentals of Virtual Coaching Learn everything you need to know to train and coach your clients from the comfort of your own home. From equipment set up, programming workouts for a digital format, utilizing apps, taking payment, and more!

  • Exam Retest

  • Hardcover Textbook

  • Access To Experts Gain access to our AFAA coaches, who can help answer questions and offer assistance during the course.

  • Recertify for Life To maintain your credentials, instructors are required to recertify every two years. This involves taking continuing education courses, maintaining a current CPR/AED card and paying recertification fees. AFAA's Recertify for Life program allows you to avoid these renewal fees, get discounts on CEU courses, and receive extra exclusive benefits!

$69 /month

* $49 down + 11 payments

SIGN UP

FAQs


After passing an NCCA-Accredited exam, you will become an AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor.

The exam is valid for 180 days (about 6 months) from your date of purchase. You will have access to the course content for 365 days from your date of purchase and as long as your account stays in good financial standing. This is particularly helpful so you can refer back to the content while you're first starting out as an instructor.

The AFAA-GFI course is completely self-paced. You have 180 days to take the final exam from the date of purchase. Many students may complete the course in as little as 6 to 8 weeks. Exact times will vary depending on the student, prior experience and dedication to the material.

To support NASM's commitment to protecting health and safety, the AFAA-GFI certification must be recertified every two (2) years.

As an AFAA-GFI, you are required to recertify every 2 years. In order to recertify, you must complete 15 CEUs (continuing education units) as well as maintain a current CPR and AED certifications (worth 2 CEUs). CEUs ensure you're current with best-practice guidelines, plus they will expand your knowledge, skills, and abilities in key areas. To start the recertification process, please visit NASM's recertification page.

After the completion of the course, you will take a proctored final exam. This exam can be taken online, through a live-remote proctor, or in-person at one of our many testing facilities. The test consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. You will have 120 minutes to complete the exam. To pass, you need a score of 70% or higher. To register for your exam, please see our Exam Information page.

You have six months from your date of purchase to pass your exam. If you missed your deadline or failed your initial exam attempt, a retest for the exam can be purchased. Requirements and limitations for retesting are described in the Candidate Handbook. Please contact the Member Services team for additional details regarding pricing and limitations.

Yes. You can purchase only the final exam for a $249 fee. Please call (800) 446-2322 option 1.

You do not need prior experience before taking the GFI course. To sit for the exam, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and you must have current Emergency Cardiac Care (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Certification.

The AFAA-GFI certification is the foundation of a group fitness instructor. You will learn the latest instructional techniques, coaching skills, and leadership strategies for teaching safe, effective, and enjoyable group fitness classes no matter what the format is.