I recently heard a fellow instructor saying they had crunched the numbers and after adding up all their expenses and time, they were making about half of the minimum hourly rate teaching group fitness classes. Did this surprise me? Nope, not one bit, and I’m cool with that thought.
We work hard for the money
Anyone who has ever worked in fitness knows that we earn every damn cent. The cost of training before you can even get in front of a class/client, the hours of practice and research that goes into each class, insurance, tax, music, it all adds up super quick. On the surface $40-$50 dollars a class sounds pretty OK, you get paid to have fun and workout, but once you start subtracting your expenses that hourly rate can quickly hit single digits.
It’s not for everyone
The low financial return attracts a certain type of person. If we were all getting rich overnight then every (wo)man and his dog would be teaching group fitness right! Instead the return on investment almost acts as a barrier to those who are out to make a quick buck. Don’t get me wrong, done right, teaching classes can make a handy few dollars on the side but you’re never going to earn mega dollars; there are only so many classes you can teach in a day before your body gives out. Truth is I kind of like it that way. It takes a special kind of crazy to want to go through all the training and up-skilling to workout with a room full of sweaty people (I’m that kind of crazy). It’s that unspoken understanding between instructors that we do what we do to help our participants and change people’s lives.
Hey I get paid to workout with really cool people
Free gym membership and I get paid to workout! Sounds like the deal of the century to me. I always keep my participants at the forefront of my mind when I teach. “Remember it’s not about you.” I say to myself when I’m not feeling it or I’m exhausted from my day job. How many other people get to say they have a positive and life-changing impact on others when they go to work? Apart from those guys over at lotto that call people to tell them that they just won $20 million, I can’t think of many other professions. Remember you have a real chance to positively impact people’s lives when you’re on stage.
If you’re not digging it anymore, that’s OK
The time comes for some instructors who just don’t think it’s worth the time and effort anymore. I think we’ve all had that thought cross our mind at some stage and that A-OK. As they say, all good things must come to an end. I reckon it’s better to go out when you’re on top instead of just burning out and fading into the background. Remember no one is forcing you to teach, be sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
I just love teaching
Seeing your regular participants, the buzz when you take the stage and the euphoria when you’ve finished the class are all incredible perks to the job. For me it’s not about the money, it keeps me active, keeps my brain focused and makes me accountable to others when it comes to my own fitness. The hours of practice, workshops and training and all the sweat and high fives are totally worth it in my mind. What do you think?