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Turn your passion for fitness into a career by becoming an AFAA Group Fitness Instructor. To become an AFAA GFI, you must pass the AFAA Group Fitness Instructor exam. The AFAA GFI course content is designed to prepare you to pass this exam. The course is self-paced and will guide you through the necessary knowledge needed to successfully pass the exam.
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Pass Your AFAA Group Fitness Instructor Exam
Become an AFAA Group Fitness Instructor!
When you enroll in an AFAA® Group Fitness Program, you're gaining the benefit of decades of experience in preparing the best instructors in the industry. We offer a world-class online learning platform that allows you to study and get certified from the comfort and convenience of your own home or wherever you decide to learn. With each AFAA program, you'll learn:
To be eligible for this course, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Additionally, you need a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification and an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) certification. You may enroll in the course before having your CPR and AED certifications; however, you must have them before you take your final exam.
Chapter 1: Welcome to Group Fitness
Learn about the state of health and fitness today Explore your what and why as you learn about common characteristics of Group Fitness Instructors. This chapter provides foundational benefits of group fitness classes across all formats and introduces you to the instructor mindset.
Chapter 2: Professional Expectations of a GFI
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.
Chapter 3: Career Development
Identify various possibilities of employment and how developing a personal brand supports your journey as a Group Fitness Instructor. It will also provide career development opportunities and self-care tactics to help keep you a top instructor.
Chapter 4: Legal and Ethical Responsibilities
Identify your scope of practice as a Group Fitness Instructor and keep you within your legal and ethical boundaries as a fitness professional, in-person and virtually. It will provide information about safety responsibilities, emergency protocols, insurance considerations, and music licensing.
Chapter 5: Human Movement Science and Exercise
Review the benefits of exercise and connect them to applied human movement and exercise science. This chapter will go over the major systems of the body, planes of motion, and other exercise science topics as they relate to movement and bioenergetics.
Chapter 6: Training Science
Provide basic training principles and their relation to participant outcomes. This chapter will also go over acute variables, integrated fitness, and how to accommodate all participant levels through modification.
Chapter 7: A Supportive Approach to Group Fitness
The intent of this chapter is to make group fitness applicable and safe to all participants through inclusivity of individual considerations and adjusting external environmental variables.
Chapter 8: Defining Your Class
Connect the vision of your class to its desired objectives and explore how vision and objectives help you select other class considerations to ensure your class meets the needs of your participants.
Chapter 9: Building the Body of Your Workout
Discuss the selection of the intensity, exercises, arrangements, and modifications in alignment with your class vision to meet the needs of your participants.
Chapter 10: Other Vital Components of Your Workout
Show how to use the body of your workout to select other components of your workout in alignment with your class vision and objectives, as well as to support the expectations and success of your participants.
Chapter 11: Music
Show the connection between music and movement as well as explain components of music and how they can be used to align with your class vision and objectives and meet the needs of your participants. This module will also provide an overview of different sources of music and the legalities connected to each source.
Chapter 12: Communication
Discuss the different types of communication, their value to participants, and how you can use inclusive communication to engage, motivate, and build trust with your participants.
Chapter 13: The Art of Cueing
Identify various cueing techniques, establish their purpose in group fitness, and explain how to effectively deliver them. This chapter will also review proper exercise technique, safe body mechanics, and how to build your own cues.
Chapter 14: Monitoring Participants and Adapting to Class Dynamics
Review monitoring techniques for your participants’ exercise technique, form, and intensity as well as how to appropriately modify to ensure the success of your participants. This module will also explore unexpected events in the group room and how to best resolve them.
Chapter 15: Instructing Virtually
Explore instructing virtually, the relevance of virtual instruction to instructors and participants, and how to create an engaging virtual workout. This chapter will also review legal, ethical, and safety considerations when designing and offering virtual workouts.
Chapter 16: Your Journey as a Group Fitness Instructor
Review your next steps as you prepare for your final exam and explore employment opportunities as a Group Fitness Instructor.
Successful completion of the final exam is required to become an AFAA Group Fitness Instructor. This non-proctored, open-book exam has 100 questions and requires a passing grade of 70%. This exam is administered online only. You will have 3 hours to complete the exam, and you must take the exam within 180 days of your enrollment date.
Group fitness formats have gained and waned in popularity through the years. With a Group Fitness Certificate, you'll learn foundational teaching skills, empowering you to adapt quickly and easily to new exercise formats.
Preview AFAA Cueing Video: Bent Over Dumbbell Cobra Cueing
“I really enjoyed the course especially the correcting cue videos where it breaks down seeing & correcting improper form.”
- Jeri-Lynn H., CA
“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
“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
“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
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"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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
"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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
"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
“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
“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
“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
“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
Amy C., TX
“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
“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
"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
“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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Interest-free payment plans
100% Online Course
Practice Exams & Quizzes
Fundamentals of Virtual Coaching: Teach Classes in the Gym & Online!
Recertify for Life
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!
Learn the basics of CPR from the comfort of your own home with our CPR/AED Certification Online Course. The CPR/AED Certification is required to take the GFI Exam. Certification is worth 2 AFAA CEUs.
Purchase of AFAA certification preparation materials does not guarantee a passing score.
The exam is valid for 180 days from your date of purchase. You will have access to the course content for 5 years 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. 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 AFAA's commitment to protecting health and safety, the AFAA GFI certificate must be renewed every two (2) years.
As an AFAA GFI, you are required to renew every 2 years. To renew, you must complete 15 CEUs (continuing education units) as well as maintain a current CPR and AED certifications. CEUs ensure you are current with best-practice guidelines, plus they will expand your knowledge, skills, and abilities in key areas. To start the renewal process, please visit AFAA's renewal page.
The final exam is a non-proctored, open-book exam. It consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and hours for completion. You have 180 days from your date of purchase and must pass with a 70% or higher.
No. You cannot purchase the final exam separately.
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 certificate 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.
If you are having trouble accessing this website or parts of it, please call 800-446-2322 or email [email protected] and we will provide you with assistance.