Water Fitness Training

This morning my alarm went off before 4:30 a.m. Intense!

I worked the early shift today which meant I arrived at the gym before 5 a.m. I thought the morning might drag since I’ve never had a job that began at 5 a.m., but fortunately the energy and hustle and bustle of the gym made time fly by.

Before leaving for the day, I met up with one of the group exercise instructors to take her water fitness class and pick her brain a bit since I will be teaching the class myself very soon. The class is quite popular at our gym which is a great thing, but also intimidating.

photo (2)

Knowing that many of the fitness instructors have a loyal fan base at our gym is a little unnerving since I don’t want to come in as the new instructor and be a disappointment. I’ve talked to a lot of the instructors at our gym about being the new kid on the block and they have all been so encouraging and said they remember feeling the same way at some point. They’ve been honest with me and told me that I will likely be compared to previous instructors for a while until the members get to know me and my teaching style.

I’m looking forward to the challenge and developing my skills. I’m hoping to learn some valuable takeaways during my AFAA group exercise certification workshop and will continue to take water fitness classes at the gym and learn from current instructors. I also want to be sure to select some good music!


When I arrived home from the gym, I dug into a late lunch. I packed breakfast and cinnamon peanut butter popcorn to eat as a mid-morning snack while I was at work but didn’t bring food for lunch and was pretty darn hungry by the time I got home.

I fixed myself a plate of tuna salad served with a sliced pear and peanut butter.

tuna salad with pear

I made the tuna salad with carrot, celery, cucumber, scallions, mustard, light mayo and sweet relish.

tuna salad with carrot relish scallions fresh pear

Hunger = Satisfied!

Question of the Afternoon

  • What do you look for in a good fitness instructor?

I’ve always loved fitness instructors that select motivating, upbeat music and really push me to work harder than I would on my own.


  1. says

    You’ll do great Julie! I’m sure it will be intimidating at first but once your students get to know you and see your passion and enthusiasm I’m sure they’ll love you! Good luck! :)


  2. says

    Oh ya, if an instructors music sucks I am more than likely to try a new class the next time, music is key! I also think knowing the abilities of the people in the class is important, and providing modifications as well.


    • Marci says

      I have never heard of “aqua fit” perhaps other gyms/areas call water fitness classes by different names. I know at my gym we have 5 or 6 different water fitness classes, each with a different name (including waterzumba)


  3. Bonnie says

    As one of the ‘old timers’ around – I’ll pass on a good piece of advice I received … don’t shoot yourself in the foot when getting going in a job by telling your peers you’re nervous or worried about how people will take to you. You know you have to earn your kudos and your clientele. Appear confident and that will come across vs. worried and needy – not saying that you might be coming across that way at ALL, but I’ve worked with people who have been like that and then you start thinking, hmm. Maybe they weren’t ready for the job if they’re insecure. Be confident and be strong and you’ll do fine!


  4. says

    Good music makes even the toughest class fly by. I suppose it depends on the cliental and the class, but I like instructors who are down-to-earth and enjoying themselves. Definitely the most important thing you can do is to be yourself. Seriously.


  5. says

    I have to teach my first pilates class on Saturday and I’m SOOO nervous, like already panicing about it haha. It’s only in front of my fellow pilates teacher trainers, but it’s still scary. And it honestly is hard to talk about form, the exercise, mirroring, benefits all at the same time. I’m totally reading all these comments for peoples tips;)
    You’re going to be amazing at this I’m positive! I’d for sure take your class if I lived closer…darn 😉


  6. Andrea K says

    The best advice someone gave me about teaching group classes was to imagine explaining the movement to someone who is blind, who cannot see you and replicate your movement by sight. Find analogies and feelings inside the body that you can relate to the students, so that if they were not watching, they could perfectly execute the exercise. Example: “head rotation” becomes “look over your shoulder as if you were checking to back out of a parking spot.” That advice has served me very well in Pilates instruction, but I think it applies to any group exercise :)


  7. Meagan K says

    You will be great Julie!! My favorite instructors have great music (sounds like you’re already on top of this!), are passionate, act “themselves” and let their unique personality traits show, make the class fun and challenging….all things you will be a natural at!!! I hope you enjoy your first class!! Good luck!


  8. Annie says

    Hi Julie, all way from South Africa, I can say that just from reading your blog you’re super-amazing and will be even more amazing as an instructor! Your treadmill workout has totally amped up my cardio. I also just love reading your blog. Its wonderful how people can live in different countries, and be worlds apart culturally, but can actually share so many similarities. Good luck but I know you don’t need it!!!!!!!!!!


  9. says

    I know you’ll do good! I bet its scary but they’ll love your class for sure! The only class I take as of now is spinning which I’m obsessed with. I love it because the instructor is so personable (she knew my name and has remembered it sense the second I walked in), she’s hard core but encouraging at the same time and she plays upbeat Christian and worship songs the entire class and prays at the end. So not only do I get a good workout, I’m spiritually uplifted :)


  10. sybil says

    My favorite instructors are the one that push themselves too. I do a lot of spin classes at my gym. My favorite instructor is the one who is out of breathe w/ us. He has signs to tell us what he wants since he is usually just as beat one hour into spin like the rest of us!


  11. says

    Wow…4:30 a.m.! So early! I’ve never taking a water fitness class, but I bet it’s probably lots of fun.

    I like an instructer that is motivating and fun! It’s also great when they really get into it and is passionate about what they do.


  12. says

    I LOVE an instructor who really buys into the workout they are teaching. If his/her energy is up and they seem to be enjoying the class I am more likely to push myself and have a great experience!! Still dying to try BodyPump based on your reviews!


  13. says

    I’ve been feeling the same way Julie. I am training to be a barre instructor at my local barre studio and I get so nervous just thinking about teaching a class-especially since everyone loves and is so used to the main instructor there. People don’t like change! I just pretend I’m not nervous and try and let my personality shine through. It seems as if you have a great personality and energy for this very purpose and you will be great. Your students will love you!


  14. Lydia says

    I came across your blog by accident but I love your recipes and fashion/workout tips you give. Keep up the great work!


  15. LG says

    Something I’ve noticed since I started taking Bodypump classes is that I love it when the instructor makes eye contact with us in the class. There are a few teachers that always look “above” all of us (since the stage is elevated), and it makes me feel a bit disconnected.

    I just finished reading “How to Really Love your Child” and learned that eye contact is one of the main ways that people feel loved. Crazy!


  16. Katie says

    You’re on track with the music! I once took a spin class where the instructor had us sprint while her music was in between songs. I never took her class again. Also, doing the workout with everyone I think makes a difference. Kinda hard to enjoy a class when someone’s just barking the moves at you.


  17. Kim B says

    Good music is a must…I took a spin class once where ther instructor played Beatles music the whole time…I have nothing against the Beatles…but for Spin…never went to her class again!


  18. Kathy says

    I am a 52 year old fitness instructor who got my AFAA group X cert. when I was 47 years old. I am working at a park district gym where all the instructors have 15 years or more experience. At first the instructors were all supportive, but quickly I learned it can be very competitive. Be true to yourself, do what you know, learn your students names, show them your personality and they will love you! Its always safety first, but show them how much fun a group fitness class can be! You will be awesome if you don’t try to be something you are not. I now teach 8 classes a week, (2 muscle classes, 1 cardio, 3 kettlebells (my fav) a core class and a bodyweight bootcamp class. Consistency is key in fitness and in teaching! Knock em dead! p.s. I am also a certified personal trainer but LOVE teaching WAY more! Good luck!


  19. says

    The music has to be loud enough, they have to be passionate and have enthusiasm- the classes should always be fun :) Also they need to be musical and have rhythm- since I do I hate it when we end up off the beat because the instructor can’t stay on it hahah. Pet Peeve. When you’re surrounded by fab instructors people will have their feathers ruffled when someone comes in and replaces them it sucks, but they adjust to you and they’ll end up loving you just the same (From personal experience!)


  20. says

    Ouch, 4:30? I have trouble getting up at 7:30! :p
    As far as fitness instructor, I really like when they make everyone included whether they are new or not. I also appreciate when they do the moves along with the class instead of showing it once and barking out instructions.


  21. says

    I just love fitness instructors who aren’t afraid to look, act, and encourage like they’re working out. I love to be motivated, and it’s way more motivating for me when my BodyPump teacher, dripping sweat and panting, tells us that she knows its hurting, that she’s hurting too, but that if she can push we can push. As opposed to my spin teacher, who never seems to sweat and says things like “isn’t this a blast?” and “So glad you guys came today”. Nice things! Just not, I don’t know, the most motivating. Be in the trenches with me :)


  22. Rebecca says

    Hi Julie! I recently became NASM certified as well. I would first like to say thank you, because I first looked into it because of your blog! I see that you just got your first CPT job, congratulations!!! I am looking to start in this field as well. I was curious about how you did you resume? I have experience from college soccer and just general working out with other people but no actual “personal training.” I would appreciate any input or help!! Thank you:)


  23. says

    The water fitness class sounds great. Just believe in yourself and everything will work out just fine. And your recipe looks really yummy and healthy. Good luck to your water fitness class. Please do keep us posted.


  24. says

    Very cool post! Makes me want to do two things right now: go swimming and eat that delicious tuna dish in the photo. Also, I have to say that one of the best qualities of a fitness instructor, for me, is someone who finds your individual strengths and weaknesses and focusing on balancing them rather than putting too much stress on simply “pushing your body to the limit”. Anyway, thanks for sharing this!


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