Fitness Leadership

YMCA Fitness Leader Certifications

The YMCA in Canada is dedicated to the growth of all persons in spirit, mind, and body and in a sense of responsibility to each other and the global community. The YMCA developed the first nationally recognized fitness leadership program in 1974 and has continued to train fitness leaders ever since.ymca_0772
Stage 1 – Basic Theory Prerequisite for all next steps. Topics covered include: Basic anatomy and physiology Movement mechanics Exercise design The older adult Nutrition Safety Stage 2 - Applied Theory Group (A) Individual Conditioning (B)
Group Fitness Certification Path (A) Part I: Fundamentals of Group Fitness This course qualifies a candidate for all Group Fitness Streams. Aspects common to all fitness classes taught in a group setting are discussed including: Leadership Components of a group fitness class Class planning YMCA membership standards Communication Music Part II: Group Fitness Streams Upon successful completion of Part I: Fundaments of Group Fitness, candidates are able to take any of the courses in the different group fitness streams. Why stop at just one or two? Group Resistance Training Group Cycling Group Choreography-based Group Core Strength & Stretch Aquatic Fitness
Individual Conditioning Certification Path (B) Level I Conditioning Centre Guide: This course is designed for those interested in volunteering in the fitness centre as a “Conditioning Centre Guide” and also serves as a prerequisite for the Level II course. Emphasis is on basic components of fitness, the stages of change and understanding and building relationships with YMCA members. Basic Theory is not required. Level I is not a certification on its own. Level II Basic Training Instructor: The purpose of this course is to train candidates to work with individuals in the fitness centre and create safe, basic, and balanced programs enabling our members to reach their health and fitness goals. Topics covered include: Equipment and training modalities
  • Program design
  • Exercise analysis
  • Resistance training principles
  • Working with youth, older adults and pre and post natal
  • Special populations and chronic disease and exercise
  • Basic Theory and Individual Conditioning Level I are prerequisites for this course.

Stage 3 - Apprenticeship – Peer Teaching The apprenticeship is supervised practice time under the guidance of a certified fitness leader/mentor to ensure that candidates are comfortable, informed and confident to run an enjoyable and safe program for YMCA members. There is a minimum number of hours required to allow for individual’s differences.
  • Individual Conditioning
    • Level I: 2 hours
    • Level II: 12 -20 hours
  • Group Fitness
    • Group Resistance Training : 4 hours
    • Group Cycling 4 hours
    • Choreography-based: 4 hours
    • Group Core Strength & Stretch: 4 hours
    • Aquatic Fitness 4 hours

Stage 4 - Practicum – On the Floor Teaching The 8 hours of practical experience in a formal class setting ensures candidates have some real life experience before being evaluated (practical observation).
  • Individual Conditioning
    • Level I: 2 hours
    • Level II: 8 hours
    • Group Fitness
    • Group Resistance Training : 4 hours
    • Group Cycling 4 hours
    • Choreography-based: 4 hours
    • Group Core Strength & Stretch: 4 hours
    • Aquatic Fitness 4 hours

Stage 5 – FINAL Evaluation and Certification Once all 4 stages and the practical EVALUATION (by a YMCA Fitness Leader Trainer) in the chosen stream are completed, the candidate receives Certification.
Re-certificationymca_0775 Awards are valid for 2 years. All requirements must be completed prior to the award expiry date: For all certifications:
  •  Current annual CPR
  • Obtain 16 hours of continuing education credits every 2 years (1 hour = 1 credit)
  • Annual practical observation and evaluation by a YMCA Fitness Leader Trainer
    • For Individual Conditioning:
      • Proof of 50 hours of instruction in past 2 years.
    • For Group Fitness:
      • If 1 to 2 group fitness certifications are held: proof of 50 hours of instruction in past 2 years.
      • If 3 to 5 group fitness certifications are held: proof of 75 hours of instruction in past 2 years.
The minimum age for all certification courses is 16.