Empower your Passion for Fitness with YMCA

Did you know that at the YMCA, our Fitness Instructors are the heart and soul of our community?

Since 1902, the YMCA has been a beacon of volunteerism, creating spaces where everyone can connect, learn, and belong. Our Fitness Instructor Community is a family of 170+ dedicated individuals who have found their purpose in helping others unlock their full potential, one step, one movement, and one inspiring song at a time. Our goal for 2023 is to expand this family to over 300 strong, and if you're driven by the desire to inspire others to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle, we invite you to be a part of this transformative movement.

Whether you're considering becoming a fitness instructor or have been a cherished member of our community for some time, we've curated a wealth of incredible resources to meet you right where you are on your journey.

Begin your journey to group fitness

Experience the community and fun of Fitness Instruction, while inspiring others to achieve their health and wellness goals. Follow these three quick steps to begin your journey:

  1. Check out the upcoming Fitness Leadership Courses and find a course that inspires you.
  2. Once you’ve found your calling, register for the course through our online portal.
  3. Let our team know you’re interested by completing this application form and we will match you up with a mentor to help you along the way.

Already certified and want to join the movement? 

At YMCA, we believe that the donation of time is a gift that keeps on giving – the one that will continue to make a positive impact in the lives of others. If you are already a certified or licensed instructor (YMCA, Fitness Alberta, CanFitPro, ZUMBA, Yoga, Pliates etc.) and want to be a part of a thriving volunteer community that's dedicated to creating a healthier, happier world, one person at a time. Apply to join our team today!

Enhance your teaching skills through ongoing education

As a fitness instructor, embarking on a journey of continuous growth is essential to honing your skills and staying at the top of your game. Our program requires instructors to accumulate a total of 20 Continuing Education Credits (CECs) over a span of three years. These CECs not only serve as a requirement but also as a fantastic opportunity to enhance your expertise and expand your modalities. Embrace the chance to invest in yourself, refine your abilities, and keep your teaching skills at their best.


YMCA Fitness Instructors are the ambassadors of YMCA Calgary’s health & fitness programs. Fully certified in group fitness leadership, our instructors lead a variety of drop-in fitness classes including Full Body Strength, HIIT, Deep or Shallow Water Fitness, Group Cycle, Hi-Lo, Group Power, Step and more! YMCA Fitness Instructors create a welcoming environment, build a sense of community and assist participants to achieve their wellness goals by delivering fun, safe and effective group fitness programs.

We ask that volunteer Fitness Instructors commit to teaching a minimum of one regular class per week for one year. Classes are typically 45-60 minutes long with an additional 15 minutes before and after class for set up and tear down, plus preparation time in advance of your class. Depending on class planning time the overall teaching commitment is approximately 2 hours total per week.

YMCA fitness instructors report a great sense of satisfaction at giving back to their communities by inspiring active lifestyles. They express appreciation for the incredible sense of belonging they feel at the YMCA as well as the opportunities for continued growth. In addition to this, volunteer fitness instructors receive:

  1. Complementary YMCA membership & program discounts, after 3 months of volunteering,
  2. Free continuing education workshops throughout the year,
  3. Free access to the annual YMCA Fitness Conference,
  4. Free annual CPR C recertification, and
  5. Mentorship, coaching and professional development opportunities.

YMCA is a community driven by service, filled with people who want to make an impact on the lives of others. Volunteering allows our community members to share their values, passion, and purpose with those who need it most.

YMCA Calgary believes in volunteerism as an essential part of building healthy communities. Volunteerism benefits not only the recipients of volunteer services, but the volunteers themselves through improved mental, social and physical health outcomes.

Attend a variety of fitness classes to decide which type of class you would like to teach.

Sign up for the appropriate Group Fitness Leadership Course. YMCA offers the following certification courses throughout the year:

  1. YMCA Group Strength & Cardio Instructor
  2. YMCA Group Aquatic Fitness Instructor
  3. YMCA Group Cycle Instructor
  4. YMCA Yoga Instructor
  5. YMCA Older Adult/Special Population Workshop (add-on course)
  6. YMCA Personal Trainer

Complete both the online and in-person course components, including Basic Fitness Theory.

Complete your practice-teaching apprenticeship.

When you are ready, request a certification observation from a YMCA Fitness Champion or Educator to complete your certification.

Volunteering has many benefits. Not only does it help others and strengthen our community, but it also provides various rewards for the volunteer themselves. From improved physical health and longevity, enhanced mental well-being with reduced symptoms of stress, depression and loneliness, increased feelings of self-worth and happiness, enhanced life satisfaction, and benefits to one’s social life.

Yes! If you have received fitness certification to teach or lead a class from outside of the YMCA, you can still apply to be a Fitness Instructor with YMCA Calgary.

In this case, we require all applicants to be evaluated and challenge the YMCA fitness certification. Once passed, you will receive a YMCA fitness certification in your designation. 

YMCA Calgary requires Fitness Instructors to meet these standards:

Police clearance (renewed every 3 years)

YMCA fitness certifications/observations renewed every 3 years (external certifications may require renewal more or less often)

20 Continuing Education Credits (CECs) required every 3 years

Annual renewal of CPR level C