When was the last time you thought about your specific teaching style in group exercise classes? Sometimes, fitness instructors can forget that they need to be focused on their teaching abilities and not just fitness competency.

In this 4 part series, you will find the many different styles of teaching that fitness instructors can use. Rather than limiting yourself to one style, read below to learn more about each style and see which style is best suited for different disciplines, student groups, and gyms.


The command style of teaching is completely directed by the instructor. This style is mostly used in group fitness classes where specific outcomes are required. Instructors using this style need to be in complete control of the classroom and make all of the decisions about what happens in the class. The command style is best for when you want to have your students emulate you directly for reasons of safety, aesthetic standards, and an efficient use of time.

However, the command style also has some drawbacks. It can alienate students that want more of a say in their fitness practice. Students that want social interaction with their instructor, or other students, can also miss out in classes run with a command style.

Consider using the command style for:

  • Weightlifting classes that require proper form

  • Dance classes, when you want students to look a certain way

  • Classes that involve high levels of risk and danger

  • Gyms that have short breaks between classes and need quick turnaround

Using the command style doesn’t mean being dictatorial. You can still be friendly while commanding the classroom.