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How to Become a Sh’bam Instructor

how to become a Les Mills sh'bam instructor

If you have an interest in Les Mills courses, you might want to know how to become a Sh’bam instructor.

That’s why we have an extensive guide here on what steps you need to take, including:

Before we get started, if you’re ready to take the qualification that will make you industry ready, why not enquire about one of OriGym's Level 3 Personal Training Diploma! Find this and many other fitness courses in our downloadable course prospectus. 

Step 1- Get Qualified as a Sh’bam Instructor 

how to become a Sh’bam instructor

Before you can get qualified as a Sh'bam instructor through Les Mills training, you need to meet the requirements of working in a gym, which begins with a level 2 gym instructor course. 

How & Why to Complete a Level 2 Gym Instructor Course

First and foremost, you need to get qualified as a level 2 gym instructor. This is the minimum requirement for a job in a gym in the UK so even if you don’t need it to apply for Les Mills training, you can’t do much with a Sh'Bam instructor qualification without a gym instructing certificate.

You can see below that the top requirement for jobs teaching Les Mills classes in gyms and leisure centres is a CIMSPA endorsed Level 2 qualification.

sh'bam instructor job requirements screenshot

The are two main routes to gaining your level 2 in gym instruction, those are:

These will both see you achieve the level 2 gym instructor qualification, but by opting for the diploma, you’ll also complete the level 3 personal training course, too. 

This is because the diploma is split into two parts. First, you complete the training and examination for the level 2 in gym instruction and immediately after you move onto training as a level 3 personal trainer.

Once you have completed the full diploma, you’re not only qualified as a gym instructor, but as a PT too.

Some employers will actually ask for Level 3 qualifications when advertising jobs for class instructors, so aside from the benefits that come with being able to offer personal training services, being a level 3 qualified PT can also increase your career prospects as a Sh’Bam instructor.

As you can see below, this job advert is looking for individuals to teach fitness classes, including Les Mills classes, at their studio. 

They have also stated that candidates with level 3 qualifications are ‘desirable’: 

become a sh'bam instructor uk

In addition to this, you’ll save money and time by completing the two as a diploma, as opposed to buying the level 2 course at this stage, and then a separate level 3 course later on when you’re looking to progress in your career.

Take a Les Mills Sh’bam Course

sh’bam instructor insurance

Finally, you will of course need to get qualified as a Les Mills official Sh’bam instructor. 

This is crucially important since all Les Mills classes are trademarked, which means you cannot teach these classes without the official certification behind you. So how do you get qualified? 

The details of getting qualified are relatively simple, you can see below the two stages of the training that you will undergo. 

Sh’bam instructor course

It is easy to navigate the onboarding process, all you need to do is visit the Les Mills website and find the Sh’bam Training. After that, you can find available dates in your area to get qualified ASAP.

When you visit the Sh’bam details page, you will see this at the bottom of the page:

Sh’bam instructor courses

It is super simple to book on as you can see, you’re able to see if you’re available on the dates they’re running the course and buy right away.

With the basics being pretty clear and straightforward, let’s get into the mechanics of what a Sh’bam instructor course actually consists of. 

What Does a Sh’bam Course Consist of & What Comes After?

Sh’bam instructor course online uk

The Sh’bam instructor course consists of firstly what is known as the Pre-Work. This includes the following:

  • 1 track to learn, film & send to the trainer.
  • Some videos to watch.
  • Read the Instructor Handbook.
  • Complete the full masterclass at home. 

There are some things that made Les Mills classes as popular and prestigious as they are, and you should be aware of this before heading into training. 

They remind you that there are high standards to gaining their trademark and that attending training doesn’t simply grant you the qualification. 

This is why after the training, you must submit a video of you successfully teaching the Sh’bam class in order to actually pass. This is to show Les Mills assessors that you can not only teach well, but safely too.

Don't forget, there are some things you need to know before you show up, below you can see what Les Mills suggests you bring with you, along with the health requirements too.

Sh’bam instructor course online uk

Take note of these and ensure you are prepared. 

So, after you have completed the first stage of becoming a Sh’bam instructor, you will be ready to either go for your fitness instructor certification or apply for roles if you already have this prior.

Tips for Passing Les Mills Sh’bam Instructor Training 

Sh’bam instructor course online in the UK

The final part of getting qualified successfully is taking board some tips to increase your chances of passing the initial training. As we mentioned, Les Mills does make it clear that just attending training doesn't guarantee your future as a trainer, you need to prove that you can handle the role.

That being said, here are some of our top tips for going into your training and assessment as confident as possible.

Attend as Many Sh’bam Classes as You Can

Sh’bam instructor course online

Sh’bam classes are a dance based class, they can be tricky for some people to pick up straight away since they’re different to your average fitness class. 

They are designed to be challenging while also being fun, so to ensure you’re providing the right energy for your future class and the training / assessment, a good way to prepare is to attend Sh’bam classes in your area often. 

This will give you a raw insight into how people who have passed the assessment run their classes and how they achieve a high energy in their classes. It is a good idea to look at those who have busy and full classes since this is ultimately the goal. 

People return in numbers week on week because they enjoy the class which is exactly what you should hope for. So keep returning to those classes because they are clearly doing it well, you can then take note of what they’re doing well while also making yours even better!

Work on Your Confidence

can i be a Sh’bam instructor  

Something you need to think about before you consider the ways how to become a Sh’bam instructor is your confidence levels.

Les Mills courses are not cheap, so do some self reflection and assess if you have the confidence and traits that will make you a successful candidate. If you don’t, it isn’t something that should stop you, it is just something that you need to work on prior to training. 

If you feel like this is something that you need to work on, a good way to do this is to utilise the resources available from Les Mills. For example, below you can see that they advertise a free Sh’bam class for you to try at home. 

can i be a Sh’bam instructor

You could practice on your own first at home which is a great way to prepare yourself to then find classes near you to get to grips with what to expect. 

Often, confidence can take time so don’t feel discouraged, just work on it so you’re able to put your best foot forward. 

Be Prepared to Make Time

how to be a Sh’bam instructor

You’re probably aware of what it takes to become a Les Mills instructor by now, they expect quality! 

With that being said, taking a Sh’bam instructor course online (UK) means that you need to make sufficient time. This goes for you being online based or in person training since you’re going to need to work hard at it just like gaining any qualification.

Everything in person takes 4 days. However, you might have to travel to your training location and stay overnight and depending on your fitness advancement level it might take you longer to learn and retain the class. 

Everybody is different when it comes to learning speeds so again, do some self-reflection and be honest with yourself. How long do you estimate it will take you to learn and develop an acceptable class submission? Whatever it is, ensure you set the time aside ahead of time.

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For some helpful resources on becoming a successful fitness professional, head over to our articles below:

Step 2- Get Insured as a Sh’bam Instructor

what insurance to be a Sh’bam instructor

The next step to becoming a Sh’bam instructor is to get insured. 

Getting your Sh’bam instructor insurance is a crucial part to becoming a legitimate fitness instructor. Thus, below we have a breakdown of the insurance policies that you should be checking out and opting for to keep you and your clients safe.

Public Liability Insurance

The most common insurance policy for fitness professionals is public liability insurance. It is a protection for you and your clients and it is super easy to get.

You can see below the details of what a policy like this from Insure4Sport entails.

how to become a Sh’bam instructor

We have detailed the main aspects of what this policy involves since they describe it holistically. 

It is about protecting your business and your clients, so bear in mind that though this policy is extensive and protects your business, you can customise your policy by adding other ones like personal accident insurance that we will talk about next. 

Personal Accident Insurance

Personal accident insurance is another good policy to add when teaching classes like Sh’bam. 

This is going to protect you, the instructor. Since you’ll be doing the class often, you might find it useful to have this security. 

For reference of what this entails, you can see below what Insure4Sport say about their personal accident cover.

how to become a Sh’bam instructor

Les Mills Insurance

One of the more obvious choices is of course, Les Mills Insurance. 

You may not be aware, but Les Mills has its own insurance that includes £10,000,000 of cover for:

  • Public Liability
  • Products Liability
  • Professional Indemnity 

All of this is as standard, while you can still get other policies too such as Libel and Slander and Legal Defence Costs.

The good thing about this insurance is that you get a cheaper price point by approximately £5 per month (starting from) if you’re a registered instructor. This is great to know as a Sh’bam instructor since you would meet the requirements.

You can see below what their instructor insurance looks like. 

how to become a Sh’bam instructor

This is a really good option to look into some more if you want to feel confident that you have the correct insurance behind you!

Step 3- Find a Job as a Sh’bam Instructor

how to i become a les mills shbam instructor

Once you have completed the Sh’bam instructor course and our previous steps, it’s time to find the role for you.

First, you’re going to want to search smarter, not longer! Thus, a good idea is to look for gyms that actually offer Les Mills classes already since you’re going to be a desirable asset for these places. 

Pair this with particular gym chains that you already are interested in and you’ve already narrowed your search down to more suitable roles. 

In the UK, many commercial gyms offer Les Mills classes. For example, JD gyms. Most JD Gyms already offer the following Les Mills classes:

  • Body Attack
  • Body Combat
  • Grit
  • Body Balance
  • Body Pump
  • CXWORX

Knowing this, there is no reason why you can’t help them to expand their club’s offerings with a unique Les Mills Sh’bam class. 

Similarly, you can always use job boards like Indeed to find relevant jobs, you can even set up alerts for when suitable employers upload job ads with a Sh'bam instructor label.

You should always keep in mind though, that even though you may have your qualification as a Sh’bam instructor, you are going to also need to meet the requirements to work in gyms like JD. Follow step 4 to understand how you can ensure you’re going above and beyond the basic requirements.

Step 4- Progress Your Career After Becoming a Sh’bam Instructor

how to Progress Your Career After Becoming a Sh’bam Instructor

The final step is going beyond how to become a Sh’bam instructor and thinking about what you’re going to do afterwards. Here are some routes you could take to have a successful career in the fitness industry.

#1 Get Qualified to Teach Other Les Mills Classes

We mentioned earlier the importance of getting qualified in other areas, like a diploma in personal training in order to diversify your career but aside from more vocational training, you can build up a repertoire of Les Mills classes.

We mentioned earlier that JD offers a minimum of 6 different Les Mills classes across their clubs and just imagine how valuable you would be as a candidate if you were qualified in them all!

For reference, take a look below at the different Les Mills training that you can take. 

how to Progress Your Career After Becoming a Sh’bam Instructor

It might be worth your time to work your way through the classes, visiting different gyms and classes to get a feel for what you enjoy the most and what you could picture yourself teaching.

Aside from the Les Mills classes, you should be aware of the fact that they are not a complete necessity in order to be a successful class instructor. Another way that is arguably less restricting is by getting CPD courses after your initial fitness instructor training. 

Some of the CPD courses that may interest you for classes include:

All of these work well alongside your Les Mills qualifications too, it is worth building up your portfolio with a range of skills so you can teach a variety of classes in different gyms.

#2 Take on Clients in 1-to-1 Personal Training

Another route you can take to progress your career and ultimately maximise your income is to take clients on a 1-2-1 basis or become a group fitness instructor to train more clients.

With a recognised Level 3 in Personal Training Diploma you will be able to offer these services as an employee in a gym, which typically offers a higher salary than that of a fitness instructor.

Working in a gym isn't the only way you can work as a PT, in fact many personal trainers choose the even more lucrative career option which is start to build your business and brand by becoming a freelance personal trainer.

As a freelance PT, you are free to set your own prices and choose a specific demographic of clients that you want to train. You can even choose to stick to your group instructing background by offering your own fitness classes alongside your PT sessions.

Plus, once you have your level 3 PT course under your belt, you might find that moving up to a level 4 niche area can solidify your place in the fitness industry.

A popular and proven successful place to start is a level 4 in sports nutrition, which can help to inform your practice across the board. 

 

Ready to teach group fitness classes?

OriGym's Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training can help make that happen!

#3 Become a Gym Manager

One other route to success is taking on the responsibilities of a gym manager. 

Again, in order to meet the requirements for this position, you’re going to need the correct qualifications like a level 3 diploma at minimum, as well as sufficient experience working in a gym.

This is a good option if you want a secure salaried job that in which you can utilise your experience of being a personal trainer and class instructor, and continue to work in a gym environment.

Pursuing a career as a gym manager is a good way to feel confident in your future and ultimately, achieve a higher level of status in the fitness industry, helping you to climb the ladder.

Before You Go…  

Hopefully by now you feel confident in how to become a Sh’bam instructor with Les Mills. 

If you already feel ready to take the first step, take a look at our Personal Training Diploma here. Be sure you think about all of your options as a fitness professional, you can do this by browsing through our downloadable course prospectus

Written by Kimberley Mitchell

Editor

Having gained a B.A Hons degree in Media, Culture and Communications, Kimberley has gained experience in areas of web journalism, website production and marketing.

Alongside this, Kim expanded her knowledge and passion for fitness, by becoming a fully qualified fitness instructuor and personal trainer. Kim has also gained specialist qualifications in yoga, nutriton, spin and many more.

After working in the industry as a PT, Kimberley went on to study an MA in Digital Marketing and continues to expand her knowledge in the industry. Her main focus is to keep up with current trends and communications with a focus around health & fitness, writing and being creative.

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