Ali Baldassare

Ali Baldassare

Ali is a Group Fitness Manager at Equinox and Fitness Instructor. 

What is your job description and what are your responsibilities?

Group Fitness Manager at Equinox – I’m in charge of the entire group fitness program at our facility. This means that I create and manage our group fitness class schedule which includes hiring and managing a team of group fitness instructors, managing any changes to our class offerings and overseeing the program to make sure we are meeting our members’ needs and expectations. I also oversee all of of our equipment needs for group classes as well. Instructor development is another part of my role which includes offering mentoring and support to each instructor that teaches for me and to assure they are offering a top notch class experience. I try to take as many classes as I can and offer constructive feedback when necessary.  

Aside from the role with Equinox, I am the creator of my brand, Move Sweat Love which centers around inspiring and motivating people through group fitness classes, training, special events and social media. I train private Pilates clients in the privacy of their own home.  

What career path led you to your current role?

I grew up as a dancer and an athlete so health and fitness has always played a huge role in my life.  In college, I was no longer dancing or play sports regularly so I took an interest in group fitness classes at my local health club and fell in love with the energy, motivation, and sense of community.  I knew that I was meant to do something in the fitness industry but wasn’t quite sure what that would look like.  It was in college that I first began teaching group fitness classes and I even dabbled in personal training for a bit.  

After graduating, I took a full time 9-5 job and for 6 years after college I continued working a full time job, while simultaneously building up my teaching career.  I would teach in the early mornings, after work and on the weekends.  Finally a few years ago, I received an opportunity to leave my full time corporate job and move into a fitness career full time.   Now I work as the Group Fitness Manager at Equinox and have the opportunity to teach classes, host events around Boston and train private Pilates clients. It’s my dream job!

Describe your day-to-day schedule.

It varies from day to day, but a peek into one of my busiest days:  

– 5 am Wake Up

– 5:30 am Arrive at the club

– 6:15 am Teach Class

– 7:15 am Teach Class

– 8-10 am Home to for Breakfast, write e-mails, take my dog out!

– 10:30 am Head back to the club

– 12-1:30 pm Teach Class

– 1:30-4:30 pm Head Home, eat lunch, work out, sometimes a private client, errands, etc

– 5:30 pm Teach Class

– 6:30 pm Head Home for the Day!

What programs/tools do you often use? 

Music is a huge part of what I do so I use a lot of music programs like SoundCloud, Spotify, ITunes, etc.

Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

Inspiring and motivating people is the best part! Knowing that I’m able to make someone’s life a little better even just for the 45 or 60 minutes we’re together is such a great feeling!  I also love mentoring instructors.  It’s an incredibly proud feeling when you see your team do well!

Which aspects of your job do you find most challenging? 

The most challenge part of my job is finding and maintaining a work life balance.  It’s really easy to get caught up in your schedule and before you know it, you’re working 14 hour days and working 7 days a week.  I often need to remind myself to take some time off to relax and reset.  This is the only way to both stay sane, and to continue doing my job well!

How did you develop the necessary skill-set (e.g. courses, training, activities) to be a Fitness Manager and Instructor

To be able to teach group fitness (depending on the format you want to teach) you need to obtain all of the necessary certifications.  A lot of these are either done through 1-3 day workshops, online, or home study.  Most often you will have to pass a test whether written, physical or both to be able to receive your certification. Afterwards, every 1-2 years you need to keep your certification current by continuing your education. This could be done by attending fitness conferences, workshops, online courses, live trainings, etc. It’s also really helpful to read relevant materials to stay up-to-date on current research and trends.

Is there any additional advice you would give students interested in becoming a Fitness Instructors?

It’s a really exciting field to be in and I know a lot of people who use to work in corporate jobs and decided to make the full time transition into fitness! If you are interested in exploring the fitness field in any capacity, I would talk to people who are already in it, learn about how they got there because everyone’s journey is different and try to find someone that you connect with that can be a mentor to you.  It’s a huge resource to be able to ask your mentor questions and for them to help lead you in the right direction to develop your knowledge and skills.