Plan and deliver group exercise sessions

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge to plan and instruct group exercise session to music. It focuses on the planning, selection, sequencing and progression of exercises and appropriate music, and instructing and monitoring client to ensure safe conduct of activities.


This unit applies to exercise instructors who provide a range of exercise programs to diverse populations.

This unit is applicable to those working in fitness venues, gyms or other exercise environments.



Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1. Plan and develop the group exercise session.

1.1. Determine the expected fitness outcomes and session type for the client group.

1.2. Plan appropriate phases of the session and a varied exercise repertoire or choreography to meet the needs of the client group.

1.3. Provide for a beginner, intermediate or advanced level of workout appropriate to the needs and levels of the client group.

1.4. Select and sequence music according to duration, concepts and phases and type of session.

1.5. Develop sequence of choreography to suit session type

1.6. Access music according to organisational policies and procedures and legislation and regulatory requirements.

1.7. Incorporate motivational techniques to maximise exercise program adherence.

2. Deliver the session.

2.1. Prepare exercise environment according to organisational policies and procedures.

2.2. Explain common types of injuries that would prevent participation in the session and confirm that clients are not affected.

2.3. Deliver pre-session instructions according to effective instructional principles.

2.4. Deliver the selection of exercises using appropriate instructional methodologies, sequencing and progression.

2.5. Monitor the performance of clients and adjust any technical errors to ensure safety.

2.6. Monitor exercise intensity and adjust as required.

2.7. Use motivational techniques and arousal control techniques to positively influence the performance of clients during exercise sessions.

2.8. Recognise and respond to inappropriate client behaviour to effectively manage group cohesion.

2.9. Provide constructive and positive encouragement to clients, showing sensitivity to cultural and social differences.

2.10. Modify exercises to meet individual needs.

3. Develop a circuit training session plan.

3.1. Identify the aims of the circuit training session.

3.2. Define expected outcomes of the circuit training session.

3.3. Identify a broad and varied exercise repertoire.

3.4. Plan and document a circuit training session plan using the principles of exercise planning according to industry guidelines.

3.5. Design clear and structured forms or cards for use in a circuit training session.

4. Deliver a circuit training session.

4.1. Confirm appropriate exercise area according to legislation and regulatory requirements and organisational policies and procedures.

4.2. Check circuit equipment is in good working order prior to commencement of session.

4.3. Use energy, water and other resources effectively when preparing and maintaining equipment and activity areas to reduce negative environmental impact.

4.4. Communicate session objectives and the principles and benefits of circuit training to clients.

4.5. Explain common types of injuries that would prevent participation in the session and confirm that clients are not affected.

4.6. Instruct session according to circuit training plan and legislation and regulatory requirements and organisational policies and procedures.

4.7. Demonstrate and instruct correct use of equipment during circuit training session, according to organisational policies and procedures and manufacturer instructions.

4.8. Demonstrate exercises within the circuit training session using appropriate instructional principles.

4.9. Monitor client intensity, technique and safety during the session and suggest modifications where required.

4.10. Recognise signs and symptoms of overtraining and potentially harmful practices and implement appropriate intervention strategies according to organisational policies and procedures.

5. Evaluate the session.

5.1. Seek and acknowledge feedback from clients.

5.2. Evaluate client response and feedback.

5.3. Evaluate own performance according to planned outcomes and organisational policies and procedures.

5.4. Identify potential improvements to enhance future sessions.

5.5. Modify the session plan where relevant to meet client needs.

Required Skills

Required skills

ability to move in a controlled and efficient manner while instructing or participating in a variety of exercise-to-music sessions

communication skills, including safe and effective cueing to:

provide clear and accurate instructions

encourage clients

effectively manage group cohesion

problem-solving skills to:

identify improvements to energy, water and other resources for environmental sustainability

select and sequence exercises and music to meet client needs

identify client problems during the session

address client issues through appropriate intervention

self-management to review and reflect on own work performance in effectively planning and instructing a session according to client expectations

conflict resolution skills to identify and respond to inappropriate behaviour to enable effective management of group cohesion

planning and organisational skills to:

plan a circuit session

plan a group exercise session

prepare the exercise area and equipment

select appropriate instructional techniques

make modifications to the session

language and literacy skills to produce and document a circuit training session plan for the session

technology skills to operate music equipment

ability to maintain timing to beat of music when appropriate

numeracy skills to manage the time of clients and facility schedules

ability to apply injury prevention strategies and resources for group exercise sessions.

Required knowledge

signs and symptoms of harmful practices and overtraining

organisational policies and procedures and relevant legislation to enable the safe and effective conduct of group exercise sessions

music beat, tempo and phrasing to select appropriate music for exercise sessions

the physical, psychological and social reasons for participating in group exercise to enable the application of effective motivational techniques

injury prevention strategies related to group exercise

principles of exercise planning and repertoires to enable the selection and sequencing of exercises appropriate for beginner, intermediate and advanced clients

principles of instruction to enable instruction of an effective session

potentially harmful practices and the reasons why they are avoided to enable safe client participation in the circuit or group exercise session

instructional and motivational techniques suitable for group exercise and circuit training sessions to support client adherence to exercise

physiological, psychological and biomechanical changes that occur with circuit training to enable informed planning

Group exercise session types and their suitability for meeting client needs

Group management techniques to assist individuals within the group to achieve desired outcomes

Common injuries which may preclude participation

Environmental and resource efficiency practices related to the use of activity areas and group exercise equipment.

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of the following is essential:

plan, instructs and monitors client performance, and responds appropriately to client behaviour to maintain an effective exercise environment

applies appropriate techniques to motivate group

selects and uses music effectively within group exercise sessions

safe and effective cueing

plans circuit sessions with interrelated components, monitors the progress of the session.

applies effective contingency management techniques to deal with a range of problems and issues that may arise during the session, such as equipment failure or client overtraining, and makes adjustments in response to changing situations

instructs sessions that meet client expectations, comply with legislative and organisational requirements, and are of sufficient duration to allow the candidate to demonstrate techniques to instruct and review circuit sessions

evaluates client and own performance and identifies improvements for future sessions

uses appropriate delivery technique to enhance client learning and performance.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure planning and instruction of a variety of exercise session, including circuit and group exercise for different client groups which are of sufficient duration to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance.

Assessment must also ensure access to:

a facility where an exercise area with access to audio equipment is available

appropriate documentation and resources used in the workplace

documentation such as circuit training session plans and manufacturer specifications for equipment use

a range of client groups with a range of exercise needs and expectations.

Method of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

direct observation of instruction of exercise sessions to music

oral or written questioning on knowledge of the principles of instruction

third-party reports from supervisors detailing work performance.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

SISFFIT311A Deliver approved community fitness programs

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Session type may include:



low and high impact

new body or sculpt



routine format

muscle conditioning



free weights.

Phases may include:


warm up




Exercise repertoire may include:

contraindications and modifications

variations to provide differing intensities

potential for combinations.

Music may include:

beats per minute



motivational value




Organisational policies and procedures may include:

pre-session screening




client to instructor ration

climate control


risk management

standards of personal presentation

clients' clothing and footwear

use care and maintenance of equipment.

Legislation and regulatory requirements may include:

Occupational Health and Safety

duty of care





child protection

trade practices

consumer protection


business registration and licences.

Aims may include:

competition or performance targets

self improvement

fitness targets

lifestyle adjustments.

Exercise repertoire may include:


strength and conditioning


Circuit training session plan may include:

phases of:





rest intervals

required equipment

floor plan for equipment arrangement.

Principles of exercise planning may include:






program type.

Industry guidelines may include:

peak-body guidelines

national standards for the use of electrical equipment

number of machines on a single circuit.

Exercise area may include:



Cultural and social differences may include:

modes of greeting, farewelling and conversation

body language, including use of body gestures

formality of language


Motivational techniques may include:

arousal control techniques and theories

zone of optimal function.

Pre-session instructions must include:

verbal pre-screen

personal introduction

outline of session level

pain or discomfort


correct exercise techniques and breathing.

Instructional principles may include:

establishing rapport

teaching positioning

session organisation and formation

visual and verbal cueing with variety

visual previewing

verbal communication

body language

mirror imaging





movement breakdown techniques

use of learning curves

monitoring and encouraging session response.

Technical errors may include:


limb position

ballistic movements.

Exercise intensity may include:

heart-rate response

perceived rate of exertion

form and fatigue

motivation and enthusiasm suitable to the session format.

Feedback may include:





Client response may include:



exercise technique


Own performance may include:

instructional and choreographic techniques

session format

appropriate intensity

managing client behaviour

responding to feedback

managing time allocation.

Benefits may include:




Common types of injuries may include:

muscle or soft tissue injury

back injury

heart condition.

Potentially harmful practices may include:


exercising while sick or in extremes of temperature

multiple repetitions

ballistic movements

spinal hyperextension

loaded knee hyperflexion

on-the-spot pounding

straight leg sit-ups

lever length.

Intervention strategies may include:

stopping or modifying the exercise

modifying equipment or its use.



Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

No licensing, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.