How To Become A Cardio Barre Instructor

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Cardio Barre is a trademarked, high energy/no impact exercise program that combines ballet barre work and light weights with continual fat-burning motion. The focus of the workout is on toning and resistance exercises for the legs, butt, torso and arms.

Teaching Cardio Barre as a career is often promoted as an excellent transition for dancers moving into physical fitness training. Because only licensed instructors can use the Cardio Barre name, their studios stand out from the many varieties of barre training.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:

  • How Much You Can Make
  • Training and Certification
  • Licensing Opportunities & Costs
  • Career Options
  • Finding Clients
  • Helpful Tips for Cardio Barre Instructors

Dancer/choreographer Richard Giorla created Cardio Barre, which has rapidly become one of the hottest fitness workouts. His own training began with a scholarship at Pennsylvania Ballet, followed by Steps on Broadway, David Howard Ballet School and Joe Tremaine’s studio.

Giorla’s career was cut short by a devastating hip injury. He wanted to stay active within the abilities of his body after the injury, but found no exercise routine that fit his needs. He was also aware of the significant injury rate caused by high-impact workouts. Combining dance and fitness, he developed Cardio Barre.

Celebrities including Dakota Fanning, Neve Campbell, Jenna Elfman, and Paul Stanley (the lead vocalist for the rock band KISS) all swear by the Cardio Barre method on the founder’s website.

Cardio Barre was developed almost 20 years ago in Studio City, California. Giorla in 2007 began franchising his fitness method. A decade later, he began offering Cardio Barre on Demand, delivering online video content.

With the explosive popularity of this fitness training method comes opportunity. Read on to learn how you can become a Cardio Barre certified instructor, make money, have fun helping people exercise and potentially open your own franchise.

How Much You Can Make?

Cardio Barre instructors earn an average of $25.84 per hour, according to, the employment search service. If your client base is sufficient for you to teach full-time, that hourly rate works out to an annual salary of almost $50,000.

You can compare that with this state by state guide to personal trainer salaries.

Training and Certification

To begin training in the Cardio Barre method, you must have at least three years of classical ballet training.

Cardio Barre Methods

The 7-day course is held regularly in Los Angeles and costs $2,500 plus meals, lodging and travel expenses. No online training is currently available to become a Cardio Barre instructor.

An application is available here.

You can get a feel for what’s involved by checking out a few video-on-demand course samples. There’s a 3-day free trial before you have to pay anything.

To become a fitness expert in barre training, you may consider an education in personal training, which is generally accomplished through an associate or bachelor degree in personal training or a related program, such as exercise science, exercise physiology, or fitness and health promotion.

What You’ll Learn

The training course covers the basic moves and methods, with insight on how to teach Cardio Barre effectively. You’ll learn the theory behind the fitness method, designed to deliver a high-energy workout with cardio, but without the impact on the body. Teaching safe exercise is one of the main principles.

With Cardio Barre you’ll learn the correct way to perform isometric movements using your bodyweight and dumbbells as well as resistance bands. These hold the body in a fixed position while you feel the burn that comes with a workout.

You’ll also learn the core routines of the two main Cardio Barre classes.

The first, Cardio Barre, is a workout focused on toning and resistance exercises for the butt, legs, torso and arms to elongate the body. This is a 60-minute class.

Floor-Barre Sculpt is a technique that builds on basic ballet barre training from the standing position to the floor, “taking the effort of standing out of the equation and takes the weight bearing pressure off the ankles, knees and hips.” Floor-Barre Sculpt is designed to strengthen joints and muscles, correct alignment, release tension, and prevent and rehabilitate injuries. These sessions last 50 minutes. Here’s a video of a complete, 20-minute Cardio Barre workout to give you an idea of what a class is like.

Licensing Opportunities & Costs

There are franchise opportunities, which come with some rules and restrictions on owners with policies and systems that need to be followed. Cardio Barre promises franchisees they can run their studios as they see fit while using the trademarked brand, logo and related products.

There’s a $6,000 annual fee for a Cardio Barre license with a 3-year contract. An application is available here.

Licensing has some advantages over traditional franchising models, mainly greater independence and flexibility.

There are three types of trainers who may find Cardio Barre licensing worthwhile:

  • A studio or gym owner who wants to enhance existing programs and profitability
  • An instructor who wants to teach at an existing studio/gym
  • Instructors who want to offer their own classes

To set up your gym or studio for Cardio Barre, you’ll need fixed or portable ballet barres, wall mirrors, floor mats or carpeting, 1-pound weights and a Cardio Barre certification.

You may also need to invest in other equipment such as a stereo, dumbbells and small weights, mats and music.

The company offers proprietary goods with the Cardio Barre logo that you can purchase for resale at your studio or gym for extra profits. Merchandise includes t-shirts, towels, workout DVDs and portable ballet barres.

Professional Groups to Join

Many personal trainers pursue additional certifications to boost their employment prospects. In fact, studio and gym owners increasingly require some type of nationally accredited certification besides specialization in areas such as Cardio Barre.

Professional Groups to Join

Three of the most respected accreditation organizations for professional fitness trainers:

National Academy of Sports Medicine. Often considered the premiere trainer certification academy. NASM membership costs between $524 and $2,400, depending on the type of certification.

The National Council for Certified Professional Trainers is nationally accredited by the NCCA. The council offers certifications in personal training, group exercise, yoga, indoor cycling, youth and senior fitness, strength training, powerlifting, kickboxing, flexibility and weight management. The cost of NCCPT certification ranges between $250 and $550.

Each of these organizations requires recertification every two years with proof of 20 hours of continuing education.

The National Strength and Conditioning Association charges $120 for a one-year professional membership. Accredited members receive professional designation, access to fitness articles and research, trainer best practices, business tips and networking with other members.

Career Options

  • If you own a studio, with Cardio-Barre certification you can offer courses as part of your other fitness programs if you pay to be a franchisee.
  • If you’re looking for a job in this specialization, find a Cardio Barre licensed franchise near you and apply. With certification in Cardio Barre you should go to the head of the employment line.
  • With a laptop or smartphone with video camera, you can offer online Cardio Barre classes. Students log in to your video conference line and follow along with your training from the comfort of their own homes. This can be a cost efficient way to get started as a private Cardio Barre instructor, since online students bear the cost of equipment such as ballet barres. 

Finding Clients

Finding Barre Clients
  • As a licensed instructor, you’re entitled to use the Cardio Barre logo and branding material in your marketing, which distinguishes your business from the many varieties of available barre training.
  • Discounts for new students can help you attract more business, as well as discounts to existing students who refer new clients.
  • Setting up a business page for your studio on all the major social media platforms is an efficient and low-cost way to reach clients looking for fitness benefits only Cardio Barre can provide. Include an online booking button on all of your social media to make it easy for prospective students to see your availability and book you.

Helpful Tips for Cardio Barre Instructors:

  • Because Cardio Barre is low-impact, you can market your classes to people who want to get fit and lose weight, but who don’t like the thought of a traditional gym workout with weights and hulking exercise equipment.
  • Low-impact training also means you can promote 2 or more weekly classes for students seeking faster results.With the rapid growth of various barre disciplines, holding (and promoting) your certification in the widely recognized Cardio Barre method gives you greater credibility than a gym or studio offering generic barre classes.

If you enjoyed this article, check out some other content that can help you grow your business as a Cardio Barre instructor. Here’s a great place to start.

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