So you’ve decided you want to become a personal trainer? Good choice, as you’ll be right on your way to being a part of the most exciting, rewarding and independent careers out there.
I created this website to give people like yourselves, a fast, full-proof way for you to turn your passion for fitness into a part-time or full-time career. This site will provide you with a foolproof guide on how to become a personal trainer, and help you find and compare the best personal training course in the UK for you.
I want you to avoid the (expensive) mistakes and misconceptions most people make when becoming a personal trainer.
P.S. This guide is 2,000 words long, which will be about 10 minutes of reading. Get yourself a snack, coffee or perhaps a bite to eat and when you’re ready to learn how to become a personal trainer, start with step 1 and follow each step. It’s that simple. If you ever have any questions, drop me an email and i’ll do my best to provide you with help.
If you are still hesitating, read my 5 reasons why you need become a personal trainer today.
Lets get started on kick-starting your career in personal training.
Best Overall Personal Training Course (June 2018) is Discovery Learning
Promotional Message: Discovery Learning is our recommended Personal Training Course provider for June 2018! After hearing countless positive reviews from Personal Trainers who have used Discovery Learning to gain their Personal Trainer qualification, we have chosen to recommend them as our top Personal Trainer and Gym Instructor Course Provider of 2018!
If you are interested in becoming a Personal Trainer or Gym Instructor and want some FREE advice, or want to request more information about Discovery Learning, fill out below
Step 1: Decide whether you want to become a Fitness Instructor or a Personal Trainer
There are many different routes to getting a career in the fitness industry. Many PT’s often choose to become a Fitness Instructor before becoming fully qualified as a personal trainer. There is a slight difference between being qualified as a Fitness Instructor and a Personal Trainer. Here is a good summary of the top differences between the two professions below:
1. Fitness Instructor (Level 2 REPs Qualification)
- If you want to become qualified as a fitness instructor you will need a ‘Level 2 Certificate in Instructing Fitness’
- A level 2 qualification will provide entry onto the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) – A requirement to be employed as a fitness instructor
- This qualification gives you the opportunity to diversify and teach particular disciplines – such as spinning classes, circuit training classes, to mention a few
- …this can lead to careers such as a Gym Instructor or Aerobics Teacher
- A Fitness Instructor course to obtain your Level 2 Certificate can be completed in as little as 2 weeks, and from just £300 – if this interests you check out the course in more detail by clicking here
2. Personal Trainer (Level 3 REPs Qualification)
- To become a fully qualified PT in the UK and start a career in Personal Training or Advanced Fitness Instructing, you will need a ‘Level 3 Qualification in Personal Training’
- This provides you entry onto the REPs at a Level 3 Standard
- A level 3 personal training qualification will allow you to teach an advanced level of exercise and fitness knowledge
- Becoming a Personal Trainer can take as little as 6 weeks to be fully qualified with a Level 3 REPs qualification in personal training.
Tips when picking a PT course
- Go for a course whose award is internationally recognised and widely accepted (e.g. the YMCA award, CYQ award, Active IQ)
- It is possible to complete a Fitness Instructor (level 2) course with one training provider, and then complete a separate level 3 personal training course through a different provider.
Step 2. Go tailor-made. Picking a Personal Trainer course which is best-fit for YOU
(Since this comparison chart was made, changes may have been made to courses so double check on official websites for full course information before choosing a personal trainer course!)
Now you need to decide what is the best personal training course for you.
Before I go into detail about the top course for each preference, let me tell you know about the factors you need to consider when picking a personal training course..
1. Format of the course: Do you want a course that is hands-on, or perhaps more theory-based? Is the course tailored to what you want to do?
2. Location of the course: Is the course taught in a learning centre or taught via the Internet? If you want to
be taught the old fashioned way (person-to-person), you will need to ask yourself – how far are you willing to commute? Distance learning courses are available where you complete the majority of the course from your own home
3. Contact time: Are you looking for a part-time course to fit around your current schedule, or perhaps an intensive full-time course to complete as soon as possible? Do you want a course that is only run during weekends to fit around your current job?
4. Endorsement: Look for a PT course whose award is versatile, internationally recognised award – these are looked favourably upon employers and clients.
We recommend either YMCA award, City and Guilds or Active IQ PT awards.
5. Course price: How many modules/courses are bundled in for the package price? Consider the £-per-module, what is the best value in terms of the amount learnt? Look at the best deals and offers for personal training courses. Which courses offer the best financing deals?
We have just created a PT course discounts page just for Personal Training Courses HERE (we even have a few exclusive coupons/discounts just for my readers so definitely check it out!)
6. Course bundles: Some courses may include qualifications in a bundle may give you a CPD (continued professional development)
For example, to become a gym instructor you need a level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing, whereas to teach kettlebells you may require a CPD. Only certain modules qualify you for the REPs, of which you need to get your formal certificate.
8. Tutors: Research who will be teaching you and whether they are worth your investment to learn.
9. Coupons/Offers/Promotional deals: I mentioned this earlier but its good to see which course is offering the best deals for potential clients. See my discount page here
Financing options for your personal training course
Is it possible to finance a Personal Training Course?
- Not many people can afford this upfront so fortunately there is a number of ways to finance your course, often interest free for up to 24 months!
Are there any government-funded schemes that could save me money on PT courses?
- Yes there are! The government has introduced a number of schemes which help those who can’t afford the upfront costs of enrolling on a personal training course.
Below are the available government-backed financing schemes for personal training courses that I recommend you take full advantage of:
- 24+ Advanced Learning Loan
- ELCAS – a government-led scheme to promote higher-education learning for members of the UK armed forces.
What are the best personal training courses in the UK?
Found below are my recommended course providers if you want to enroll on a personal training course. If you fancy seeing an in-depth guide to my recommended PT course providers, click-through to any of these Course Providers below:
- AMAC Training
- Be A Better You
- Discovery Learning
- European Institute of Fitness
- Fitness Industry Education (Now Train Fitness)
- Focus Training
- Future Fit
- Lifetime Training
- Premier Training International
- The Training Room
- YMCA Fit
If you have any questions about these course providers or want to ask which is the best fitted for you, drop me an email and I will help you out the best I can.
Step 3. Get onto your course, learn and pass the exam!
Step 4. Apply for personal training jobs or become a freelance personal trainer
Well done, you are almost there to starting your career as a personal trainer!
Once you have passed your exam and qualified either as a Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer, you will need to take your time to decide which type of gym and environment you would like to work in. This could be:
1/ A personal trainer employed by a gym or fitness centre
2/ A freelance personal trainer
Step 5. Set up your personal brand and market yourself (marketing plan checklist)
As a personal trainer, turn yourself into a brand to increase your business exposure and stand out from the crowd.
Here are the best ways to start off increasing your brand exposure and your inflow of clients:
Set up the following:
- Facebook business page, share it with your friends
- Twitter page
- YouTube page (optional)
- Instagram page
- Professional LinkedIn pages and begin adding your connections
- Create a website to promote your services (it’s not as hard as you think!)
- Create a blog to engage your audience with knowledge and professional advise.
- Sign yourself up to Personal Trainer directories (e.g. NRPT)
Step 6. Get ready for your first client
You will need to be professional from the word ‘go’ and need to be fully prepped and ready for when you have your first client!
This can be a really exciting time as you will finally see the fruits of your labours being rewarded, and most importantly embarking on a career which is rewarding, fulfilling and most importantly enjoyable!
Step 7. Enroll on CPD courses (optional)
Continually increase your knowledge of health and fitness and broaden your qualifications by going back to a training provider and completing CPD courses (continued professional development).
Most UK companies that offer personal qualification courses also provide CPD courses (continued professional development), allowing you to add-on and tailor your qualification with add-on courses, after you have qualified as a personal trainer.
Benefits of the CPD Level 4 Qualification:
- CPDs are the highest level of fitness qualification that is on the REPs
- These are equivalent to qualifications such as the Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE)
- A personal trainer with a CPD places them at the top of their profession
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions drop me an email and I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP. I have provided some shortcuts below to links you will find useful to becoming a personal trainer in the UK. I have also created a mini FAQ for a career as a personal trainer below.
Personal Trainer FAQ:
Q: Why would I want to become a personal trainer?
A: What reasons are making you consider becoming a personal trainer? Are these professional reasons like being your own boss, or perhaps more personal reasons like inspiring and motivating others towards a healthy lifestyle? Or is it simply a love for fitness?
It only takes a couple of seconds to think of reasons why you would want to become a Personal Trainer! Here are 10 reasons that would persuade anyone to begin or change their career and become a personal trainer!
- Being a personal trainer, you have the opportunity to meet and work with different, people every day!
- …As a result, you will build new and exciting relationships!
- You can really change people’s lives for the better, making a career in personal training an extremely rewarding and satisfying job!
- The opportunity to teach like-minded people and become a role model to your clients – inspiring others to follow a healthy living lifestyle
- You get to work on your own terms, become your own boss and you control your own salary (my favourite aspect of a PT career!)
- Set your own working hours, only work when you want to!
- Increase your hours to maximize your earning potential, or perhaps work reduced hours and spend more time with the family. It’s your choice…
- Become part of an exciting, thriving and rapidly growing industry – and the job security that can come with it
- For many years, there has been a consistent, strong demand for high quality personal trainers in the UK – and this demand is growing year on year!
- Being a PT is a dynamic, fast-paced job – You don’t spend your whole career living inside an office! – Life needs to adventurous, and personal training can provide adventure and unexpected opportunities throughout your career. Not many jobs can do this
Q: Have I got what it takes to become a personal trainer?
A: To be a successful personal trainer, you will need to have a wide range of skills and abilities to really thrive in the fitness industry. It’s great to be able to stand out from crowd!
Unfortunately, not everyone is cut for this type of job.
My top 10 skills you will need to become a successful Personal Trainer include:
- Good time management
- Determination and a drive to help others and build your client base
- Plenty of patience
- A positive mental attitude
- Good marketing skills
- Good social skills – being able to work with different people, often in 1 to 1 situations
- Passion in fitness, physiology and body function
- Strong underlying knowledge of health and fitness
- Good business skills allowing you to grow and maintain your client base
- Enthusiasm and willingness to learn
Many of these skills/qualities can be learnt with the right guidance and support. I have linked a few of my favourite free courses to help you improve a variety of skills that will make you a better personal trainer.
(If you are unsure you have what it takes to be a Personal Trainer, send me an email and I’ll do my best to advise if you are well fit for a career as a Personal Trainer.)