You’ve made the decision, the fitness industry is for you. But you don’t just want any old job, you want to be on the front line when it comes to helping people to be the best version of themselves they can be. What next? You might ask. The answer is quite simple. Get qualified. Over the next couple of months, I want to not only take you through my journey to becoming a PT, but also shed some light on what can be a confusing sector to break in to.
The fitness industry is full to bursting when it comes to training options. A simple online search reveals a plethora of courses for you to make your way as a fitness instructor or trainer. The first thing to do is to decide exactly what it is you want to be doing, or at least what you want to be working towards.
Fitness Instructor – exercise to music, indoor cycling, aqua fitness.
Personal Trainer – Gym Based – taking clients within a gym or leisure centre.
Personal Trainer – Independent – training clients in parks, in their homes, or in your own space.
Personal Trainer – Specialised – taking referrals from medical professionals for special population groups (obesity, pre/post natal, cancer rehab, lower back pain).
Once you’ve chosen your role, it’s time to train. I cannot stress the importance of training enough! I will reiterate this on numerous occasions over this series… A good instagram following does not equal a good qualification! Getting a Fitness Qualification of some sort allows you to become registered with REPs (more in a later post), get appropriate public liability insurance, and gives you credibility in a world saturated with ‘experts’.
When choosing your training company, always get recommendations, from your PT if you have one, from the trainers lurking at your gym, and yes, perhaps from the fitness blogger who has a proven client base and all the right training themselves. Once you’ve collected names of companies, do some decent research into each one. Some great questions to be asking are:
- How the course is run? Full time intensive? Part time? Distance?
- Who is it run by? What are their credentials?
- What’s their pass rate, are there job opportunities for graduates?
- Which Training Provider is the course is accredited to (YMCA Awards, ActiveIQ, City & Guilds etc.)
- If it’s distance learning, how long are you expected to take to complete the course? Are there cut off dates, or extension fees?
- How much any face-to-face practical training is there?
Once you’ve got all this research, you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you. Everyone has their base-lines, perhaps for you it’s price, or how long the course takes. Sometimes, it’s simply a feel for the people you’ve been talking to.
I decided that I wanted to work towards my Level 3 Personal Training, and so would have to combine Level 2 and 3 together. Price was a big thing for me, as I’m very much on a budget, but didn’t want to compromise on quality of training. The Fitness Circle was one of the most affordable courses I came across, incredibly flexible with time, and run by an ex-professional dancer. Not only did we have that in common, but after dancing, Debra Bell went on to study for a degree in Sport Science, ensuring she had all the knowledge possible to changer her career. All these things lead me to choose them for my training, and I’m very glad I did!
It took me a long time to get to my final decision on who to train with, it’s a lot of money, and not a decision that should be rushed. My advice is to take your time, research, and ask lots and lots of questions. In my next post learn more about The Fitness Circle, and how I found the training with them as I get closer to my assessments and exams!