Becoming a Personal Trainer – Choosing a Course

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.

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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?

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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!

natasha wynn, personal training, PT

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!

The Business of Fitness with Cosmo Body

When friend and fellow blogger Natalie, from The Blonde Ethos, suggested the Cosmo Body ‘Business of Fitness’ seminar to me earlier this month, I was keen to go as it sounded like a great way to help get my mind around the notion of opening my own studio one day. Although I’m already in the fitness industry, I knew the expert speakers would have some extra insight into how to further my career in this fast-growing industry. We obviously took the event very seriously…

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Our expert panel consisted of:

  • Madeleine Shaw – food blogger and newly published writer
  • Matt Roberts – founder of Europe’s first 1-to-1 personal training studio
  • Nikki Cooper –  founder of supplement company Inner Me
  • Muireann Carey-Campbell – blogger and instructor at Boom Cycle

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Cosmo Body editor, Taylor Anderson, lead a lengthy question and answer session with the panel, covering everything from making a start, to problem solving, to social media, and to money and investors. Having the insight of people who’ve been there is so valuable and I certainly hope to learn from some of their mistakes….as well as making some my own too, I expect. On a side note: I think Muireann (a.k.a Bangs) is perhaps my new favourite person.

Without writing up my scrawled notes and regurgitating them to you, I found some parts of the talk so valuable and interesting. It covered basics too, which I didn’t need so much, but I’m sure were valuable to newbie bloggers and those at the beginning of their fitness pursuits. I love learning things, so my trusty personalised notebook got a lot of scrawled notes in, as well as new ideas and things to work on.

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I will share with you however, the final nuggets of advice from each panelist, I’m sure you’ll find a way to incorporate them into your lives, as I am planning on too.

There’s only one you – Madeleine Shaw

Be passionate, remember why you love it – Nikki Cooper

Be authentic, be who you are, dance to the beat of your own drum – Bangs

Be strong & be ballsy – Matt Roberts

Thank you to Taylor, and Cosmo Body team for organising such a useful event. It’s fired me up even more to venture out on my own, and my 7 year plan is fast becoming my 5, or even 3 year plan instead! For those of you thinking of changing your career or going in a new direction, be it into the health industry or otherwise, get to events like these, feed your imagination and be inspired by those who’ve already done it. Also…thanks for an awesome goodie bag!

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Now to get planning Studio Flow …or… Flow Studios (I haven’t quite decided on a name yet).