What do I need to do to become a personal trainer?
The qualifications to become a personal trainer are fairly easy to start and complete which means there are quite a lot of trainers in the marketplace.
There are approximately 14,000 registered personal trainers in the UK…
…but the fitness industry is still one of the fastest growing markets. Statistica.com estimates a £23 billion growth from 2010-2020.
There are many personal training courses, including the Active IQ Level 3 in Gym Instructing and Personal Training. It covers all aspects of fitness instructing, allows you to become internationally recognised amongst the health and fitness industry, and enables you to join the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport & Physical Activity (CIMSPA).
It is imperative that any Personal Trainer course that you choose is CIMSPA endorsed. It is also important that you choose a CIMSPA approved training provider. To check who is genuinely CIMSPA approved please search the CIMSPA directory.
Instructor qualifications, and training provider courses are available through colleges and private providers, and some require little experience or only a few entry requirements.
It is also recommended that those training to be a fitness trainer take nutrition courses also, however all CIMSPA Personal Trainer qualifications nowadays include a nutrition module.
For your business to stand out from other qualified personal trainers; you will need more than just the right qualifications however. You’ll be rewarded with helping people change their lives.
QualificationsStudy Active and YMCAfit are two of the biggest training providers that offer a range of qualification options in fitness instructing, personal training, anatomy and physiology, first aid, nutrition and other specialisms. Course prices start at around £1500 and typically take a few months to complete.
CIMSPA industry association membership
Often your first-year industry body membership will be included with your qualification (it’s worth asking). CIMSPA membership is around £30 a year and you’ll need to complete extra training over time for CPD (continued professional development) points to maintain membership.
A passion for health and fitness
People are fit in different ways and you won’t be expected to take part in every session with your clients or be absolutely perfect but you will need to be looked up to as someone who leads by example and has a passion for health and fitness.
Clients will work with personal trainers that they get on with so you’ll need to be a real people person – friendly and engaging. It might be your sixth session of the day but it’s there only one with you so you need to give them the same level of commitment as you did your first. It’s also super-important in the modern age to build your brand on social media – and sharing your story and tips can be an effective way to advertise for free.
Somewhere to train people
You’ll need permission from a gym to train people there and might need to pay them a fee. You could also rent another space, train clients in their own houses or outside (weather permitting).
There’s plenty you can do without equipment and if you have access to a gym you can use theirs but if not you’re likely to need a few bits that are easily transportable like a medicine ball, resistance bands, a skipping rope, foam roller and mat.
Even if it’s just you, you’ll essentially be running your own business so you need to be prepared to look after the sales, marketing and accounts.
Personal training is not a 9 to 5 job – often people will want training before or after work so you’ll need to be a morning and evening person. Invest in a good watch with a timer because being on time is a must, as is being good at counting – reps, sets and circuits.