Contrary to what you might see on Instagram, having abs and being a bikini competitor does not automatically make you a personal trainer. You can definitely have abs, be a bikini competitor AND be a personal trainer but there are actual qualifications that you need to complete to be able to call yourself a PT.
What a lot of people don’t realise is the amount of work and studying that goes into becoming a personal trainer. After all, you need to know how the human body works to be able to manipulate it to get the results that your client has come to you to achieve.
I studied for my qualification over 6 months whilst working 4 days a week, carving out every minute of free time in the evenings, weekends and on Fridays to study, practice and get my head around changing my profession after 5 years of sitting at a desk.
The components you have to cover to gain your qualification are:
– Anatomy & Physiology Level 2
– Anatomy & Physiology Level 3
– Principles of exercise, fitness and health
– Know how to support clients who take part in exercise and physical activity
– Health & safety in a fitness environment
– Nutrition principles for physical activity
Each unit requires varying amounts of time for studying and for me the anatomy & physiology modules were the hardest. I’ve always been an arts students and I studied English at university so learning all about muscles, tendons, the nervous system and every other human process was tricky to get my head around. With a set of flashcards, lots of printouts with blanks to fill in and many hours in the library I got through it all.
I felt that 6 months was a good amount of time to set aside for the course if you’re studying part-time because you can do all of the theory learning in your own time. The classroom time is invaluable as you learn so much off the other students and instructors so giving up 4-5 weekends in a row doesn’t feel like a hardship. It’s intense to do it while working but the bills have got to be paid and as long as you’re disciplined and organised then it’s fine.
By the time you qualify you’re ready to go into a gym, take on a client and create programmes for them to help them to hit their goals but remember it’s only the beginning. Qualifying as a PT is a bit like learning to drive, you learn so much more once you’re actually doing it without an instructor hovering over your shoulder.
Since I’ve qualified I’ve honed my own style of teaching classes and clients, I’ve learnt how to use whatever is in the outdoor environment, I’ve come to realise what people actually mean when they tell you their goals and I’m still learning all the time.
One word of warning; loving fitness is not necessarily enough motivation to become a personal trainer because you’ve got to be prepared for the dark early mornings, the late nights, working in the rain, snow and wind and dealing with clients who might frustrate you. But if you want to help change people’s lives, give people confidence and get supreme job satisfaction then it might be career for you!
There are lots of suppliers who provide courses but check out Lifetime Training who offer a variety of fitness courses including the level 3 personal training course, exercise to music and Les Mills. They also created this infographic about how much you could potentially earn as a personal trainer.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post paid for by Lifetime Training but all thoughts and opinions are my own.