New Career- Personal Trainer Course Options?

Hi All,

For years now I have done the 9-5 grind working for someone else making them all the money and recently it's been announced that the lease is up on the premises and they won't be reniewing, so as soon as somone else wants to take over the building I'm out of a job... no biggy... it will give me a shove in the right direction and enough redundancy to invest in my future career.

Now thinking of the future when this comes about I would like to become a personal trainer, i've been into fitness training for 20 odd years now and it's genuinely something I'm passionate about and would like to make a career in... that being said I have no idea how to proceed.

A quick look online for the various personal trainer courses shows allot of variety and most of which seems to be in my price range but also mostly online orientated, I'm not sure if this is the norm or whether I would be better off doing something local...

Does anyone here have any experience in this area? Any recommendations to save on tuition fee costs etc?

Any advice would be appreciated, this really is an early thought at this stage as I've just learnt the news regarding potential redundancy and had been lazy due to pre existing job security.



  • My friend did it at the local college and I think she said it cost £1000. I think it's ok to do it online but the problem is the creditibility.
    :T:T :beer: :beer::beer::beer: to the lil one :) :beer::beer::beer:
  • jjgoldjjgold Forumite
    209 Posts
    very crowded market
    if you want to be self employed, have a look to see how many other people in your area are advertising their services
  • lisa701lisa701 Forumite
    414 Posts
    I found that many of the part time courses do have a strong online presence for the theory side of things which you learn at home, but offer days where you attend a centre where you go over the practical side of things.

    It all depends on how fast a learner you are, past experience, etc. I read from your post you were made redundant which is probably the best way to approach training as you will have the time to dedicate to your studies. I found working full time alongside spending evenings and weekends very intense.

    I spent many months searching for a suitable training provider, and opted for a well known company with an international presence thinking it would be money well spent - how wrong I was.

    The theory side was fine but the practical sessions were very disappointing. They were rushed, with at least 50% of the time being taken up by theory which could have easily been studied outside of the classroom freeing up the time for practical training. When we did get into the gym to do any practical training it was rushed with no opportunity to ask questions or review what had been said.

    Of the 22 people in my level 2 class, only 10 continued to study level 3 with the same training provider - the others went elsewhere.

    As for it being a crowded market - yes it is but there is work there for people who are over and above "average" and who are prepared to go that extra mile to help and support clients. I've seen this with my fellow students.

    Good luck in whatever you decide.
  • I can't help with courses etc but you should definitely check out Simon Lovell sign up for a free strategy call and start off the right way. I'm quite sure he'd be able to point you in the right direction of courses too.

    I don't know him personally, I first saw him at a marketing event years ago when he'd launched his book "The Lunchbox Diet" and he's just grown from there to where he is now.

    I'm not involved with fitness in any way other than currently using the caf! at a national gym chain as my "office space" during the school term. Over the past 3 years I've observed the PT's working there. Of the ones I see during the day I think one has been there for the 3 years, the others have all come and gone during that time. I've listened to them whinge and moan about the job with each other, trying to give clients a sales pitch and cringed at how nervous they've sounded and the lack of confidence they're portrayed.

    The biggest issue I see from the outside is that while they may all be very good at fitness and carrying out the job of a personal trainer. They lack the sales/marketing skills which to me are the main stay of the business. So much so that they're almost embarrassed to ask clients for money. I've cringed a few times just listening to them.

    The one who actually appears to be the most successful and definitely has the most clients - seems to come across quite aggressive (which put me off at the beginning when he first started) However I've come to realise that he's just very passionate about what he does and confident in the results clients can achieve with him. He's very selective about who he works with. He only offers certain programmes and you need to buy into that to get the results. He also thought at bit outside the box and has linked up with a company that needs to put staff through fitness testing and has them come into the gym and he put them through there paces. He's also not shy with his terms and conditions if they don't turn up or are late it's charged for and rebooked.

    I haven't trained with any one them, it's all just my observations and thought I'd share that with you. If it was me starting out in that business I'd be knocking on Simon Lovell's door, check out his website and mentor programme. As the bottom line is you'll be in the business of selling fitness training. Good luck!
  • Have you looked at the YMCA website. They offer courses throughout the country and the qualifications are recognised everywhere.
    What goes around - comes around
    give lots and you will always recieve lots
  • stephen77stephen77 Forumite
    10.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    How knowledgeable are you on the subjects?

    Qualification may look nice on a advert. But to be the best I would recommend going to a variety of gyms and watching other people train, see who gets good and bad results and take learning from that.
    Read up lots.
  • scholtscholt Forumite
    245 Posts
    I'm a PT and Exercise to Music Instructor.
    I studied with YMCAFit modularly working in a gym between the 7 modules. It took me longer than I expected as I cross trained to ETM midway through so PT qualification took just over a year.
    That route worked well for me though as some of the candidates doing the intensive course lacked a lot of confidence speaking in public/to clients whereas id been doing it on the gym floor!
    I also lack the discipline somewhat for online study so opted for as much as possible face to face.
    I qualified Gym 2012, ETM 2012 and PT 2013.
    I'd encourage you to start dropping your CV to gyms now - picking up work experience, your own is a great place to start. That was where I started!
    I've also found tgat the vast majority of my pt clients come via classes or are spouses of class clients so if you can teach classes a great source of referrals.
    The market is pretty saturated here (Sussex). Walk into any park and there's 4 trainers working in different corners!
    I took the plunge this year and opened my own studio. Evenings going great and I've just closed the books to new PT. Daytimes could go with a bit of boost though.
    Feel free to contact me if you've any questions.
    It's a fab job. I've got done brilliant, varied clients. The split shifts are tough though - 6am-9.30pm days quite normal whilst you establish your client base. I'm hoping to consolidate my hours soon
  • edited 21 August 2015 at 10:43AM
    johnstrowsmithjohnstrowsmith Forumite
    19 Posts
    edited 21 August 2015 at 10:43AM
    Thanks for all your wisdom, I went away and sought a local PT's advice also.

    He advised me it would be best that I use my time now before the business gets leased to someone else and I get laid off to basically jump on the band wagon and enrol on a course so I get a head start.

    I rang around allot and spoke to most those ranking on google, got quotes and weighed up the pros and cons and came to the decision that I may go with as they offer online tutoring and an affordable payment scheme that suits.

    I haven't signed on the dotted line as of yet so may change my mind whilst I check over some of your suggestions.

    @lisa701 out of curosity who was the course provider?

    @Mschappie I did check out the YMCA website but they didn't offer the payment options I was looking for.

    @Finishrich thanks, I'll check Simon out, overall I'm sure your personality has a big part to play with client retention, more than anything I'm passionate and having trained friends and family... I'm aware my strategies get results.

    @stephen77 I'd like to think I'm highly knowledgable after training 20 years, I've helped others achieve results and they have recommended me to other's which has prompted me to thinking this is the career best suited to me.

    @scholt Sounds like your in the place I would like to be in 2 years time, thanks for the advice and I will surely hit you up if I need more.

  • @lisa701 out of curosity who was the course provider?


    To be fair they do have some very good tutors. I had one for the first part of my level 3 training and he was brilliant. The group who took level 3 after me had a different tutor again who was also brilliant, but the ones after that ended up with the same two I had and all of them regretted taking the course with YMCA.

    Sadly you have no idea of who the tutor is prior to starting the course by which time its too late. That's why I won't do any further training with them.

    Interestingly only 3 of the 14 people who took the level 3 training with me actually passed - the rest either had to re-sit the exam or packed it in and did their training with another provider (and passed).

    I'd definitely get out there whilst you can and get as much experience as you can. If that means watching others whilst you work out in the gym yourself, or see if there are any PT's who would be happy for you to shadow them for a few sessions just so you can see what it all involves. Also do as much reading as you can so you get a basic knowledge of anatomy prior to starting any course - it will really help you.

    Good luck
  • Hey! How did you get on? Did you decide who you are going to train with? I have been looking at premier training as heard good reviews, has anyone used them before? Thanks :)
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