If fitness is your passion and you have a knack for teaching, becoming a personal trainer could be just the ticket for a new and fulfilling career.
We'll run through the importance of networking, how to assess your market and build your client base, and the possibility of joining a professional body.
This really depends on the type of fitness you have expertise in, your motivation for teaching, and the kind of clients you want to train. For example, you might be interested in getting people ready for a big challenge, like a solo marathon, or you could be geared towards new mums looking to build back strength after having a baby.
Whatever your goals, you’ll be using up-to-date knowledge and strong teaching skills to design safe workouts for your clients. You’ll know how to motivate, watch for injury and build strong working relationships.
Covid-19 means that lots of courses are adapting, with many assessments taking place online, or in some cases deferred until safety guidelines are established. Even so, these are the minimum-level qualifications to look into:
Increasing your skill set to take on a Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training, for example, will give your business the edge.
Personal recommendations are often very helpful. If you know an established personal trainer, ask them which courses they’ve completed, and what they’d suggest. Instagram and Facebook are also great for research.
These groups, academies and colleges run popular personal trainer courses:
It depends on the course you decide to take, and how it’s run. Some full-time personal trainer courses take as little as five weeks to complete, or you could go for a bootcamp-style intensive certification over one weekend – but you’ll need to dedicate the time and energy.
Alternatively, you could complete a part-time course, and there are lots of online options available.
When doing your research, factor in CIMPSA (The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport & Physical Activity) and REPs (The Register of Exercise Professionals). A quality personal training route will be recognised by CIMPSA and your instructor or provider should be registered with the REPs.
From the basic essentials to the high-tech, what goes in your kit every day will depend on your client, and the kind of work you’re doing.
Get going with this top 10 list:
You’ll also want a few practical essentials handy – towels, a clipboard, paper and pen, flexible tape measure or all helpful, and you can build your bag from there.
There are other covers worth considering too, including employers' liability insurance if you have any employees, and business equipment insurance if you want to cover your personal training equipment.
According to Payscale, you can plan to start on a yearly salary of around £19,459. But it’s a wide-ranging scale and how much you earn (and keep) will depend on whether you’re contracted by a gym, completely freelance or a mixture of both.
Location is also a big factor, and with experience, a niche and quality client contacts personal trainers can charge a lot for their expertise. Our last index highlighted the north as an earning hotspot for personal trainers, with Warrington leading the way.
Are you looking to get started as a personal trainer? Tell us your motivation in the comments.
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