How do I become a Personal Trainer?

Becoming a personal trainer is a rewarding journey that combines a passion for fitness with the desire to help others achieve their health and wellness goals. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through how to qualify as a personal trainer.

A personal trainer spotting a client on the bench press.
A personal trainer spotting a client on the bench press.

If you are looking to enrol onto a Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training qualification, make sure you know for certain the course you are investing in is right for you and your future career.

Here are some very useful steps to take before qualifying as an industry recognised personal trainer.

1. Ensure you use a CIMSPA recognised training provider that delivers an industry recognised qualification:

To make sure that you receive the correct level of education for your investment, check that the training provider that you enrol with are a registered partner with CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity).

CIMSPA, who have replaced REPS (the Register of Exercise Professionals), montitor the standard of education delivered to fitness professionals and make sure that it is adequate for learners and for the health and fitness industry.

The training provider that you enrol with should be clearly visible as a partner on the CIMSPA directory – you can see our listing here.

You will also need to confirm that the Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training qualification that you will receive upon completion of your course is recognised nationally and internationally. This is so that you can work as an employed and self-employed personal trainer and be able to obtain the relevant insurance to provide your service. This will also ensure that you can register with CIMSPA as a recognised personal trainer.

The qualification that you receive should be issued by one of the leading awarding bodies – YMCA Awards or Active IQ.

2. Educational Prerequisites:

You do not require any previous qualifcations to enrol onto a personal training course.

The personal training qualifcation is split into two levels:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing
  • Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training

Both levels need to be completed and passed to become a recognised personal trainer, and both levels are covered in the following course:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training

You can enrol onto just the Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing if you want to become qualified as a recognised gym instructor. This will qualify you to work in a gym environment only and will give you the scope of practice to design gym programmes and perform gym inductions – you will not be insured to deliver personal training sessions (ongoing 1-to-1 sessions in a gym or non-gym environment), and at level 2 only you are not qualified to deliver group training sessions.

The Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training course will give you everything you need to become recognised as a personal trainer and to gain insurance to work in a gym and non-gym environment. You will be qualified to work with clients in a 1-to-1 or group training capaicity.

If you already hold a Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing qualification, you can enrol straight onto the Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training course. Though if this qualification is over 2 years old, the ‘recommendation’ from the awarding body is to simply do your level 2 content again to recap fully as part of the Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training course.

3. Selecting the correct learning platform for you:

Every individual learns differently. Some learners prefer to read from a manual, some a visual lesson, others by practical application. To be honest, learning to become a personal training requires all of the above.

At Performance Training Academy, we have ensured that we have all basis covered to ensure our learners learn in a way that suits them and ensures that they receive top-level education to give real value on their educational investment (both time and financially).

There are many ‘online’ courses out there which are nothing more than a powerpoint online that you will need to work through to qualify. If the course that you enrol with has online content, make sure that you know what the style of delivery will be. We have produced our online content so that you feel as though you are in a classroom environment, being taught by an experienced teacher.

You should also receive a ‘hard-copy’ manual to go with your course content. Hard copy manuals are so much more informative to use than e-books. With a hard copy manual you can highlight certain passages and make notes in as you study.

The Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training course should also give you the option of in-person ‘practical workshops’ to complete your studies as well.

A career as a personal trainer is a very practical vocation – learning how to be a personal trainer in a gym and being taught by an experienced personal trainer who has their own business and client base is an important part of your learning journey.

4. Study, preparation and ‘tutor’ support:

The Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training certification course should offer study materials and practice exams to help you pass the course and to support you throughout your career.

You should have a clear indication of how long your course will take you to complete and you should be fully supported every step of the way by an actual ‘personal trainer’ tutor. 

With online study, it can sometimes feel as though you are left on your own to just work through your course units. It is imperative that when working through online content such as Anatomy, Programming and Nutrition that you have a supporting tutor at hand to answer any questions at any time – as if you are in a class environment. In online learning you can’t put up your hand up and ask a question, but you should be able to contact a tutor and have the ability to get your questions answered and more clarity given to any of the subject knowledge within your personal training course.

5. Start building your fitness business and brand awarenss

We would recommend that as you are working through your personal training course, you are also thinking about and planning the foundations of your fitness business.

This will ensure that when you are fully qualified you will have everything in place – such as social media platforms, branding, and a website for example. This will save you lots of time and allow you to take on clients right away.

Make sure that the Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training qualification that you choose will help you with this highly important process.

When learners create the correct foundations for their personal training business, many have clients ready to start personal training with them as soon as they are qualified. This means they can get an immediate return on their investment.

6. Know what to do after you are qualified:

After you are a fully qualified personal trainer and have passed your Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training qualification, you should have a clear idea of what your next steps should be.

Along with having a business ready to go, you should also know how you can progress your learning with further qualifications and comtinued professional development workshops – allowing you to continue to grow your knowledge and add additional services to your business.

You should also have a clear marketing plan, allowing you to consistently promote your brand and grow your business – ensuring that you build a stable career as a successful personal trainer.

Conclusion:

Embarking on a career as a personal trainer requires dedication, education, and a genuine passion for helping others. By following these steps and embracing continuous growth, you can build a successful and fulfilling career in the dynamic world of personal training. Good luck on your journey to becoming a personal trainer!

Let us help you become a personal trainer:

As well as supporting you through your Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training qualification, we will help you build you business and grow your client base.

After you qualify we would love to continue to support you and to be at hand to answer any questions as you start working with your paying personal training clients.

You can see more information about our course here:

Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training

If you would like more about becoming a personal trainer, our e-book will also help you:

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE BECOMING A PERSONAL TRAINER

This eBook will answer some of the questions you may have, including:

  • How much can you earn as a personal trainer?
  • How long does it take to become a personal trainer?
  • What is the best age to become a personal trainer?
  • How much can a personal trainer earn?
Find out what you should know before becoming a personal trainer and enrolling onto a course