As a leading personal training company, we get as many enquiries from personal trainers as we do from our clients. It is very humbling to know that so many people choose to turn to MotivatePT for guidance when they set out on their journey, which is why we thought this page would be useful for anyone who is overwhelmed by questions and confusion. Becoming a personal trainer and following your passion is a magnificent journey, so best of luck and we hope the below makes life easier.
If you are reading this article on how to become a personal trainer, then you are probably someone with a passion for fitness and people. To become a successful personal trainer, these two qualities are the most important prerequisites and the reason that many trainers manage to carve out incredibly lucrative and successful careers. You must have an interest in what motivates people, you must possess a huge amount of patience to work with different personality types and you need to inspire your clients to embrace healthier and more active lives.
The way that you look, train, eat and conduct yourself should embody the principles that you are sharing with your clients. At a time when more and more people are embracing exercise and all the positive ripple effects, we believe there has never been a better time to join the personal training field!
To become qualified as a personal trainer, you must start by enrolling on a training course. The fitness training market is flooded with providers, so try not to get overwhelmed by the amount of choice available. They all offer a similar training package, at similar rates, so you must choose a provider that you trust and that will give you sufficient support. Make sure you ask the questions that are important to you. For example, will you have an assigned tutor and will he or she be contactable throughout the course? If finance is an issue, do they have payment plans or other viable options?
The REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals Status) can be summarised in the following categories:
- Many trainers gain their Level 2 Qualification first. This is the fitness instructor qualification, which means you can lead fitness classes for groups in gyms.
- Your aim is to obtain a Level 3 Qualification, which means that you are suitably qualified to train clients one-on-one. This qualification is often reached in two stages.
- Beyond the Level 3 qualification, there is of course, the Level 4 Qualification, which incorporates additional, more specialised modules such as working with clients suffering from mental illness, managing lower back pain, and more.
The course will include textbook study and if you opt for the full time study option, you will be supported with regular classes, where you will meet many other personal trainers. If you are unable to dedicate this amount of time, then you can choose the distance learning option, whereby you will receive copies of the learning material and study from home. You can study at your own pace, and choose when to take the examination. Your study will include modules on all of the following areas; human anatomy, movement, exercise, recovery, nutrition, building simple circuits, aerobic exercise, resistance training etc.
The examination has both a practical and a written component, to test your knowledge, your confidence and your people skills. The examiner wants to be certain that those that pass the exam can instruct clients safely and with competence.
To set yourself apart from the competition, which is incredibly fierce, we would recommend becoming as qualified as possible. Specialisation is a key differentiator and it will make you stand out. Areas of specialisation include yoga and pilates, pre and post-natal training and martial arts. The more interesting and varied the workouts are for your clients, the more likely they will be to stay with you for the long term.
Furthermore, it can give you an edge over thousands of other trainers and improve your earning potential. It is also important that trainers seek to constantly update their skills and knowledge in the field. The fitness Industry does not stand still (excuse the pun), as concepts change frequently and trainers need to invest in CPD (Continuing Professional Development) in order to add new qualifications, knowledge and skills to their repertoire.
Once qualified, you will need to start building your book of clients and you can fundamentally do this 2 ways:
- Fitness Gym
One of the most popular beginner personal training roles is to work for a gym. Many of the nationwide gyms such as Fitness First or Virgin Active, offer these Personal Training positions. You can recruit from their members and use their premises and equipment for your sessions, and in return they will typically charge a monthly rental fee. Therefore, and without stating the obvious, the aim will be to obtain enough clientele in the month to comfortably exceed the cost of paying this rental charge each month to the host gym.
The areas to assess here for a new trainer looking to pursue this avenue is:
- How many other trainers are there in the gym (competition) as they will all be trying to solicit the same members? It can become quite competitive and trainers’ margins can become squeezed.
- How many members does the gym have? If there are more trainers working the floor than members, it’s likely that there won’t be much chance to enlist large numbers of clients.
Once you have gained some experience, you may wish to establish your own business and recruit clients on your own, and explore the option of mobile personal training. This is where the trainer will travel and provide sessions in the home or a park.
The benefits of this option are that:
- This will give you far greater flexibility over your client base and your schedule.
- You can choose the hours that you want to work and the areas you want to work in.
- You can also apply to work for a personal training agency such as MotivatePT alongside your own business. This type of option will open you up to more new client leads and increase your likelihood of getting regular work.
With regards to salary, you can expect to earn anywhere between £18k-£40k per annum. In big cities such as London, you will be able to charge a higher rate per session, as living costs are generally greater. Many of the top celebrity personal trainers can earn in excess of £100k per annum, which demonstrates that your earning potential depends very much on your work ethic and your mindset.
The more organised, motivated and determined you are, the further you will progress in this incredibly challenging and exciting field!