How to become a Personal Trainer UK
In order to become a personal trainer, you must obtain the necessary qualifications. Firstly, you need to get your Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing, as this is the prerequisite for the Level 3 Personal Training Certificate. The Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training is the final qualification that allows you to train with clients on a 1 to 1 basis. These are commonly packaged together as the Level 3 Personal Training Diploma, which includes both Level 2 and Level 3.
Our Active IQ Level 3 Personal Training Diploma is our most popular course option at The Fitness Group, allowing students to become a personal trainer and start an exciting new career. We go further than the syllabus requirements to ensure our students get the best possible support through their learning journey. We add in things like Business Skills, Extensive Practical Workshops and Career Support services to what is already the industry leading standard for Personal Training Qualifications.
A Closer Look at the Qualification
We first start on Level 2 before moving onto Level 3. Gaining your Level 2 qualification allows you to work on a gym floor, take inductions and take some group fitness classes. It covers the fundamentals of instructing exercise, ensure you have a solid understanding of programming basics, exercise form, safety in the gym, dealing with different clients and the principles of instructing. It provides the foundation for moving on to Level 3.
Within the qualification, you will sit theory assessments on both Anatomy and Principles of Exercise. The Anatomy assessment is designed to give you the knowledge to understand more about how the body works in relation to exercise, posture and correct positioning, the benefits of exercise on the body, and human movement (to name a few important topics). Having good knowledge in these areas as an instructor allows you to provide better quality advice and programming. The Principles of Exercise theory work is all about the key fundamentals of training and programming. Knowing why we train a certain way to achieve certain goals, understanding the bodies response to different methods of training, and how to design exercise for different client groups are all major parts of this section and important topics to understand in order to design effective sessions.
Alongside the theory work, you have a coursework portfolio to complete. This is made up of worksheets to demonstrate you have the required knowledge in Health & Safety, Programming with clients and Supporting clients to be employed in the workplace. These are key modules which help you to come to grips with scenarios you will face while working in a gym environment. As well as these worksheets, you will interview a client and design them a full body induction session, based on a mixture of cardiovascular machines, free weights, resistance machines and body weight exercises and stretches.
The programme design part of the course then leads on to your practical assessment. In your Level 2 practical assessment you will take your client through the programme you have designed, showing them how to safely and effectively workout in the gym environment, so they can begin to train themselves. The aims of the practical assessment are to build your clients knowledge and confidence, so they are comfortable with working out by themselves, safely and correctly. You must show that you understand the safety aspects to each exercise, teach and correct your clients form, give demonstrations on all exercises, provide clear instructions, monitor intensity and be supportive and motivational throughout.
Within the practical training we provide on our courses, you will learn how to deliver exercise, correct form, how to deliver classes, how to structure a session and how to deal with clients while being both motivational and educational.
Once you have passed your Level 2, you will move on to your Level 3 Personal Training. This qualification is structured in a similar way to the Level 2 but is more advanced and allows you to now train clients on a 1 to 1 basis.
The purposes of the Level 3 are to equip you with the knowledge to plan progressive and tailored exercise programmes, give effective nutritional advice, develop a wider range of training styles, adapt, progress and regress exercise in regards to different client goals and capabilities, set and review goals, provide a complete Personal Training package and ultimately deliver fantastic Personal Training sessions.
Within the course, similarly to Level 2, you have 2 theory assessments, another Anatomy assessment and a Nutrition assessment. The Anatomy is more detailed and is there to deepen your understanding of the human body. This is excellent knowledge if you ever want to upskill or progress into more specific areas of training. It will also help you understand what the body goes through and how it adapts to different exercise, as well as understanding more about specific health and exercise risks that a PT should be able to offer help and guidance on.
The Nutrition section is there to ensure you understand healthy eating guidelines, as well as are able to accurately gather information from a client, and offer relevant and realistic advice for them to achieve their goals. Understanding how to correctly calculate calorie intake (energy balance equation), utilise food diaries, estimate macronutrient intake and work out your clients BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) are all important topics to understand to be able to fulfil your role as a Personal Trainer, while understanding your role boundaries (PT’s are not qualified to provide meal plans).
The coursework portfolio section is all about dealing with a client. It follows the journey from first interviewing the client, to finally taking them for a session, and everything in between. Within that, you learn how to do direct and effective client consultations, set SMART goals for your clients physical and nutritional needs and analyse your clients attitude and motivation. You then design a programme based on your clients goals, preferences and capabilities, design a progressed version of the programme, learn how to programme for different client goals and use a variety of different training styles and systems to reach those goals. You must also be able to justify exactly why you designed the programme you did for your clients goals, to demonstrate that you have the knowledge required to work effectively with clients. Effectively, the Level 3 coursework is teaching you how to deal with a client from top to bottom, so you can be confident when you’re out in the workplace that you have tools and skillset to build a successful fitness business.
This leads on to the final practical assessment, which is essentially a final PT session. Here, you must show that you understand and can instruct different training systems within your session, as well as demonstrating all the fundamentals you learned in Level 2. We are really looking for a complete session, with an equal mix of education and motivation to provide a challenging but enjoyable session for your client. Ultimately, we want to see a confident, knowledgeable and safe approach to training that demonstrates you are ready to take on clients in the real world.
Upon completion of your Level 3 PT Diploma, you are now qualified to work in the gym or as a self employed PT.
The last things you need are insurance (Public Liability Insurance) to cover you and your clients in the event of an accident or injury, and to be suitable First Aid Qualification.
We offer Level 3 Emergency First Aid at Work – a one day course that legally employers require to have you start working out of a gym. Once these are all complete, you are ready to find a gym that suits and begin working as a fully qualified Personal Trainer!