How to choose a Personal Trainer qualification

Personal Trainer Qualifcation

When I completed my nutrition diploma back in 2012, one of the aspects of the course which really appealed to me was the ability to study the modules online. The e-learning course meant that I could access materials anywhere at any time. I was able to learn at my own pace, fitting the studying in around my job and other commitments.

After I finished my qualification, I did consider progressing further and taking a Personal Trainer or Fitness Instructor course. Being a gym addict at the time, I had aspirations of teaching my own group exercise class or working one-on-one with individuals to improve their health and fitness. I’ve worked with both a Personal Trainer and Triathlon Coach myself and really benefited from their guidance, advice and support.

I researched a number of different training suppliers and courses, but eventually the idea fell by the wayside and my career took a different direction. Friends and family would often tell me that I’d make an excellent Personal Trainer. In fact, I met up with some old work colleagues last week and they questioned why I’d never ‘gone back to school’ to pursue it any further.

There are many routes to achieving a fitness qualification and with lots of courses on the market, it can be difficult to chose between them. I’m wary of anything too cheap as I believe you get what you pay for when it comes to education. Some suppliers offer an intensive ‘crash course’ which enable you to work as a instructor after only one day’s training- again I’d be skeptical about the quality of these qualifications.

Something to bear in mind when working towards a fitness qualification is how you prefer to study and be assessed. As mentioned, I found online learning the most convenient and flexible option for myself. Research by YMCA Awards revealed that 21% of students prefer to learn outside normal classroom hours, while 14% opt to work at weekends. ICS Learn have recently launched their 100% online personal training and fitness instructor courses, which are unique in that video is used for the assessment process eliminating the need to attend workshops. For practical assessments, you’ll film the delivery of gym sessions, where you’ll demonstrate what you’ve learnt by instructing your gym buddy.  These are then uploaded and feedback is provided by your tutor.

The Level 2 Fitness Instructor Course is the essential qualification you need to practice as a fitness instructor. This covers principles of exercise, fitness and health; anatomy and physiology for exercise; supporting clients; and health, safety and welfare in a gym environment. Alternatively, ICS Learn offer the Level 3 Personal Trainer Course which is perfect for those who have attained the Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing or equivalent and are looking to become self-employed or progress their career in the health and fitness industry. Finally there is the Level 2 Fitness Instructor and Level 3 Personal Training Combined Course which is aimed at those who have no prior qualifications or experience in the industry and want to gain the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to work unsupervised as a personal trainer.

Each of the qualifications are awarded by YMCA Awards who are seen as the benchmark for quality within the health and fitness sector, so you can be assured that your qualification is recognised and accepted.

Post written in collaboration with ICS Learn. All opinions my own.

Have you ever thought about becoming a Personal Trainer or Fitness Instructor? Do you prefer to study online?


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