Discover how to have a career in the fitness industry, including the qualifications you need and where they can take you
2016 has been a fantastic year for the fitness industry. More than 9 million people in the UK now have a gym membership; that’s one in seven people. Beyond that, there are the weekend running clubs, the CrossFitters, Tough Mudder teams in training and outdoor boot camps.
With so much interest in how we exercise and what we eat, and so many paths to take in the industry, now is a great time to become a personal trainer.
One of the great things about working in the fitness industry is how flexible it can be to your needs and what you want out of life. Perhaps you like the sound of working for yourself and helping a specific demographic to improve their health? Perhaps you have a personal interest in sports conditioning that you could develop into your own unique selling point? Or perhaps you are passionate about a more responsible approach to dieting and nutrition, and want to make a difference?
The fitness industry welcomes people at many stages of life. From school-leavers and university graduates to those who have tried their hand at one vocation and wish to explore another, a career in fitness is open to all.
You may be surprised at how transferable your skills are. Have a marketing degree? Turn yourself into a fitness brand. Studied nutrition? You could be qualified to offer bespoke diet plans that regular personal trainers cannot. Got customer-facing experience? You’ll have the confidence to engage with people.
Make it work for you
One of the great things about personal training with TRAINFITNESS is how flexible the qualification is to your lifestyle and needs. Some people who want to qualify as quick as possible may wish to choose our intensive full-time study option, qualifying with a Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training in just four weeks. Others may have commitments such as a job to consider and so the part-time course is more suitable. The distance study option is great for those who want to study in their own time at home, anywhere in the world, and attend assessments when convenient for them.
Level 2, for a lot of people, is the entry point for a job in fitness. Completing the Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing gives you a foundation of knowledge about anatomy and physiology, fitness principles and health and safety. This means you can, for example, work on the gym floor and deliver inductions to new members. You could also consider Pilates, exercise to music and yoga instructor qualifications.
To be a personal trainer requires progressing to Level 3. As well as giving a deeper knowledge of anatomy and nutrition, the Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training allows those who qualify to be able to plan and deliver successful workouts to their clients. If you do not hold a Level 3 personal training certificate, you are not able to call yourself a personal trainer.
Find your niche
CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. CPD is a way for exercise professionals to demonstrate that they continue to learn and develop throughout their careers, and keep their knowledge up to date.
CPD can also set you apart from the pack. In a gym full of personal trainers, perhaps you will be the only one qualified in teaching kettlebells and Olympics lifts, making you the go-to for those training for muscle mass. Or perhaps you’re in an area full of expectant mothers that mean being trained in ante- or post-natal fitness will give you the edge.
Consider how your career path might look in 5-10 years. Perhaps you will move into life coaching, work with exercise referral clients, set up your own business or run your own gym? Whatever you do to specialise and stand out, make sure you’re passionate about it.
Find out why athletes like Dwain Chambers choose to become personal trainers with us:
Avoid training plateaus with progressive overload
Read our interview with newly qualified personal trainer Charlie King