How To Become A Personal Trainer?

Avatar for Hadyn Luke Hadyn Luke posted this on Thursday 21st of April 2022 Hadyn Luke 21/04/2022


How To Become A Personal Trainer?

Introduction to Personal Trainer Courses

People who work as a personal trainer are some of the most well-known and important in the fitness industry. These days, personal trainers are in high demand. Managers, sales staff and receptionists all play important roles in the gym, but the personal trainer is mostly in charge of making sure the end user has a good time and gets good results. A personal trainer will write exercise plans, lead clients through their workouts, and give them nutritional advice on a daily basis, just to name a few of the things they do.

However, even though you need a lot of knowledge to become a personal trainer, you also need a good attitude. For example, if you want to become a successful personal trainer, you’ll need to be willing to work long hours. The working day can start as early as 6am and last all day. You also need to invest in your education, recruit clients, and manage your own schedule. Remember, too, that you need to be engaged and professional for every single session you deliver, whether it’s the first or the eighth of the day. People who work as a personal trainer say it can be both enjoyable and financially rewarding. There is more to it than just standing next to your client and counting reps.

What Qualifications do I need to become a Personal Trainer?

A career as a personal trainer or fitness instructor can be very rewarding, but what’s the best route in?

The qualifications and skills you need will depend on the role, but here is our guide to help you decide.

Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing is an entry-level qualification, which is required for employment in the industry in gym instructor roles. It is the minimum qualification you need to gain employment in the health and fitness industry and provides options for progression on to other qualifications.

Interested in becoming a personal trainer
or sports massage therapist?

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    Continuous Professional Development

    To become a personal trainer you need to get a certification first. It’s possible to get a lot of different kinds of degrees, from weekend courses to full-time degrees. To be taken seriously by most employers, you need to have a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training. The pre-requisite to the Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training is the Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing, to get a job in the fitness sector. These can be done in a number of ways, including full-time face-to-face, part-time, or 100% online personal training courses.

    This means that there’s a type of course that will work for all learners. A lot of courses have both theoretical and practical components, and they end with a range of assessments.

    Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training Course - Unit Assessment Overview

    Unit 1: Applied anatomy and physiology for exercise, health and fitness (F/615/4012)Theory paper – Applied anatomy and physiology for exercise, health and fitness.
    Modular summative observation – training techniques (Mark scheme criteria: A4, B3).
    Unit 2: The principles of nutrition and their application to exercise and health (J/615/4013)Theory paper – The principles of nutrition and their application to exercise and health.
    Case study – Personal training client (Step 2, Step 3, nutritional guidance).
    Worksheet (Q1-5).
    Unit 3: Understanding lifestyle, health, wellbeing and common medical conditions (R/615/4015)Assignment – Educational information handout and infographic.
    Modular summative observation – Consultation (Observation checklist criteria: B1, B2).
    Assignment – Developing a new personal training business(SWOT analysis, scope of practice).
    Worksheet (Q12, 14-16)
    Unit 4: Encouraging positive health and fitness behaviours in clients (Y/615/4016)Modular summative observation – Consultation (Observation checklist sections: A, B and C).
    Assignment – Recommending the use of technology to clients.
    Worksheet (Q6-11)
    Worksheet – self-evaluation.
    Unit 5: Programme design and delivery for personal training (H/615/4018)Modular summative observation – Training techniques (All sections).
    Case study – Personal training client (Step 3, FITT guidelines; Step 5).
    Summative observation – Personal training (Case study - Step 6).
    Worksheet (Q12-16)
    Unit 6: Professionalism and business acumen for personal trainers (D/615/4020)Assignment – Developing a new personal training business.
    This table outlines the various assessments required to achieve the Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training course.

    After completing your initial personal training course and having the ability to work and flourish in the industry it is important to knowledge, skills and credibility in order to open up the door to new opportunities.

    This could include:

    Training Provider or University

    To become a personal trainer, there are two main ways you can go: you can go to university / college, or you can go to a company like CMS Fitness Courses.

    People who study at universities often get a lot of information, but it can take a long time for them to narrow it down enough to find the niche they want to work in.

    With an independent training provide, like CMS Fitness Courses, you will find that the information can be tailored, and your experience can be customised to where you want to go. You can also get there in a shorter amount of time.

    Interested in becoming a personal trainer
    or sports massage therapist?

    Leave your details below and a member of the
    CMS team will contact you shortly.

      How do I know if a personal training course is legitamate?

      Many people have the same question: How do I know which course is best for me? Which is the best training provider?

      We Understand people don’t want to waste money or time. It’s a positive factor that when you work with independent training providers, you can ask them for help with questions and get more information. They can also give you advice and guidance. This helps to make sure that you can make an objective and rational choice. They may also give you that extra piece of information, which you hadn’t thought. We can give you the right information so that you can make the best choice for yourself.

      When you start learning with CMS Fitness Courses, you will find that we have a platform called eLMS that is made to help fitness professionals grow. In addition to our proprietary learning platform, we also have a free personal training blog which covers topics including but not limited to; business, biomechanics, nutrition, health and mental wellness. This is all information that will help you as a personal trainer.

      Whatever personal training course you decide to study there are several checks you can do to ensure it is a legitamate qualification which will be recognised by employers internationally. Below we detail some factors you should be aware of when choosing your personal trainer course.


      The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England. Ofqual operates a Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) which all recognised qualifications sit on. Regulated personal trainer courses can be searched for via the Ofqual site. Search personal training courses and you will be presented with a list of recognised qualifications.

      It is worth noting that the same qualification can be offered by numerous awarding bodies.  No one personal training qualficiation at a the same level is more valid than the next.

      Awarding Bodies

      Awarding bodies are the organisations approved and regulated by Ofqual to offer qualifications. Training providers like CMS Fitness Courses gain approval with an awarding body in order to offer personal training courses.  CMS Fitness Courses currently work with Active IQ.  This means that your certificate would be issued as an Active IQ certificate and would be recognised internationally by employers.


      Ofsted is the ‘Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills’. They inspect services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. They also inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people. As a training provider contracted with the Department for Education (DfE) through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), and offering apprenticeship and advanced learner loan personal trainer courses CMS Vocational Training trading as CMS Fitness Courses are inspected by Ofsted intermittently.

      To remain a contractor to the DfE and the ESFA, CMS Fitness Courses are required to uphold high standards of education.  These are standards not all training providers are required to uphold and should act as a standard of quality when choosing your personal training course. CMS Fitness Courses latest Ofsted report can be found here.


      CIMSPA, The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity. CIMSPA is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector, committed to supporting, developing and enabling professionals and organisations to succeed and, as a result, inspire our nation to become more active.

      Qualifications offered by awarding bodies, which also sit on the Ofqual RQF are also accredited by CIMSPA. It is a further kite mark of authenticity you should look for when choosing your personal training course.

      What will I learn on my Personal Training Course?

      You will learn how to gather client information, design and deliver individual exercise programmes based on each client’s needs. This will range from how to carry out static fitness assessments to how to apply advanced cardiovascular and resistance training methods as well as be able to prescribe nutrition for physical activity.

      For more detailed information on these personal training courses, please refer to the relevant pages on our website.

      In all cases, you will need to first pass your Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing (or equivalent qualification). However, it’s optional whether you want to also take your Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training before you embark on these courses.

      A Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral is a prerequisite to progress to any Level 4 qualifications. They are designed to lead into work with special populations, for example those who have specific medical conditions such as lower back pain, high blood pressure or mental health issues. These courses include the Level 4 Certificate in Exercise for the Management of Lower Back Pain and the Level 4 Certificate in Physical Activity and Weight Management for Obese and Diabetic Clients.

      Gaining Experiecne as a Personal Trainer

      Regarding gaining experience as a personal trainer – this is something that people can be concerned about. It can be very useful to ask gyms directly if you can shadow more experienced personal trainers. You could also give your time to private gyms, studios, and other places. This helps to get your name know and shows a great drive, attitude and a thirst to work in the industry.

      Explain what you’re looking to do and the benefit of you being there as an extra set of hands. You can help tidy the weights, assist members, welcome them, all those kinds of things. CMS Fitness Courses, for example, is a training provider that can help you get started in the fitness industry. You can ask them for their top tips. We will be able to give you some specific information that you can then go home and use in your own life. But our number one tip is show confidence and a solid communication style and be direct. Go and talk to the gym you want to work with. Be honest with them. I’d like to learn from you because you’re so good.

      Do not wait until you are qualified as a personal trainer, get on the gym floor while you are studying and live the life of a personal trainer. It will be massively beneficial.

      Employment as a Personal Trainer

      When you become qualified as a personal trainer, you may start to think about what to do next. This is it. I need to start making this work for me as a job or a living.

      Your next steps will depend on what kind of job you want to have. What is better, working for yourself or getting a job? That’s going to depend on what you think is the best for you.

      As a personal trainer, you could work for yourself. This is good because it makes you put in the most effort. You have to do well. When you’re working, you have to follow a set career path which may or may not be as fast, but it gives you more money in the long run. So, this decision will come down to what your lifestyle needs are and where you want to be in the first year, the third year, and the fifth year and beyond.

      During your personal trainer course with CMS Fitness Courses, you can talk to your tutor and people in the industry who have been there about what jobs are out there and which one is best for you. Everyone’s life is a little different, and everyone’s timeframes are a little different, too. That’s why you need to meet with a professional to discover which is best for you.

      Personal Trainers usually work a set number of hours each week. Salary is often at a fixed hourly rate, but some employers offer opportunities to earn more through the achievement of sales targets. As an employee, uniforms and insurance may also be provided.

      It’s not the same for self-employed personal trainers. They must pay for their own expenses and get paid directly by their clients; if they don’t work, they don’t make any money. People who work as self-employed personal trainers usually must pay a “ground rent” in return for a presence on the gym floor. They will also have to market themselves to get clients.

      As a self-employer personal trainer, you are likely to have more freedom and flexibility, and there is no real limit to how much money you can make. If you are willing to work hard and be entrepreneurial, self-employed personal training can be very profitable. You just have to look at the best personal trainers in the UK to see how well you can do.

      One thing that new personal trainers must deal with is not having enough experience. This can be fixed by training your friends and family, as well as other people on your course. To be honest, it would be unethical to accept money for personal training without having the right qualifications or insurance. In return, you should ask your clients for references and recommendations.

      Is being your own boss better than being a worker? There is no simple answer! In the end, you need to do your research, find out what jobs are available in the area where you want to work, and then decide. As a rule, many people start out working for someone else before going it alone. However, many successful trainers have gone the self-employed route.

      Interested in becoming a personal trainer
      or sports massage therapist?

      Leave your details below and a member of the
      CMS team will contact you shortly.

        Be friendly and talk to people.

        Marketing is a big part of being a good personal trainer. You need to be able to tell people what you can do for them. There are a lot of cheap ways to get your name out there, like handing out leaflets and posters and setting up an online profile with free tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

        A professional and marketable image is important, even if you are only one person. This includes logos, a uniform that is easy to recognise and your own unique marketing tools. As a person who wants to be taken seriously, you need to show off a professional look.

        Build your customer base

        How can I build a client base? This is one of the common questions that always comes up.

        Marketing and communication go hand in hand. Do what you can for the people. If you’re talking about online content, this could be a free eBook, seven training strategies for people who don’t have a lot of time, or six steps for people who don’t have a lot of time to prepare their food. In fact, you might even think about giving someone some free training or consultations at a certain time of the week. As they go through their journey, you are giving them little things that will help them out.

        A lot of different social media sites can be very useful for talking to your clients, both current and potential. When you use social media as a fitness professional, you need to know how to deliver high-quality information that people enjoy, find interesting, and connect with. That’s the most important part of what you do. You don’t just need to talk to people on social media. You need to learn how to connect with them, too. We teach this at CMS Fitness Courses.

        To get more clients, you’ll probably have to be more proactive. You can start by boosting your profile on free social media, but you’ll probably need to be more proactive in order to get more clients.

        There are many ways to do this.

        Websites are a great place to advertise your services and tell people more about yourself. Websites used to be a very expensive, but now they can be made by anyone. Companies like WordPress and Wix have easy-to-use templates that make it very simple to make a website quickly.

        As you know, you need to get people to visit your website, and getting listed on the CIMSPA, REPs and NRPTs websites is one way to do this. Another good idea is to link your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles together with your website so that you can build a community of followers.

        Another way to get your name out there is to walk the gym floor and introduce yourself to people who might be interested in working with you by giving them free introductory sessions. Close the marketing loop by giving out business cards with links to your online profiles on them. This will help people find your site and get to know you.

        This is another great way to get more clients. You can work with other fitness and health professionals. People who work as physiotherapists might not have time to take their patients to the gym, but if they work with you and you can refer clients back up the chain, you could get a lot of business from them. Making sure you have a professional image will make it a lot easier to build these kinds of relationships.

        Referrals from customers you already have can also help your business grow. Consider rewarding your customers for referring their friends to you. For example, give them a free session for each new person who comes to see them.

        Meet your own personal fitness goals.

        As a trainer, you need to not only talk the talk but walk the walk too. Many clients will choose a trainer based on how they want to look. As a personal trainer, you need to show that your training and nutrition methods work. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to lead by example and prove that your methods work. Take pride in what you can do for yourself, even if you don’t have the same genetics, age, or gender as the person you want to be. In order to get new clients, you should use your own workouts as a way to market your business. Make sure you wear your business logo when you work out.

        There’s always more to learn.

        It’s important to know that, even though an L3 personal training certification is very in-depth, it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fitness. If you want to stay competitive, give your clients the best service possible, and stay on top of the latest fitness trends, you need to take more courses, buy books on new training and nutrition methods, subscribe to professional journals, and keep an eye on a few good websites. If you don’t want to be left behind in the fitness industry, you need to keep learning new things. This way, you won’t get left behind.

        In order to stay up to date, you may also find out about areas of personal training that you want to specialise in. For example, if you are interested in the link between exercise and medicine, you might enjoy working with people who have back pain, are pregnant, or are obese. It’s also possible to get extra certifications in things like sports massage and boot camps. There’s also exercise for kids, exercise for older people, group training, and more.

        If you want to make your personal training business stand out from the rest, you can specialise in things that aren’t related to how much weight you want to lose or how much you want to tone up. This is a great way to stand out from the rest of the personal trainers out there.

        Keep adding value to the world.

        So, it makes sense to keep the clients you already have in order to save time and money. As your clients become more fit, you need to make sure the services you offer grow to meet their needs. Keep up with the changes in the fitness industry, and this is another reason why.

        By going the extra mile for your clients, make sure you always under promise and over deliver on what you say. The best ways to do this are to offer extra services, build a professional relationship with all of your clients, give constructive feedback, set challenging but realistic goals, and make sure that your business is centered on your clients.

        Personal training is so much more than just working out in a gym. You can have a big impact on your clients’ health and well-being and improve many parts of their lives. It’s a very demanding and competitive job, but if you work hard, it can be a very rewarding job.

        Insurance for Personal Trainers

        When thinking about becoming a personal trainer, it’s a good idea to think about how much insurance you need. Most of the time, you don’t need to have public liability insurance that costs more than £10 million.

        People who work in a certain field or specialise may have to think about other types of insurance or licencing. You might need a music licence or PPL licence to play music in a one-on-one, public, or group setting. In the future, you may start working with people who have special needs, such as, sports massage therapy,  people who are pregnant, people who have diabetes, or people who have low back pain. You’ll need to find an insurance company that covers these people.

        If you hire people to work for your business, you may also need to think about employers insurance. We suggest that you talk to your broker about this if it happens.

        Insurance is important not just for you, but for your clients as well. You want them to feel safe and comfortable so that if something goes wrong and there is an injury or an accident, there will be no negative consequences and everything will be covered.

        We think that you should look into three or four different insurance companies to make sure that what you need is covered and then sign up for a whole year to protect yourself.

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