A personal trainer is a fitness professional who motivates individuals to improve their physical fitness through exercise. They also give advice on general health and nutrition. Sessions are generally on a one to one basis, but can be in a group such as a bootcamp.
You could be:
carrying out fitness assessments to establish clients fitness levels
agreeing short or long terms goals for your client and reviewing on a weekly or monthly basis
writing up an exercise programme for each individual client and making sure they follow it
giving nutrition and diet advice as well as suggesting lifestyle changes
motivating and encouraging clients to succeed in achieving their personal goals
weighing and measuring clients on a weekly basis
demonstrating exercises for the client to follow.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company you work for
Self-employed personal trainers are paid between £25.00 and £45.00 an hour. Personal trainers working in a gym may earn over £30,000 a year.
You may be based in one gym or travel around several different gyms.
You would arrange to meet clients at a time and location suitable for them.
You may work outdoors, in all weather and conditions.
Hours would vary to meet the needs of the client, which is likely to mean working early mornings, evenings and weekends.
The first step towards becoming a personal trainer is you must complete a level 2 gym instructor course such as the Active IQ Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing (Gym), YMCA Awards Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing (Gym Based Exercise) or Gym Instructing; or SVQ Instructing Exercise and Fitness at SCQF Level 5.
You would usually spend time working in a gym as a gym instructor to gain experience.
To qualify as a personal trainer, you must complete a Level 3 qualification in personal training recognised by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).
Active IQ offer a Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training, which can be studied part time. See the Active IQ website for a list of approved centres.
Alternatively, YMCA Awards offers a Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training. To achieve this you must complete 7 modules. Check the YMCA Awards website for your nearest centre.
Some personal trainers do a degree first in sports science, sports therapy or other relevant subject. Others come from the Army or other relevant background.
For entry to these degrees you would require 4-5 Highers including science subjects.
You must have public liability insurance if you are self-employed.
You would also require a first aid certificate including a cardio-pulmonary resuscitation certificate (CPR).
A driving licence would be useful if you need to travel to clients.
If you are self-employed you may need to invest in your own equipment, such as weights and resistance bands.