I spent the best part of £2500 getting qualified as a personal trainer. I did the full personal trainer qualification which included business and marketing, assessment criteria and also the nutrition module. The courses were great and it allowed me to share my experience with like minded fitness professionals. I learned a lot about building programmes, nutrition and also how to train people outdoors.
When I became a mobile personal trainer 13 months ago, what I discovered about the industry was actually very different to what I was taught in the personal trainer qualifications. The qualification itself is more tailored towards gym based environments and not really home training. The majority of exercises and programmes I learned were from self study rather than what I was taught in the courses.
If we consider the personal training market place, the majority of clients maybe want to shed a few pounds and get fit, the advanced training techniques I learnt in the second module were fantastic for me but maybe not for the average client? The nutrition section as well was based around the food pyramid, which encourages the consumption of 11 servings of bread, pasta and rice per day and five portions of vegetables, I would never in million years recommend that to a client!
We will always need to get qualified in our business because of credibility and knowledge but I do believe as personal trainers that potentially we hang our hats on qualifications rather than improve on our service and sales delivery. The marketing course I did in the personal training qualification wasn’t really relevant in today’s day and age. There were some elements of rapport building skills including but not to the level that is required to develop relationships with personal training clients.
My advice would be to carefully consider all the options as personal training qualifications can get very pricing and it is great having all the qualifications in the world but if you haven’t got any clients to train it defeats the point. I consider personal training like passing your driving test, you need the piece of paper to do it but you don’t really learn the skills until your are out there doing it!
Hi I’m John Hill, personal trainer for Inspiring Fitness. I am also a key member of the support team and I specialize in marketing, client relationship building and recruitment.
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