It’s the New Year and that means that many people will be kicking off their January resolutions to get fit. But January is also a time for another kind of fitness resolution- to get into the industry and become a PT. Now this I know, because it was my resolution a few years back. I’m now running my own PT business based in Shoreditch, East London with a team of personal trainers working with me to help clients meet their goals. You might be thinking, that’s easy for you Keith, but I have no fitness qualifications, I’m not even working in the industry. Neither was I. Yet I did it, and here’s how you can too.
Find your fitness passion
The majority of people want a career in fitness because they are passionate about fitness, and this alongside the desire to help others is the very best reason to decide to train as a PT. When I was younger I competed for England in freestyle wrestling so that’s where my passion for fitness came from. If you’re thinking about training as a PT, it’s probably because you too have a love of keeping fit and healthy and want to encourage others to do the same.
Make the decision
Like with a client who finally decides that enough is enough and this is the year that they are going to get fit, actually making the decision to become a PT can take time. I know it did for me anyway. As a teenager I worked in a family run gym in Shipley near Leeds and I really liked it, but after school was finished I ended up going into social care. I enjoyed it but there was this niggling feeling that I wasn’t doing what I was meant to do. Eventually, I decided I’d go with my gut and train as a PT. If you think the fitness industry could be for you, then January is a good time to explore your options.
One of the first things to investigate is how to get qualified. As a minimum you’d need the level 2 fitness instructor qualification, and the level 3 PT qualification too. Then before you work with clients, you’ll need first aid training and insurance too. There are loads of providers out there, but I decided on TRAINFITNESS for my level 2 and 3 and had a really positive experience. Think about how you best learn (in a group or on your own, more practical based or theoretical), what your other commitments are (like if you want to work alongside your current job) and other benefits offered (like support after you qualify). Also ensure that any course you undertake is fully accredited, as you won’t get insurance without this.
Find your preferred setting
It’s best to try and get practical experience as soon as possible whilst you are getting qualified or once you are qualified. I started out as a freelance PT at a chain of gyms, but I also had experience of working in a gym setting so I had a good understanding of the set-up and what a PT’s role would be in that environment. I also gained experience as a mobile PT, training clients at local parks or their home. But after starting working with clients at private studios, I realised I preferred that setting and that’s when I started Right Path Fitness. Make it a priority to get as much experience as you can in as many settings as possible, even for your own personal training, as this will help you to decide where you want to be once you qualify.
There’s no doubt that becoming a PT can mean a huge change in your life. For me, it meant a move to London and starting up a business as well as getting to know a new place. But what I can say is that being a PT is one of the most rewarding careers you can have. Your clients will look to you to be their personal cheerleader, their motivator and their inspiration. You’ll be doing a job that you love, and helping people to feel better about themselves, and be healthier and stronger. Who could ask for more than that?