September 22

How to Qualify as a Personal Trainer

Aspiration and Inspiration, Education, PT Upgrade


Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

I get asked this question quite a lot by clients or people looking for a career change, there seems to be an ever increasing amount of courses out there and just like with many things in the fitness industry it creates confusion and a state of paralysis.

So I thought I would write this blog to set the records straight and to give you a heads up as to what you’re getting involved in.

Why do you want to be a Personal Trainer?

Usually the answer is that you love training and want to spend as much time in the gym as possible so you can get into great shape, but there needs to be a lot more than that, you are providing a service in helping others and the sooner you understand that the more successful you will become.

Now while it’s critical to have the technical skills and knowledge, there are many other assets that are just as important to becoming a great personal trainer such as Passion, Perseverance, Persistence, Empathy and People Skills but that is for another time, today we are going to concentrate on the courses you need to become a REPs Level 3 Personal Trainer, Level 2 is only for Gym Instructor but most courses will provide you with level 2 and 3 if you’re starting from scratch.

What is REPs?

REPs stands for, The Register of Exercise Professionals, which is a public register and governing body for the required level of education needed to obtain public liability insurance and to practise as a Personal Trainer, although there are probably many cowboys out there who don’t have insurance, if you injure your client or god forbid they die, you will be held accountable or some might say f***ed!


Remember it’s those Personal Trainers that give the industry a bad name, so it’s up to all of us to make sure we maintain high levels of education, care and standards, be proud, get qualified and go down the right route that will give you a great career.

How I made my decisions to become qualified.

Remember that it’s almost irrelevant who you go with to get your REPS Level 3 qualification, you just need the certificate to get public liability insurance. The reason I say this is that most will follow a similar curriculum and once you’re qualified you will realise how little you know and that it is the educational choices you make once you are qualified that will shape what kind of trainer you become, from the books you read to the seminars you attend etc

Most of the curriculum’s are lacking in up to date information and many still use the food pyramid as part of the nutritional components…(shakes head)
It’s much like passing your driving test, you do what you need to do to pass.

Remember alongside Education, the core skills you need to master to make you a great trainer are Passion, Perseverance, Persistence,

Don’t Forget Insurance

Insure4Sport do a great range of low cost insurance policies for Fitness Professionals. Check them out here…


Empathy and Education.

If you have a good base knowledge of training, having self experimented and experienced training using different modalities, then you will do well no matter which choice you make.

So the main elements that should affect your decision making are your financial position and learning style.

Choosing a Course Provider

If I had had a spare £3.5K lying around, I would have done the intensive Premier Training course, it’ll get you qualified as quick as possible (Full time is 6 weeks) and saturate you with knowledge, which may or may not be good for you depending on your learning style, I would have loved it and lapped it up, especially as I thrive in a learning environment with others.


Cost effected my decision making as I needed a provider who would accept monthly repayments allowing for me to spread the cost over 18 months, without this facility it would not have been possible, I ended up using Fitness Industry Education who I thought did a great job and had a good system but there are many others out there.


Although pure distance learning (Online Course Work and Tests) was cheaper I decided to opt for part distance learning and part classroom. I had a Saturday Lecture every week for 15 weeks and then completed the rest of the learning etc online, this worked out great for me as I love learning in groups and find it a much richer learning environment that pure isolated studying.

Premier Training – REPs Level 3 Personal Trainer – £3,450
Course Length – 6 Weeks Full Time – www.premierglobal.co.uk

Fitness Industry Education – REPs Level 3 Personal Trainer – £1,999
Course Length – 12 Weeks Saturday Classroom with Homestudy – www.fitnessindustryeducation.com

Now taking all that on board and realising that most courses will take you through the same curriculum and there really isn’t much to differentiate them from each other and they all do still lack a few skills when you come out the other side.


This is where No1 Fitness in London could make for the smartest choice yet when choosing a course provider. No1 Fitness is a Personal Training company with several locations in London operating a very successful business and therefore has many years of experience with clients, understanding their needs and where the newly qualified personal trainer maybe lacking in certain skills, their curriculum will be able to equip you for the ‘trenches’.

One of the Directors Ben Camara won The Mens Health award last year for Personal Trainer of the Year, so they have a good understanding of the industry and what’s going on, I highly advise you check these guys out.

Plus by learning with them you’ll be learning with real trainers in the real world, successfully doing exactly what you’re hoping to become. For more information on No1 Fitness and the type of curriculum they offer along with the prices you can call them on 0207 621 1312 or email Ben@no1fitness.co.uk  and mention ‘coverfitness’ or visit their website http://www.no1studiotraining.co.uk/

Further Learning

Two subjects and courses I also suggest you do immediately following qualification as a PT no matter what would be a Sales, Marketing and Business course to really equip you with the skills needed to become self employed.


Bedros Keulian is the Personal Trainers Marketing Guru and he has many online courses that will help you run your business along with an awesome YouTube channel offering plenty of great advice. Check out his site http://ptpower.com/


Plus I can’t highly recommend enough that you complete a well recognised nutritional course, such as the Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. You cover not only in depth Nutritional Science but Nutritional Coaching which is so important for you to understand the needs of each individual client. Check out their site here http://www.precisionnutrition.com/

Once you’ve got all these essential bases covered it’s really up to you which direction you’d like to go in and there is a whole realm of great further education depending on what kind of Personal Trainer you wish to become.

Anyway I hope this article answers many of your questions and helps you with your first few decisions and down your path into this great industry, just go into it with your eyes wide open, being self employed is tough at times as the buck stops with you but it also gives you a huge sense of freedom and enables you to live a fantastic life helping others.

Good Luck!

About the author 

Adam Stansbury

Personal Trainer for over 10 years and a Vegan for over 5 years. I'm passionate about helping people to realise that they can transform their bodies and our planet at the same time.

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