For many people, the idea of helping others achieve their fitness goals full-time sounds like a fantasy. But the truth is, a career in personal training is within the reach of anyone with enough passion and determination. It’s a career that’s as fulfilling as it is exciting, with plenty of highs and success stories along the way.
But where do you start? How can you go from a gym-goer to a fully qualified fitness professional?
To get the answers, we talked to Anthony Goodison. Anthony’s passion for seeing people achieve their dream of becoming a personal trainer led him to start his own company, ASG Fitness Solutions, in 2012. It proved so successful that today it’s expanded to Elite Fitness Education, a leading UK fitness education provider that sees hundreds of people qualify to become PTs every year.
Below, we ask the hard questions about what it takes to become a PT — and how you can get started today.
Q: Do you need a degree to become a personal trainer?
Anthony: The simple answer is no. You don’t need to have left university with a degree in Sports Science or anything like that; just a passion for learning. A lot of my students have told me that they wish they’d have trained to become a PT rather than attend university. The good news is that you can start training to be a PT whatever your academic background might look like.
Q: How much can a personal trainer make?
Anthony: The amount you can make as a PT depends on a number of factors, like your level of experience or your location. In the long term, you can be earning £50k a year as a PT, but you should focus on doing your best in the short term and being patient with your progress. If you do that, you can easily make 20k in your first year. In the vast majority of clubs around the UK, the minimum charge for a personal trainer is £25 per hour. In Central London, you can be earning as much as £70-100 an hour. It’s a lot better paid than many people think.
Q: How do you train to be a PT?
Anthony: To become a personal trainer, you need to complete two qualifications: Level 2 Gym Instructors and Level 3 Personal Training. It’s beneficial to have a good understanding of the gym and training methods, but it’s not compulsory, so you shouldn’t worry about being an expert before you start. All you need is a willingness to learn.
Q: How long does it take to qualify as a PT?
Anthony: The time it takes to qualify as a trainer can vary depending on your situation. At Elite Fitness Education, we run courses on a flexible basis to suit your work, family and social commitments. You can commit to as little as one day a week, and in 12-14 weeks, you’ll have the knowledge, experience and tools required to make the transition into a Personal Trainer at a Fitness First club. It can be that easy.
Q: How much does it cost to become a personal trainer?
Anthony: The costs vary depending on who you decide to train with. I set up Elite Fitness Education because I saw a need for quality education at an affordable price, so you always get a low price with us. We’re currently running a special promotional price for Level 2 & 3 Personal Training — everything you need to start as a PT — for just £1500. We also have access to government funding through the Advanced Learner Loans and offer a 0% payment scheme for the first six months if you’re eligible. Whatever your financial situation, there’s a way to start your PT career.
If you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer at a Fitness First club, we offer a range of PT model options to suit you, regardless of your level of experience. Find out more here.