Unfortunately, we can't just wake up one morning and poof! suddenly become a fitness professional after seeing a TV report the night before.

The initial inspiration might come from there, but to truly prepare for this exciting career, you'll have to pursue it in a very concrete way. With passion, reflection, and organization.

There's insurance, salary, building your clientele... many important points that must be prepared in advance and which are crucial to success!

Keep on reading to discover important information, helpful tips, and suggestions on how to become a successful personal trainer!

How to Become a Successful Personal Trainer?

On social media networks, especially ones such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook (even YouTube!), fitness is becoming hugely popular.

Body image might never have been as important as it is now in our modern society and social networks are constantly reminding us. Through these far-reaching media networks, "fitness stars" are being born and there are even fitness YouTubers are becoming famous in the UK and around the world.

Two Brits come to mind: John Chapman and Leon Bustin. One is a former carpenter and the other a former roof tiler, now each turned famous personal trainer, becoming immensely popular on YouTube with their channel "The Lean Machines", where they demonstrate strenuous workouts lightened with lots of humour.

Check Superprof website for available online tutoring jobs UK!

UK Personal Trainers
Fitness YouTubers John Chapman and Leon Bustin (Source: telegraph.co.uk)

It is within this world of the ultra popularization of fitness that you want to become a personal fitness instructor! Especially since you may have also read this article on Forbes detailing how some celebrity fitness Instagram stars are no longer content to stay behind their smartphones and are instead branching out and giving large group exercise classes in front of hundreds of fans.

Just like Estelle Archer, a fitness trainer, who, after having gained 115,000 subscribers, opened up her own fitness club at the request of her fans. These kinds of examples are becoming more and more common in this internet age.

However, before you make it this far, it will be necessary to first define your priorities. Do you want to:

  • Give in-home personal training sessions?
  • For companies?
  • At a gym or health club?
  • Online?
  • Explore one or multiple specialties?
  • Advertise on a personal website or a site for personal trainers?

It is also important to be able to show a professional training certificate or diploma to your clients. Such as a university degree, college diploma or certificate. In the UK, there are different options and specializations available. You could take a Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualification for example, which is similar to a GCSE and allows you to work at a gym or health club, or a Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification which is similar to a BTEC National Diploma and allows you to work for yourself as a personal trainer. Many certifications will allow you to work both in the UK and in some other countries but will take varying amounts of time to complete from a few months to years.

For more on the qualifications you need click here.

Becoming a Personal Trainer: How to Find Clients?

Before you leap into the wide world of personal fitness training, you will probably ask yourself some practical questions!

  • How will your personal training sessions unfold?
  • What kind of students are you looking for?
  • What prices should you ask for?
  • How should you organize your fitness courses for those looking to find a personal trainer?

But most of all:

Those who will hopefully bring you a steady salary month after month. Why not start by advertising yourself online? Through Gumtree, the internet, newspapers and/or social media, do not hesitate to post your rates and especially your specialties. Whether it be losing weight, muscle gain, strength training, cardio, sports conditioning, boot camp, nutrition, resistance training, injuries, and rehabilitation, stretching, youth fitness, pilates, cycling, senior fitness, toning, boxing, Zumba, yoga, kickboxing, running...

Also, why not try to build customers by networking through the college or university you attended? The power and usefulness of a school's professional network are not to be underestimated...

But most of all, like we mentioned above, the best sales and marketing tools for you to explore will be through professional teacher platforms such as Superprof, a personalized website, social networks, and a YouTube channel!

Characteristics of Successful Personal Trainers

Do you think you have what it takes to be successful in this rewarding career?

To undertake the responsibility of helping those who wish to lose weight, gain endurance, recover their fitness, keep a healthy shape, and follow a physical training program, all with the help of a personal trainer worthy of the name?

Top Qualities Fitness Trainers Need
Listening: a crucial component of the personal trainer profession!

What are the top qualities of a successful personal trainer? What skills should a fitness specialist possess?

It partly depends on your specialties and training, as all cannot be exactly the same... A personal trainer in a gym or fitness club will not have the same training as an in-home personal trainer, or a gym instructor, or a specialist with a sports science degree!

However, overall, when we talk about in-home personal trainers, here are the top 5 qualities to have in our opinion:

  • Have a good professional or university training to be able to build customized individual training programs and above all, avoid the injury of your clients.
  • Know how to choose the work environment that fits best for you: whether it be coaching for a company, in-home, online, outside (at a beach, park, athletic park, pool), or at a fitness center/gym. As well as choosing between group classes or individual coaching.
  • Be a great listener, because being a great personal trainer is also being a great coach. The psychological aspect, being able to transmit motivation and self-confidence to another, is essential!
  • Foster your own physical fitness, because it's clear that to be a personal trainer you be in top physical shape. Indeed, your own form and healthy body will be your ultimate calling card to your clients!
  • Think of your future: unfortunately, you won't be able to perform personal training sessions all your life. With old age will certainly come the need to diversify. It's up to you to envision a far-reaching career plan!

Personal Trainer Insurance

Let's dive even deeper into the world of personal training by focusing on a more "administrative" problem...

How should you insure yourself as a certified personal trainer?

Because in order to be a specialist in physical fitness training, wellness, conditioning, muscle mass gain, weight training, weight loss workouts, and be able to answer the question "How to get in better shape?", one needs to be insured!

By working with athletes or clients, personal trainers commit themselves contractually to take responsibility for the weight loss or physical changes of their clients. An important part of physical coaching is in the instructing of movement and physical actions and, as such, if the customer gets hurt in return, or the opposite results than which he asked to achieve, you could ask for compensation and the instructor could be liable...

During bodybuilding, weight loss, or strength and conditioning exercises, a fitness personal trainer engages all of their skills and expertise, and in return, the client puts their well-being and trust in their trainer's hands. In light of this, it seems insurance becomes inevitable and essential in case of an accident or injury.

To protect themselves, therefore, a personal trainer can turn to a few different types of valuable insurance depending on their specific needs: public liability insurance, employer's liability, business equipment, and directors and officers insurance, all of which will legally and financially protect the insured.

What Qualifications do I Need to be a Personal Trainer?

Let's continue to dig deeper into the course options for gaining a personal trainer certification.

Personal Training Certification
It’s back to the classroom to become an expert in personal training!

Firstly, although the name is widespread today, the status of "personal trainer" does not exist legally, nor is there any formal body to regulate it.

It is, therefore, quite possible to find non-graduated coaches on the market. Why not you?! Do bear in mind, however, if you decide to follow this route you might have to accept lower rates and perhaps a less enthusiastic customer base.

For the rest, it is possible to gain a personal training certification through awarding bodies such as CYQ, Active IQ and City and Guilds. These courses can generally be enrolled through the YMCA, colleges or private training schools (even online courses).

University graduates with an appropriate degree can also become qualified personal trainers through applying to the REP (Register of Exercise Professionals) and showing APL (Accreditation of Prior Learning) and APA (Accreditation of Prior Achievement).

How Much Money can a Personal Trainer Earn?

It's time to close this chapter by focusing on the unavoidable question, and certainly the most important for many of you: what is a personal trainers salary?

How much can personalized fitness coaching, sometimes performed in the home, bring in as income each month?

To answer this question on the wages of an in-home personal trainer, we first decided to reveal the price of a training session on Superprof: £32/hour. For the more than 800 individuals registered in this category.

It is true that, depending on the region, as well as the motivation and success of the trainer, the wage scale may vary a lot.

Between £2000 and £5000 per month for some organizations. From £1200 and up for a beginner coach.

However, it is possible to optimize your salary:

  • by presenting a professional degree or certificate
  • by working in areas and cities of the UK where higher wages are paid (London, Bristol, Edinburgh...)
  • by training celebrities...

And on that note, we now leave it in your capable hands!

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As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.