How to Become a Personal Trainer


  • Are you one those dynamic types, who like getting out, meeting people, and working in different locations?
  • Do you get a real kick out of helping people achieve their goals?
  • Is health and wellbeing something you feel passionate about?
  • Then perhaps you should consider a career as a personal trainer.

    Whether you’re helping people change their diet, take regular exercise, or smash a personal best in their favourite sport, as a personal trainer, you will have the skills and knowledge to help them get there.

    The qualities of a good personal trainer

    If you don’t like getting up in the morning, it’s worth reconsidering! The fact is most people exercise around their 9-5 day job. So you need to be flexible time-wise as you’re likely to work early in the mornings, during lunch hours, and in the evenings.

    You need to be supportive but firm. Clients want someone who takes time to understand their challenges. But they’re not interested in employing a pushover who lets them get out of sessions through regular ‘sickies’. This isn’t profitable if you’re self-employed either.

    It helps to be motivated and energetic. How are you supposed to boost client performance if you’re lack-lustre? As well as having the energy to keep your clients enthused, try to set an example and ‘practice what you preach’ through maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regime.

    What areas can I specialise in?

    Though personal training courses give you a strong foundation in anatomy, physiology, nutrition and psychology, you can go on to specialise in different areas.

    Sports coaching

    Some clients might be interested in running their first 5K. Others might want to compete in an Olympic triathlon or Ironman. Or you could be working with a sports team that wants to up their game.

    Regardless of the goal, it’s useful to have a recognised qualification in sports science if you want to go into sports coaching.

    On a sports science course, you will study the factors that influence exercise and sport. Through developing an understanding of physiology and anatomy, you will be able to assess your client’s capabilities. Then you can advise on the best combination of sports nutrition, psychology and exercise to help them achieve their goals.

    Sound interesting? Focus on this exciting field on our Level 5 Accredited Diploma in Sports Science, which will also set you up for a university degree.

    Sports psychology

    Ever wondered how Usain Bolt manages to keep on smashing world records. Besides those powerful muscles, hours of tireless training, and a diet of yams and superfoods, he has an unerring self-belief.

    He’s not modest about his abilities is he?

    But without that winning mind-set, it’s difficult for sportsmen and women to compete well. And overcoming fears and anxieties, and channelling energy effectively can mean the difference between a bronze and gold medal.

    In sports psychology, you will study emotions and attitudes – intrinsic and societal - that influence sports performance. Then relating these to of different sports, you can help clients effectively channel these.

    Interested in developing winning mind-sets - for yourself or other athletes? Check out our Accredited Level 3 Diploma in Sports Psychology.

    Sports nutrition

    Sports nutrition is a multi-million pound market. And it’s continuing to grow, worldwide. Little wonder that many people are now interested in finding out how to become a sports nutritionist.

    Whether it’s boosting protein for bodybuilders, electrolytes for endurance athletes, or developing low-carb Paleo diets for Cross-Fit enthusiasts, new science has transformed this market. So there are lots of career opportunities in this expanding field.

    Understanding how best to enhance sports performance, while letting the body repair and replenish, is a fine art. This is while being aware of what supplements and foods are legal for athletes on the sports circuit.

    With a sports nutrition qualification, you will develop an understanding of different nutritional requirements for body types and sports. Then you can advise a range of client groups on the right foods and supplements for optimum performance.

    Learn how to improve the performance of athletes including young people and women on our Accredited Level 3 Diploma in Sports Nutrition.

    What careers are available for personal trainers?

    As a personal trainer, you can go into a broad range of careers. If you do a course with a specialist focus, you can open more doors career-wise.

  • Personal trainers can find work with individuals or groups – either self-employed or at a local gym or sports centre. Online training is also becoming a growth area. So don’t be confined by your geography!
  • With a sports science specialism, you could find work as a sports coach – for individuals or sports teams. You might also consider sports therapy, teaching PE, or managing a fitness or outdoor pursuits centre.
  • As a sports psychologist, you could work with athletes, teams, and even children in schools. Another option is to go into research.
  • Specialising in sports nutrition, you could do research for a manufacturer, or work with different client groups to help boost performance.
  • We deliver a host of courses in health, fitness and wellbeing – many are professionally recognised and offer opportunities for progression. Search our website to find out more.