As of December 2015, according to IBIS World Market Research, the Personal Training industry in the UK has shown an annual growth of revenue to over £611m and includes over 20,000 personal trainer businesses with over 22,000 employees. Fitness programmes have become more varied and diversified with groups such as Zumba, Bar Class, and Spinning.
What does this mean to becoming a male or female personal trainer in the UK? This means that the industry is competitive and requires one to gain a competitive edge as they enter into the fitness and wellness industry. This means enhancing specific attributes that will align themselves ahead of the curve.
As a female personal trainer, there may be immediate advantages from the get go as compared to a male, when the following characteristics apply:
- Comfort with female clients in an intimate setting
- Personal experience in childbirth and postpartum exercises
- Trust building and communication strength in group training sessions
Female Personal Training
It is not easy all the time for female personal trainers – they can face sexism, or worst of all, not being taken seriously. Female clients will either love them or hate them, or merely want to see a ripped male in a t-shirt. There is no accounting for taste or quality of training!
On the opposite end of the spectrum, personal trainers of both genders, alike, will need to focus on the fundamentals of personal training. To enhance one’s competitive edge in building a reputation and career in personal training, there are several key categories. Therefore the ability to look at the entire marketplace becomes critical:
- Dietary plan
- Overall wellbeing
To be a personal trainer is to go beyond lacing up the trainers and hitting the pavement, but rather take a look at the client and develop a full picture of how to better them as an athlete and person as a whole. To be a personal trainer, or PT, one must have a basic understanding and experience in fitness.
This does not mean that one needs to have done marathon after marathon for years previous, but must have a strong foundation for fundamentals in fitness, and perhaps more importantly, the ability to communicate those fundamentals clearly to the candidate that will be standing in front of them.
Requirements of a PT?
Beyond a foundation in fitness, being a PT requires aptitude in food or diet knowledge, not in depth, just the obvious basics. Understanding the difference between protein and gluten is a starting off point, but it goes much further. A PT should be able to understand the relationship between inputs and outputs of the human body. This relates directly to the client that a PT is working with and with whom they are developing a fortified relationship.
The best way to a client’s heart is through their stomach as one may say.
The next level of relationship in identifying as a personal trainer is developing overall wellbeing with a client. This part of the client-PT relationship pinpoints improving lifestyle and motivation as a new level of fundamental.
Moving beyond fitness and nutrition, lifestyle changes such as monitoring sleeping habits or pub visits becomes an integral part of defining what success looks like at the end of the client-PT relationship.
Next, we will look at how the picture changes in what a personal trainer is and has become.
What is a Personal Trainer?
The definition of a personal trainer has evolved over the past decade to go beyond training candidates until they are shattered. Getting a good sweat out of a workout is important, but the relationship and focus around multiple elements with a client becomes absolute in developing a core business strategy.
In addition to developing a client-based programme for fitness, food, and wellness, the ability to create a trainer-client relationship allows for trust and retention, which equates to profit on both sides at the end of the day.
Relationships with clients create a new atmosphere of a freelance personal trainer, breaking away from previous franchise models.
Social media and word-of-mouth marketing stems from relationships derived from being a top notch trainer. So now, in addition to being one who manages and builds a client’s fitness plan, diet plan, and wellness plan, they must become a business advocate for themselves and exhibit characteristics such as marketing, management and financials.
Utilising resources such as the National Register of Personal Trainers, one can develop a personal trainer profile and enhance an additional competitive edge to stand out from the crowd, gaining access to multiple features, up to and including:
- Introduction and Qualifications
- Email and Website Connection
- Training locations
Each feature available in profile creation then allows a personal trainer to become marketable. Displaying attributes directly relatable to those searching to better themselves through the relationship of a PT.
Benefits of a Personal Trainer
Two hemispheres combine together in a relationship between physical trainer and client, and benefits emerge on both ends of the spectrum. First, why would a person look to utilise a personal trainer? Benefits of having a PT that is qualified and experienced, allows a client to gain a sense of assessment on their level of fitness and develop and attain goals through a tailored regime designed specifically for them. In addition to the benefits that one receives as being a client of a personal trainer, the PTs themselves also receive benefits through the process.
By being a freelance personal trainer and breaking away from franchise relationships, one has the ability to potentially maximise profits.
The risk and upkeep on personal marketing and brand development is high at first, However the reward of not having to pay initiations or dues pays off as clients come in. The idea of being a mobile personal trainer becomes a benefit in and of itself.
The opportunity to shift from one centre to another for multiple clients gives spontaneity and uniqueness to days that may otherwise have been mundane if stuck in one centre as franchise PT’s may face.
Summary of mobile personal trainers:
- Developing relationships in multiple centres and/or your own fitness space
- Breaking up the mundane
- Diversification in client relationships
- Personalisation and training programme customisation opportunity
- Brand development and market outreach over greater geography
Benefits of being a personal trainer and being with a personal trainer as a client are vast and unique in each relationship and it is exciting to be able to discover these new benefits as each day passes. Now, let’s take a look at what it takes to lace up the trainers and step into the role of a personal trainer.
How do you become a Personal Trainer
There are vast benefits and opportunities available to those who seek the title of Personal Trainer. Before one simply goes and starts to motivate and build relationships with clients as a PT, there are four requirements that must be met in the UK to hold the title of Personal Trainer:
- Receive a Level 2 Gym Instructor Certification
- Receive a Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification
- Hold a valid First Aid Certificate
- Maintain Personal Trainer Insurance
Training for a Level 2 Gym Instructor Certification can typically be done within six weeks if studying part-time. Or within eight days if done on a fulltime basis. The most challenging designation to be earned for one who aspires to become a Personal Trainer is that of the Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification. This can take up to five months to prepare if done part-time. Or potentially 3 weeks if done in a fulltime regime. First Aid Certifications and Personal Trainer Insurance can be easily accessed and met as a qualification with countless options available throughout the British Isles.
First aid certifications and personal trainer insurance are relatively manageable to acquire. It will however, take dedication and studied efforts to attain both the Level 2 Gym Instructor Certification and the Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification. Luckily, throughout the UK, there are various courses and training sessions available to aid in this quest. They will even help to get even the most novice of individuals prepared for the exams.
Conclusion On Being A Trainer
There are skills that one should possess within their repertoire before beginning the journey. It is quite simple. Ask yourself, do you hold these personal trainer skills?
Do you enjoy interacting with people of various backgrounds and abilities? Are you interested in working in an atmosphere that can change every day and present new opportunity? Does being able to look in a mirror and see your boss sound appealing?
If you answered yes to these questions, then you may just have what it takes to be a personal trainer. Start changing the lives of others who are looking to be inspired or motivated to better themselves. Take hold of the resources available and grab your share of the £611m (and more) in revenue derived from the personal training industry in the UK.