Is a Personal Trainer course difficult?

How hard is a PT course?

So, you want to start a new career? Something that you will enjoy. Something more fulfilling than your current job. You’re thinking about combining your love for fitness with your working day. You’re asking yourself, how hard is a personal training course?

Of course, career dreams eventually need to be grounded in reality. How exactly will I begin a career as a personal trainer and how hard is a PT course? If you’re here, it’s more than likely that you’ve researched, or even completed, your Level Two Gym Instructors Course. This is great news, congratulations! And now you’re facing the obstacle of another qualification to achieve your long-term career goal. The question holding you back…

How hard is a PT course?

I’ve got some good news, and some bad news…

The bad news is, I can’t tell you how hard you’ll find a PT qualification. Everyone is different, after all. The good news, however, is I can tell exactly what the course involves, the resources available to you, and how you can maximise your chances of achieving your goals and entering into your dream career.


Is it worth completing a personal trainer course?

In short, yes. Especially if your ambitions include beginning your own personal training business or working freelance with your own clients.

While a Level Two Gym Instructors course allows you to work in a range of different health and fitness settings, if you want to be hired as a personal trainer you need to have acquired your Level Three qualification. A PT course will prepare you for personal training with a broad skillset. This includes an in-depth knowledge of physiology, guides telling you how to prepare nutrition plans, and an awareness of how to effectively work with your clients, among other key modules.


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But more on that later.

The added depth is the main reason so many potential students end up delaying, looking for concrete answers as to how hard a PT course is. And, in truth, a PT course is going to be harder than a Level Two Gym Instructor course. But the rewards are also greater.

Currently, there are over 13,770 register personal trainers working in the UK . This may sound like a lot, and may cause you to wonder whether the competition will be too fierce for you to properly thrive. However, when you consider that there are now over 9.7 million fitness members in the UK alone, and that one in seven of us are a member of a gym, the potential for success is going to be worth the work, regardless of how difficult it is.


How do I prepare to do a personal trainer qualification?

If you’re asking how hard a PT course is, then you’re probably eager to learn how you can prepare for the course, right?

Well, most importantly, you need to have completed a Level Two Gym Instructor qualification. To do your Level Three, you also need to be at least eighteen years of age.

Aside from those essentials, really it’s down to you making the decision whether personal training is right for you. Have a read through our previous posts on personal trainer courses compared and the best personal trainer podcasts for some background information on the industry?

The key is to be absolutely sure in terms of personal training as a career path. There are the obvious skills that are going to help you along the way. A passion for fitness, motivation, communication with both clients and potential customers, but these traits are by no means exhaustive.

You will find that your transferable skills from past careers and everyday life are going to help massively, both during the course and in your career afterwards. This may include sales experience, good organisation, and an instinct for business opportunities.

Just remember, there is no specific type of person exactly suited to the PT course. Everyone brings their own skills and strengths.

The most important thing is that, regardless of your prior knowledge, during the PT course you will receive the materials and support to thrive.


How does a level three differ from level two?

At Level Two you are learning the basics, the foundations of what you will need to become a health and fitness professional. Level Three is all about the detail. Here is where you hone your expertise.

As an example, at Level Two you may study broader topics like the importance of healthy eating, whereas at Level Three you go into detail about macronutrients, micronutrients and exercise nutrition. Again, try not to be scared by this added layer of depth. It’s not so much about a PT training course being hard, or harder than a Level Two, it’s about there being new content to learn.

Remember, this content is designed specifically to prepare you for a successful personal training career. And as we will soon discuss, there will be a range of different tutorials and helplines to ensure your success.


What does the level three course comprise of?

Quite a lot, actually.

Ready yourself, this is the wordy bit.

At Origym, the PT course is split into four units giving a comprehensive overview of exactly the knowledge you need to become a personal trainer. Here’s the rundown:

  • Unit One: Advanced Anatomy and Physiology for Health and exercise. This will teach you about anatomy in specific relation to exercise and training. It will include aspects of the muscle, respiratory, and circulatory systems, as well as different types of muscle stretches and the principles of fitness in designing an exercise program.

  • Unit two: Application of nutrition to a physical activity programme. Here, you will learn about nutrition, both in relation to physical activity programs, and in terms of nutrient groups and macronutrients. You will also cover the foundations of setting nutritional goals for your clients.

  • Unit three: Programming personal training with clients. Evidently, this is more concerned with the personal communication side of a trainer’s job. You will learn about how to effectively collect information about your clients, and how to design specific programs that best match their needs.

  • Unit four: Delivering personal training sessions and demonstrating leadership skills. Unit four is kind of self-explanatory. This is the practical aspect of the course. How are you going to successfully coach your clients, what will you do with them in a gym setting, and how will you handle their goals and requirements once you have designed their fitness programme.

As you can see, Level Three is comprehensive, both in terms of the theoretical knowledge you will acquire and the practical skills you will gain. In order to measure your progress throughout the course, there are a range of different assessments you will take.

Assessments for level three personal training are ALL conducted in person in one of our UK wide training centres. Unit one and two are assessed through a multiple choice exam with a 70% pass mark. These theory assessments are conducted in exam conditions. But don’t worry, we will support you all the way and this is purely to ensure fairness.

Unit three and four are assessed through the completion of our learner achievement portfolio (LAP). This is a handbook you will complete throughout the duration of the course, and is worth 50% of your final Level Three qualification. What I’m saying here is, don’t neglect it!

Again, to help you out we run a range of practical training days. These are optional for you to attend and are designed so that you can try out your LAP plans in a real setting, before your final submission.

And breathe

What support will I receive?

Here’s some more good news, a lot! A lot of people who ask how hard is a PT course, think that they have to go it alone.

This is absolutely not the truth.

Here at Origym, you will gain access to a wide range of different media in order to help you achieve the best possible results. These include support videos, which will tell you where to start, and what exactly you need to do in order to pass each unit.

All the resources you will need to complete the course are also provided. These include the Learner Achievement Portfolio (LAP) which can be accessed on a range of different devices, and the Personal Training Manual, which contains all the theory and information you will need to pass our course.

There are also webinars, quizzes, mock papers, and interactive e-learning aids that break down the modules into easily digestible chunks. What you use is completely up to you. We offer so many options so that you can tailor your learning experience as you progress through our course.

On top of all of that, Origym has a six-day-per-week, email and phone tutor support team. If you’re ever struggling with a particular aspect of our course, all you have to do is get in touch and we will guide you through it.

Our pass rates reflect the quality of help and advice we offer our students. Origym has a 98% pass rate on our level three personal trainer course.


Rest assured, you’re in good hands.


What happens if I fail?

Don’t panic! We realise exams are stressful. There can be any number of different factors that prevent you from performing to your best on the day of your assessment.

At Origym, we have an unlimited free re-sit policy. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. And again, if you need it!


Where do I go from here?

So, you started by asking yourself “how hard is a PT course?” You know what you need to start the course. You know what the course involves, and what support you will receive.

Now it’s time to make a decision…

Beginning a Level 3 PT course can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. We also recognise that our students don’t study in isolation. They have lives and families aside from their ambitions to become a personal trainer. To help with this, we run a comprehensive and flexible programme of options, including full time study, part time study, online courses, and one-to-one tutoring.

Go download our FREE prospectus for more info on what you could be learning!


Enquire to Become a Personal Trainer

Follow Your Passion for Fitness & Start a New & Exciting Career

Written by Luke Hughes

CEO and Co-Founder

Luke is the CEO and Co-Founder of OriGym. Holding a first-class degree in Sport and Exercise and an MSc in Sport and Nutrition, he is also qualified as a Level 4 Personal Trainer with various specialist credentials covering the entire spectrum of health, fitness and business. Luke has contributed to a variety of major industry publications, including Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Metro, Cosmopolitan, The Mirror, The Sun, The Standard and more.