Personal Trainer Refresher Courses: Are They Worth It?

personal trainer refresher course

If you haven’t worked for a while, or simply want to brush up on your knowledge, you may be thinking that you need a personal trainer refresher course before you can get back to training clients. But this article will dispel this myth by covering topics such as:

The best way to develop or refresh your health and fitness knowledge is with specialist Level 4 Courses. You can begin with our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course, by combining expert nutrition advice with tailored fitness programmes to help clients reach their goals.

You can also browse our full range of courses by downloading our free prospectus here

What is a Personal Trainer Refresher Course?

There is a misconception that a ‘personal trainer refresher course’ is a specific qualification that revises everything you have already learnt in your Level 3 course but in a shorter amount of time. Whilst these courses do exist and sound appealing, they're not always worth the time and money! 

Instead, the best way to refresh your fitness skills is to take an additional qualification to expand as well as simply refresh your knowledge. As such, a ‘personal training refresher course’ can be used as a broad term covering any kind of extra qualification that boosts your existing knowledge and helps you gain more personal training skills

To become a personal trainer, you must have achieved both your Level 2 Gym Instructing Qualification and Level 3 Personal Training Course. Whilst this will give you a solid foundation of knowledge to enter the fitness industry, expanding your skillset with further courses is essential for career progression and self-development. 

Whether you’ve taken a few years out of personal training or simply want to take on more clients and progress your career, you may feel like you want to brush up on your skills and knowledge. If this is you, you may have come across ‘personal trainer refresher courses’ online. Whilst they sound appealing, they are not always as worthwhile as you may think!

In fact, specific ‘personal trainer refresher courses’ are hard to come by. Although there are some out there, you are more likely to see them offered by fitness companies such as Les Mills or CrossFit as ways to qualify you to become an instructor with them. If you do want to do this, check out our guide on how to become a Les Mills instructor

However, these are simply courses that qualify you to work for that specific fitness company. Whilst they are good for this reason, they do not actually expand your knowledge or skills to help your career as a personal trainer. In most cases, they are simply ways for the company to make more money! 

The fact that there are not many PT refresher courses out there proves that they are not popular for a reason! 

If you want to actually progress your career and expand your skill set, there are many other better ways to do so than these courses. Instead, the best way to ‘refresh’ your personal trainer skills and knowledge is through additional qualifications such as specialist Level 4 qualifications and CPD courses- which we explain later in this article. 

In short, for the purposes of this article, a personal trainer refresher course is any kind of course that helps you both refresh your existing skills and gain new ones, thus improving your career prospects! 


Develop Your Knowledge as a Personal Trainer

Continue developing your knowledge as a personal trainer with our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course!

Do I Need to do a Personal Trainer Refresher Course?

Before you launch into a personal trainer refresher course, it is important to think about exactly why you want to do it and what you want to get out of it. This will determine which kind of personal training refresher course you take. 

Many personal trainers start to search for a PT refresher course if, for whatever reason, they have taken some time out of personal training since qualifying. If you haven’t worked with clients for a while, you may be nervous about getting back into it.

These kinds of nerves and anxiety about getting back into the industry are only natural! But they can cause many PTs to jump straight into a so-called personal trainer refresher course, without actually considering if it will benefit them. 

Many personal trainers may not know that specialist or CPD fitness courses are actually more valuable! 

In fact, if you take your personal training qualification with OriGym, you’ll have access to an extensive range of resources to help you refresh and expand your knowledge even after you’ve qualified. 

That said, if you’re already a qualified PT and want to work for a fitness company such as Les Mills or CrossFit, then their company-specific refresher courses allow you to do exactly that. But as we have said, they don’t achieve much else!  

So if you're looking to gain more knowledge, delve into a specialist area of fitness or simply expand your career options, a typical ‘PT refresher course’ may not be for you. But as we will now discuss, there are plenty of better options available!

Enjoying this article so far? Here’s 3 more you’ll love:

How to Advance Your Career as a Personal Trainer

Once you are qualified, there are many other ways in which you can progress in your career as a personal trainer aside from a traditional PT refresher course.   

#1 - Specialist Courses

To make money as a personal trainer, it's important to continually expand your business. One of the best ways to advance in your career is to take a specialist course. Finding your niche and qualifying in a particular area expands your potential client base as you can take on clients with specific needs and goals. 

Once you have your Level 3 personal training qualification, taking a Level 4 specialist course opens up a whole world of career opportunities! With so many out there, there is a specialist course for you no matter your interests or career goals.

As well as learning new skills, they are a great way to ‘refresh’ your existing knowledge- so they can definitely be classed as a personal trainer refresher course. For example, OriGym’s nutrition courses start by recapping a lot of the nutrition content you would have covered in your personal training course. It is therefore a great way to cement your knowledge before going on to develop it further! 

Specialist courses will ultimately allow you to take on more clients. With this kind of qualification on your CV, you can market yourself to clients with more specific needs and fitness goals. 

For example, taking OriGym’s Level 4 course in Diabetes Control and Weight Management means that you will be qualified to create programmes for clients with diabetes. With 6% of the population (around 4 million people) suffering with diabetes, it opens up so many more potential clients to you! 

#2 - CPD Courses

Standing for ‘Continuing Professional Development’, taking a CPD course is another great way to improve your career prospects as a personal trainer. Since they focus on both recapping your existing knowledge and learning new skills, they fit our definition of ‘personal training refresher courses’. 

Not only do CPD courses enhance your employability, but they are hugely rewarding on a personal level too. Self-development is an important part of any job and helps to keep you focused and motivated in your career. Learning new skills on a CPD course is a great way to do this! 

Our Self Myofascial CPD is one of our most popular courses that can teach you how to perform advanced massage techniques to help clients warm up and cool down after a training session.

This also means you can offer this as an additional service that can help you expand your client base!

As well as Self Myofascial Release, OriGym offers a diverse range of CPD courses no matter your interests. From Kettlebells to Medicine Ball Training, there is a course for you! 

Where specialist courses take several weeks, CPD courses can be completed in a much shorter time frame. OriGym’s CPD courses are completed in just one full-day, so it really is a quick and easy way to refresh and enhance your personal training knowledge and skills. 

#3 - Online Personal Training

With more and more people working out at home, online personal training has become an increasingly popular career path. As well as expanding your client base, it is a great way to refresh your knowledge and skills if you don’t want to take another course.

Just like any form of progress, it is important to brush up on your existing skills before moving on to another career path. For example, if you are looking to start online personal training, you may find it useful to brush up on the business and marketing skills you learnt in your Level 3 personal training qualification before you start up your own online PT business. 

For more detail about how to train your clients online, check out our ultimate guide to how to become an online personal trainer here

There are many benefits of online personal training for both the client and for you as a PT. For the client, they can have all the benefits of a PT from the comfort of their own home! This also goes for you too- you can earn money from a session at home without travelling to a gym or paying a gym rental fee, saving you time and money! 


Develop Your Knowledge as a Personal Trainer

Continue developing your knowledge as a personal trainer with our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course!

How Personal Trainer Courses Can Help You Gain & Retain Clients

So now that you know what kinds of personal trainer refresher courses are out there, you may be wondering how they can help you gain and retain clients. Here are the 3 main benefits of refreshing and expanding your knowledge! #1 - You Can Attract a Wider Range of Clients 

Taking a personal training refresher course in the form of a specialist or CPD course is a great way to expand the demographic of your potential clients. 

This is particularly true if you are a freelance or self-employed personal trainer. Unlike PTs employed by a gym, you will be responsible for building your own client base. This can be difficult, so any way that the process can be made easier is surely a bonus! 

For example, taking a Level 4 course in Obesity and Weight Management means that you will attract a whole group of clients looking specifically for help with their weight. Without this qualification, you would not have otherwise had access to this market. 

Attracting a wider range of clients is good for client retention too. A client with a specific fitness goal is much more likely to stay with a PT who is qualified in their area of interest, rather than go elsewhere. Choosing a personal trainer is a long and time-consuming process, so if a client finds one they like, they are very likely to want to stick to it! 

#2 - They Can Help You Find Your Niche 

Taking a personal trainer refresher course in the form of a specialist or CPD qualification is a great way to find your niche in the fitness industry. 

Upon qualifying as a personal trainer, you will have a great foundation of knowledge and skills to enter the fitness industry. Specialising in a specific area of fitness is hugely beneficial on both a professional and personal level. 

Professionally, having a niche helps you stand out more as a personal trainer by giving you a unique selling point. This is ultimately what will attract potential clients and make them choose you to be their PT over the rest! 

On a personal level, finding your niche is also great for self-development and growth. Learning new skills and expanding your knowledge is an important part of any career. Plus, learning new things helps you stay engaged, focused and motivated! 

#3 - You Can Increase Your Prices

If you are employed by a gym, it is likely that your prices will be fixed. However, if you are a self-employed or freelance PT, it is up to you to dictate how much you charge for a session. And one of the main factors which can affect your prices is your qualifications! 

When choosing a personal trainer, people will be more willing to pay more for a more qualified, more experienced and more specialist PT, compared to one who has only recently qualified. The more qualified you are, the more sought after you will be!

You should detail all of your qualifications in your personal trainer bio, which will help justify your prices to your potential clients and is a great way to market yourself against competitors. 

When it comes to fitness qualifications, quality is just as important as quality. Potential clients may check the legitimacy of your qualifications, to make sure that you are educated to industry standard. 

That’s why all of OriGym’s Level 4 Fitness Courses are CIMSPA-endorsed and Ofqual-regulated, so that you can stand out in the fitness market and therefore charge more for your sessions!

Before You Go! 

So, it's clear a specific personal trainer refresher course is not always the best way to gain and retain clients. As we have discussed, specialist courses and CPD qualifications are in fact far more effective ways to refresh and expand your knowledge as a personal trainer! 

The best way to deepen your existing knowledge and build credibility as a personal trainer is with Level 4 Fitness Courses, starting with our Sports Nutrition Course. You can develop expert knowledge and combine nutrition advice with personal training programmes.

You can also browse our full range of courses by downloading our free prospectus here

Written by Alice Williams

Content Editor & Yoga Teacher

Alice graduated with a First-Class degree in French and Linguistics from the University of Leeds in 2019. As part of her degree, she spent a year living in France where she worked for a lifestyle blog, gaining professional experience in both translation and content writing. 

Alice is also a qualifiied yoga teacher, allowing her write from a place of expertise when it comes to yoga!

When she’s not writing or practicing yoga, she also loves running, cooking and music! 

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