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What does a personal training course involve

What Does a Personal Training Course Involve?

You may know what the job of a personal trainer is but just what does a personal training course involve? There’s a lot more to becoming one than just spending hours in the gym all day. 

In this article, we’ll break everything down for you by answering the following questions:

If you’d like to jump right into a career in the fitness industry, Origym’s Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training is the best place to start! Our CIMSPA accredited course allows you to write and conduct training programmes for people of all fitness levels.

Otherwise, if you want to see the full range of courses we have on offer, download our FREE online prospectus here.

What Does a Personal Training Course Involve?

If you’ve found this article, then it’s likely you already know the importance of gaining a Level 3 Personal Trainer Certificate. This is a vital qualification for anyone wanting to become a personal trainer and find success in the fitness industry. 

It’s important to understand what exactly a personal training course will teach you as it goes far beyond just exercise and workouts. To become a top-tier personal trainer, you’ll need to have knowledge in a range of topics from human fitness and anatomy to nutrition.

Here at OriGym, our personal training course content is the same as other Level 3 Personal Trainer Certificates. However, the way in which it can be studied is where it differs. Whether you wish to study online, part-time, or full-time - the choice is entirely yours!

Our online option has become the most popular way to gain a Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification. It is an excellent choice for those with other commitments who may not be able to commit to full-time study.

By choosing to study with us, you will be covering the following personal training modules:

Advanced Anatomy and Physiology for Health & Exercise

Of course, every personal trainer needs to have plenty of expert knowledge about different muscle groups and how the body works! This is important for clients so you can manage their fitness goals and provide the most effective and rewarding plans to help them get there.

You will learn how different areas of the body respond to various types of exercise, and how to guide clients through effective stretching and flexibility movements. It also helps you understand the dangers of overexercising so you can warn clients about these risks and prevent injury.

Nutritional Principles

A healthy diet and a great exercise regime should go hand in hand. Vast knowledge on different food groups is essential for satisfying the needs of each client as they will all have their own special dietary requirements you must assist with. 

What is involved in a personal training course is more than just the workout aspect. Advanced nutritional knowledge on a range of diets, including vegetarian and vegan diets, will set you apart from the competition.

A balanced diet should be treated as important as a client’s exercise regime. Having the knowledge of how much of a substance the body needs and what it is used for is crucial when giving nutritional advice and guidance.

Personal Training Delivery

It’s unlikely you’ll make it as a successful personal trainer if you cannot communicate effectively with clients and motivate them during times when they aren’t feeling their best! 

Our personal training course content aims to make you an excellent personal trainer in all areas, including how well you interact with clients. This is vital for you to help them achieve their goals as they will look to you for guidance and inspiration.

Some clients require more enthusiasm than others. This area of the course is crucial for covering techniques to develop client motivation and guide them through goal-setting in the most fun and rewarding way by using your very own personal training plans.

Programming Training Sessions

When you first asked ‘what does a personal training course involve?’, this aspect of the course is probably more along the lines of what you may have had in mind. 

This personal training module will teach you how to design individual training plans with specific clients in mind, allowing you to use your newly gained knowledge to adapt regimes to fit their fitness goals.

You will be able to recognise what areas of a client’s body need specific attention and include special considerations for those with disabilities or certain requirements. Doing this will help them progress towards their realistic goals by using your tailored programmes.

Demonstrating Leadership

What this personal training course teaches you is how to lead by example and become the trusted advisor clients expect you to be. As a personal trainer, it’s important you are viewed as an inspiration to clients who are hoping to achieve their SMART goals.

You will be taught how to inspire and motivate ambitious clients in a way that isn’t arrogant or condescending. Being a great leader is about helping those who need it and supporting them as best as you can, which is what this area of the course will help with.

Learning the Business

If you’re wondering what is involved in a personal training course, you’ll be glad to know it doesn’t just stop at anatomy and nutrition. As we want you to have a successful career, this course will help you develop an effective personal training business model.

This area of the course will teach you everything from how a successful personal trainer market’s themselves to how they maximise business opportunities. 

Our aim is to provide you with everything you need to know about creating a long and rewarding career in the fitness industry by covering both the practical and business aspects.

Personal Training Course Assessments

What does a personal training course involve 2

To gain a Level 3 Personal Training qualification, you will need to complete some assessments first. Here at OriGym, our aim is to keep the assessments as engaging and enjoyable as the learning process that got you there.

Our practical assessments are run every month and can be completed at any of our 12 nationwide locations.

Online & Part Time Course Assessments:

The following assessments must be completed to qualify as a Level 3 Personal Trainer:

  • Multiple choice open book online exam on anatomy and physiology – 90% pass mark required
  • Multiple choice open book online exam on the application of nutrition – 90% pass mark required
  • Practical assessment on delivering a customised personal training programme - Pass required
  • Coursework on programming with clients, smart goals, client screening and progressive overview - Pass Required

Full Time Course Assessments

The following assessments must be completed to qualify as a Level 3 Personal Trainer: 

  • Multiple choice exam on anatomy and physiology – 70% pass mark required
  • Multiple choice exam on the application of nutrition – 70% pass mark required
  • Practical assessment on delivering a customised personal training programme - Pass required
  • Coursework on programming with clients, smart goals, client screening and progressive overview - Pass Required.

To ensure your assessments are stress free, you will receive plenty of support from our friendly and experienced tutors to give you the greatest chance of passing first time!

Is it Worth Completing a Personal Training Course?

The short answer - of course it is! A Level 3 Personal Trainer Certificate is a prerequisite for anyone looking to be employed as one. You’ll certainly need this qualification if you’re hoping to be a freelancer with your own clients or one day own a personal training business

While the Level 2 Gym Instructor course allows you to work in many different areas of health and fitness, this isn’t enough if you want to be a qualified personal trainer. Gaining a Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification equips you with the knowledge on a range of subjects.

This includes being able to effectively help your clients achieve their fitness goals, provide nutritional advice and guidance, and understand what areas of the body are impacted by what exercises.

While some individuals may be intimidated by the thought of a personal training course as it is more difficult than a Level 2 Fitness Instructor course, the rewards are much greater! 

It is invaluable what personal training courses will teach you and this knowledge will stay with you for your whole career.

Gaining a personal trainer qualification opens up more opportunities and increases your employment prospects. It provides you with more health and fitness knowledge, thereby increasing your experience within the industry.

The personal training course content is certainly worth it if you wish to expand your knowledge and understand exactly what your clients need. This qualification can also be used as a stepping stone towards more specialised fitness courses such as OriGym’s Level 4 courses.

As this qualification in health and fitness allows you to progress onto other courses that help set you apart from the competition, a personal trainer course is certainly worth it if you want to find success and longevity in the health and fitness industry.

Are There Any Entry Requirements?

To become a qualified personal trainer, first you need to complete a Level 2 Fitness Instructor Course. This creates the foundation of your fitness career by providing you with the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for becoming an excellent fitness instructor. 

You must gain a level 2 qualification to progress onto more specialised and advanced courses. However, here at OriGym, our Level 3 Personal Trainer Diploma is the perfect first step to launching your career in the health and fitness industry without any prior qualifications. 

This CIMSPA accredited course combines the Level 2 Fitness Instructor and Level 3 Personal Training Course so you can become a qualified personal trainer immediately after completing the course.

It’s also important to note that you need to be at least 16 years of age to be able to enrol on the course.

How Long is a Personal Training Course?

Now we’ve answered ‘what is a personal training course?’ you’re probably wondering just how long it takes to complete one. 

If you’re completely new to the industry, you’ll be pleased to know that if you choose to study the Level 2 and Level 3 courses full time, you can gain your Level 3 Personal Training Diploma in as little as 4 weeks!

However, if part time study suits you better, you can expect to complete the personal training course syllabus and gain your Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications in 12 weeks

Total online completion of the Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training will take 16 weeks. While this may take longer, it really is a great option for people who prefer to work at their own pace. 

Even though this may seem like a long time, it’s a small amount of time to dedicate because of what the personal training courses will teach you. What’s a few weeks if it leads to years of success?

Keep in mind, if you already hold a Level 2 Gym Instructing Certificate, you only need to complete a Level 3 Personal Trainer Course. To complete this course, it typically takes:

  • Full time: 2 weeks
  • Part-time: 6 weeks
  • Online: 8 weeks

It is possible to complete the personal training course in a shorter or longer amount of time than the averages provided but it depends entirely on the individual. 

However, 2 weeks is the absolute minimum amount of time needed to ensure you have all the expertise to start a successful and prosperous career as a personal trainer.

The amount of time it takes to complete the course and your experience with it depends entirely on your preferred method of study. Don’t fear! What the personal training course topics will teach you is exactly the same, no matter how long it takes you to complete. 

Still interested in becoming a personal trainer? Here’s some articles we think you’ll enjoy:

How Much is a Personal Training Course?

There isn’t a concrete answer to how much a personal training course costs as prices differ greatly among providers. However, on average personal training courses cost between £1500 and £2000.

At £1,199 for our Personal Training Diploma and just £999 for our Level 3 Personal Training Course, you can see OriGym is on the lower side of the average price range. 

While you may think personal training courses in general are expensive, if you’re serious about a career in the industry and want to be a credible personal trainer, then the price really is worth it! 

An expensive course does not always mean a great quality experience. It’s important to keep this in mind when deciding on a provider as the highest price doesn’t necessarily mean the service and personal training course content will justify the amount of money you spend.

Ever heard the expression, if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is? When looking for personal training courses, keep in mind there is a huge difference between a course being ‘affordable’ and ‘cheap’. 

It’s important to find the right balance between cost and quality but you should also be wary of courses that are marketed as free or at a very low price. We discuss all of this in further detail with our complete guide to free personal training courses.

The main reason for this is course accreditation and regulation. To put it bluntly, studying a course without either of these is a complete waste of time and money. If you’re serious about a career as a personal trainer, you must look for courses that are CIMSPA accredited.

Courses that offer comprehensive accreditation and competitive pricing such as OriGym’s industry-leading personal trainer diploma is one of the key components of finding the package that suits you.

You will only get a job as a personal trainer if your level 3 personal training qualification is regulated by the likes of NCFE, Active IQ, YMCA Awards, or Focus Awards. This is the first thing employers will look for when you apply for a job!

How to Choose a Course Provider?

#1 - Accreditation and Regulation 

As mentioned above, one of the most important things to look out for when choosing a personal training course provider is whether their courses are accredited and regulated by a respectable company.

Before wondering ‘what does their personal training course involve?’, you must first check it is regulated by an Ofqual approved awarding body. 

These awarding bodies include:

  • Focus Awards 
  • YMCA Awards
  • Active IQ
  • NCFE

The awarding body is the organisation that certifies you as a Level 3 Personal Trainer and actually provides you with the qualification. No matter how much time and money you spend, if it isn’t regulated by Ofqual, you’re wasting your time.

Once you find out the course is regulated, you’ll want to ensure it is accredited by a reputable fitness company. For example, all of OriGym’s courses are accredited by CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity).

While course accreditation isn’t compulsory, it’s a valuable thing to have as CIMSPA is very well-respected in the fitness industry. Gaining a qualification with this accreditation helps set you apart from the competition when looking for employment.

#2 - Location 

It probably goes without saying but something you should check when looking for a course provider is whether the PT course has a center near you.

You must be practical about travel, including the cost and length of the journey. Even if you decide to complete the course online, you’ll still need to travel to a center for practical assessments. 

When looking for a fitness provider, check how many locations they have and whether they’re established in different areas. For example, OriGym has 12 nationwide training venues across the UK and Ireland in many major cities, including Belfast and Cardiff. 

This makes it easier for those who choose to study with us as there are many different options. Other fitness providers will have fewer locations, so keep this in mind when choosing one.

#3 - Study Method

The best method of study depends entirely on the individual. Once you know what is involved in a personal training course, you must decide how exactly you want to study it. 

Most fitness providers have the following study methods and options available:

  • Full time
  • Part time
  • Online

The decision ultimately comes down to how much control you like to have. Would you prefer to be left alone to study the personal training theory or does practical learning suit you better?

All full-time courses are completed the quickest out of all three study options. These are completed face to face with tutors in classroom settings. 

Online study is led entirely by the student. It is largely down to the individual and requires a lot more motivation to complete the personal training course content and gain your qualification.

However, if you’d prefer speaking to a tutor but also think you’d enjoy the flexibility and freedom of studying online, you may find part time suits you best! This study option combines both practical and online learning by blending the two together. 

It ultimately depends on how much time you want to dedicate to studying and how fast you want to get qualified.

#4 - Resources 

Everyone studies in different ways so it’s important to keep this in mind when deciding on a fitness provider. What works for one student may not necessarily work for another and that’s fine!

It’s vital you choose a course that uses your preferred teaching methods and resources. It’s also important you know how exactly you’ll be studying - don’t just assume what materials you’ll be provided with for the personal training course syllabus.

It can be intense gaining any qualification and personal training is no exception. Don’t make it harder on yourself by committing to a course that uses study methods that aren’t your preferred way.

Sometimes certain phrases can be misleading and something such as ‘e-learning’ can be used in entirely different ways. The last thing you want is to be learning from nothing more than a load of dull PDF’s!

A good provider will use resources that are engaging and interactive to keep the student satisfied and their mind stimulated so they are more likely to pass. The materials a provider uses also shows how committed and trusted they are when it comes to their students.

An example of what you should expect from an experienced course provider such as the materials offered by OriGym is:

  • Online Lectures
  • E-Books & Electronic Manuals
  • Video Tutorials for Guidance and Demonstration
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Access to an Award Nominated Interactive Learning Platform

It should also be noted that all of our assessments are open book and completed online. You’ll be pleased to know, even after you graduate, you will still have unlimited access to all of these resources whenever you want!

#5 - Study Support 

The amount of time and support a provider offers to their students is very important in how trusted and dedicated they are to them passing the course. Different providers offer different methods of contact but this doesn’t always mean a course provider is untrustworthy.

If a course provider only has the option for online study, it’s important you check how quick they are to reply and the level of support they give to students. You can do this by checking out online reviews to see whether their availability matches what you have read.

Some providers may only allow for students to contact tutors through email and may even take days to reply. This could be stressful if you’re having issues with the personal training course content or need help before you can progress any further.

A good provider will allow students to contact them in different ways during most of the day. Here at OriGym, we offer a range of ways for students to contact tutors such as by email, phone calls, and our live chat box that is active seven days a week! 

All of our tutors are also qualified personal trainers themselves so not only will they support you by using their expert knowledge but they also understand the experience of gaining qualifications just like you.

#6 - Career Support 

Now you’ve long finished asking ‘what does a personal training course involve?’, you’re probably wondering ‘so, what happens once I get my personal trainer qualification?’

Something many students want to know when they begin any personal training course is what support is offered post-study. The early stages of a student’s career after gaining their qualification is very important for finding success.

The support of a trusted company can help students find employment and hopefully, a long and sustainable career in the health and fitness industry.

It’s important to know where you want your qualification to take you before you start studying. Only then can you decide on the level of support you want post-qualification and what exactly you’ll benefit from.

For example, if you are hoping to become a freelance personal trainer or would like to one day open your own personal training business, it would be more beneficial for you to check out providers who can give you advice and support on marketing strategies, sales techniques, and business. 

It’s vital you thoroughly examine different personal training course providers by checking reviews and their information in detail. Don’t be shy about asking them exactly what career support they provide either! It’s your time and money you’ll be dedicating to this venture.

Something to remember is that great career services can be expensive so it’s likely many cheap personal trainer course providers will cut this cost which won’t be beneficial to you in the long run!

#7 - Reviews 

Websites such as Trustpilot are there for a reason, so use them! While you can only trust your own personal experience, review sites are great for getting an idea of a particular business or company. 

As most people these days will check a company out on the internet first, online reviews can have a huge impact on the success and failure of a business. Neutral websites such as Trustpilot are great as they only show real reviews from verified customers.

You should always be suspicious of companies that don’t allow reviews on websites like trustpilot or who only have internal reviews on their own websites. This means they can pick and choose the reviews they want to display which isn’t truly reflective of a customer’s experience.

Of course, you shouldn’t let just one bad review put you off if there are a dozen other good ones. However, if the number of bad reviews outweighs the number of good ones then you should decide carefully whether or not that provider is the one you want to study with.

In contrast, if a company has plenty of positive reviews then it’s safe to say you can be assured they’re a trusted provider. For example, on Trustpilot OriGym currently has 1,143 reviews with 94% of them having a 5 star ‘Excellent’ rating. 

Keep in mind, the best service providers will always display positive reviews on their own website and on external ones, as they understand the importance of great customer service.

#8 - Extra Fees

There are other expenses to keep in mind when searching for a fitness provider. One thing to be aware of are certificate fees. 

Once you’ve found out what is involved in a personal training course and completed your studies, do you really want to be hit with an unknown bill?

We aren’t referring to the cost of postage here either. Some providers will charge a fee to receive your certificate, which can be an unexpected expense you may need to factor in.

It’s also important to check whether you are going to be charged for any admin fees. Of course, there will be some sort of down payment when you enrol. However, it’s important to know whether this is a deposit to reserve or secure your place on the course or just an additional fee.

These additional charges can be for anything, even something as simple as signing you up for the course. It’s always best to ask first whether these fees will be taken off the cost of the course. If the answer is no, it may be time to rethink whether this provider is the right one for you.

With OriGym’s all-inclusive prices, you won’t need to worry about any extra certification or administrative fees at the end of the course.

#9 - What Happens if I Fail the Course?

It may or may not surprise you that some course providers charge you for taking mandatory assessments. Some course providers will market themselves as having affordable prices but this is only because they haven’t included the cost of exams in the course price.

Many course providers have opposing opinions regarding resits and pricing. Some places don’t allow free resits, others have a limit on the number of times you can resit for free, and a couple such as OriGym, let you resit for free as many times as you need to!

Failing an assessment and then having to pay to resit can be extremely disheartening. Everyone reacts to exams and assessments differently, some may even find the personal training course syllabus more difficult than they thought.

Even if you are confident you’ll pass first time, having a free resit option is great for peace of mind.

Before You Go!

We hope that answers all your questions about what is involved in a personal training course. 

Now you have all the information about what you will be studying, why not turn your passion into a rewarding career?

If you’re interested in kick starting your career as a personal trainer, inquire about our Personal Trainer Diploma today or download our FREE prospectus to see what other exciting courses we have waiting for you! 

Written by James Brady

Fitness Writer & Enthusiast

James graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. His desire to find a place where he could combine his passion for writing and love of fitness is what brought him to OriGym. He believes his passion for daily exercise, especially running, is imperative in keeping him motivated and productive. As a result, he has a particular interest in the psychology of health and fitness and the relationship between physical and mental health. Outside of work, James enjoys reading, swimming, writing short stories, watching classic movies and has a keen interest in journalism and filmmaking.

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