COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
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1. HOW TO BECOME A PERSONAL TRAINER - CLICK
The first is easy to answer. And there are many training providers who offer what you need. You need a recognised PT qualification that will enable you to register with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) or the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) at what is called level 3 (this is the level for a personal trainer).
2. HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL AS A PERSONAL TRAINER - CLICK
To answer the second part is a little more involved.
There is a big difference between what you need to pass your driving test and how to drive. Getting your level 3 personal trainer qualification is like passing your driving test. But learning how to become a personal trainer for real is something else.
However, unlike when you pass your driving test when getting your Level 3 award, you can’t just rely on "experience" to teach you how to be a great PT. Why? You likely won’t get that experience i.e. you will struggle to differentiate yourself from other PTs and attract paying clients or you will gain the 'wrong' experience working in a club as a basic instructor. How much is a personal trainer salary?
This is the problem with personal training. Members of the public want their trainer to be confident and highly competent to really help them achieve the results they desire. This is what is key when asking the question how to become a successful personal trainer.
3. HOW TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
1. Above and beyond your basic Level 3 you need:
a) To know how to correct common postural problems because so many people today have sedentary jobs and suffer with lower back problems and tight upper traps.
b) To be able to offer meaningful nutritional support and guidance given so many people struggle with this aspect of fitness and, nowadays, expect expertise in this area from their trainer.
c) To be capable, confident and insured to work with older adults and a range of medical conditions since today’s clients frequently present with ailments and you will need to be able to help them right off the bat.
d) To know how to and be experienced in delivering a range of different types of personal training (one-on-one and small group) in a range of different environments (gym, outdoors, client’s own home) – ideally on-course with members of the public before you qualify.
e) To be able to work with a range of different clients with a variety of different needs such as shape or weight loss goals, rehabilitation and health goals and sports or performance goals.
f) To possess internationally recognised personal trainer qualifications that will help you stand out from other personal trainers because being ordinary is not OK.
2. You should be properly prepared as a self-employed or freelance personal trainer to be your own boss. This means being trained well in BUSINESS.
3. You should be properly prepared for the demands of the 21st century where many clients only invest in paid PT once or twice a week. This means being trained well in COACHING to know how to motivate and manage behaviour between sessions not just in them.
MORE QUESTIONAS & ANSWERS - CLICK TO READ
WHAT ARE EMERGING INDUSTRY TRENDS?
When we look at annual industry reports from the US and Australia we see the industry moving into small group PT with group PT studios opening around the world and, with the advent of nutrition and lifestyle coaching, it is clear such an approach offers a more cost-effective solution for clients. Therefore, trends support the emerging role of the Personal Trainer outside of the traditional gym environment, but also within it - in a "freelance" capacity. Online services too are becoming more recognised and when combined with face-to-face delivery can offer longer term solutions for clients with a focused 10 week challenge-style approach for example accumulating in an online membership and maintenance program to support them thereafter. Therefore, when asking how to become a Personal Trainer today, this is certainly more than it has been in the past!
WHAT TRAINING DOES A MODERN-DAY TRAINER REQUIRE?
The modern-day Personal Trainer must be a motivation and lifestyle coach. Your role is to influence behaviour when you are not around. Your role is as an exercise specialist and nutrition coach and the modern-day PT is a health professional. The job is much more than just supervising gym exercises, but is about facilitating lasting change, training clients in a range of environments, using a range of delivery formats (one-on-one, small group, consultation, online, telephone-based). A good personal training course ,therefore, delivers to this end and teaches more than the basics of qualifying as a personal trainer but how to become a great personal trainer and stand out as one.
WHY A LIFESTYLE APPROACH - THE DEMANDS OF A 21ST CENTURY PT?
Increasingly members of the public are aware of how to work out, what to eat but can become overwhelmed with the amount of information available to them online. Therefore, increasingly fitter people do not need the services of a Personal Trainer, certainly not for ideas about how to train. Instead, Personal Trainers are reaching out to less fit clients offering increasingly more cost-effective and time-efficient solutions and, therefore, are becoming paramount in the fight against type 2 diabetes and obesity. Central to this fight is their capability in lifestyle change - this is the focus of our training at the European Institute of Fitness.
WHY BASIC REPS TRAINING WILL LEAVE YOU UNDER-TRAINED TO DO THE JOB?
Basic REPs 3 training is gym-based, does not focus on this lifestyle role, is limited to one-on-one training formats only, and is little more than an extension of the gym instructor role. The focus is on theoretical knowledge only, with multiple choice assessment and course work replacing real-life and applied experiences. Many Personal Training courses add a little training to their gym instructor training assuming a personal trainer is an upgrade to a gym instructor, and this is a problem. Personal Trainers are not advanced gym instructors. Their role is much more involved and therefore the training to qualify as a personal trainer must be more comprehensive and indeed specific.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO I GET WITH EIF?
We deliver a tailored curriculum above and beyond the national standard (level 3) but, of course, still providing exactly what you need to register and practise as a Personal Trainer. Where we differ from all other training providers is that our Master Trainer course goes way above this standard enabling those qualifying to stand out and feel much more competent and, of course, confident than other trainers. Our graduates gain their Active IQ Diploma in Personal Training (Level 3) as well as being awarded our EIF Master Trainer and ACSM endorsed Fitness & Nutrition Coach certifications and Exercise Specialist, Nutrition Coach & ILM endorsed Business qualifications all wrapped up in our MAster Trainer, MAster Coach and Business Mastery awards.
WHERE CAN I WORK AFTER I GRADUATE?
Our courses are truly international and we have graduates in all of the following countries; Bahrain, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brazil, USA, Canada, Italy, France, Monaco, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Sweden, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Australia and of course all cross the UK. We are both REPs UK and eREPs (Europe) approved and with the introduction of ICREPS (International Confederation of Registered Exercise Professionals) offer access to other registers around the world such as REPS NZ (New Zealand) and Fitness Australia, for example. When you become a personal trainer with EIF you open up a whole host of opportunities.
WHAT CAN I DO AFTER I GRADUATE?
Most of our graduates go on to run their own mobile or home-based PT business, training clients either outdoors or in their own homes. Many go on to open their own small PT studio with others combining the two. Some certainly work in a gym or health club chain and many travel with their qualifications. Some graduates work in a spa or hotel, others have travelled the world on a cruise ship. Some graduates have developed their own online PT business with others working in corporate wellness. Some graduates set up and run their own BootCamps, others combine this with their Yoga or Massage backgrounds, and still others create their own unique fitness and wellbeing centres or retreats. There are lots of opportunities and the industry is growing.
WHAT ABOUT L4?
OK, our EIF Master Trainer award takes Personal Training to a much higher level and is responsive to the changing nature of Personal Training in the UK with Lifestyle Coaching and Business incorporated as standard. All of the content of Level 4 is included in our Master Trainer program.
You an continue your studies with us, if you decide, and gain your L4 MT upgrade after you finish. This requires a further 16 weeks ongoing study and completion of a real-life case study. All level 4 course require a gap between finishing level 3 and beginning level 4 to gain industry experience first. NO training provider can qualify you as level 4 without such a gap and level of experience. The good news with ourselves is that the content is delivered during your Master Trainer program alongside industry experience in our PT clinic, meaning you can enrol immediately if you decide and only need pay an administration fee for the 14 week program and certifications. Please ask for details.
WHAT LEVEL OF FITNESS DO YOU NEED TO ATTEND THE COURSE?
Whilst it is important to practice what you preach and therefore live an active and healthy lifestyle being muscle bound or having the perfect bikini body is NOT required. Far from it. Today many members of the public turning to Personal Trainers and Lifestyle Coaches can feel intimidated by fitness and can warm to trainers and coaches who are perhaps more “real” and approachable and preach wellness and happiness through fitness rather than body perfection with a no pain no gain mentality.
WHAT ACADEMIC BACKGROUND DO STUDENTS HAVE WHO DO THE COURSE?
We do NOT require any formal background in fitness or science. Our courses are designed to provide all the training and support our students’ need without prior qualification or related background. Of course if you have got a sport science background or already possess fitness qualifications this will hold you in good stead and enable you to really refine your knowledge and capability as a trainer. But for those who do not -we offer pre-learning that can be accessed prior to the course to begin to bring you up to speed with basic anatomy and physiology for example and always offer additional tutorials and support during the course for those who need it. We provide a non-intimidating and supportive environment conducive to learning and are able to offer due to our set up as a small but supportive organisation the help our students need to change their careers and indeed their lives. Whatever your background if you are passionate about fitness and want to become a personal trainer our personal trainer qualifications are focused on a practical-based approach to ensure your success.
WHAT IS THE AGE LIMIT TO BECOME A PERSONAL TRAINER?
Our students come in all shapes and sizes and of a variety of different ages. Our youngest students are 18 (minimum age) and our oldest students have been in their sixties. Our online course attracts a slightly older student with many in their thirties and forties but often with students in their fifties. Our residential courses have a slightly younger average age with many in their twenties and thirties but nearly always with students in their forties and again fifties. The environment certainly isn't at all intimidating and we would be happy to talk with you in person to help clarify whether they might be suitable for you.
HOW DOES THE ONLINE HOME STUDY PROGRAMME WORK?
Our home study programme is like no other. Firstly, you are NOT just left to your own devices to struggle through a great big manual or library of DVDs. Our experience with home study courses before we launched our own home study programme more than 10 years ago was that most people just never reached the end, and when they did were either lacking in confidence to actually use their new qualification (and certainly inferior to those who studied full time). However, many potentially great personal trainers just can’t study full time. This is why we created a fully tutor-led format to actually teach home study students how to become a great PT.
Our online format enables people to log into our Virtual Classroom each week and receive 4 hours of real-time tuition to properly engage with the material. Every live session is recorded in case people miss so they can easily catch up but when students are indeed able to attend live they can interact and ask questions in real time and so learn in a much more engaging way than on their own.
Our online programme also offers the structure people need to stick with the pace and therefore gain their qualification quicker and so start training clients for money sooner.
Our belief is also that one can’t truly qualify as a Personal Trainer without significant practical training. At the end of the day Personal Training is a practical-based discipline and therefore we require all home study students to attend an 14-day practical with us to really learn these skills.
The residential nature of this intensive practical enables us to deliver a substantial amount of training offering a real life PT experience with members of the public and helps our home study students therefore qualify just as confident and competent as our full time students and therefore equally enjoy the benefits of being a sought after and reputable trainer.
We couldn’t achieve this by replacing our intensive practical into weekends or evenings only, and feel our duty as a training provider is to absolutely ensure all students can be successful in their new chosen career once they graduate.
WHAT DO I NEED TO WATCH AND PARTICIPATE IN THE ONLINE SESSIONS?
All you need is an internet connected PC or Mac or mobile device (iPad or Android) to watch the live sessions. Recordings are flash and require a flash enabled device or can play on Puffin browser (downloadable from app store).
WHAT IF I CAN’T MAKE THE INTENSIVE PRACTICAL?
Again, not a problem. You can sit any of the practical intensives we run throughout the year.
WHAT OTHER MORE ADVANCED COURSES CAN I DO AFTER THE COURSE?
Firstly, our course is sufficiently inclusive and extensive that our students do NOT need to add on extra training or qualifications in the first instance. Far from it they are properly prepared to start earning and changing peoples’ lives immediately after they graduate. That said we do run two additional advanced courses in business and in coaching (lifestyle). We provide ongoing support in the form of resources available to all graduates, a regular webinar program, email and phone-call support when you need it and a dedicated closed Facebook group so you can interact and find support from other EiF trained professionals.
HOW LONG HAS EIF BEEN DELIVERING COURSES IN FITNESS?
We have been delivering Personal Trainer courses since 2005 with our founder and tutor on our courses still today, Darren Tebbenham, for a further 5 years prior to this. We were the very first "fast-track" provider offering accelerated learning courses in fitness. We were previously based in Spain and at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, although please note we no longer run any personal trainer courses in Spain at all. We were also the very first EHFA (European) approved training provider.
WHAT ARE THE ASSESSMENTS I HAVE TO COMPLETE TO PASS THE COURSE?
Our assessments are ongoing and combine both written and practical assessments. There are 2 sets of multiple choice assessments and related portfolios (coursework) to gain your Active IQ and then our EIF Master Trainer theory assessments (short answer and case study-based) with practical assessments to pick up your full EIF Master Trainer award. If you stumble at all during the course, you can re-take the assessment again without charge and gain personal tutor support prior to ensure you pass all assessments on time.
WHAT ARE EIF’S PAYMENT TERMS?
We require full payment to secure your place. Places are limited and small deposits, unfortunately, won't be able to reserve a place. In the event you are enrolling on a course in advance, it is possible to spread 50% of your fees over several months dependent upon approval.
WILL I COPE WITH THE INTENSITY?
Although the course is intense, the applied nature of the delivery helps students digest the material quickly. There are plenty of tutorials and the environment facilitates group revision and plenty of opportunity to relax and digest all information provided. A range of teaching and learning techniques are used to ensure no student is left behind with all delivery being practical-based.
WHAT IS STUDENT PT CLINIC?
Student PT clinic is the European Institute of Fitness’ unique facility to provide every student ample opportunity to refine their skills with paying members of the public helping build the confidence they will need once they graduate. You will work with and accumulate 15-20 hours of real-life experience before you graduate!
WHAT IS WRONG WITH CHOOSING A CHEAPER PROVIDER?
Cheaper options simply won’t prepare you with any experience with members of the public, don’t have a strong lifestyle coaching element running throughout the course, don’t always offer PT box or TRX and Swiss ball training, certainly don’t have small group PT and specific populations included as standard and don’t have the business training we do - not only during the course but during your first 12 months after graduation. We can only provide all of this because of the residential nature of our training.
WHY DON’T OTHER PROVIDERS OFFER RESIDENTIAL COURSES?
To run a residential school requires a great deal more effort, expertise and commitment than running courses from a local health club with a nearby classroom. That’s not to say all such courses are poor, they just don’t offer what we can offer by bringing people away from distractions, immersing them in an experience as we do.
With many providers delivering training from between 10 and 30 centres and therefore graduating more than 2000 students a year each - the risk is also that you become just another REPs 3 trainer with the exact same qualification as every other student graduating from such organisations.
Our own specialised course curriculum has developed over many years and veered away from the traditional instructor-orientated courses commonplace across the UK and, instead, we offer a unique and PT-specific curriculum that includes level 3 but reaches out way above this level. We are able to accomplish this by running just a single PT school in the UK and optimising students learning by being residential.
WHY DON’T OTHER PROVIDERS RUN A PT CLINIC?
Again, if one’s focus is on training the masses then creating something like PT clinic, that takes a lot of administration, organisation and therefore effort, just doesn’t become a viable option for other organisations.
WHAT IS COVERED IN BUSINESS?
Our business training ensures students know exactly what to do in relation getting registered and insured and then busy with clients. We cover marketing and website development, sales, client management and business growth. We look at how to get the most out of social media, auto-email campaigns, product development and packaging and work with you to create your mini-business plan before you leave however large or small.
WHAT SUPPORT WILL I GET AFTERWARDS?
All graduates gain access to our private Facebook group to network and get support from other EIF Master Trainer graduates (several hundred active professionals in the group). You get access to a range of materials such as health appraisal forms, programme cards, food diaries and 64 pre-prepared recipes hand-outs for your clients. Graduates can attend our complimentary online business seminar programme, gain access to previously recorded webinars and can call in and ask for help at any point.
WHAT IF I CAN’T AFFORD THE COURSE?
Although we may be able to help to spread payment if booking in advance, we do not offer any finance packages. Most students who do take finance options with other providers over 5 years or more to fund their training or even government initiatives so their training is "free" often find themselves studying with in large classes with far too many other trainers and then get qualified with the exact qualification as everyone else, unable to find work. Meaning you get what you pay for. We suggest taking a personal loan and then ensuring you pick a course that qualifies you quickly, thoroughly and one that focuses on your ability to earn not just learn so that your investment pays dividends in the end. Going for the “easy” options rarely works out.
WHAT IF I HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS?
If you have further questions, and you probably do, we advise making an appointment with one of our team to get that all-important straight-talking guidance you probably need to make a truly informed decision about your future.
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