Updated: Jun 30, 2019
This is going to be a very quick post, but it's one that's been niggling in the back of my head so i just want it off my chest. Recently i was asked the best way to go about getting qualified and becoming a PT. 'Who did you get your qualification from?', 'Is online a better choice?', 'How long does it take?', and so on and so on.
The truth is that, in my opinion, there are 2 types of PT...
First, there are people who genuinely have no idea about anatomy, physiology, energy systems and wouldn't know their eccentric from their concentric, but they just happen to be in pretty good shape and think they may make a decent living being a PT.
Then there are the people that love going to the gym, training with friends, reading about fitness and watching youtube videos till 2am about how you should perform a good morning the best way possible.
Now, out of these two people, either one could be a great PT, or a PT that doesn't last 6 months. When it comes to gaining your PT qualification there are a few ways to go about it. You can look for the cheapest course online, enrol at college/adult college or do some research and look for the course online with the best reviews. I gained my qualifications at college and had extremely knowledgable tutors with around 50-60 years experience between them.
I have known PT's in the past that have gained their qualifications from all these avenues, and to be honest, i don't think the qualification is what matters, it's the type of person you are.
What people don't tell you when you start as a PT is that you not only become a clients trainer, you become their nutritional adviser, their councillor, their cheerleader, their ego booster, their verbal punchbag!
You become a lot of things and if you don't have the interpersonal skills to accommodate these social requests, then you will struggle to say the least.
Very much like when you start driving, the lessons teach you how to drive the car, but actually learning to drive and watching the road ahead for telltale signs of potential accidents is something you learn in time. The same goes for being a personal trainer, you learn as you go. I remember my very first client consultation, i was so nervous about talking to a potential client because it was something i'd never done before. But you get through it and you learn.
I think that ultimately it's on you to make sure you become a great PT by constantly trying to better yourself. You can do this by reading articles such as this one. You can listen to podcasts, watch youtube videos and ask questions. Most established PT's will be more than happy to answer questions if you have them because, we have all been there. We all started out with little to no knowledge of the ins and outs of personal training so just ask the PT's you work with.
In conclusion, the qualification doesn't really matter. The qualification you do end up going for will boil down to the cost, length of time to qualify and how it fits in with your day to day life.
If you decide you want to go for a reputable qualification provider then i would definitely recommend YMCA Awards.
For the UK i would highly recommend that your qualification is recognised by REPS as it is what most commercial gyms look for.
I hope this article has given a little insight and is helpful.
Please comment if you have any questions.