Fast track PT qualifications - the tortoise or the hare?
You’ve decided to become a personal trainer, so what are the options to get qualified? It's the tortoise that wins hands down in the fitness business!
Many training companies (or ‘providers’) offer fast track courses which enable you to get certified in as little as 4-6 weeks. If you’re currently unemployed and can commit to full-time studying this may appeal to you, but there are a few points to consider before you make your decision.
Firstly, the Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training is the bare minimum qualification you need to begin working as a PT - it is effectively your license to practice. This is most often what is offered in fast track courses. When you first passed your driving test, how confident and competent did you feel? Would you have felt better with more practice and training?
To be successful in an increasingly competitive industry you need to have advanced skills, knowledge and experience under your belt. Make sure your training package includes not just the essential certificate, but extra content in areas such as functional training, client psychology and exercise for specific goals. If the provider claims to include this within their 4-6 week programme, question how much depth and detail they go into – can you really learn enough in that timeframe? Many will add one or two token CPD courses to the Level 3 certificate, but the School of Personal Training includes a comprehensive package of seven complete courses as standard in the Complete Personal Trainer Diploma, covering a variety of invaluable topics to help you succeed.
“I’m so glad my course went beyond the essentials – things move so fast in the fitness world I’d have been left behind if I hadn’t learnt all the additional skills the diploma offers.”
Our Level 4 Total Immersion diploma goes one step further, offering you four complete specialist tracks which will enable you to work in niche areas including pre and post natal, functional training, nutrition for sport and exercise and low back pain.
Does this sound like a lot to learn? That’s why you should take your time. This level of training is impossible to squeeze into just a few weeks as it is, but with the sheer volume of great knowledge you’ll be learning, taking it in stages will allow you to absorb the information so you fully understand and retain it – something that’s vital when your income depends on it. So that’s why our diplomas are structured as they are, with individual modules spread over a timeframe to suit you, giving you time to learn, revise and practice your new-found skills. E-learning makes up a large component of our diploma, which also makes our training ideal if you’re currently working or have other commitments as you can fit your studies around your lifestyle, when and where you want.
Our practical workshops run all over the country too, so you can choose the ones nearest to you.
“With a full time job, not only was it great to be able to study in the evenings and attend practical workshops at weekends, but when I moved from London to Manchester I could pick up my training by transferring to workshop locations nearer to my new home.”
A common option for our students is to begin working as a trainer once they’ve gained their Level 3 qualification and then complete their diploma whilst they gain valuable on-the-job experience. This helps to cement the knowledge from the courses. If you’re looking to make the leap from your current job to being a successful self-employed PT, this format helps to make that transition easier.
It’s worth bearing in mind that when we speak to the major gyms and employers in the fitness industry, many are pleased to hear we don’t offer fast track courses as they want to ensure the standard of personal training doesn’t fall. So whilst our approach may not be the quickest, it will give you the strongest foundation to be a leading personal trainer and can give you the edge when it comes to securing a position in the industry.