L2 Gym Instructor Training with TrainFitness

Becoming a gym instructor with TrainFitness - A Pretty Place to Play, London Running and Fitness Blog

Never one for a quiet life, as soon as I completed the first year of my PhD it was on to my next project - spending my summer training to become a PT with TrainFitness. There’s a couple of reasons I wanted to take on this challenge; you already know I’m passionate about movement, but I want to really understand how to train effectively and safely, I love working with people to help them recognise and reach their potential and becoming a personal trainer offers me the opportunity to do this and work flexibly around my research.

I’m studying part-time, which comprises home study plus a part-time clinic where I get face to face input from a tutor. There are tonnes of different courses out there - online, part-time, full-time - but I went for this option with this provider because I felt it was important to have face to face interaction as I want to make sure I’m doing everything safely and with the best technique, and also because the TrainFitness gym where clinics are held is really convenient for me. I did do a lot of research about providers before I signed up with TrainFitness, but honestly they all seemed much of a muchness and essentially they all follow the same curriculum, so it’s all down to what works for you.

The first step in training to become a personal trainer is to complete L2 gym instructor training. Over the last five weeks Monday and Tuesday evenings, plus a huge number of hours of my own time, have been given over to developing the skills and knowledge to plan and prepare gym-based programmes for apparently healthy adults, to conduct consultations and to work with clients to motivate and support them. It’s been intense, interesting and frustrating all at once, and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the last five weeks.

  • It’s not always made clear, but you are expected to have worked through the online course BEFORE you start attending clinic. I didn’t know about this, and even when I found out I was busy finishing first year of my PhD so didn’t have time to get through the work. This made the course more stressful than it should’ve been.

  • I, perhaps naively, thought clinic would be more like a lecture. While you do spend time running through the concepts covered by the course it is revision, not teaching.

  • Don’t underestimate the time commitment. The format of the course demands a lot of hours - seven hours a week in clinic and several hours work on each of the online units. It can be a slog, it will be worth it.

  • The course jumps around quite a lot, moving from anatomy and physiology to client care with each lesson. This can make it tricky to assimilate and build concepts so I found it helpful to consolidate everything together in one document once I’d finished the online modules. I’ll do a post about how I did this soon.

  • Because of the structure of the course it can feel like there’s a lot more depth to the material than there actually is. I found this overwhelming, but again it helped to consolidate the information so you can get a better feel for everything.

  • If you want feedback you need to ask your tutor, especially around your form in the gym (which you will need to nail for your practical exams).

  • Practice, practice, practice - practice delivering workouts, practice your lifting technique, practice answering multiple choice questions - the more practice you get in, the more confident you’ll be on test day. It is just like training for a marathon, you practice over time and then you deliver the performance.

Training to become a fitness professional is a lot of work, and it should be because you are dealing with people’s bodies, but it’s totally worth the commitment knowing that in a few months time I’ll be in a place to help people live their best lives through movement.