Qualifications in fitness, strength and conditioning

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Monkey_Magic, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Please talk to me about courses and qualifications in health & fitness, and strength & conditioning.

    I’m curious to know things like which courses are worthwhile, which training providers are any good, the cost and study time required, etc.
    hewho likes this.
  2. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Names of specific qualifications will vary from country to country, but here in the UK your first port of call would be the level 3 diploma in personal fitness training. You can start at level 2 (certificate in gym instruction), but good course providers tend to include both as part of a package deal, typically priced in the region of £1200-£2000; most allow you to pay a reasonable monthly rate after putting down a deposit. The level 2 qualification permits you to work in gyms and health clubs and is a prerequisite for level 3, while the level 3 course will allow you to work anywhere and everywhere. Note that nearly every vacancy I have ever seen for fitness instructors requires the level 3 qualification. There really isn't one provider that is better than the others, despite claims put forward by each about how prestigious they are compared to their rivals.

    Most level 3 PT courses will also include a level 3 (sometimes level 4) nutrition qualification, but if not, the Precision Nutrition Level 1 qualification will cover most of your needs as a fitness instructor.

    For strength and conditioning, there are bachelor's and master's degrees in the subject, but you can bypass these by taking the Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach workshops run by the UK Strength and Condition Association (equivalent to the CSCS in America). There are about half a dozen workshops, at around £300 each, which focus heavily on Olympic-style weight lifting and power lighting techniques. You will need to complete all workshops successfully to qualify for the ASCC certificate.
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  3. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Depends on where you are?
  4. hewho

    hewho Valued Member

    spot on from Van Zandt!

    A few little points I'd add:
    Look for who the course is recognised by. In the UK REPS or CIMSPA are industry standard.
    If possible, look for a full time course. If your work/personal life doesn't allow for full time study, I would strongly suggest finding an online course that requires a minimum number of hours of shadowing a qualified instructor, as well as face to face workshops with your tutors.

    This site https://pdphub.com/ is exclusively REPS recognised courses.

    These guys Personal Trainer Courses & Fitness Qualifications | TRAINFITNESS have a nice variety of course options, plenty of CPD, and are reps recognised.

    What area of the industry are you hoping to get in to?
    Monkey_Magic likes this.
  5. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Thanks all for very useful info.

    I’m just exploring ideas at the moment, so info gathering before deciding if this is for me.
    hewho likes this.
  6. hewho

    hewho Valued Member

    I qualified at 18 as a level 3 personal trainer, and I've jumped around different roles in the nearly 6 years since. Class teaching can be lucrative, but it can be difficult to establish yourself, especially if you take over from a popular instructor.

    Personal training can be a tough gig, it's where roughly 20% of my paid time goes. This is partly by choice, as I got fed up of no shows, and partly by dint of the area I live and work in.

    70% of my time is 'gym instructor' in a leisure environment in Shrewsbury. It's an hourly rate, with set hours. Easy work, but you will spend a fair whack of time cleaning, tidying, and re-racking weights.

    The other 10% of my time is classes. Some are informal gym groups with regulars who come and go, some are more traditional exercise classes.

    Working in a gym instructing role has vastly improved my people skills. You meet lots of very interesting people, you learn lots of things, but it isn't well paid.

    If you go on to specialise in anything, physio, sports massage, strength and conditioning or the like, you'll increase your potential to earn, but it's not guaranteed. These courses are also likely to set you back a fair amount.

    If you're a confident swimmer, qualifying as a life guard is a great way to get hours in the leisure industry, and it's a good foot in the door.

    However it goes, there's a strong probability you'll want to keep another job for a while. It is an amazing job, and I've turned down better paying roles to be able to stay in the industry. If you have the passion I'd say 'go for it, and good luck!'
    Monkey_Magic likes this.
  7. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Thanks for more useful info. On a side note, has your knowledge as a personal trainer impacted how you train in martial arts?
  8. hewho

    hewho Valued Member

    It's definitely made me more aware of good form during any warm ups, or fitness sessions. It's also made me more critical of some training suggestions. On the upside most of my coaches are level 3 qualified themselves.
  9. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    You're lucky, because I rarely see MA instructors with a level 3 qualification. It doesn't seem to be how martial arts work generally.
  10. hewho

    hewho Valued Member

    It is luck more than anything, I didn't seek it out. I think it's a useful tool for instructors to have.

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