What to look for in a personal training course

Personal training

Searching for a personal training course? It can be a minefield for those who are.

A fresh year is always prime time for thinking about change and putting new habits into place. January and February are understandably the optimum time for deals to be struck on personal training courses.

For anyone who has enquired about a personal training course, you’ll know just how keen the sales reps are to get you on board, with a flurry of follow-up calls, emails and sometimes even spammy looking texts.

There is a raft of advice out there for those researching it. Below are three websites with expertly put together content which helped to guide my own decision-making. I’ve not been cajoled into listing these and don’t even know who runs them. They are simply the most informative sites I came across during my own research that I want to share.

PT Cert

National Register of Personal Trainers

Which Personal Trainer Course?

A quick summary…

I found PT Cert to have some great guides. NRPT has stacks of interesting articles you can go through. Plus a huge section featuring workout tips and training guide materials. WPTC carries a very useful at-a-glance price comparison.

When considering a personal training course, the main factor should be to look for something that suits YOU and not a sales team.

While you’ll likely feel railroaded that you “must get these great deals now”, make sure it’s on your terms. It’s totally fine to mull things over and try for a deal later in the year. Jan-Feb is not the be-all-and-end-all. Chances are you’ll be able to strike a discount at most times of the year as sales teams will still want your custom.

Consider these points when researching your personal training course

  • What type of course do you want? Having tried a full online course in another subject before, I know myself well enough to see that I function best with a mix of online and real-world. We humans often need a little contact time with other humans! The more expensive options are regular, class-based days with tutors on hand. Somewhere in between – with some distance learning coupled with actual class time – can be a more affordable choice.


  • How quickly do you want to qualify? How in-depth do you want your knowledge to be? Some courses are sold on the fact they can be done in a matter of five weeks. A good piece of advice I received from a rep who is also a trainer, was that even though it can be fast-tracked in this quick timeframe, can it really be truly learned? Indeed, it’s hard to get your head completely around anything over such a short space of time. It surely works for some, but you may be one of those who likes more time building up your knowledge base.


  • How will it fit into your current lifestyle? There are options for personal training courses that run at weekends as well as during the week. One example I had was a full day of study on both Saturday and Sunday, every other weekend. That’s a pretty good basis for learning in decent time and still having some flexibility over your spare time.

Clearly any decision will mainly depend on the time (and money) you want to invest in gaining the skills to become a personal trainer.

I learnt of one course that will take you a full year to complete. This was at the very expensive end of the scale. I can understand the intentions behind this kind of more in-depth, considered and long-term training approach. But if you want to be getting onto the ladder and starting to earn in that time, it might not be for you.

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