Become a Gym Instructor
Become a Gym Instructor
– I’ve been interested in fitness since Men’s Health first launched in the UK back in 1995, which is showing my age a bit. Since those days my interest in health & fitness has grown and I’ve always kind of wished that I had pursued it as a career rather than working in I.T. as I do today.
I guess the appeal of always having fancied becoming a fitness instructor or personal trainer is partly due to being your own boss and helping people to get fitter, healthier and happier through doing something that I genuinely love.
Since I started blogging early last year this interest has peaked, so when I was approached by a health & fitness training company Discovery Learning to see if I would be interested in taking their Level 2 Gym Instructor training course I of course jumped at the opportunity.
The Level 2 Gym Instructor course is a nationally recognised qualification within both the fitness industry and also with REPS, the register of exercise professionals. It’s generally considered to be the first step towards becoming a qualified personal trainer and most chain gyms require you to have Level 2 as a minimum before you can work with them.
The course is broken down in two components. Theory and Practical and you need to pass both in order pass the course and to receive the certification.
The theory part, as it sounds, requires working from the Level 2 Workbook completing a series of worksheets that get sent off for marking and preparing for the exam at one of the attendance weekends. This part is also broken down into two parts, Mandatory units and Gym Based Exercises.
The mandatory units cover topics from the skeletal, muscular and cardio-respiratory system. Practical information for fitness professionals, health & safety and client welfare. With the gym based component focusing on training your client, health screening, exercise library and guidelines to planning an exercise session all of which you’ll put to good use in the practical assessment.
After you sign up for the course you’ll be sent your training folder containing all the chapters you’ll need to work through along with worksheets, exercise guide and other useful resources. Add to this Discovery have a pretty decent online portal where you can access all this material in PDF format (perfect for learning while at work on your lunch break) along with an exercise compendium, FAQ’s and most essentially video tutorials and an example practical assessment session.
With the course structure I did the course requires a degree of self-study, learning the course materials, researching additional information and completing the workbooks prior to attending a one full weekend attendance. The following weekend you attend just the one day and this is for your practical examination.
I must admit that the central London gym Discovery uses is amazing and exactly what you would imagine from a flagship London gym. For this course and the attendance weekends we were luckily enough to use the Nuffield City gym which I must say is gorgeous. Certainly nothing on that scale in my home city of Brighton unfortunately, I was a little bit green with envy.
Weekend 1 – Saturday & Sunday All Day
I was really apprehensive about this weekend. At this point I had only been studying from home and dealing with student support services when submitting my workbooks so I had no idea who else was on the course and who else would be turning up for the attendance weekends. This is where my pre-conceived notions of the fitness industry kicked in which was in hindsight really was stupid of me. For some reason I expected a room full of meat heads that as a runner and of slim build wouldn’t relate to or get on with. You see, silly.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. The group was incredibly varied with a good male / female ratio and a mix of ages and backgrounds. Reasons for people joining the course were also just as varied, somewhere were nurses and health professionals looking to require to take the course as part of their development. Some were aspiring actors looking to gain a skill that they could earn from well pursing their acting profession. Ex-army looking to build on their fitness knowledge, taxi drivers looking to change career. Really varied and honestly you couldn’t have wished for a nicer group to learn with.
Weekend 2 – Saturday
This session is the practical assessment where you can either buddy up with someone else on the course to act as your client or you can bring a friend from home. In my case I convinced Matt to come along and be my Guinea Pig, on the promise of food & drink in London afterwards – which was enough to persuade him to help.
Practical Exam Results
After the practical assessment you find out straight away if you’ve passed or failed and so there is no waiting around. I’m very pleased to say that I passed! It all still needed to be sent away for official marking and adjudication but in principle I had passed both my theory worksheets and practical assessment – it was now just a case of waiting for the theory exam results to come in.
Theory Exam Results
I got the results of the theory exam and I did pretty well, a few second guess silly mistakes but still a pass and now I am officially a Level 2 Gym Instructor and REPS registered fitness professional.
So, what’s next?
Level 3 Personal Training of course! I have already registered with Discovery to do the online version of the Level 3 course which will be tougher going both in terms of content but also self-motivation. I also have a few smaller courses (CPDs) lined up over the next few months. All of which I will be blogging about.
I’m not sure at this stage if I’ll drop my career in I.T. to become a self-employed personal trainer but at least I have the option and should something happen such as redundancies’, which are all too common in this day and age I will have something to fall back on.
Also, and certainly not least, I now have some genuine authority & confidence when writing MyGym. To be able to write about Health & Fitness you should, in some way at least be qualified in what you are talking about and passionate about it.
Thanks to Discover Learning for the Level 2 course sponsorship.
Want to know more?
Discovery Learning Level 2 Gym Instructor