How to Become a Personal Trainer

How to Become a Personal Trainer

Hey guys! So I have some exciting news.. by the end of the year I will be a UK qualified Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer (PT)! I’ve been thinking about getting the qualifications for a while (ever since I left Loughborough Uni having studied Sport & Exercise) and decided to not put it off any longer! In my eyes, becoming a PT will give me more knowledge on how to advise YOU to create and sculpt the body that you want and will give me the confidence to share workouts and fitness with you both on my blog and YouTube Channel.


When I first started talking to my friends about becoming a Personal Trainer I had no idea what qualifications you needed or how to go about gaining them – which is why I was so grateful to discover the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) (Now Premier Global). NASM, which is a credible and well trusted company, contacted me to see if I was interested in becoming a PT and when I discovered that you could study online, at home in your own time (in addition to a full time job!), I jumped at the chance! I’ll be honest though, I was a little hesitant about ‘going back to school’ and learning/revising a top other than nutrition but I needn’t have worried – the course is really interesting and more importantly, easy to follow and understand.


  • What Qualifications do you need to be a PT?


In order to become a PT you need to pass the “Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing”, which means that you can work in a gym as a gym/fitness instructor, and then the “Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training”.


NASM UK use the Active IQ eLearning platform to deliver both level 2 and level 3 qualifications, both of which are fully recognised by employers and the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).


Background reading for both certificates can be done at home in your own time over a 6 to 8 week period with additional training/assessment days on a weekend; level 2 includes a two day workshop with one formal assessment day, and level 3 includes a four day workshop and one formal assessment day.




  • What is the Difference between Level 2 and Level 3?


Level 2: The NASM UK Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing is the entry-level qualification for individuals who wish to pursue a career in a gym or health club environment as a fitness instructor. The online fitness instructor course provides the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully instruct and supervise safe exercise, as well as design effective exercise programmes. Level 2 introduces the Optimum Performance Training (OPT™) model, which focuses on integrated solutions for every fitness level. You can read more about what level 2 involves [here] and the screen shots both above and below were taken from one of the units of level 2.


Level 3: The NASM UK Level 3 Certified Personal Trainer course has been designed specifically to replicate the process of taking a new personal training client from a consultation, to the gym floor and all the key stages in between. The structure of the course reflects this journey to give you an understanding of key skills needed to run an effective personal training business and produce consistent, remarkable results for clients. This qualification is centered around the Optimum Performance Training (OPT™) model, the industry’s first comprehensive, scientific and evidence-based training system. You must have completed a Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing in order to take the Level 3 course and can read more about what it involves [here].


nam pt course


  • How much does it Cost


Studying to become a personal training “online” is one of the most affordable ways and the courses at NASM UK cost £450 for the level 2 certificate and £799 for the level 3 certificate.


If you are thinking of becoming a personal trainer (and haven’t done level 2) then I would advise to sign up for both Level 2 and 3 at the same time and undertake the NASM UK Diploma in Personal Training (which is what I am doing) as this costs just £999; saving £250 in total. You can find out more about this course [here].


Nichola Whitehead


  • My Thoughts so far?


I’m currently working my way through the level 2 reading material and although I am planning on feeding back on the learning content as well as workshops, so far I really am impressed. The online study material is really easy to follow (it’s written in simple terms with jargon explained), has clear voice overs, text and nice visuals (meaning it suits a variety of different learning styles), you can study online, anywhere, any time (all you need is an internet connection) and your previous knowledge doesn’t matter (obviously if you have a background in physiology then it may make the course easier/quicker to undertake).


The reading material also includes helpful tips on how to remember points; for example when reading about the heart you learn than blood flows from the atrium to the ventricle which you can remember like the alphabet (A comes before V!).


Nichola Whitehead


Overall I really am impressed with the course and the online support staff and I cannot wait to be qualified; hopefully this December as my workshops and exams take place in October (level 2), November (level 3) and December (level 3)!


Do let me know if you’re studying too or if you’re interested in signing up!


P.S In case you’re wondering my above outfits are from Sweaty Betty and MyProtein and the bag is from Jim Bag!


*This blog post contains affiliate links. I was offered a complementary place NASM UK Diploma in Personal Training in return for reviewing it honestly. Please read my disclaimer page for more information. 


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  1. Colleen
    July 10, 2016 / 9:05 am

    Thanks for this Nic, I’m really interested in the course and look forward to your updates. Good luck with the rest of the course!

    • July 10, 2016 / 9:17 pm

      Aw thanks Colleen, glad you found the video useful!! xx

  2. Steve
    August 29, 2016 / 6:07 pm

    Hi Nichola,

    I am looking to take this course later this year. Good luck and enjoy!

    • September 4, 2016 / 1:21 pm

      Aw thank you! So many people have contacted me about it and a girl has already signed up to the course I’m on too! Good luck!

      • Steve
        September 8, 2016 / 3:06 pm

        Hi Nichola,

        Can you please clarify the organisation in the UK you are taking the NASM CPT course with? The NASM website I registered my interest with resulted in an automated reply from Premier Training International. They seem to charge a lot more than £999 for the level 2 and 3 courses.

        Thank you,


  3. Nichola
    August 30, 2016 / 7:46 am

    Hi ! I also qualified as a Dietitian and have been looking at studying to become a PT. Thanks for this really saved me time trawling through courses available as I also work full-time. Xx

    • September 4, 2016 / 1:21 pm

      Aw no problem! Another dietitian Gemma (dietitian without boarders) has also signed up!! Good luck xx

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