Karl Muir, Author at The PT Mentor

All posts by Karl Muir

Which is The Best Personal Training Qualification (UK)

Which is The Best Personal Training Qualification (UK)

This is a question that comes up a lot online.

In my opinion, the best PT qualification is the one that best fits your learning style, timeframe and ambition.

It also must be regulated, offer you the latest content in the UK and help you to succeed in the industry, all of which I’ll come to in a second, but when you ask this question on social media, you tend to get people say –

“I did my course with XYZ…”

“Check out Joe Bloggs Courses, they’re the best…”

But they were the “best course” for that person and by asking this question, you tend to come away with more questions than answers!

Which is The Best Personal Training Qualification (UK)

So, here are 5 things to help you find The Best Personal Training Qualification for YOU.

  1. Leading Awarding Bodies UK

Each Course Provider is linked to an awarding body, whose role it is to set the qualification standards and content. The top two in the UK, which you may have already heard of, are Active IQ and YMCA Awards. You may also want to ask if the courses are governed by UK Active and Ofqual. Ask a provider this and that will show you really know your stuff.

  1. CIMSPA and REPS accredited

CIMSPA, the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, and REPS, the Register of Exercise Professionals are professional bodies that provide support within the industry. In 2020 they joined forces with CIMSPA acquiring REPS.

  1. Personal Training Course Content

People tend to state that PT course content is pretty standard across the board, that it just gives you the bare minimum needed to enter the industry, but I beg to differ. We use Active IQ as the awarding body for our course delivery, as they update their courses regularly, but it is also how that content is put across to the student.

Understanding the content to pass the course is one thing, knowing how to implement it in real life is another.

  1. Personal Training Course Delivery

There are a few different types of course delivery out there – classroom based, home study, on-line or blended, which is a mix of the three. Depending on your learning style, your time frame and even your location can depend on which courses will suit your needs.

Classroom delivery can be anything from 4 to 10 weeks, generally on a two or three day a week schedule and some that are full-time. Here everyone tends to work at a similar pace and have set deadlines to complete the course, mainly because as you finish there is another course starting the following week.

With home study you’re sent everything needed to complete the course and left to your own devices to get work submitted by a set date. On-line can be very hit and miss, if it is fully on-line, expect to pay extra for physical workbooks, submission of work and practical assessment days with a Tutor/Assessor. Not always but there tend to be hidden costs, so please make sure you check this before you enrol.

Blended learning is, how we deliver our courses, a good fit for an all-round student. You have the flexibility of home study, the on-line support from your Tutor and the face-to-face sessions as and when needed. Plus, no strict time frame in which to complete that can be completed around current employment.

  1. On-going Support

A lot of providers over the years have marketed their courses with such lines as “Become your own boss,” “Earn upwards of £60k a year,” “Work your own hours” and so on. But they don’t give you the support to do this. To be a Personal Trainer you need a lot more in your locker than just a sound knowledge of the body.

Most PT’s leave the industry within 2 years, the main reason being, because they can’t attract enough clients to make it a worthwhile living. The course providers don’t generally teach you any sales, marketing or business aspects – which is crucial to your growth as a trainer.

You need to go with a provider that is there for you long term, giving you on-going support as and when needed and not just one that has an outdated unit in the manual about business.


So, to recap –

  1. Make sure that the provider is linked to one of the top awarding bodies which is both UK Active and Ofqual governed.
  2. Ask if the course is CIMPSA (and REPS) accredited.
  3. Question how the provider helps you put the content you study into real life practice.
  4. Decide which course delivery model will be best for your needs, timescale and learning style then search for a course that meets your needs.
  5. On-going support is the most important thing for your long-term success. You can be an amazing training with all the knowledge in your head, but if you can sell yourself in a gym full of clients your business will struggle.


If you’ve found this article helpful, or would like to get more hints and tips about courses and how to make it in the fitness industry head over to our Instagram page – www.instagram.com/theptmentoruk

Sales Funnels for Personal Trainers

Sales Funnels for Personal Trainers

What are Sales Funnels and why should you have them in your fitness business?

With a sales funnel you can attract more leads into your business then guide them, from start to finish; to the outcome of turning them into a paying client.

Generally, there are 4 steps to a funnel – Awareness, Interest, Decision and Action.

By knowing these, you can use certain tactics to improve the number of prospects going from one step to the next.

Which can have a HUGE impact on your business.

Why are sales funnels important?

They highlight the path that you want your prospect to follow.

Helping them go from a prospect, to a lead, to a client.

By understanding your funnel, you can find and block the holes that prospects and leads may be falling through.

Which can stop them converting into clients – which is your main outcome.

You can go a lot more in-depth with various steps of your funnel and optimize it with the use of automations to get people back in or send them down a different funnel altogether.

But we’ll just focus on the basics.

How does it work? 

As mentioned above there are generally 4 steps, or stages, to a funnel – Awareness, Interest, Decision and Action. Known as the acronym AIDA.

Here is a breakdown of someone going through your funnel at each stage…

Awareness –

This is the moment where you first capture a prospects attention.

It could have been an Instagram post, a Facebook post their friend has shared, a quick search on Google or a good old-fashioned word of mouth referral.

The prospect has now become aware of you and your business.

Sometimes, if the offer is right, prospects may buy from you immediately. Especially from a referral.

But most of the time, the awareness stage is you trying to grab attention and get people to see your business.

Interest –

Here is where a prospect starts to do their research. They’re looking at your content, comparing prices and thinking about of some options.

This is where your content is needed to capture that interest, so they don’t need to look elsewhere. If your content is sell, sell, sell they can be put off as there’s no value in what you’re saying.

Show your expertise in your area to help them make the decision to take the next step. Reach out and ask if there’s anything you can help them with too.

Decision –

They’ve seen you; they’ve followed you; they’ve even interacted with you – now they are read to buy.

But you may not be the only option on the table.

So, this is the time to make your best offer. It could be FREE access to your private Facebook group, a recipe book, a branded hoodie or something else that may sway their decision in your favour.

Whatever the case, make it irresistible so they take action.

Action –

We’re at the stage where he/she is about to act. They’re about to buy and become a customer.

Although, just because they’re at the bottom of your funnel doesn’t mean you’re 100% done, you still have some work to do.

You want to make sure that this one purchase turns into another, again and again.

This is the customer retention phase. Make sure you thank them for buying from you, send them a welcome pack and make sure they now you’re there to answer any questions prior to their first session.

Sales Funnel Example –

Run a competition on social media to share a post, such as a giveaway for reaching X amount of page likes/followers.

Ask existing followers to share your post and tag in people that AREN’T already following you, bringing new interest to your page/profile.

Prepare some content prior to inform your new audience on how you help, what it is that you offer and how. Continue to educate you audience.

Offer something out such as the FREE options mentioned above to peak their interest into potentially making a decision. Offering a free discovery call to anyone that wants to enquire heading them towards taking action.

Those that take action, again thank them and so on…this time add a refer-a-friend voucher into your welcome pack where they get something if a friend of theirs signs up to have some sessions.

Which would then create a new funnel.

You can have various different funnels into your business, all running at the same time. Through a website, social media, word of mouth and more.

Choose one that helps you in your business at the moment and go with it – no need to pay for a website if you’re just starting out. You can build your social media up, create engaging posts that showcase what you do then start your funnel as above.

Going forwards you can add in a website, email marketing software and more to do some funky automations to keep prospects going along their respective funnels steadily.

If you’d like to discuss this article further, don’t hesitate to get in contact – info@theptmentor.uk 

Evolution of the Fitness Industry?

With Covid-19 hitting the UK hard in March we saw health, fitness and leisure facilities shut their doors.

Ideas of how-to carry on delivering 1-2-1 and group sessions, to clients and members, whilst following government guidelines came up in many a conversation and social media post.

Then, to be quashed by stricter rules the day or so after.

Overnight people, which seemed like the entire fitness industry, went on-line to deliver exercise sessions.

So, what have we learnt from this first month?

Firstly, that we should have all brought shares in Zoom – but also that we can adapt.

Adapting to a new way of working, the use of new technologies and for some – stepping out of their comfort zone.

In a roundabout way, this has forced many people to look at their business differently.

With a new on-line offering, and the fact that everyone is stuck at home, this has led to an influx of potential clients. People are all looking on-line for workouts, motivation and accountability.

A lot more have seemed to take up exercise at this time too, maybe to make their day go quicker, because they can’t get out and about or maybe to keep both their physical and mental health in check.

Which again has led to potential opportunity.

From Personal Trainers and Group Exercise Instructors to Yoga and Pilates instructors, everyone has started to deliver on-line sessions.

Facilities even transitioned on-line with “studio” classes now being taught to members live, at the time they would have been on site, in the conform of their own home.

What does this mean going forwards?
Some on-line sessions have become so popular the trainers/instructors are probably thinking what’s the point in going back to a gym, saving them having to pay the gym a monthly rent to use their facilities.

This could then open the door for those looking to step into the industry as there will be jobs available.

I can see gym’s offering out a virtual membership to include home Personal Training sessions and home class participation.

They’d be silly not too, right?

With everyone working out from home they may see their membership as something they don’t need, forcing gyms to adapt.

At this moment in time we need to think of new ways of working and new offerings. Showing both potential and existing clients that use your services will still benefit from them.

It’s great to see so many out there still delivering great session’s virtually, starting up accountability groups and offering out new on-line packages for clients to follow on their own.

Are you struggling in your fitness business with the effects of Covid-19? If you’d like to discuss this article further, don’t hesitate to get in contact – info@theptmentor.uk

How do I become a Personal Trainer?

In the UK courses are recognised in levels. Such as Level 2 for Gym Instructing, Level 3 for Personal Training and Level 4 for Advanced Personal Training and specialist courses such as Lower Back Pain.

Courses are regulated by industry standards in regard to qualification structure and content. The bodies to look out for when researching courses would be OFQUAL, REPS and CIMSPA.

We are an approved training centre with Active IQ, who are the leading awarding organisation in the country. Their role is to design, regulate and certificate courses keeping to the latest industry standards.

Course training providers, like us at The PT Mentor UK, are the ones that teach you the qualification, in-line with the above, to help you through the programme and (speaking for ourselves here) give you on-going support to help you become a success in the industry.

To become a Personal Trainer, you would need to have completed a Level 2 qualification before moving onto a Level 3 qualification.

With the most common route being – Lv2 Gym Instructor – Lv3 Personal Trainer – Lv4 Advanced Personal Trainer, but this is not the only path to take.

For example, Lv2 Group Exercise Instructor (formally Exercise to Music) to Lv3 Personal Trainer is another route.

When someone contacts us to discuss courses, we always ask which path they want to go or who they would ideally like to work with, as this can then help us have that discussion and map out the best route.

Above all you need to choose a provider that is going to work for you in terms of cost, timeframe and support. Do your research, ask questions and see if they’re a good fit for your needs.

If you’d like to discuss this article further, don’t hesitate to get in contact – info@theptmentor.uk

How Much Does a Personal Trainer Earn?

The average hourly rate for a Personal Trainer is £40 with some trainers earning up to the £100 mark in private training studios and top city centre clubs.

So, can you make good money as a Personal Trainer? Of course, you can, but just like with anything it takes dedication to learn your trade, understand your target client and market yourself well.

Some course providers advertise that you can earn upward of £50k a year, but they don’t tell you how to actually earn that once you’ve completed the course.

To earn this figure, you’d be looking at around 24 hours a week at £40 an hour, which isn’t too bad earnings wise for the number of hours. But you then have a few other things to consider…

Many gyms now employ Personal Trainers on a freelance basis which means you pay them rent to use their facilities. Rent costs jump around from facility to facility and city to city, but let’s say it’s £500 a month.

This has just taken £6,000 off your £50,000 income, but not a massive amount to make back. Around 3 sessions a week will cover your monthly rent based on these figures.

Tax, National Insurance and expenses need to be considered too. If you live on the outskirts of London for example and are drawn in by the higher hourly rate, you need to consider the gym rent will be higher and the possibility of travel costs on top.

Being freelance you will be able to claim all expenses, such as travel back on your tax return, but it will be something to consider as it’s still an outgoing expense each month.

Anything work related such as uniform, insurance, additional courses, equipment can all be claimed back against your tax return too.

There are some gyms/health clubs that take on employed Personal Trainers, meaning that they pay you a monthly wage, take care of your tax and national insurance, provide your uniform and a facility to work from.

However, most still tend to take a “rent” from your wage by taking a percentage of the hourly Personal Training fee you receive, plus all Personal Training is likely to be off shift.

This means that you may be contracted for 40 hours in the gym at a set wage, earning around £10-£12 an hour, then you do your Personal Training sessions around those set hours. If you had 20 clients a week, you’re now working 60 hours a week.

For the 20 hours that you’re doing the gym will take a cut, which could be more than 50%.

Meaning your 60 hours a week, before tax, National Insurance and travel, is earning you around £42,000 a year.

If you’re looking to get into the industry freelance Personal Training is the more profitable route as you can see from above. Please note these are only a rough number to show you the possibilities.

We always recommend to our students to start off in a commercial gym, even if part-time or one shift on a weekend, to get a foot in the door, get used to working with all different types of members and clients to then transition to a freelance trainer down the line.

If you’d like to discuss this article further, don’t hesitate to get in contact – info@theptmentor.uk