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Online Level 3 Personal Trainer Course
If working as a level 3 personal trainer is your ideal job you’ll need to know about course options, qualifications, what’s involved and prices.
It’s also important to look a little further ahead to make sure this is the right career choice so you can achieve your goals, build a loyal client base and truly reach the top of your game.
Choosing the right level 3 personal trainer qualification is an important step towards becoming a certified fitness professional.
Opt to study our PT level 3 diploma course or choose from our range of specialist PT course packages, which provide you with the know how and skills to offer a broad range of services.
Choose Your Study Pathway
Qualified personal trainers are able to deliver highly tailored training plans that help clients achieve their fitness goals.
Our PT level 3 course ticks all the right boxes, so you can qualify with the confidence you’re in expert hands.
If your ambition is to work in a gym, set up on your own, or as a springboard for your wider career plans, you’ll be on the right track.
We offer students a range of study routes.
So, whether you’re starting your fitness career, are already level 2 fitness instructor qualified, or have relevant higher education, there’s a pathway for you.
All of which leads to your Ofqual regulated, NCFE and CIMSPA recognised, level 3 Diploma in Personal Training.
Why Your Qualification Matters
Personal training is one of the most popular fitness careers so it’s super important to make sure your course is the real deal.
Gaining your PT level 3 certification in personal training indicates to employers and clients that you have met all the required industry standards.
Our courses are regulated by Ofqual, The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation together with the NCFE awarding body.
They are also industry recognised through CIMSPA, The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.
This gives a clear signal of the credibility of your qualifications, training and expertise, which really matters when you are looking for employment.
From here you can gain your insurance, start working with your PT clients on their fitness goals and gradually grow your customer base.
Its super important to make sure your course is the real deal.
When everything is complete, you will receive a level 3 certificate in personal training, in your name, as a hard copy document.
This is endorsed with the Ofqual regulator and NCFE examining body logos.
You will also receive a credit summary document with details of all the modules you have completed and passed.
This is useful to verify the content of your personal training course to future employers.
It also demonstrates the learning you have already gained, should you wish to undertake further qualifications or CPD at a later date.
Sometimes the terms ‘level 3 fitness qualification’ and ‘level 3 fitness instructor course’ get confused with personal training.
A word of caution here – you don’t need these qualifications nor will they be considered valid for work as a PT.
Unfortunately, there are courses out there that simply do not stack up and this will affect your future job prospects down the line.
So take time to do your homework and make sure your certification ticks all the right boxes, like ours here at the Academy of Fitness Professionals.
✔ Ofqual and NCFE regulated courses
✔ CIMSPA industry recognised training provider
✔ Internationally recognised courses
✔ Competitive fees backed up by our Best Price Promise
✔ Online portal ‘the hub’ to easily manage your learning
✔ Portfolio evidenced with no exams
✔ Dedicated tutor to support your study
How to Get Started
Achieving your personal trainer qualifications involves a combination of theory and practical study.
You start with the course theory which is broken down into easy to follow modules, including anatomy and physiology, programming personal training, delivering personal training, nutrition and business skills.
Once you have studied a module you complete a workbook of short answer questions and exercises. This is submitted to your course tutor and evidences your understanding of the course learning.
The practical is focused on developing your skills so that you are confident working with clients in the gym, delivering a personalised training programme and coaching exercise.
When everything is complete and you’ve passed you will be recognised as a fully qualified level 3 personal trainer.
This is where the journey begins! You’re now ready to work in a gym or freelance.
What You Need to Become a Level 3 Personal Trainer
Discover the right course for you
You need to gain your level 3 personal trainer qualification to work with clients as a Personal Trainer. Before you start you should hold a Level 2 certificate in Fitness Instructing or equivalent, or alternatively you can opt for a combined level 2 and level 3 personal trainer course. Once you have your level 3 certification you are ready to get started on your new career.
Our fast-track level 3 personal trainer course is the ideal next step in your fitness career
What Our Students Say About Us
“I’d highly recommend the Academy of Fitness Professionals if you’re looking for somewhere to complete your qualifications.
They’re extremely helpful and easy to contact with any course queries and provide additional information outside of the course material to help you stand out against others as a fitness professional.”
“For me personally there is no greater sense of achievement than seeing people change both physically and mentally.
Exercise makes people feel good and also helps with people suffering with depression. A career in the fitness industry is rewarding and you get to meet the best people who then turn to friends.
Your clients support you, just as much as you support them.
It is the greatest feeling helping people get to their goals.”
“The AOFP course covered all aspects of fitness instructing and personal training and gives you the confidence and skills to deliver great exercise sessions.
I found the practical days incredibly helpful and it was great that they were tailored to help us in areas we wanted more support.
I enjoyed the different modules and have loved putting my learning into practice.”
Attributes of a Level 3 Personal Trainer
Personal training continues to grow in popularity with income levels and rewards that speak for themselves.
Seeing clients lose weight and accomplish their goals because of your skills and effort is a real buzz. Check out the key attributes that will help you succeed.
Well planned and organised – you’re well prepared for sessions, have a tailored exercise programme ready to coach, and deliver on your promises aiming to exceed client expectations.
Friendly and sociable – while there are many different styles of personal training you can adopt to suit clients, the training needs to be fun and enjoyable. If you’re naturally friendly and like interacting with different types of people you’re on the right track.
A great communicator – to coach your clients and achieve the desired results you need to explain, demonstrate, motivate and praise. All of this comes from great communication skills.
Goal orientated – you need to be able to focus on client goals setting short, medium and long term direction. Also keep an eye on your own career goals as a newly qualified PT.
Punctual – clients book in for an agreed day and time slot and expect you to be there on time. Turning up late is sloppy and sets a poor first impression, so avoid it at all costs.
Expect the same from your clients in return, after all they need to commit to attending the full training session to get maximum results.
As a general rule, if a client is delayed do not add on the time to the session.
Driven and self-motivated – the best personal trainers are ambitious and super keen to grow a lucrative client base, making a real impact in the industry.
Progressing Your PT Career
Once you’ve qualified your focus will shift away from coursework and study. Your next step is to find a gym to work from, attract your first few clients and develop your reputation as a personal trainer.
Where your first clients will come from and your PT fees – per hour and for block bookings
Setting up your website, social media platforms and booking system
Offering online PT services using a communication platform such as zoom or skype
How you can grow your client base
Client care and systems for booking in appointments and new consultations
Making time for exercise programme design and delivery
For the time being advancing your personal training career is probably not at the forefront of your mind.
But give it a little time and you’ll start thinking about how you can attract more clients, develop your knowledge of specialist groups and how to offer additional fitness related services.
At this point a popular route is to widen your services to include new client groups.
These can appeal to both existing and new clients thereby effectively growing your business and widening your customer appeal.
Now you’ve a clear understanding of what to study, let’s turn our attention to what personal trainers actually do and the different aspects of their day to day job.
While state of the art fitness equipment and superb gym facilities offer the perfect environment for you to kick-start your career it’s the combination of your professional knowledge and friendly approach that will help you get to exactly where you want to be.
Responsibilities of a Personal Trainer
Personal trainers provide exercise instruction, support and guidance to a wide range of clients typically on a one to one basis. The emphasis is on building supportive relationships and providing sessions that are tailored to the clients needs and abilities.
The focus is on improving how they look, feel and function by working towards agreed fitness goals. Client needs can be varied and complex and this is where successful Personal Trainers come into their own, skillfully designing exercise programmes for results.
A key factor here is being aware of the responsibilities that come with the role.
Demonstrating exercise and technique
There’s a right way and a wrong way to exercise. Clients will expect you to offer exercise instruction and guide them through the correct technique to keep them safe and deliver maximum results.
Health and safety first
Clients will inevitably be keen to push themselves by working harder and for longer. They may tell you they can lift heavier weights and do more repetitions, or that they can work at higher intervals or inclines. You are the expert and it’s your reputation at stake if something goes wrong. So keep things safe and follow your client care checks and procedures every time.
Expect the unexpected
Personal training is an active profession and things can happen quickly. Think on your feet and be ready to adapt at all times. If a client is running late and can only do a half hour session, HIIT offers a great workout option. For the client who’s had a tiring stressful day at work, flexibility training is a great choice.
Being adaptable is also a great way to help clients through the highs and lows as they progress towards their goals.
Think on your feet
You will have already prepared the exercise programme for your client, but the ability to be one step ahead is key to delivering a great PT session. Develop your plan B with plenty of progression and regression options. It’s also really handy to have some exercise alternatives according to client preferences to help maximize motivation.
Responsible personal trainers know that meeting client expectations holds the key, or even better exceeding them! Make sure you agree SMART goals and targets that are sensible and can be achieved.
There’s nothing worse for client retention and your reputation than missed objectives. Similarly there’s nothing better than happy clients who’ve not only met their goals but smashed them. Remember you are the expert and it takes time, consistent effort and commitment for results to happen.
Walk the talk
While there’s no specific fitness requirement for the role, clients see you as a role model. You’ll need to be willing to demonstrate exercises, get involved with the outdoor run, showcase great lifting techniques and so on.
Keeping up to date
Change happens fast in the fitness industry and it’s vital you and your exercise repertoire keep up to speed. This truly shows you are the expert and that you know the difference between exercise for results compared with short term fads.
An eye for the detail
Information gathering tools and questionnaires can be used during client consultations to delve into factors that may be acting as ‘stressors’ affecting client wellbeing.
Armed with this information and knowledge the personal trainer can discuss their findings and agree priorities.
Then, they can design and create an exercise programme that is targeted to improvements in overall holistic health and exercise and fitness objectives.
Signs You’d Make a Great Level 3 Personal Trainer
An all kinds of people person
You simply love to praise
Punctuality matters to you
Knowing your limitations
Lets fast track forward to the point where you’ve studied hard and are now a level 3 personal trainer in your own right.
You’re fully recognised by the industry as a fitness professional and have gained some great knowledge in human anatomy and physiology, health and safety and of course how to design and develop fantastic fitness and exercise programmes.
So you might think that clients seeking a personal trainer will rate all this expertise highly in deciding whether to hire you as their PT. Well you’d be wrong. These aspects of personal training are a given, they are the nuts and bolts of what a personal trainer does day in, day out.
Well you’d be wrong. These aspects of personal training are a given. They are the nuts and bolts of what a personal trainer does – day in, day out.
Great personal trainers inspire their clients, from many different backgrounds, shapes and sizes, to achieve results that seemed impossible.
Whether you are a pro in the gym really doesn’t matter, as long as you develop a commitment to you client’s aims and can be a key inspirational part of their journey to success.
Pros and Cons of Being a Level 3 Personal Trainer
Personal training is a brilliant career and has so much to offer. You can’t beat the feeling of working one to one with a new client, finding out about their background and helping them take great strides with their fitness and personal goals. What’s more thanks to organisations such as ICREPs, the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals, your qualifications are portable around the world so you can work outside of the UK.
There’s no doubt life as a PT has a lot of ups but like any job it’s got a few downsides too. So take some time to consider both the pros and cons of being a personal trainer to be sure it’s the right career for you.
Setting your own hours
If you take the freelance or self-employed route you decide on the hours you work and can schedule clients for these times.
Choose to work full-time, part-time, weekends, evenings, set days a week, or mix and match. Working as a PT means you really can tailor your working patterns to what suits you best.
Making a real difference
Your qualifications, training and skills can make a massive difference to clients lifestyles. Whether it’s fat loss, toning, improved fitness, looking their best for a special occasion, fitness coaching for a charity event or something else, personal trainers can deliver life changing results.
Be your own boss
Personal training means you don’t have to tied to the traditional daily work grind. Be in charge of shaping your own destiny, earnings and career by building up a steady client base, gradually expanding your range of fitness services.
You’ll be working with different types of people, all with different needs and goals. This means lots of varied work rather than doing the same things day in day out.
Make the most of personal trainer apps and team technologies such as zoom to maximise your reach. Virtual personal training online gives you access to clients far beyond your immediate geographical location.
Working for gym is a popular way of getting started as a level 3 personal trainer. This offers access to gym members who may choose to hire you as their PT but the down side is this may come with some costs.
The gym may ask you to pay a rental, a commission or even work a set number of hours for free in return for being able to access their gym and facilities.
Working for yourself
Yes this also featured in the pros but setting up as a PT isn’t for everyone. As well as the client side you’ll be designing programmes, handling new client enquiries, marketing and promoting your business and sorting the finances.
Whilst some love the freedom being your own boss has to offer, running a personal training business isn’t a one size fits all approach.
Working popular time slots
Early mornings, evenings and weekends are all popular time slots for clients.
So before you get started think about how you can best cater for client demand in your area.
Personal trainers carry out duties behind the scenes of the client session. You’ll be planning for the session, scheduling appointments, conducting research, liaising with third party experts and of course promoting yourself as a personal trainer.
Make sure the whole job appeals to you, not just the delivering the sessions bit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answers to popular questions other students ask, or get in touch – we’re here to help.
Are there different levels of fitness qualification?
Yes. There are many different levels and types of fitness qualification. Level 1 courses are generally introductory so you won’t be able to work in the industry with these. Level 2 and level 3 personal trainer courses are the standard for working in the industry. And,level 4 qualifications offer advanced training routes that follow gaining your level 2 and 3.
Should I complete my level 2 and 3 personal trainer course at the same time?
This is a popular choice with our students who are starting out, simply because it leads to all the qualifications you need to start work as a PT. You’ll also benefit from reduced course fees and saving time on completing your course. If you’re keen to find a job in fitness, start work and build up to your level 3, then completing your level 2 fitness instructor course to begin with may be the best option for you.
If you’re not sure which pathway is best for you, please contact us and we can advise you.
What is a level 3 personal trainer?
A level 3 PT has met the standards as set out in an Ofqual regulated course to go on and practice in the role. They have gained their certification through an approved training provider, like us, so that their qualification is highly respected and accredited through an official awarding body. Here at the Academy of Fitness Professionals our awarding body is the NCFE who have been a leading provider of educational services for over 170 years.
Who are CIMSPA?
CIMSPA are the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity. They operate a single directory for all fitness professionals working in the sport and leisure sector. This ensures the highest standards of service delivery and that members of the public can be confident they are being taught by a recognised, qualified expert.
Does the level 3 pt course involve exams?
No. Our pt courses are specifically designed to develop your skills, knowledge and expertise without the pressure of exams. Instead we focus on workbook assignments, case studies and practical skills training and assessment.
When can I start working in personal training?
As soon as you have your level 3 certificate in personal training you’re work ready. You can apply for jobs or start working for yourself. Just remember to check you’re covered on your employers insurance policy. If you’re taking the freelance route it’s best to take out your own insurance and gain a first-aid certification before you start.
How long does it take to become a qualified PT?
As a rough guideline allow yourself up to six months to complete our level 2 and 3 combined PT package. For the fast-track allow up to three months. The great things about our courses is that they are flexible so you get to set your study pace. If you have more time you can commit you can qualify quicker. Equally, if you prefer to go at a slower pace, you can, safe in the knowledge that our courses are valid for two years, unlike many other training providers.
How can I get started?
It’s really easy to get started. Choose the pathway the suits you below to find the right certification in personal training for you.
Affordable Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualifications
The ultimate learning destination for advanced fitness industry training
The Academy of Fitness Professionals provide the gold standard in accredited level 3 personal trainer courses, fitness instructor courses and health and nutrition courses.
Our state of the art training is fully recognised by Ofqual, the NCFE, CIMSPA and PD Approval.
We are also a UK active registered supplier so you know you’re in expert hands.
Our specialist knowledge is second to none and features in the UK health and fitness media including the Mirror, BBC2 and Women’s Running.