Seeking a career change after redundancy

Check out Peter Lemon’s inspiring journey from trainee accountant to self-employed Personal Trainer.


Peter Lemon - Personal Fitness Instructor


The year was 1998 when my interest in becoming a Personal Trainer began. I’ve always loved fitness, played and followed sport passionately and been highly active. At school I was sports captain, and from a young age ran at county level. So I’m sure how I ended up as a trainee accountant but there I was. By day I’d be crunching the numbers and by lunchtime and evening playing sport, going to the gym and following current sporting events.

I started to think seriously about becoming a Personal Trainer and decided to complete a distance learning course to fit around my work commitments. When voluntary redundancy came along I seized this as my chance to make my dream of a career change a reality.

Once I’d chosen my course I decided to contact a local gym chain and request whether the club would grant me access to shadow their Gym Instructors and Personal Trainers. As luck would have it the Fitness Manager gave the green light and I was granted a total of three evening visits to see first-hand what it was like to be a Personal Trainer. Needless to say this opportunity made me realise I was on the right track and more determined to study and qualify in this exciting profession!

Soon after I gained my initial qualifications I applied to work in the very same gym as a Fitness Instructor. I got the job and went from there…onwards and upwards progressing towards my new career as a Personal Trainer.


Building My Client Base


I worked hard at building my client base even when I was employed as a Fitness Instructor. By greeting people on the gym floor, assisting members with exercise technique and their exercise programmes I could position members as lead generation for personal training.

Once I had a few clients under my belt and made great progress with them other gym members recognised that I had the expertise to make a massive positive difference to the way they could look. My client base snowballed especially after delivering two big presentations to gym members.


Setting Up My Own Practice


I knew that ultimately I wanted to work for myself and so I decided to set up my own venture. There is a real buzz in running your own Personal Training business and no two days are ever the same. There are always different clients with new training needs and objectives and I always challenge myself to deliver the very best training solutions to them.

Today, I’m often sought out by clients with specialist needs such as cardiac and spinal rehabilitation.


Training the Personal Trainers of Tomorrow


From there I set up the Academy of Fitness Professionals. As I became more and more specialised as a Personal Trainer so people became more aware and sought out my services. I started to be approached by people asking if I could teach them Personal Training and this led me to expanding further to where I am today.