Blog #9: How long should it take you to qualify as a Personal Trainer? - Performance Training Academy


How long should it take you to qualify as a Personal Trainer?

The first thing to convey here, is that the Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training is a professional qualification that will give you the required education to safely and effectively train individuals with all manner of abilities, goals and needs - this is not a qualification that should be rushed.

With that said , it should be a qualification that is enjoyable to learn and will give you the correct level of education to be able to perform your role as a fitness professional to the best of your ability - which in turn will continue to raise the standard of the amazing Health and Fitness industry.


What is a good course duration for the Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training?

Everybody learns differently, it is highly important that you enrol onto a Level 3 Personal Trainer course that takes this into account.

The Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training course that we offer can be completed in an average of 12 weeks, although some students can be qualified sooner whilst offers will take a lot longer - fully dependant on your previous experience and lifestyle commitments.

The learning of this qualification should not just be set within the course timescale either. Learning a skill such as instructing exercise to others requires practice, practice and more practice.

Even if you already have good knowledge of training and exercise, coaching elements like free-weight lifts to others who may be very new to these techniques will be the challenge for most, especially if they do not practice this.

Helping an individual create new, healthy habits with their nutrition and lifestyle is also no easy task, you will need to have good knowledge to be able to advise correctly and sensibly to those with needs or with some specific barriers that may affect them from achieving their goal. Learning strategies to overcome this is essential.

There is lots of really interesting content to deliver to meet the high standard of a Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training course, knowledge such as:

  • Instructing exercise to others - Free weight lifts, gym-based exercise, cardiovascular work and specific warm up and cool-down approaches.


  • Using a variety of training approaches and equipment (such as kettlebells and focus-pad work for example)


  • Programming for a range of different individuals with different goals, needs and abilities.


  • Nutrition - Analysing client food diaries and understanding how to advise and habit form to be able to help an individual (and their family) to make healthier nutritional choices.


  • Understanding how our bodies work and the effect that exercise and nutrition has on it by studying Anatomy & Physiology.


  • Business set up and development - knowing how to build a business on the back of your Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification and how to make a success of it.


All of the above education, and more, should be included in your Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training course. It will be very hard to get this content delivered to a high standard within a four to six week course.

The duration of your course may differ greatly from provider to provider, the important thing is that the course that you enrol upon is long enough to allow you to learn the subject knowledge in a timescale that fits in correctly with you and your commitments, and gives you the time to put this new knowledge into practice.

Quick to complete/ high turn-around of student courses will struggle to get this information across to you in a way that makes sense. There will also be no way of doing the required amount of practice that allows you to take on board this subject knowledge which will often lead to big gaps in learning, - this may then be exposed when trying to work with your paying clients in the health & fitness industry.

Ensure the course that you do gives you the structured timeline to both learn and practice the all important subject knowledge.


How to build upon and refine your new subject knowledge?

Which ever Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training course you enrol upon, you should be given the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice using a case study client (as if they were a paying personal training client). This will really allow you to reinforce the education that you are taught and to ensure that you have a full understanding of how to perform your role as a knowledgeable Personal Trainer when working in the Health and Fitness industry.

To be able to do this, you will need a course that gives you the timeline to be able to put this into practice and to build up your knowledge. Again a course which is 4 to 6 weeks in duration may not be long enough to allow you to do this, which will mean your practicing of this knowledge will only really come when you are working with your first paying clients.

Along with practicing the subject knowledge within the course timeline, which also allows you to gain valuable feedback from your tutors, you should also continue to learn after you have qualified.

It is so important that you continue to grow your knowledge as a fitness professional, even after you have fully completed your Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training course. You can do this simply by re-learning and to continue referencing your course material, and by levelling-up your education by completing further education and attending additional workshops and seminars, or by enrolling onto other qualifications. 

Not only will this ensure you become the best fitness professional that you can be, it will also ensure that we all continue to raise the standard of the Health and Fitness industry.

What next….?

If you want to become a recognised Personal Trainer, and to educate yourself to the best possible standard,  find the course that not only delivers to you the correct level of education,  but ensures that it is done in a timescale that is not rushed, has a clear structure, and one that allows you to develop this knowledge before you are fully qualified.


For more information about our courses, you can download our prospectus using the link below:


or you can also download our e-book below for more useful information:

What you should know before becoming a Fitness Professional

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