Starting Up As A Personal Trainer - Performance Training Academy

Performance Training has certified many competent and enthusiastic individuals who are excited about starting a career as a fitness professional. Not only do we teach the relevant tools and skills required to become an elite fitness professional, we also ensure that once your certificate has been awarded you will know ‘what to do next…’. We will also offer as much post course support as you require.

‘What do I do now?’ and ‘How to I build my business now that I am qualified?’ are both common questions for those who want to be successful in the striving health and fitness industry. To reiterate what is taught and advised on our courses, listed below are some of the methods that you could utilise to get your business started.


To ensure that you are recognised in the Health and Fitness profession, it is important to enroll onto the Register of Exercise Professionals to provide employers and clients with the assurance and confidence that you meet national occupational standards. It shows that you are appropriately qualified with the skills and knowledge to train others safely and effectively.Registering with REP’s is simple, just go online to, and click on the link ‘I would like to: Register With Reps’ and follow the registration instructions.

It is important for all fitness professionals to register with REP’s, you can also acquire your Public Liability Insurance through REP’s. It is necessary for all fitness professionals to hold adequate PLI insurance, especially those who are working freelance. Some employers will cover you with their own insurance.
For more information follow this link:

During your career you will be required to continue to learn as a fitness professional, gaining further CPD (Continued Professional Development) points to stay on the REP’s register.
For more information follow this link:

All of our qualifications at Performance Training offer further CPD paths, see our courses page:


Our advice to all candidates coming through our academy is to go and get yourself known, word of mouth will get you so far but you need to be able to reach those around you that do not yet know that you exist as a fitness professional. Gyms are obviously a good choice to start off as a Personal Trainer, most gyms will advertise your services, as they want you to be a success in their establishment. It is also good to market yourself to individuals who are not yet involved in the gym world. Below are a few useful ways to advertise yourself:

  • Website – These days most people go the the internet to find everything from nutrition advice to discount codes, it is definitely a great way to get yourself seen.
    A good website not just allows you to put up contact details, it allows you to describe your background, experience and what you can offer as a Personal Trainer. It also allows you to post and update blogs, upload videos, give training and nutrition advice and generally offer a lot more than just one to one training sessions. Performance Training offer a Web Design service through ‘Olive Media’. If interested please contact Ronan Sweeney at
  • Logo and company branding – To differentiate yourself from others and make yourself stand out a good logo or company name can go along way. Your logo and name has to catch peoples eye and attention, you can use it as posters, sports clothing (for yourself and your clients) and on the home page of your website. You can even get your car sign written etc, really try and push your name around town as a fitness profession. Performance Training offer a Logo & Branding service through ‘Olive Media’. If interested please contact Ronan Sweeney at
  • Social networking: Facebook and Twitter – A lot of good trainers utilise these sites to their advantage for self promotion. Its a good way to advertise your services, keep in touch with clients, advertise a free training slot that you would like to fill or even advertise blogs or updates to your website. Performance Training offer a Social Media service through ‘Olive Media’. If interested please contact Ronan Sweeney at
  • Free consultation / Taster Session – Advertise a free 30 minute – 1 hour consultation. This is a great way to meet an individual and properly talk through what you are about and what you can offer. This allows you to gain vital information when it comes to programme design and nutritional advice.A free 30 min taster session is sometimes a good option to show a potential client that Personal Training is not about standing next to a client while they complete a chest press exercise and counting the reps, it’s about motivation, doing specific functional exercises to achieve goals and much more.
  • Specialist areas – Some fitness professionals choose an are to specialise in, ante and postnatal, strength and conditioning, pilates, exercise to music, sports massage etc… Once you have your Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training the door is open to a wide range of specialist fields, see the Continue Professional Development section of this blog. Once you gain other certifications it allows you to target a wider range of individuals, i.e. new mums groups, sports clubs etc.

INLAND REVENUE (if setting up as Self-Employed)

If setting up as a self-employed fitness professional you will need to register for self assessment, follow the link below to find out the reasons for this and how it is done:

You may want to enlist the help of a certified accountant or book keeper to ensure your accounts are in order or just for advice as to how it should be done. The Inland Revenue give explain what records must be kept at the following link:


As with any profession, it is important to always continue to learn and improve yourself as a professional. As mentioned earlier, the Level 2 and especially the Level 3 Certificates open the doors to many other specialist qualifications, such as Kettle bell instructors, group exercise instructors such as Body Combat, Spinning and Pilates, and much more. There are also a lot of courses and websites that simply offer information to improve your professional knowledge, such as nutritional workshops and websites that offer research libraries and health and fitness journals. See the link below to a very useful website for fitness professionals:

The main point is to continue to improve yourselves as a professional, it will show greatly to new and existing clients.

And finally..

Have what it takes to be successful

Successful fitness professionals will always continue to improve their knowledge, they will look and act the part – Train Hard and Eat Well!, become indispensable to clients, ensure their clients achieve their goals, and should show all the traits necessary to come across as a professional – analytical, patient, an effective motivator, presentable and organised.

Be the best you can be!

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