UK Personal Fitness Training is not good… and I’m going to tell you why. I’m going to stick my neck out here, I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but I will. The level of personal training In the UK is poor. The governing bodies are poor. The level of qualification necessary to get into the industry is poor.
I say this with a heavy heart, in fact writing this is quite upsetting. It’s only at this stage in my fitness career that I am able to state this with confidence. Having lots of exposure to hiring, firing and studying a lot of what is out there.
Personal training as a professional title holds no authority, no kudos. The personal training industry is broken and I am not sure how we can fix it. Let’s dive a little deeper…
UK Personal Fitness Training Qualifications
I just typed into google “UK personal fitness training courses” and as predicted there are hundreds of online courses that can be completed in weeks at a fee of £800 offered at zero % interest. This is where it begins, at the very start of someone’s journey toward becoming a personal trainer in the UK. They are being shown the fast, quick, easy, simple and cheapest route to get there. They are even promised a job at big box gyms like David Lloyd, Gymbox and Nuffield. Sounds great right?
Here’s the main issue. Some of these courses are one hundred per cent online. Read that again… Some of these courses are 100% online!
Online UK personal fitness training Courses
Baring in mind that this newly qualified PT is able to rock up at your local gym and begin instructing anybody, yes anybody. From a disabled person to an athlete, to an old lady with bad knees and a bad back. They can do it all, they know it all, they can do it all (apparently). They are level 3 qualified because they answered some questions online.
Here’s a direct quote from one of the UK’s leading personal training fitness course providers:
“Online Personal Training Course… Fit your training around your life by studying online and complete your course in your own time! If you think you can’t get your PT career going alongside other things life throws your way, think again. Take your learning online and smash through the course quicker than you think.”
Here’s how we at TRUTH read it…
“Fit your online course around other things, because to be honest it isn’t hard, it wont take you much time and its not that important to you as you’re doing it as a side hustle. Get the course done double quick so you start working with granny and get her doing power jumps ASAP.”
We’re starting to build a picture here now aren’t we?
UK Personal Fitness Training Prices
This is a race to the bottom. Not all service is equal. Not all products are equal.
We all as normal human beings understand that some supermarket brands provide cheap affordable food and others provide the opposite, expensive high-end food. You can go to Asda, do your shopping for the family (I have on many occasions) and it might cost you £120. You can go to Waitrose and do a family shop and it will cost you £250 (I have done family shops here too).
At the end of the day, they are both providing the same things right… food which you cook, put in your mouth, chew and swallow to make sure nobody’s hungry. If you look at it in a totally logical, black and white perspective it seems preposterous that someone would spend double the amount on the same thing, right?
Quality Over Price
Well here’s the difference. When you shop in Asda, you might find that the salad goes off within two days, that the apples aren’t that tasty, that the ready meals are high in sugar syrup, processed meats and additives. You might also find that the meat is a bit tough and the fish isn’t the freshest. It’s all edible, but it’s not what you would call the best quality food.
When you shop at Waitrose, you will note that the salad isn’t bruised and lasts for a week, that the apples taste amazing and the meat is tender and the roast chicken is a winner. It’s what you call high-quality food.
Here’s the issue with personal training. Many people that I speak to have a preconception that all personal trainers are the same and that they deliver the same service. Here’s a direct quote from a recent conversation.
” I don’t get it. All a personal trainer does is stand next to someone and count the reps they are doing! Why can’t I just do that myself?”
UK personal fitness training (fitness instructors) Average Salary
When we begin to look at the standard fitness instructor salaries across the world we can see that the disparity is vast.
- The average salary for a fitness instructor is between £8 and £13 per hour in the UK
- Australia the average is £21 per hour
- Canada the average is £15 per hour
- In the USA the average is £14.50 per hour
So you can see that the UK is behind in the basic hourly rate paid for fitness instructors.
What TRUTH is doing to combat the problem
As much as it pains me to write this article it needs to be said. We have run many personal training interviews and trial days, the levels of experience, quality of work and knowledge have decreased.
Here at TRUTH, we have a three-point plan on how we are going to help slowly but surely guide the industry in the right direction.
- We put all of our new coaches through the TRUTH personal training accreditation. This accreditation is not another box-ticking exercise but instead promotes hands-on learning in an encouraging and positive environment. We make sure that all of our coaches have passed each part of the process and at this point will be given practical experience with clients with support from the team and head coaches.
- TRUTH work with a number of universities and their students. We recently won the St Marys University, internship provider of the year award through our work with their students. We encourage new talent, building their confidence and experience within the industry.
- As a company, we have the ambition to create as many full time salaried personal trainers as we can. Giving them the opportunity to earn a good income, buy a house and look after their family. The old model of renting a personal training space at £500 – £1000/ month is one that needs to go. The world has changed now and the fitness industry needs to move with it.
We believe the good personal trainers should be held in higher esteem than they currently are within the UK. It’s time to start a new standard and to promote the best above the rest. We love the fitness industry and love being a part of it, but it seems to have lost its way a little, but we can help change that one bit at a time…
Cameron, Tony and the TRUTH team
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