If you've been following me on Instagram you'll have seen the usual weekend adventures switched out for long days in the gym putting theory into practice. Well on Sunday I passed my level 3 personal training exam.
Although I've wanted to become a personal trainer for a few years now I didn't actually think it would happen. Not because I couldn't do it but because I've never been able to prioritise the course before. I work full time as a lawyer and the rest of my time I like to be outside with my dog Gatsby exploring and challenging myself. Undertaking a PT course is not to be underestimated (read my thoughts at the half way stage here) but now I've finished it, I am so glad I took on the challenge.
Here's what I learnt:
1. Challenge everything
We are all guilty of following the status quo, doing what we've always done and following things we believe to be correct. The team of tutors at No.1 Fitness are pretty incredible and the first thing they thought us was to ask why (I think they later regretted this when we asked them so many questions) but the No.1 Fitness team are determined to break down the barriers to fitness, one huge one being lack of education. We were lucky enough to have the co-founder Harry Thomas train us for a few of the sessions and my gosh is he passionate about his professional. The reason he invited our cohort of students onto the course is because he wants to ensure that people with a social following are spreading the correct message. What's the "correct message"? Well that depends, we started by challenging everything we knew, or thought we knew. Take breakfast, have you ever heard the phrase "breakfast is the most important meal of the day"? Harry asked us, "why?" Based on what evidence? And we couldn't answer. Most people believe that saying because your mum recited it when you were younger. The team at No.1 Fitness taught us how to coach people to get the results they desire by educating them and giving them strategies that work with their lifestyles not cloning them to fit a one size fits all approach.
2. Not all PTs will go the extra mile
In doing this course I've felt a little bit cheated. I know that might sound a bit weird but I have had quite a few personal trainers before and they didn't teach me half of the things that I have learnt on this course. Don't get me wrong, some of them were great and clearly knew way more than they could share with me in my hour with them but then that's one other big thing that I learnt. Personal trainers need to go the extra mile, as a client you are not going to get great results with a PT who just sees you once a week for one session compared to a PT who works out your whole week of sessions with you (even if some of them are not training 1:1) and catches up with you within the week to check how the training is going and also how your diet and nutrition are looking. That was another huge part of the course that I loved, No.1 Fitness are really passionate about diet and nutrition (they have a new course launching soon on this too) and that's because they know that nutrition plays a HUGE part in getting people the results and transformations they want.
3. You have enough time
I am never wearing the busy badge again. In fact, I think "I'm busy" is one of the most destructive phases. I used to think that I was busy and that I worked long days. I get up at 5:30am and work long hours as a lawyer. On this course I managed to fit in over 55 hours online study and 5 full weekends for practical tuition and assessments. If you had asked me at the start if I had time to fit all of that in I would have said "no way". Yes I was tired, exhausted even at times. Yes I had to make pretty big sacrifices, especially on the social life front but I absolutely loved the course and it was well worth the sacrifice (I also feel like I've taken my time management to a whole new level - my ballet mistress used to say "If you want a job doing, give it to a busy person" - she was right)
4. Surround yourself with people who get it
If you want to go far in life then surround yourself with people who share the same passion. Spending my weekends with 5 other people chasing the same goal was contagious. They shared their knowledge, ideas and passion for training, the journey they have been on and where they would like to go next. It was so inspiring to spend time with trainers and coaches who are so knowledgeable and passionate about sharing their advice and methods and I am so excited to, in turn, share it with the people I get to train.
5. I ask a lot of questions
I learnt a lot about myself on this course. The first being that I absolutely love learning about health and fitness. I found the anatomy and physiology sections fascinating (I swear we didn't learn half of that in GCSE PE). I also learnt that I ask a tonne of questions. I think my job has trained me to question everything and to break things down and consider all of the options. I think that this is an important skill to hold onto - it might be a little frustrating in a classroom setting - but I think it is so important every now and again to take a new course or enrol on a programme and learn something new. You don't ever need to teach a client to become a qualified personal trainer. The things I have learnt on this course will improve my own training and get me results personally even if I never train anyone else and for someone who loves health and fitness that's a huge win in itself.
I think I've covered a lot of the main things but if you have any questions don't hesitate to send me and email or pop a comment below. Plus, of course don't forget to check out the course and how to enrol here.