Some tips on successful outdoor classes

So the weather seems to be getting better and we all know that the warm sun and blue skies create a perfect backdrop for outdoor workouts. There’s some great health benefits to being outside: like boosting immunity, mental health and even increasing satisfaction with the workout – great for your clients, their fitness and your business. With so many advantages to outdoor exercise, you don’t want to miss out on taking your training sessions to the park or even the beach.

Just remember to keep in mind that heading outdoors to train clients can bring some unique challenges. Here are four tips to ensure the safety and success of your outdoor workouts:


The idea of outdoors fitness classes has growing in popularity, boosted by Bootcamps and the likes of British Military Fitness. Before starting an outdoor fitness class or boot camp you should just check with your Local Council to see if any permits or licenses might be needed – or if there are any restrictions on what you can do, where and when. Policies can vary and we’ve all seen the challenges Park Run have had recently with some Councils trying to start charging them to use the park. Most will be free, but worth not getting caught out.


Safety is the most important aspect of any type of group training, and taking workouts outdoors poses a few extra considerations. Once you have found a location, familiarise yourself with the space to locate any available medical and safety resources. Locate and avoid any hazards or debris that may interfere with your program or potentially injure your clients. It is also important to bring safety equipment with you, such as first aid kits, water and a mobile phone.


When running your outdoor class, you should always abide any restrictions. You must respect the park’s landscaping and fixtures by using exercise equipment that is portable, does not attach to trees and limits the wear and tear of the space and its resources. Remember there are a lot of other people who have equal rights to be there and want to enjoy the open space—parks and public spaces are intended for the use and enjoyment of the entire community. Don’t abuse it and avoid busy areas. When you’re finished the class, be sure to remove all equipment and rubbish that you and your clients may have left behind. Don’t do anything which will risk future use of the area for other trainers.


Just be professional. Do what you have been taught to do and do it in a safe and respectful manner and the outdoor class will be a great success. That professionalism should also extend to ensuring your professional liability insurance is up to date. What if that member of the public trips and hurts themselves on your equipment?

Changing careers to become a personal Trainer! UK Fitness Certification explained

With 2017 now upon us, it is not just the time of the year to start picking those weights back up or hitting the treadmill, but it is also the time of the year where you may evaluate what we are doing with your career and where you want to be come the end of 2017.

The fitness sector is no different, more and more people enrol onto a personal training diploma in January than any other time of the year as the festive fun closes and New years resolutions kicks in. If you are dreading going back to work, fed up of working the mundane 9-5 and want a career that yields your passion for fitness, then becoming a personal trainer could be just what the doctor ordered. Before jumping head first, you need to know what you are actually looking for and to fully comprehend how fitness qualifications work in the UK, so you can find the right course for you.

Our guest Blogger this week is Luke Hughes, the Managing Director at Origym who will help you navigate your way to a new career. Visit for more info.



One of the most commonly typed in phrases in Google each month is “how to become a personal trainer”? Often companies’ websites are loaded with marketing jargon, inaccuracies and frequently there are terms that mean effectively the same thing, which causes confusion on what you actually need to get personal training qualified and what the best route to take is.

Well, this is where I am going to simplify things and show you what is needed to become a personal trainer and what fitness accreditation and level of certification that is required to start your career the right way.

There are two fitness certificates you need, your level 2 gym instructing qualification and your level 3 personal training award. This is the minimum requirement needed to be able to qualify as a personal trainer, whether you want to start applying for jobs, set up your own online personal training service or run freelance circuits classes, you need these two certificates to bring your aspirations to life.

You might be wondering though, where is the level 1 fitness qualification? Well, there is such thing as a level 1 course in physical activity, however you do not need this qualification to progress onto your level 2 gym instructing course also known as level 2 fitness instructing. Once you have achieved level 2 gym instructing you need to progress in chronological order up through the tiers of certificates on offer e.g. you can’t skip from level 2 gym instructing to completing a level 4 course in lower back pain management for example.



Firstly and most importantly, you need to know the accreditation you actually need in the UK to be able to get yourself insured and be in the knowledge that you are fully certified and can start legally conducting one to one personal training sessions.

There are four major awarding organisations within the United Kingdom, Active IQ, YMCA Awards, City & Guilds and OCR, there are a few other awarding organisations that provide fitness certificates, but these are the most common for the fitness sector. The awarding organization is the company that is actually being printed on your certificate, not the company you actually purchase your personal training course from. The company you actually purchase your personal trainer course from is an approved test centre of one of those awarding bodies, called training providers, who deliver the training in correspondence to the guidelines set by the awarding organization. To maintain the approval of the governing body they have to undergo vigorous checks, sampling of work and regular visits to make sure they are delivering the fitness courses the right way. Always, always, always check the website of the training provider to see which governing body is stamped on their website as this is what qualification you will receive. The UK has a standardized the fitness qualifications about 10 years ago to ensure every personal trainer has covered the exact same core modules irrespective of which awarding organization or training provider of those awarding organisations you elect to do your course via.

Most fitness education companies tend to use Active IQ or YMCA awards as they are the most well known for fitness certification and are very industry specific governing bodies. This being said, this does not mean that City & Guilds, OCR or any of the smaller awarding organisations are not equally as valid or recognised by prospective employers and you will have no trouble gaining employment from certificates from those governing bodies.



You may have heard or someone has mentioned the name REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals) to you as an awarding organization. This is a very common mistake, REPs are not a an awarding organization, REPs provides a system of regulation for instructors and trainers to ensure that they meet the health and fitness industry’s agreed National Occupational Standards.

REPs is owned by SkillsActive, which is the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure and Learning. It has been established by Employers in Sport and Recreation, Health and Fitness to sustain quality in training and qualifications in the UK. When you hear the term “REPs recognised courses”, this means that training providers that have had their courses regulated from REPs and SkillsActive get a stamp of approval and with every major gym chain in the UK partnering with REPs you need to pick a “REPs recognised course”, otherwise when going for employment you will be turned away, regardless of the level of qualification you present.

If you ever need to check if a course provider delivers REPs recognised courses, you can contact REPs themselves or view SkillsActive’s list of approved centres and also a list of centres claiming to be approved. Spending some time doing your due diligence may save you a lot of heartbreak in the long run.



If personal training qualifications are standardized then why is there such a difference in price from one company to the next? Firstly, although the core modules are exactly the same within every personal trainer course, this does not mean that add on courses and extra modules are not included, which can influence the price you pay.

Secondly the service you receive from the training provider varies vastly, in terms of quality of tutoring, level of help and support, speed of support, quality of learning resources, if they have an aftercare program such as helping with interviews with gyms, the list goes on to what is going to determine the value that course provider concludes their service is worth to how much you are going to pay for that service. Think of it this way, if a Ferrari is the same price as a fiesta, you would buy the Ferrari every time, right? Why is that, they do the same job, get you from point A to point B. The reality as we know is very different and a Ferrari is about hundred times the price yet people still pay it. This is because of the quality it provides and the intrinsic value it generates and fitness qualifications are no different. Although the fitness qualification you come out with can be the same, the experience and quality of service you receive can be completely different from one provider to the next. As a general rule of thumb the more expensive the provider normally the more qualifications and higher levels of service you will receive. This being said, like any walk of life you can find personal trainer courses vastly over priced at one end of the spectrum or completely undervalued at the other end.

The third and most important reason that determines cost of personal training qualifications is the actual study method you choose to learn via. You can’t contrast the price of one provider that only offers full time personal trainer courses with an online personal trainer course. Full time courses will always cost more regardless of service or anything else for that matter, the provider would need to supply a tutor everyday and a venue everyday; therefore they cost significantly more. With online personal trainer courses, apart from paying for certification and registration to the awarding body, the overheads for a provider are minimal, hence why the course is normally less than half the price of a full time personal trainer course.

Finally you will find “personal trainer courses” on the web that have no accreditation, no stamps from any authority organisations and are not regulated by any governing body. These ”qualifications” unfortunately are not worth the paper they are written on and no employer or insurance company will legally back you.


Author Bio

Luke Hughes

Managing Director


Luke is the Managing Director of fitness education course provider Origym. He is passionate about everything education and fitness. As a cycling enthusiast he can often be found cycling up and down the hills in the lake district.

Find a Personal Trainer that’s Right for You

If you live in the capital, to find a personal trainer in London might be one of your immediate goals in 2016. After many of us enjoy the eating and drinking that comes with Christmas, January is the traditional time to buckle down and improve our fitness with the new year upon us. There are many different types of personal trainers, and they can all help you in different ways – so where’s the best place to start?

Where can I find a personal trainer?

Looking in your local gym or fitness centre is a good way to begin, or there is the increasingly popular option of checking online for a personal trainer that meets your needs. My Fitness Times is a portal for personal trainers to advertise their services, and by checking the profiles of the various fitness specialists you can see what they offer. For more information, take a look at our personal trainers now.

Ask questions

Depending on your fitness objectives, you should have a stack of questions for your personal trainer. Do you want to bulk up and gain muscle? In that case, you should make sure the personal trainer you choose is knowledgeable in the area of weight training. Do you want to lose weight? If so, cardio activities, such as running and swimming, should be high up on the agenda in terms of what your personal trainer should offer.

Look for some rapport

It is important that you get on well with your personal trainer, to a degree. While you will be working hard a lot of the time, it is good to have a fun relationship with the person you will be spending a lot of time with. You can assess whether you will get on well with a personal trainer by talking to them on the phone or meeting them first.

Nutrition counts

Does your personal trainer know about nutrition? They should do. Every effective fitness programme needs to have a big focus on nutrition. Do you need more protein and less carbs? Are you taking in enough vitamin C? Your personal trainer should be able to guide you on the right kind of things to eat, and what not to eat.

Motivation matters

What kind of character will motivate you? Will they push you to do more or push you away? These are the kind of questions you should be asking yourself before you decide on your personal trainer. The success of your fitness programme, like many things in life, will be determined not by your personal trainer, but by the amount of work you are prepared to put in. With this in mind, which kind of personal trainer is most likely to get that extra 10% out of you?