James Ingham’s Journey to Becoming a Personal Trainer19 January 2017
Have you ever felt like you need a new challenge in life? Perhaps you’re contemplating changing your career? Or just starting out and looking for the right career path? Well if you love health and fitness (like me) the answer could be found in personal training. I’ve been a showbiz journalist for 10 years and while I still love the job, the prospect of a healthier mind and body is appealing.
Exercise, sport and fitness have always played a huge role in my life and the thought of sharing those benefits with others is also hugely attractive. And adding another skillset to your CV never hurt anyone. The more options in life the better right? So after looking up various personal training courses and companies and asking PT friends for advice, I enrolled with Premier Training International. A new challenge for a New Year!
It’s 19 years since I tried (and failed) to change my University degree from Journalism to Sport’s Science after my first term. So, not surprisingly, I did have a couple of concerns before signing on the dotted line. Firstly, at 37, was I too old to consider changing a successful career as a showbiz editor on a national newspaper to become a personal trainer? Surely it is a young person’s game? And secondly, did I really want to go back to class rooms, studying, and exams? Thankfully the answer to the former was ‘No’ and to the latter, ‘Yes’.
There’s no escaping the fact I am one of the older students out of a class of about 20, but the class is so diverse in terms of age, sex, nationality, etc. that no one would feel out of place here. The stereotypical myth that the course would be full of young testosterone filled fitness fanatic men couldn’t be further from the truth. What struck me is everyone’s fitness levels, skillsets, strengths and weakness are also so diverse. The majority of our end aims and goals are different too.
In short, whatever your health and fitness background you won’t be out of place so long as you’re passionate about learning. As for my second worry, about dusting off my pencil case and becoming a student once more, I’m absolutely loving it.
Yes, there is a lot to learn, particularly if you are still working like me. But I surprised myself how much I’m loving testing the brain and learning something new. If you find health and fitness interesting, which I’m guessing you do if you are considering qualifying as a PT, then what’s not to love about learning something you’re passionate about? I’m one full week in and so far the teaching time has been predominately spent in the class room but there’s also been a decent amount of gym based practical teaching to ensure you don’t get brain overload. There’s also a manageable dose of homework and revision.
The courses aren’t particularly cheap so I appreciate not everyone can train up without being sure it’s the correct career path for them. But the prices are competitive and I’m assured from friends, that have already trained at Premier, great value for money. There’s full-time, part-time and online courses available, so options to suit all. You don’t have to quit your job if you’re not 100 percent certain it’s the correct career path for you.
A word of advice for those doing either Level 2 or Level 3 class based training: revise as much of the online learning course you get before you start. The more you learn prior to class, the easier and less stressful it will be. Especially if your anatomy knowledge is limited like mine was.
I now know how the circulatory and respiratory systems, work alongside my nervous system, to help power the fast twitch muscle fibres found in the muscle belly of my quadriceps. This then enabling me to perform split sprints by using my aerobic, lactate and creatine energy sources. I certainly never thought I’d be saying that a week ago.
One week down, five more to go!
James Ingham, 2017
James Ingham is a Showbiz Editor for the Daily Star Sunday & Columnist. Follow James’ progress on Twitter and Instagram!
Photo credit: PND Photography