Maggie’s Story: From English teacher to Personal Training business success in 6 months
After 15 years as an English Teacher I found myself being pushed into management and decided I needed a change. While a personal trainer maybe doesn’t seem the most obvious career change, it tapped into how I spent most of my spare time and after just 6 months attempting to hold down an office job, I realised that I missed that interaction with people teaching had given me and, I know it sounds like a cliché but fitness really is my passion, so why not?
The first thing I did was ask my Fitness instructor who he would recommend as a training company. There are literally hundreds out there with every one charging a different price; I didn’t know where to start but I knew that the right training would make all the difference to my ability as a trainer. At the time, I didn’t realise that the British Military Fitness Academy also provided training for those with a non-military background but it was the obvious choice once I did. Having been a BMF member for the past 4 years, I’ve experienced firsthand their high quality standards.
It was definitely the best choice I could have made. I started my Level 2 Gym Instructor course in January 2016 following straight on with Level 3 Personal Trainer course which I completed in the following June. Even though I’d been a teacher for so long, it had been a long time since I was in the classroom myself, and even longer since I studied anything Science related so it was a bit nerve wracking to think I was going to have to learn (and remember) all about the heart, central nervous system, muscles – why do the muscles all have such long Latin names?! – as well as the practicalities of how to programme a session. However, Andy and Mark are very good at breaking things down and bringing the theory to life so it makes sense.
In fact, what I liked most about the course was how well it was structured. We received the Active IQ manual to read through in our own time at home. This was supported with videos on-line which went into more detail and explained more clearly some of the complex topics. The weekend face-to-face days enabled us to draw all of that together, discuss it with each other and ask any questions. The best part being that we took the theory into the gym and actually applied it in context. The teaching in the Academy is fully focused on how to provide the best possible service to your clients, not just pass the exams.
I’ve been running my own mobile personal training business for 5 months now. I started immediately on qualifying and have been steadily building a client base since. By far, my new clients come from referrals and that’s testament to how well I’ve been able to support them – absolutely down to the thorough training I received from the Academy. I can think of one client in particular who, after just a few weeks of training, suffered a trapped nerve in her shoulder. Thanks to the Academy training which went above and beyond the qualification requirements, I was able to build exercises into her programme which supported rehabilitation – and turned out to be the same exercises her physio prescribed. He advised her to stop all other training except her sessions with me. Long story short, my client recovered from her shoulder injury, increased her sessions with me, and referred a friend who is now a regular client.
It feels great to be doing a job I fully enjoy again and although English teacher to PT might seem an unrelated career change, the coaching, communication and organisation skills are just the same. My business is aimed at women who struggle to get to the gym, or out to classes due to child care and/ or busy lifestyles. I take the personal training sessions to them and have also just started running indoor classes that they can bring their children to. Once I’ve a large enough client base and reputation in the local community, I’d love to open my own small personal training facility with the same ethos, making training accessible to everyone.
If you’re considering a career change to a fitness professional, I’d say go for it. The reward from helping people achieve their goals, grow in confidence and free themselves from things like back pain is amazing; plus, I get to spend every day doing something I love! I recommend the British Military Fitness Academy to people without reservation, the real world training they have provided me has enabled me to position myself as a knowledgeable and effective trainer straight away and I’m excited for the future.
Are you ready to take the first step in becoming a Fitness Professional? take action here and find the course date and location to suit you: Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instruction and Outdoor Fitness