Lisa Kent

Job title Gym instructor

Employer Premier Global

Why does a gym instructor do?

A gym instructor helps people improve their health and fitness by leading and organising group and individual exercise programmes. An instructor will lead a range of activities or specialise in a particular area such as keep fit and weight training.

Give us an insight into a typical day at work...

My day-to-day activities vary greatly, which is why I love this job so much. Being a gym instructor is all about helping people to improve their health and fitness and so I spend a lot of time leading and organising group or individual exercise programmes. My day will typically involve carrying out fitness assessments, consultations and inductions with new clients.

What do you love most about your job?

Helping my client’s look and feel fitter and healthier gives me a lot of job satisfaction. I also meet a mixture of people; it’s a very sociable role and I love the fact that I am constantly meeting people from such a variety of backgrounds. Putting together individualised fitness plans is also very rewarding. A lot of people can find the gym quite boring and mundane, so an individual fitness plan can help them overcome boredom as well as help them see quicker results as it’s tailored specifically towards them.

Any drawbacks?

The starting salary for a gym instructor isn’t brilliant, luckily, it does go up. It's also a short career span; you don’t find many people over the age of 26 working as gym instructors. We have quite a short shelf life! However, there’s a lot of scope to progress within the industry. It’s quite a competitive field to get into, although the demand for gym instructors has grown, the number of people entering the field has as well.

What qualifications does a gym instructor need?

It’s important to have a mixture of qualifications and skills. The course I did with Premier Training International prepared me well for the role; it was a very practical and hands-on course and it gave me a solid and practical foundation. Empathy and good communication skills are also crucial for this role because you’re dealing with people who not only want to transform their body but also their lifestyle and mind. With a vast choice of health and fitness qualifications available it’s important to choose a reputable organisation. Premier Training is the market leader in the development and provision of education for the health and fitness industry, with a well established reputation of delivering outstanding vocational education since 1993. They have some of the strongest sports scientists and industry experts involved in shaping syllabuses and training delivery; continuously pioneering the latest trends in the health, fitness and wellbeing industry. Whether you’re interested in specialising in weight management, physical performance, kettlebells or pre and post natal exercise, Premier will ensure you have the stand out to succeed. All their qualifications are nationally accredited through Active IQ and are fully recognised by employers and the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). Courses are delivered through face to face and distance learning styles as well as e-learning platforms, allowing students to access the podcasts, webinars and video lectures.

Any other last bits of advice?

Gain work experience placements. Contact your local council and see if you can shadow one of their instructors for a week. Volunteer for local charity sports events. Finally, if you want to make yourself more attractive to employers try and gain more qualifications than just mandatory ones, such as exercise to music, many gyms will pay you to teach classes.