When it comes to the world of health and fitness, it’s an industry that’s ripe with opportunity. As things stand, the fitness industry is currently worth over £5bn and there are over 7,000 gyms currently operating in the UK alone. For those looking to turn their exercise passion or hobby into a rewarding career, they are many employment opportunities available.

The most popular include yoga teachers, Pilates instructors, aerobics instructors and of course, personal trainers. It’s the latter role that can really be called the cornerstone of the whole fitness industry. That’s not just in terms of popularity and mainstream awareness, but also with the revenue that personal training brings in. Currently, over £650m a year is generated by personal training alone.

So, if you’re hungry to join the fitness elite, let’s take a look at what’s required in a bit of detail.

It’s a common thing with new fitness professionals to jump right in and start planning/dreaming how you’re going to fill your diary with clients, make money, eventually open your gym and really live the dream. There’s nothing wrong at all in having lofty ambitions or goals because achieving success is a step-by-step process and it all begins with education. Think about, you can’t just pick up a stethoscope and call yourself a doctor, it’s something you have to train to become.

The same goes for PTs and the journey starts with personal trainer courses. The process takes you from gym instructing, where you’ll learn the ropes, the entry-level stuff, right through to personal training and it’s here where the advanced learning kicks in. You’ll discover everything from how the body should move and function to nutritional guidelines, to correctly using gym equipment and weights.

There a few ways you can complete your qualification and it really depends on what suits your lifestyle and circumstances. If you’ve currently got a 9-5 job, then full time in a classroom five days a week isn’t going to work. Therefore, you might want to consider studying at the weekend or taking an online personal trainer course which gives you the complete freedom of where and when you study.

Once you’re qualified (and you have insurance), you’re technically free to get out there and train clients but before you dive in, it’s important to take a breath. Think about how you’re really going to forge success for yourself. It isn’t about you having the best physique or the most social media followers, those things are ephemeral, what matters is how you’re going to serve your clients and change lives.

One of the UK’s best personal trainers, Matt Roberts, summed it up beautifully when he said:

‘I’ve worked with people in amazing places, including leading politicians, international film stars, musicians, pop stars and rock stars, but the mainstay of the business is always about regular people achieving results. Personal training is a results business and we’re here to ensure our clients get what they want from their hard-earned money’.

How are you going to help your clients achieve their goals? This is what you really need to think out. Perhaps it’s by working in a mainstream gym, opening your own studio and specialising in one of two areas, or taking things online so you aren’t bound by geography. Regardless of the route, you choose to take, having that laser-like client focus will ensure you can achieve great success as a personal trainer.