Future Fit Training has been putting ukactive through its personal training paces as three of the team are studying the Level 3 PT Diploma. Apart from gaining new skills and knowledge, the three trainees – Steven Ward, Geraldine Tuck and Jak Phillips – have really had their eyes opened and gained a whole new appreciation for the work undertaken by the UK’s personal trainers.
“I set out on the diploma with professional and personal goals in mind,” says ukactive Head of Comms Jak Phillips. “Professionally, I wanted to build on my existing sector knowledge and join the dots between the theoretical and practical aspects of getting moving. Personally, as a frequent gym user, I was hoping the insight into training principles would help me take my workouts to the next level. The course strips your knowledge and misconceptions right back and makes you look at the gym from the perspective of someone who’s never set foot in one before, which is great for understanding the potential barriers people can have to exercise and the role a PT plays in helping them to overcome them,” adds Jak.
ukactive Operations Director Geraldine Tuck joined the industry straight from university and was recruited as a fitness instructor before the term ‘personal trainer’ had even been coined. “Training with Future Fit has given me the opportunity to return to those learnings and it’s fascinating to see how much it has evolved.”
Juggling the learning alongside busy, full-time jobs was initially a challenge, but the pair find the online eLearning process fits around their work day and both have done plenty of learning on their daily commute. “With some noise cancelling headphones, you can really get absorbed in the anatomy and physiology,” says Geraldine. Meanwhile, Jak admits: “FFT’s online portal really comes into its own on the bus. Armed with an iPad and portable router, I’m able to plough through an hour a day of e-learning without breaking step.”
The practical work and weekend training sessions with the rest of the group really helped bring the theoretical learning into perspective. “The practical work is my favourite – being with a great group of people makes the learning a pleasure,” says Geraldine. “Our instructor is very experienced, well-informed and demonstrated everything so well that it set you up to succeed.”
Jak also appreciated the supportive atmosphere fostered in the group environment. “You can feed off each other’s strengths and help bridge the gap on any weaknesses,” he adds. “It’s also great for the fact that you get to meet new people and this sets you up well for working with the wider public once you qualify.”
Steven, Jak and Geraldine have all passed their Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification and are now working towards their Level 3 PT Diploma. “It means a great deal to have this formal qualification, rather than say ‘I used to do that’!” says Geraldine. Jak adds that he’s been fired up by passing the Level 2 course and admits he has definitely caught the learning bug.
Both say that training with Future Fit is tough at times. “Learning with FFT is hard but that’s the whole point,” says Jak. “It’s one of the most comprehensive diplomas out there and designed to equip trainers with a complete skillset to raise the bar in terms of PT provision. The sheer extent of learning required and the number of coaching points that you need to remember to ensure that every single movement is safe and as effective as possible has been a big surprise to me – I thought I knew quite a lot already but when I hit the books I realised I knew diddly-squat!”
The training process has given Geraldine even greater respect for fitness professionals and the work they do. “It has been great to take time to study more fully, what I consider to be a core element of the physical activity industry,” she says. “This insight has enabled me to further understand the knowledge and skills of the people that are so influential in whether or not someone takes up activity as part of their lifestyle. Our work at ukactive is focused on getting more people, more active, more often. Personal trainers and gym instructors are at the centre of this process and the standard of tuition offered by Future Fit Training is definitely giving them a head start.”
ukactive Executive Director Steven Ward sums it all up by saying: “Training with Future Fit has been a complete eye-opener. The depth of knowledge and extent of the skills and expertise needed to be a qualified trainer is extraordinary. It’s fascinating to learn so much and their level of support is second-to-none. It’s far from easy to cover the theory and has taken some practice to get my tuition skills up to scratch but this is proving to be a highly enjoyable challenge. There is no doubt that seeing our industry from the perspective of the trainee or trainer has given me a valuable insight into the excellent work being done to engage people in activity and keep them on track.”
To find out how they’re getting along, visit http://www.ukactive.com/blog and to find out more about training with Future Fit, visit www.futurefit.co.uk.