Fitness Training Academy

Get into the fitness industry with a fully-funded two-year course for 16-18 year olds.

Into your fitness? If you’re a motivated 16-18 school leaver and you’re looking for alternatives to college and A Levels look no further. The Fitness Training Academy (FTA) is for you.

What is it? FTA is a two-year vocational course (Level 3 Diploma in Physical Activity, Fitness and Exercise Science) that qualifies you as both a Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer.

Could I work in a gym afterwards? Yes. If I wanted, could I go onto University? Absolutely.

If this is your first Level 3 qualification (likely if you’re 16-18 and straight out of school) the course is fully-funded – so you get training for free.

With mentoring from fitness experts and weekly work placements at established fitness and leisure clubs, this course is the perfect way to start your career in fitness.

Find your nearest centre.
Running across seven locations in the UK

London, Manchester, Doncaster, Leeds, Norwich, Lowestoft and Ipswich

What will I learn

Overview

Level
3

Awarding/validation body
YMCA Awards

With this two-year course you can develop a full understanding of the fitness industry. Practical work-based training in an established gym allows you to put what you've learnt into action.

We’ll teach you the science behind fitness and how the body reacts to exercise. Our trainers are experts in their field – and all the theory you learn you’ll be able to apply in a gym-based setting.

You’ll learn everything there is to know about how to talk to clients and keep them motivated. We’ll teach you how to induct new members into the gym – making sure they know how to use all the exercise equipment safely and effectively.

By the end of the course you’ll be able to create personalised fitness plans and exercise classes for varying abilities.

Course format

Mode of study
Full-time

Duration
2 years

This is a two-year full-time qualification, which will take place five days a week from 9am-5pm

The main qualification will run over four days, plus one day for work experience placements. The format of the course combines theory and practical application with time spent in the classroom and on the gym floor.

Start dates

September/October

Year 1

By the end of your first year you will be recognised as a Level 2 Gym Instructor.

Over the course the year, we’ll build up your technical understanding of the health and fitness industry. We’ll cover:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • How to plan and implement training programmes
  • Employment skills
  • Customer care
  • Studio cycling

For those of you without a C in maths and English either at GCSE level, will as part of this course, keep working towards achieving GCSE grade C. If you have already achieved a grade C you will continue to develop your study english and Maths skills with the Functional Skills at Level 2 qualifications.

Work experience
You will complete a variety of work placements at established and respected health and fitness venues, ranging from independent gyms to larger leisure centres.

Year 2

By the end of your second year you will be recognised as a Level 3 Personal Trainer.

As a PT, your clients will come to you to help them achieve their personal goals. You need to be able to design programmes that are safe, effective and tailored to their needs. Motivating clients is a skill too; one which we can teach – and you can practice. In the second year you’ll cover:

  • How to complete client consultations
  • Develop entrepreneurial skills
  • Understand the psychology of health and exercise
  • Develop opportunities to access higher education

Your development in maths and English will continue and further work placements will be set up.

Work experience
As you will be a qualified gym instructor by year 2, these placements will allow you to gain on-the-job experience as an instructor and begin to establish potential employment opportunities.

Assessment

  • Multiple choice theory exams*
  • Theoretical case studies
  • Written assignments
  • Practical observations

*Please note: there is only one resit attempt permitted per exam.

Certification

Qualification
Level 3 Diploma in Physical Activity, Fitness and Exercise Science

Plus:

  • GCSE Maths and English and/or Functional Skills Level 2 Maths and English
  • REPS* at Level 3 as a Personal Trainer

The course is professionally recognised by The Register for Exercise Professionals (REPs).

REPs is an independent, public register which recognises the qualifications and expertise of the UK’s exercise instructors.

REPs provide assurance and confidence to the public and employers that all professionals on the Register are appropriately qualified and have the knowledge, competence and skills to perform their role effectively.

Your future. Your career

You have options.

You can work and earn money straight away. As a qualified Personal Trainer and Gym Instructor you can work in a gym or leisure facility. Your qualification is respected in the industry and will be recognised everywhere in the UK.

Or, you can use the UCAS points from your qualification to get into higher education, including university.

Or, you can have the best of both and earn while you learn as an apprentice.

How to apply

To enrol on the course will need:

  • To attend an entrance interview before being formally accepted.
  • Basic experience of gym-based exercise including free weights.

The course will require physical exertion and a high level of individual participation; so personal physical fitness is necessary. There is also an element of communication (discussing, presenting, reading and writing) involved and you should have basic skills and competence in this area.

*If you have AS or A-levels you can still apply but may not be eligible for full funding.