Getting 'Personal'
with EIF founder and CEO Darren Tebbenham, BSc, MSc

My Blog

Read about the whats and the whys here...

Thanks for taking the time to check-in with me here.

It's great that you're looking into becoming an elite fitness professional - the world really needs them!

I hope that you will find some valuable information here about what it takes to 'be more' and some precious insights into the industry.



Below is a collection of thoughts, articles, blogs, FAQs in all shapes and sizes.

Yes, we do offer something very different here - as a fitness provider, we don't really fit in - and with good reason. We don't train thousands of people to train to REPs guidelines... we teach a small amount of people to excel and stand out as successful personal trainers. Below, you can read all about my thoughts about the state of the industry as well as how and why you need to push yourself. After all, in order to get more, you need to 'be more'.

Criticism: Fast-track courses do not prepare students for the role of personal trainer.


Of course this is mainly a sales strategy of a training provider who doesn’t deliver fast-track courses but, instead, claims the best way to train is to first get a gym instructor qualification to then get a job in a gym as a gym instructor to then learn the role like an apprentice might cleaning equipment and carrying out inductions for new members.

The claim is that learning on the job is better than cramming content into a short course.


The thing is this too can equally leave one lacking. Let me explain. Firstly, an approach whereby you learn mainly from home in your own time attending a weekend assessment day relies heavily on disciplined self-study, will lead the learner towards learning “text book” content and therefore by the weekend assessment day may not really leave them very competent and certainly not very confident.


Whilst one could still pass the multiple choice exam and practice-client case study this way, it is far from being able to do the job. So the reliance is on firstly that one can get a gym instructor job (these are few and far between nowadays) and secondly that once in the job one will then learn to do the job well (i.e. learn from an experienced instructor).


The problem here is the last time I went into a club (and I do frequent clubs regularly) I wouldn’t say I was terribly impressed with the level of gym instructor - indeed I don’t remember seeing many gym instructors, I mainly saw personal trainers - or at least people with personal trainer tops on.


Then the story goes after several months in the role of gym instructor one would learn personal training (from other trainers) and so with further home-based study and attendance on another weekend assessment day (to gain your level 3 personal trainer award) you would be qualified.


Hopefully, you can see even going on to study on a level 4 course in exactly the same way (which by the way you can’t start until after having gained experience as a personal trainer) really isn’t that great. You may still be seriously lacking as a personal trainer.


Now the claim is fast-track courses are flawed. If the course is based out of a commercial health club, churns out thousands of graduates a year, is still part home-study, part attendance then rightly so they probably leave students under-prepared for life after their qualification as a PT too.


The same assessments to qualify as a PT occur on a fast track course. You work with a classmate as opposed to friend or family member and complete a fictional case study and, of course, short-cuts can be taken and the student can leave poorly prepared – trained to pass assessments only. There are some several thousands of graduates every year from both approaches and very few of any of them go onto to create a sustainable career in fitness.

So what’s the answer?


Well we believe the answer is to get away and focus properly on what it will take to be a successful PT. This residential approach, of course, might not be everyone’s most convenient way to train but then convenience isn’t proving too successful. The strategies to train from home over 2 years or in 6 weeks commuting daily seem to be lacking.


You see, by delivering PT to members of the public every day does refine your delivery and improve confidence – we offer the country’s only PT clinic to do just this and can only do so because we are residential.


By having our own gym on-site exclusively for our students means unlimited access and a much more practically-focused course – we can only do this because we are residential. And by doing so student learn in a much less intimidating environment than a busy public gym.

By having like-minded students all focused on the same thing we avoid discipline issues, having to study with others who don’t necessarily want the same thing as you and consequently our teaching environment is much more conducive to accelerated learning. We achieve this only because we are residential (and a little more expensive than most other courses).

By offering an immersive experience we are able to deliver a much more bespoke curriculum, meaning beyond training fictional case studies or your friend and, instead, cover what you really need as a modern-day personal trainer.


For us this means more business training, more coaching and behaviour change, more small-group PT and more nutrition. We can only do this by being an immersive residential school that specialises in and only trains personal trainers.


By having a much more focused experience we are able to advance students’ training and qualifications to a much higher level beyond Level 3 but without having to become bogged down with more fictional case studies as is the case with level 4, which you can’t start until you have your level 3 plus experience anyway.


We do this via our Master Trainer programme which includes how to train specific populations such as diabetics, pregnant ladies, more overweight and obese clients, older adults, clients with high blood pressure and heart problems, arthritis and osteoporosis as well as adolescents. We offer an insurance policy too to cover you in all these areas. We also cover functional training and back care, sports and rehabilitation and plenty more skills training utilising TRX suspension kit, Swiss balls and alike to take PT outdoors or away from the gym environment into people’s homes. We include how to teach small groups, circuit training, boxing, core stability training and partner PT. Why? Because you need to stand out. How? By using a residential school as a professional accelerated learning tool to best help our students succeed.


Then we have our ACSM endorsed Fitness & Nutrition Coach qualification training students how to coach lifestyle and nutritional change. We take students to the supermarket, teach them how to work out a client’s metabolism and how to accelerate fat loss. We teach students to coach lasting behaviour change and ultimately stand out a as a lifestyle coach not just personal trainer.


Finally our ILM endorsed Fitness Business training means our students are ready for life as a freelance or self-employed PT when they leave. You will learn about business, tax and accounts, about product development, pricing and packaging, about marketing and sales and how to build an effective website and social media campaign. You will leave with a working business plan and learn how to manage your clients, your finances and your growing fitness business.


All in all there is no doubt our course prepares people to do the job of personal trainer and our testimonials and success stories over the last 10 years prove it.


We only train a small number of students each year, but those we do train go on to enjoy a successful career in fitness thereafter. You really can’t compare our residential PT School with an ordinary fast-track or drawn out modular course to first become a gym instructor. With us the key is in first deciding to actually become a stand-out fitness professional, choosing to do so in a way that will serve your long term career – and the rest is as they say history. Our training delivers to this end!




PS back to Personal Training Courses



We are committed to helping the small amount of trainers we teach, make a big impact in the lives of others.

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