I did my personal training qualifications through Trafford College and fantastically, earlier this year, my teacher Rick Poole, put me forward for a competition for newly qualified personal trainers. The competition is run by WorldSkills UK and their aim is “to improve the prestige of apprenticeships and technical education, to inspire more people to consider these as career routes.”

The first round competition involved a 20-question anatomy and physiology test, a social media section where I had to write a Twitter bio and a tweet promoting my PT business and one promoting a fitness topic.

BIO: Going to the gym not for you? I felt this way too. Now I’m 44 & a qualified personal trainer & life coach. Work with me to improve body shape AND confidence.

Post to promote business: On turning 50, Gil got in touch wanting to get stronger & learn to do a plank. 4 weeks on, Gil can hold a plank for 1 min. #personaltrainer

Post on a fitness topic: Guidelines say do 150 mins moderate intensity exercise a week. Why? To reduce risk of heart disease & type 2 diabetes. It’s future-proofing ?

I also had to create a 2 minute video of me coaching someone that could be used as advertising.

It’s a bit rough and ready but this was my entry. Thanks to my friend Millie Johnson from the gym for being my client. Millie has also recently qualified as personal trainer. (and if you look really closely you can see my cat Jem at the kitchen window, wondering what an earth we’re doing)

I got through to the heats! It was exciting and terrifying as I had to create a 40 minute training session with full workout plan. The idea being, if another PT or my client read it, they would be able to work through the session without me there. I also had to perform three physical competency exercises from a list of 12 and be able to show progressions and regressions. This was nerve-wracking as press-ups were on the list and of all the exercises I do, this is one I’m pretty dreadful at. (They chose press-ups. They weren’t brilliant)

40 people took part in the heats at Loughborough College. My friend Beth came with me as my client. It was all a bit bonkers as I only landed back from holiday in Lisbon at 5.30 the evening before and 2 hours later I was picking Beth up and driving to our B&B in Loughborough.

There was a THRONE in our room?!?!?!

We were at the college for about 8am the next morning, where I did my session under the watchful eyes of three judges and the head judge Karen. They gave us feedback on our sessions and told us what we did well and how we could improve. I was really chuffed when they said I’d got excellent communication skills and they liked that I made changes to my session because of Beth’s sore shoulder. We then had to wait to find out how we did.

On the 20th July the finalists were announced and I’m one of the eight. Two of us from Trafford College got through to the final and are the only finalists from the NorthWest.

I’m delighted. WorldSkills Live is in November at the NEC. As well competing in 2 days of competition with AN AUDIENCE *gulp*, we will be introduced to employers and successful personal trainers so that we can learn from them. We’ll attend a workshop run by British Rowing Association where we’ll learn how to create indoor rowing workouts. It’s such a fantastic development opportunity.

We’ll also get to see the competitors from the other industry sectors that are represented.

  • Construction & Infrastructure
  • Health, Hospitality & Lifestyle
  • Digital, Business & Creative
  • Engineering & Technology

All in all, it doesn’t matter what happens in the competition because it’s going to be a fantastic experience just taking part.

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