Charlotte’s Story

Blood, Sweat and Exams – by Charlotte Barber age 36

I train hard at the gym, some have said like a guy – I’m not sure it this is a compliment but I’ll take it – either way I have always been in the gym and so I thought why not follow what you love with a qualification or two.

So, in June 2013 I embarked on a Personal Trainer Course with PT Academy in Birmingham. I was sent the Gym Instructor folder and given a tutor to assist with my studies, who we shall call ‘Bob’.

‘Bob’ seemed a nice guy in the initial stages; however it soon became apparent that although I was to be the last student he supervised he was not able to give me the time or assistance required. After a short while this left me with no tutor and a little worried.

However, PT Academy managed to rustle me a up a new tutor called Phil Sims(actual name) who was prompt, positive and most importantly prepared to answer the millions of questions I had built up over time. If he was prepared to take that on then I knew he was the right man for the job.

At this stage I think I should point out that I hate exams and am terrible at them. This is not a new thing, it has always been the case and this did not change with my Gym Instructor exams. Practical and coursework were fine, it’s just the exams. And off the back of this I managed to fail – ‘great’ I thought, ‘this could take a while’.

The good news was, I had Phil on side and he was able to pull me out of the dark side and into the light and I did end up passing the exams – this made me very happy.

Next was the Personal Trainer course. Again I was sent the course folder and the study began. This course was a little harder which I expected but was excited to get through it. The dreaded exams came. Practical went well, loved it. Coursework went well. Exams – Failed – I could sense a theme running here.

Phil quickly sent me over more study notes, spent time going over numerous sections of the coursework with me and in the end I passed – again, this made me very happy.

I have actually made this out to be a lot less painful than it actually was, but that was mainly down to my lack of confidence and self-belief but Phil managed to find the true me, albeit a little daft with appalling taste in jokes – but he knew a good ‘up and coming’ PT was in there somewhere.

I am now a certified Gym Instructor, Personal Trainer and Circuits Instructor and could not owe it more to Phil, because without his help, determination and positive energy I might still be on Level 2. He has also agreed to be my mentor in the future, which I am very excited about as there is so much still to learn and work towards in this industry.

He believed in me and I now have a new contact and mentor who I deem to be first and foremost a friend.