At ICS Learn, we love a little glamour – so when fitness/lifestyle blogger extraordinaire Annie Bean signed up for our Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer combined course, we were over the moon. She’s worked with big brands like Vogue and Adidas, was named a Top 50 Global Health & Fitness Influencer, has flown all over the world with her blog, and owns the snazziest leaf print workout gear we’ve ever seen:


Her love of fitness started when she was 16. ‘I attended a circuits class at my old school with my Mum.  I caught the bug and then went on to take part in fitness classes and from there it grew into loving a bit of everything fitness-related,’ she said.

‘For years I wanted to become a personal trainer but it always took a back seat to my job. That changed when I found the personal training course with ICS Learn – everything I need to learn is online, and I can do the practical side at my local gym. The fact I can do this in the evening, on weekends and during my lunch break is absolutely amazing. I can basically fit it in around me and still get the same level of teaching and help as I would in a normal class.’

Even with a super-flexible course, juggling studying with a full time job, a successful blog and training for triathlons makes her a superhero in our eyes.

We thought we’d take a look at her journey so far… and maybe work out just how she’s doing it!


The Journey Begins

Annie’s first foray into fitness qualifications was an Exercise to Fitness course in 2003. Her health prevented her from finishing it the theory part, and unfortunately YMCA Awards changed the course structure so she couldn’t pick back up where she’d left off.

‘Frustrating is an understatement!’

She moved on to an indoor cycling course in 2013, but it wasn’t enough. ‘I totally took education for granted when I was younger, and without sounding too old, I really regret not taking advantage of more learning opportunities. I have now gotten to a point where I miss learning!’

But as any of us will know, finding the time to take a on a new commitment can be tough.

‘It somehow seemed realistic and doable for me to register when ICS Learn launched their online version. The fact I don't physically have to go to a class each week is becoming such a saving grace.’

Read The Journey Begins to find out more, or catch up with her vlog:


Later Life Learning

Annie’s had a couple of setbacks during her course: an ankle injury that forced her to take off from studying, and going back to full-time work after working freelance. ‘I started to feel really anxious I won't lie, mainly because I knew I needed to chip away at the course, but was struggling with having the time.’

The solution? Hard work and using her early mornings (5am!) for studying rather than blogging or running.

She said, ‘The great thing about ICS Learn is they aren't too far away. I have a tutor called Craig who has been awesome at answering any queries - no doubt I'll bombard him with questions when it comes to my practical.

‘There is also a class forum people all chatted about what they did for a living, some were full time in work, some weren't, there were a range of ages and often people would ask any queries about the course.’

Read her latest post to find out her tops tips for balancing studying with work, fitness and having a life. If she can do it, anyone can.

If Annie has inspired you, check out our range of fitness courses or get in touch with our course advisors by phone, email or webchat using the information at the top of the page. We're happy to help!