Our inspiring student Jacqui Chudleigh reviews becoming a personal trainer at 55 with our online YMCA Awards Level 2 and 3 Combined Course.

Studying the YMCA Awards course has opened up a whole new way of life for me.

I’m 55 years old, and absolutely love the gym, but it wasn’t always like that.

Four years ago, I was very overweight, running a music education business, and feeling quite depressed a lot of the time.

I went to the gym occasionally, but just because I felt I should rather than that I wanted to. Exercise was a chore that I felt I didn’t have time for. I didn’t feel confident enough to venture into the gym too often.

In 2014 I had a major health issue, as well as other factors in my life that completely turned me around.

Rather than feeling that these were negative events, I started having personal training sessions with my son, who is a PT and now runs his own gym. I loved it! I became fitter, stronger, healthier and happier.

I have taken part in events that I never thought possible, such as cycling sportives and runs (I always hated running!) I have found that I do have muscles (!!) and especially enjoy strength training and HIIT workouts.

As time went by, I really felt that I wanted to pass this feeling I had gained from exercise onto other women, especially women (and men) of a similar age to myself.

I want to prove that anything is possible, no matter what your age, ability or your own perception of yourself.

I started looking into training as a Personal Trainer. ICS Learn appealed to me as I could fit the studying in around my family life, and complete the course in my own time.

I opted for the Combined Level 2 and Level 3 and have thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience.

Learning with ICS Learn has been a lot easier than I thought! It’s been a long time since I studied, so I was a little concerned about learning about the anatomy etc., but the videos, quizzes and curriculum material made it all very clear and enjoyable to learn.

The tutor support has been great, as there is always someone available to ask any questions, and to give feedback on the work.

The assessments have been good too. I like that they are mainly multiple choice, and are placed at the end of each section of learning, which gives me confidence to continue.

Balancing my family and work life with studying was a major concern, as my life is pretty hectic! Being able to ‘dip in and out’ of the material has been great, although I have found the course so addictive that I’m often sat learning for hours!

Learning with ICS Learn has been amazing, and I am excited about the future.

I will be working at The Mint Yard, my son’s gym, and already have clients waiting for me to qualify which is really exciting.

I would say to anyone looking to learn with ICS Learn – just do it! Don’t worry about age, time, or any other factors, as it is very ‘student friendly’.

Definitely the best decision I’ve made in a long time!


Find out more about becoming a REPs-recognised personal trainer online.