Personal training in the UK Reading Questions and Answers

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IELTS Reading PassagePersonal training in the UK

Personal training in the UK

Studies have shown that average weights for British men, women and children have increased considerably over the last 20 years. Recent research predicts that half the UK population will be seriously overweight by the year 2050.

Reports of this type often lead to a sudden rush of people deciding to join a gym or buy an exercise bike to use at home. The fitness industry has become very big business and is now worth approximately £3.92 billion. One aspect of this that is growing particularly fast at the moment is the personal training business. More and more people are choosing to pay a coach to give them regular individual fitness advice. And more and more people are choosing to become personal trainers.

Once only the rich successful film stars and professional footballers, for example – used personal trainers but now they provide themselves services for bank clerks, teachers. A number of recent television programmes have raised people’s awareness of personal training and made them realise that it is no longer something that only the wealthy can afford. One major leisure company has identified personal training – either for individuals or for a small group of friends – as a key area of future growth. The company understands that people prefer a more tailored and personal programme over a one-size-fits-all approach.

The main reason for this preference is the clients’ belief that personalised training will be matched to their individual fitness needs and so will help them achieve the great results they want. But there is another reason as well. Many people feel uncomfortable working out in a gym where everyone else seems so much more athletic. People like this feel much happier exercising in privacy at home. Of course, they could do this without a personal trainer but most people find it motivating to have someone else give them encouragement.

For all these reasons, then, it is a good time to set up a personal training business and there are only a few requirements for anyone wishing to do so. Firstly, they must get a general qualification in personal training. This can cost them from £300 to several thousand, depending on their previous knowledge and on the specific focus of the course. They must also take out insurance and they will need transport and access to fitness equipment. They should also identify a specialism to offer their clients. This could mean focusing on helping people to lose weight or to improve their muscle tone, or it could mean specialising in helping women during pregnancy or athletes.

Fitness training offers a flexible career as trainers can work on a full-time or part-time basis. It is possible to fit in training around an existing job so that trainers can see if the business is going to be right for them before they give up a regular salary. Most fitness trainers work on a freelance basis, advertising for their own clients. This is popular because trainers can choose their own hours and can set their own charges. However, others are associated with gyms or sports clubs where they provide fitness classes as well as offering private sessions to individual customers. Despite the fact that there are many more personal trainers in the country than there were ten years ago, there are still plenty of clients to keep them busy and this allows them to keep a good living.

It can be a satisfying career choice. Nick Wood, a freelance personal trainer in London says, ‘For me, nothing is better than helping someone towards their dream. They might want to lose weight, gain muscle or get better after an injury – I just love seeing them reach their goal. This is a big motivator for me and the reason why I became a personal trainer.’

Wood says anyone setting up as a trainer should start by teaching keep fit classes locally. ‘I put a lot of energy into every single one I do and, trust me, if people think you are a good motivator in a studio, then it is only a matter of time before they want your advice to achieve their own personal goals. Posters, social media and other types of ad have also helped me get clients, but you have to get out of there and get noticed.’

So, the personal training industry in the UK may not only be an interesting career choice, but also an important way of stopping those predictions of serious weight problems by 2050 from coming true.

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Questions 1-6

Complete the notes below.

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

1__________ in the UK valued at just under £4 billion.
2Growth in the role of personal trainers predicted by a 2 __________.

People like using a trainer because:

Training is personalised.

3They prefer the environment of their  __________
4They like the  __________ a trainer provides

To set up a personal training business, people need:




6__________ they can use

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Questions 7-10

Choose the appropriate letters, A, B, C, or D

7The writer says that a career in fitness training

AIs rewarding despite a need to work long hours.
BSuits people already working in the fitness industry.
COffers flexibility and a variety of work opportunities.
DProvides a good income and interesting work.

8Which aspect of his work does Nick Wood enjoy most?

AHelping a client to cover from an injury.
BEncouraging people to do their best
CFinding new ways to motivate people.
DWatching his customers achieve.

9The key advice Nick Wood gives people who want to start a training business is:

ATo become known by teaching groups well.
BTo make sure they keep fit themselves.
CTo advertise in local gyms and sports clubs.
DTo make good use of social media.

10What is the writer’s conclusion about personal training?

AIt is likely to grow in popularity for a long time.
BIt helps both trainers and clients to keep fit.
CIt may be good for both the trainer and society.
DIt will prevent many health problems in the future.

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1Answer: Fitness industry
2Answer: Major leisure company
3Answer: Home
4Answer: Encouragement
5Answer: Insurance
6Answer: Fitness equipment and specialisation
7Answer: C
8Answer: D
9Answer: A
10Answer: C


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