Helen Skjaerlund Success Story
What is your background with exercise and fitness training?
I used to do classes in gyms and then I moved further away and wasn’t within walking distance to a gym. I began doing home workouts and slowly bought additional equipment, such as dumbbells and a bench. I then realised how much I enjoyed working out at home and liked how I could reach my fitness goals without actually going to a gym.
Why did you choose the course you did?
I chose the Level 2 Gym Instructor course as I would like to go on to do the Level 3 Personal Trainer Course. As I work out at home I had to teach myself the correct technique using the information on the internet only. However, I injured myself and realised I should take a course to educate myself and learn more about the science behind exercise and fitness, including correct technique and form.
Why did you choose HFE to deliver your training?
I work full time and wanted a course that would fit around my job. In addition I wasn’t sure what I would do with this qualification and signed up primarily to educate myself only. As a result I was looking for a course that was good value for money, but still reputable. I liked how HFE offered the course material online, as well as with reference books. The support tutor was also a selling point as while I didn’t want to attend classes, I still wanted to be able to ask questions if I needed help. The weekend courses also fit around my schedule. There are also good reviews on HFE online and on their Facebook page.
What did you enjoy most about your course?
The weekend practical sessions were the most enjoyable. They are 9:00-17:00 days, but they went by very quickly and the course tutors are very knowledgeable. The course tutor, Julie, had so much experience and was really good at delivering the information. I am also not a gym user and using this course to get to Level 3 Personal Trainer Certificate, but the course tutor never made me feel as if I was out of place and made me feel comfortable in a gym.
What did you find most challenging about your course?
The most challenging part of the course was learning the techniques for the resistance and cardiovascular machines. I didn’t have a gym membership and had to somehow learn coaching points for the different equipment. The online Learner Management System had videos for each machine, which I watched. I also signed up for a couple 1 day passes to gyms and was able to learn how to use the machines. I passed the practical assessments, which required teaching four resistance machines and three cardiovascular machines. While this was the most difficult part of the course for me it also shows that you can still pass and enjoy this course even though you don’t use a gym and using this qualification as a stepping stone.
How would you rate the quality of teaching provided by your course tutors?
The quality of teaching was excellent. I was worried that I would be the odd one out as I don’t use a gym, but it wasn’t the case at all. Julie made me feel comfortable in the gym and my lack of experience in a gym was never an issue.
To what extent did you feel supported during the home-study phase of your course?
A selling point for me was the support tutor that is assigned to you at the beginning of the course. I called my support tutor, Dan, once a week, which was an arrangement I wanted. While the support tutor will call you once a week this fit better with me as it allowed me to call him during my lunch break at work. I was given a study guide, which was very helpful as there is a lot of information to learn and I didn’t know where to start. In addition I was also able to ask him any questions on the worksheets and what to expect during the course weekends. I don’t think I would have chosen HFE if they did not provide a support tutor as I felt that touching base with a support tutor once a week kept me on track with my studying.
How would you rate the teaching and learning materials provided to you?
The reference books that are sent are really helpful. For me it was also helpful to have the Learner Management System as I would watch the videos on the system and then study the corresponding material in the book. It made the material in the book easier to understand. The mock tests are also useful in preparing for the theory exams.
What is your current role?
I’m an assistant in a company based in London.
What are your future training and career plans?
I plan on continuing to Level 3 Personal Training Certificate with HFE and hopefully use my qualifications to do personal training around my day job to show that you don’t need to have a gym membership to reach your fitness goals.