Level 3 outdoor training course

Discover the essential knowledge and skills you need to be able to deliver your fitness training services outdoors

HFE Tutor with student
Outdoor training student stretching on an exercise ball

Level 3 Award in Outdoor Training

Essential for launching your own boot camp or delivering outdoor PT sessions. Discover how to plan various types of exercise programmes including those using portable equipment.

  • Course type:

    completely online course

  • Internationally recognised:

    fully Ofqual regulated and CIMSPA endorsed

  • Study time:

    achieve in 2-4 weeks

YMCA Awards Logo WhiteCIMSPA Logo White

Course overview: outdoor training

Many fitness instructors and personal trainers provide outdoor training services to their clients because the outdoor environment provides a low-cost, scenic and varied place to workout. Discover how to plan safe and effective exercise sessions in the outdoor environment.

Many studies have concluded that the average UK adult spends more than 90% of their time indoors, coupled with many clients now opting to exercise away from the gym, health club or fitness studio, a need has emerged for fitness professionals to be more effectively educated in order to take exercise outside.

There are many advantages and differences to outdoor training, over indoors, and the Level 3 Outdoor Training Award is designed to give you a clear and tangible edge over your fellow competitors and trainers. Despite its popularity, there are currently many professionals delivering outdoor services without the necessary specialist training or qualifications. If something were to go wrong with one of their clients then it could be detrimental to their future career, that’s why this course and the content it teaches are so important.

This course will enable you to start your own running club, launch a bootcamp, or simply deliver regular personal training sessions outside. You’ll also learn vital health and safety information, various exercise routines, and effective workout planning methods.

  • Entry-requirements

    A level 2 fitness instructor qualification is required to enrol on this course; this can be a gym-based or group exercise qualification.

    If you haven’t achieved your Level 2, or are currently working towards it, you’re still eligible to enrol on the course, but you will not be able to become certified at level 3 until the level 2 prerequisite has been met.

  • Accreditation

    On completion of this qualification you'll receive a Level 3 Award in Outdoor Training that is certificated by YMCA Awards. This is a fully Ofqual regulated qualification.

  • Study time

    Achieve this qualification in 2-4 weeks based on about 1-hour of learning per day.

What you'll learn

This outdoor fitness training course comprises of around 4-weeks on online study that explores all the essential knowledge and skills required to deliver safe and effective fitness training sessions in an outdoor environment. Specifically, the course includes:

  • Health, safety and professionalism

    Planning safe and effective outdoor sessions
    Risk assessments and safety considerations
    Client screening and assessments
    Insurance for outdoor environments
    First aid provision
    handling emergency situations

  • Resistance training in the outdoor environment

    Bodyweight exercises
    Small and portable equipment
    Using street furniture as apparatus
    Programming safe and effective resistance training
    Resistance training concepts

  • Aerobic conditioning in the outdoor environment

    Walking as a mode of aerobic training
    Running activities and drills
    Working with groups
    Programming CV training
    Aerobic training concepts
    Monitoring intensity

  • Warming-up and cooling-down

    Different types of warm-up and cool-down
    Dynamic and static stretching
    Free body activities
    Working with different fitness levels

HFE student

*Images and videos are for illustration purposes and may not depict specific course materials.

How you'll be assessed

Initially you are required to complete a range of assessments via our secure online learning platform (LES), and these will ensure you are prepared for your course. You will also need to complete a session plan/programme card specifically for the outdoor training environment – this is the session you will deliver to your participants.

HFE student


  • Multiple-choice workbooks
  • Completed online
  • Unlimited re-sits

Session plan:

  • Planning an outdoor session
  • Group-based session
  • Submit online

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