Next generation of personal training qualifications with Study Active

3 min read
Thursday, 12 October 2023

At the start of any fitness journey, finding a good personal trainer near you can be a difficult choice. How do you know who’s best? Will the suit your needs? Will they have the empathy to understand what motivates you?

It's a similar challenge when searching for personal training education, too. For this very reason, the future of the fitness industry needs to be grounded in raising the standards of education and qualifications.

Meet James Luscombe, managing director of UK personal trainer course provider, Study Active, and the man behind the next generation of PT professionals.

Introduction to fitness education

After graduating with a first-class honours degree in Sport and Exercise, my first role in the sector was managing all aspects of occupational fitness for my local Fire Service.

A key part of this was the professional development of PTs who could deliver the fitness strategy across the county. This is where my interest in fitness education began.

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My career soon navigated towards education and saw me develop my skill set to work within the further and higher education sector delivering a range of sport and fitness qualifications, all the way from BTECs to Foundation Degrees.

Throughout my time as a teacher and educational manager, I remained actively involved within the fitness sector both as a personal trainer and via a secondment as a general manager of a commercial gym franchise.

My commercial experience was honed further via a commercial management role at a local university. By this time however I knew my passion was within the fitness education sector and this saw me found Study Active.

Highly commended personal trainer course providers

Study Active is one of the UK’s leading personal trainer course providers. We specialise in delivering an array of fitness qualifications via online and blended learning. Our learners typically study online with ongoing tutor support before coming into us for practical coaching and assessments.


We have students from all over the UK and believe we are the number one choice for many due to our reputation for delivering exceptional standards of quality and service.

We partner with Active IQ as our awarding body so all certificates we issue are Active IQ accredited. In addition to this we are a CIMSPA training provider partner and have been rated “outstanding” by CIMSPA and “Highly Commended” by ukactive.

Heart rate training for a career as a personal trainer

At Study Active we proactively encourage the use of technology for all our students studying their personal trainer qualifications. Heart rate monitoring is of course one of the most important features of wearable tech.

The beauty of it is that it removes the guesswork as to “is my client working hard enough”, this can be very difficult to gauge as a newly qualified PT so utilising heart rate tracking technology can really help to make sure the clients is “in the zone” as such.

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It can also act as an important evaluative tool as a client can track how they are progressing with regards to working harder for longer – this can itself prove to be very motivational and a very useful tool for a newly qualified PT to use with their clients.

Embracing tech tools to avoid PT skill gaps

Digital technology is everywhere, and the fitness sector is no exception to this. For this reason, tools such as Myzone need to be embedded into the learning journey of becoming a PT, otherwise vital skills gaps will be apparent when that PT enters the industry.

It would be like training as a photographer but not being able to use a digital camera. We must embrace technology and embed this into the learning journey.

Collaboration key to the future of improving the educational experience

We are all in this together! Every gym, personal trainer, fitness education provider, fitness technology company, we all share the common aim of delivering ukactive’s mission to get more people, more active more often.

Why would any of us want to work in a silo? We are stronger together. Collaboration is key as it allows organisations to share skills, contacts, methods for the benefit of all.

For example, by Study Active collaborating with Myzone we can use insight to educate our students how this technology can work for their clients thus improving the educational experience and making for a better, more knowledgeable PT.

For more information about taking a personal trainer course, visit the Study Active website.

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