Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing (Gym)


The Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing is the highest level of category for gym instructors (CIMSPA exercise & fitness affiliate / REPs Level 2). This is the qualification that candidates need to be employed as a fitness instructor in the gym setting. This is also the required qualification to gain entry to the Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification. Participants can progress at a pace to suit the individual – intensive within 3 weeks or slow and steady, up to one year. Candidates can also choose to combine the Level 2 Gym Certificate with the Level 3 Personal Trainer Certificate as the Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training.

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PAY-AS-YOU-GO is available



This qualification means that candidates only need to complete the Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training . Rather than having to complete the combined Diploma which covers both level 2 gym and level 3 PT.

If you hold a relevant degree and have gym and personal training work experience you may be eligible to take the qualification by an “assessments only” route. Please go to our Accreditation for Prior Skills, Qualifications and Experience information.

Click there to see all our training and assessment dates.

For further information call Alison Hall on 0208 568 5336 or 07799 621 456 or email us.

Dates and Duration

For those choosing a blend of face-to-face learning and home study, there are two separate days to attend – one for practical training and one for assessments. There are no face-to-face days for distance learners. The total duration from starting study to completion is 3 weeks minimum and up to one year duration maximum. Click here to see the monthly course and assessment dates.

Entry Requirements

  1. Some experience of gym-based exercises, including free weights, is highly recommended
  2. The course requires physical exertion and individual participation is essential; therefore, a degree of physical fitness is necessary
  3. There is also an element of communication (discussing, presenting, reading and writing) involved and learners should have basic skills in communication pitched at level 2

Target Learners:

  1. Adults (aged 18+) wishing to pursue a career in the health and fitness sector as gym-based fitness instructors and/or progress to personal trainer

Course Format

Blended learning format

  1. Home study course
  2. Live internet-based individual tutorials
  3. 1-day practical workshop 0900 – 1700 (select one of our monthly workshop dates)
  4. 1-day assessment (select one of our monthly assessment dates)

Full distance learning format (strict conditions apply)

  1. Home study course
  2. Live internet-based individual tutorials
  3. Internet practical training session
  4. DVD submitted practical assessment (date to suit candidate)
  5. Live internet theory assessment (date to suit candidate)

Location (for face-to-face days, if applicable)

For those who choose to attend face-to-face the location is London Metropolitan University at 166-220 Holloway Rd, London N7 8DB. It is 2 minutes walk from Holloway Road tube station which is on the Piccadilly Line. There is no attendance for distance learners.

Syllabus and Assessments’ Format

This qualification comprises of 6 mandatory units:

Unit 1 – Anatomy and physiology for exercise – Extended Worksheet
Unit 2 – Know how to support clients who take part in exercise and physical activity – Short Worksheet
Unit 3 – Health, safety and welfare in a fitness environment – Short Worksheet
Unit 4 – Principles of exercise, fitness and health – Extended Worksheet
Unit 5 – Planning gym-based exercise – Short Worksheet and Assignment
Unit 6 – Instructing gym-based exercise – 60 mins practical assessment (live with us or filmed by you)

Successful achievement of all six units must be achieved for the full qualification.

Aim and Objectives


  1. To train learners to a professionally competent level, enabling them to prescribe, plan and deliver safe and effective exercise programmes within a gym or health club environment.


  1. To develop learner’s knowledge of anatomy and physiology and how it relates to exercise and fitness.
  2. To develop learner’s ability to plan and deliver safe and effective gym sessions.
  3. To provide learners with the knowledge to develop good customer service and the personal qualities required by the exercise and fitness industry.
  4. To provide learners with an awareness of health and safety in an exercise and fitness environment.
  5. To provide learners with the opportunity to progress to further qualifications in the exercise and fitness industry.

Occupational Description

A fitness instructor’s role includes planning, instructing and evaluating gym-based inductions and on-going client/member programmes. They should also assist more qualified instructors in the delivery of personal training programmes. A fitness instructor should also actively encourage potential clients/members to join and adhere to regular exercise programmes, employing appropriate motivational strategies to achieve this.

The fitness instructor should be involved in:

  1. Collecting and checking information relating to individual clients.
  2. Analysing information relating to individual clients.
  3. Identifying and agreeing basic short, medium and long-term goals.
  4. Planning, instructing and evaluating safe and appropriate gym-based exercise sessions.
  5. Providing one-to-one or group inductions and general exercise programmes, including the introduction to new equipment where appropriate.
  6. Selecting relevant exercises and designing appropriate programmes which address safety at all times.
  7. Producing suitable programme cards for a range of clients/members.
  8. Suggesting relevant exercise adaptations to allow for individual client differences or needs.
  9. Using logical and progressive teaching methodologies to introduce a range of exercises in relation to client’s goals.
  10. Selecting and/or correctly demonstrating a variety of cardiovascular and resistance training methods that can be used by clients/members.
  11. Providing clients/members with general advice on how to progress their individual programmes.
  12. Observing clients/members at all times in order to correct unsafe technique where required.
  13. To positively interact and motivate clients/members using appropriate strategies in order to promote retention and adherence to exercise.
  14. Acting as a positive role model at all times for all clients/members and staff.
  15. Proactively developing and maintaining high standards of customer care in order to facilitate the retention of clients/members.
  16. Promoting healthy activities and related strategies for daily living to clients/members
  17. Monitoring maintenance schedules and assisting in the upkeep and cleanliness of the environment and all associated gym equipment.
  18. Working within the parameters given at Level 2, recognising the standards and professional limitations that this provides, referring to appropriate members of staff for guidance and support.


  1. This course provides progression to Level 3 qualifications in Personal Training for learners who wish to further their knowledge and skills and become personal trainers working with specialist populations as well as the general population
  2. Learners may also broaden their knowledge and skills by progressing to Level 2 qualifications in Instructing Circuits, Exercise to Music and Aqua.

Occupational Competence

L2 Gym Instructors should:

  1. Be aware of their professional role boundaries as listed.
  2. Give guidance to encourage special population clients* to follow the key safety guidelines and discourage them from anything deemed to be potentially hazardous/contraindicated to enable them to take part in sessions. *Special population clients including:
    • 14-16 year old young people
    • disabled people
    • older people (50+)
    • Pre and postnatal women
  3. Get advice from another appropriate professional if there are any objectives, physical activities or risks that fall outside their professional boundaries or that they do not feel competent to deal with and/or refer on to the appropriate person.

L2 Fitness Instructors (who do not posses the appropriate special population qualification/s in older adults, pre/post-natal women and disabled people) should NOT:

    • Be a specialist instructor in the area of special populations, or advertise as such
    • Instruct special population clients 1:1 or in groups on a regular or progressive basis
    • Plan a progressive, long-term special populations exercise or physical activity programme
    • Play any role in exercise or physical activity programming or monitoring in condition management on a 1:1 or group basis. (For this, a Level 3 Exercise Referral qualification is required and for certain conditions, where national occupational standards are in place, a Level 4 qualification).
  1. Prescribe any form of exercise session or individual exercise that they have not been trained to deliver/teach effectively.
  2. Instruct exercise in disciplines in which they are not qualified or where they do not hold appropriate endorsed training (e.g. a Level 2 fitness instructor should not ‘cover’ an ETM class or a spinning class if they do not hold the appropriate certificates).
  3. Provide prescriptive nutritional advice or develop bespoke individualised nutrition plans for clients.

Still Have Questions?

Contact Alison at HFI on 0208 568 5336 or 07799 621 456 or email

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