Best known for his style on the pitch, England international rugby player James Haskell continues to hit the books and study for his diploma in fitness instructing and personal training. Although PT tips have previously been reserved to his better half Chloe (who is herself a qualified personal trainer and fitness instructor), James has taken to his studies with the kind of enthusiasm we love seeing from our students.

Just before the launch of his latest fitness and nutrition book, Perfect Fit, we sat down with James to talk all things studying and find out just how he manages to fit his level 3 course around his busy life…

“My girlfriend, Chloe, recommended I take the level 3 PT course. I looked into PT courses and found that the e-learning course gave me the flexibility I needed – I can learn online and get assessed in the gym. It was the perfect formula for me.

My career, my book being published and the investments I’m making all take up a lot of time, but I’ve been able to study in chunks, send my work to my tutor and get quick feedback – it’s made studying alongside my career super easy.

I suppose the biggest challenge I’ve faced is actually making time to sit down and focus. I’ve been working in professional sport for a long time and clearly take health and fitness seriously, but there’s a distinct difference with my knowledge as a professional athlete and being able to give a workout and nutritional plan to other people and understand different abilities – my knowledge is good but there are some elements that are all new to me. It’s great learning the industry standard, including what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

It’s like being back at school – I’ve been incredibly well supported, so if I’ve had any issues I can simply email my tutor; he comes back with corrections, supportive comments and feedback. I’ve been supported all the way really.

Unlike other students, I’m not looking to become a personal trainer on the gym floor – I want to get a recognised qualification from a reputable and trusted company so that when I’m giving advice, it’s backed up by my qualifications. I’m using my knowledge in the gyms I’ve been opening as part of the F45 franchise so it will allow me to help people utilising my level 3 qualification.

The benefits of this course to other students is that if you’re looking to change your existing career and start working as a personal trainer, freelance or in a gym, this level 3 qualification allows you to do just that – you’ll be able to put programmes together and help people with different goals knowing you’re fully informed and have the right skills.

The online nature of the e-learning PT course means you don’t have to quit your job to start learning – you can study while you’re working to make the seamless transition and then start training clients when you’re qualified. I see it as a stronger option for many people who want to become a personal trainer.”

Inspired by James’ experience and want to become a qualified personal trainer too?

See our range of Health and Fitness courses here


James Haskell uses his knowledge from his personal training course along with 15 years of experience in the professional world of rugby and fitness to bring you his book, Perfect Fit. It’s an 8-week training programme you can do at home with a nutrition guide, or a 12-week training programme you can do in the gym. Both programmes are adaptable for size building or fat loss, plus it’s packed with around 50 recipes including supplementation and goal setting, with a focus on mobility too. Learn more about Perfect Fit here.