Amac’s L2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing (Exercise to Music) runs twice a year and dates for a London venue in March have just been announced. Charlotte Janaway achieved her ETM qualification with Amac recently and kindly provided her insight into the qualification, her background and thoughts on group exercise to music in general. This is an essential read for anyone considering the ETM course.
Charlotte Janaway, Exercise to Music, Nov 2014
I used to own a pub and it wasn’t until I sold it and moved to Greece that I realised that my passion for exercise could be more than a hobby. I lived and worked in a touristy area and in the wintertime, when everything closed, it got pretty boring. For my own sanity, I started getting groups of people together who were interested in exercise and we’d have impromptu workout sessions. Before I really knew what was happening I was working in a gym, hosting informal classes and encouraging others to improve their diet. At this time anyway, it is important to remember, the fitness industry in Greece was not regulated in the same way as in the UK.
As much as I love personally being fit and healthy, nothing was as amazing as how great helping others made me feel. I helped a friend lose nearly four stone and gain self-confidence after having children. I would adapt exercise routines so people of all levels of fitness could get active too. At one point I led 1000 people in a warm-up routine prior to charity race! It was incredible! However, I only had videos and books to learn from. The more I learnt, the more I wanted to learn. When I had children of my own I moved back to England and knew I needed to get serious about my studies if I wanted to become a professionally recognised personal trainer.
It was difficult for me to find a training provider that even runs the ETM course and I heard about Amac through a friend. When gaining your L2 Fitness Instructor qualification you have the choice of completing gym-based or studio-based practical units. The gym-based route (L2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing- Gym) is the prerequisite for the Personal Training qualification and so tends to be the more popular of the two. However, for me, the group and studio focus drew me to opt for the Exercise to Music (aerobics) course. Although I have always loved sports and fitness, I wouldn’t actually say dancing is my forte. I have regularly attended dance-based studio classes in the past but I’m more of a fan of boxing/ combat led routines. I knew the L2 ETM course would enable me to combine my creativity and knowledge of movement and once I had achieved my qualification I could become a Combat Fitness Instructor through an ‘add on’ PROfusion course.
Amac’s ETM course is divided into theory and practical units. The practical sessions are held in a studio and require face-to-face attendance. My tutor was Lara Painting and there were about 10 others in my cohort. We all really gelled as a group and this made bouncing ideas off each other effortless. We learned how to choreograph steps to music. I have always appreciated the motivational power of music. I really like the American-style of group indoor cycling, for example, with ‘old school’ tunes and shouting lots of encouragement. It’s so important for exercise to be enjoyable. The ETM course definitely reflected this ethos, you could tell we all loved what we were doing and most of us still stay in touch and share ideas.
The theory units of Amac’s ETM course are studied for independently which suited my family commitments. Although I was provided with textbooks, I am dyslexic and it was the online learning that suited my style of learning the most. I didn’t have my own computer so I went to the library and accessed Learnstream, Amac’s online learning portal. Dave provides a voice over so the text was read to me and ensured I knew the correct pronunciation of terminology. The quizzes and mock papers were a useful guideline too, but definitely not as difficult as the real thing. I didn’t actually pass the ‘Anatomy and Physiology’ unit first time so I began attending Kris’ webinars. After that, everything just clicked. Amac were brilliant in ensuring my dyslexia was never a barrier for me. I sat my exam in their head office and had a reader to assist me. I got to meet some of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ team as well, which was great, especially seeing how many books Dave has!
Amac’s Exercise to Music course is really just the beginning for me. I have Indoor Cycling and Combat PROfusion courses booked already. I will be getting my Personal Trainer qualification with Amac too, probably through utilising the 24+ Advance Learning Loan. Working in Greece has shown me I have the passion and flair to help others meet their fitness goals. Now my focus is to build on my qualifications so that I am accredited to the high standards of the British fitness industry. My ultimate dream is to have my own studio and offer a range of sessions tailored to all fitness levels at a fair price. I remain continually amazed at how much some personal trainers charge for their services. Everyone needs to earn a living but exercise must be more accessible to all. Group exercise is a fun way to learn a new skill, stay healthy and make new friends and it is more affordable than 1-2-1 training. Amac’s ETM course sets you up for leading your own classes and I would definitely recommend the qualification to others (unless, of course, they have two left feet).