A new academy at Tyne Metropolitan College (TyneMet) is to flex its muscles to help fitness professionals and novices keep pace with latest body and mind training techniques in the fast growing health and fitness sector.

The pioneering Health and Fitness Academy, which starts on Saturday, March 2, will deliver enhanced skills to experienced trainers and those looking to take their first steps working in gyms or other fitness arenas.

Participants will benefit from introductory programmes that lead to qualifications around continuing professional development (CPD), all delivered by the academies highly trained and experienced health and fitness specialists.

Five programmes - group indoor cycling, circuit training, kettlebells and two around mental health and fitness – form its initial training package, but their number will increase over time.

The academy’s launch comes hot on the heels of Deloitte’s 2018 European Health and Fitness Market report which revealed there are now more gyms and gym members than at any time in the UK – increasing the need for professional development.

It found that with 7,000 gyms for the first time, and total membership of almost 10 million, the UK has the second biggest gym industry, behind only Germany in terms of membership and turnover.

Jonathan Rees, Head of Curriculum Performance in the Department of Wellbeing and Education at TyneMet, said: “There are many opportunities within the fitness sector for people with the right skills and training.

“It is an industry that is well established in this region and across the country, with figures showing more people than ever before are members of a gym. There is an ever increasing need for people to work professionally in the sector.

“Our Health and Fitness Academy is an important addition to the delivery of training for fitness professionals who can gain the new skills and qualifications that keeps them at the forefront of their field.

“But programmes will also support the learning and skills development of those looking to take their first steps into the fitness arena. For them, it also has much to offer.

“Each course has significant face to face delivery, meaning participants get a solid understanding of the content of each qualification and how to apply the principles competently across the sector.

“As well as the obvious fitness element, it also delivers key knowledge around how peoples’ mental health can benefit from exercise. Our programmes support healthy body and minds.

“The launch of the academy is an exciting development within the North East. It will give new professional training to people who are working hard to get this region into the best possible shape.”

The academy’s level 2 programmes are Active IQ Group Indoor Cycling, Active IQ Instructing Kettlebells, Active IQ Instructing Circuit Sessions, and Active IQ Mental Health Awareness.

Group Indoor Cycling trains learners with prior knowledge and skills in fitness instruction to a professionally competent level so that they can plan and deliver safe and effective group cycling sessions.

Topics covered include how to design and teach safe and effective group indoor cycling sessions, the principles of warm up, the aerobic curve and cool down, working to music, motivating participants, and group teaching skills.

Core stability exercises, cycle set up and safe cycling technique, and how to respond to health and safety issues, are also covered by the part-time course.

The part-time Level 2 Instructing Kettlebells course teaches the principles and theory of planning an exercise session and instructing an exercise session.

And the Level 2 Instructing Circuit Sessions programme, which operates for two weeks part-time, is intended totrain learners who already have knowledge and skills in gym or exercise to music instruction.

Learners cover the principles and theory of planning a circuit training session and instructing a circuit training session, and how todeliver safe and effective sessions at a professionally competent level.

All three programmes, which require a Level2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing (Gym Instructor, ETM, Water Based or Exercise for Children) for entry, are on the Qualifications and Credit Framework.

Though recognised by The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) at Level 2, they do not provide access onto the register, which is accessed via a recognised Level 2 fitness instructing qualification.

Two mental health awareness programmes will also operate to give learners a broad understanding of common disorders and issues, reduction of stigma and discrimination, and how to encourage people to talk about their condition.

The qualification, for which there are no entry requirements, will allow instructors to apply knowledge through recognising and responding to signs of mental health in themselves and others, and to offer first aid around it.

Details of the various fitness courses can be found on the health and fitness academy section of the website identified below, with days, times and costs for each course. 

The first mental health course is Saturday, March 16 and Saturday, March 23, from 9am to 4pm, with the second being delivered across three Tuesday evenings - March 19, March 26, and April 2, with all sessions mandatory. 

Further information and to book is available at www.tynemet.ac.uk/department/health-and-fitness-academy