We've trained more than 100,000 instructors and now, almost every gym in the country has a YMCA qualified staff member. We have 31 years in the game and our ever-expanding team of Tutors, Trainers and Customer Support staff keep us current, so we can continue delivering world-class services. 

Who we are

We have been around for a very, very, long time....

We came from humble beginnings. The YMCA, as a charity was founded in 1844 by George Williams and has since expanded exclusively into the fitness industry with the creation of YMCAfit in 1984. We even sparked the beginning of an era by creating the first ever Exercise to Music course in the same year, which then became a global phenomenon, resulting in over 70,000 individuals being trained as aerobics teachers.

Our ethos is simple: we want to provide high quality training and education in fitness so that our students have the opportunity to grow as an individual, by improving their own quality of life and then using these skills to better their community. These values echo the core ideology of the YMCA, which is helping people live happier, healthier and more fulfilled lives.

We have 31 years of industry experience, and this time has allowed us to introduce more innovation and invest in our services so that we can deliver internationally recognised courses that will help our students stand out from the thousands fitness professionals practicing today. We are one of the largest and principal fitness training providers in the UK, the only Licenced Training Centre for STOTT PILATES®, and have have developed a large and vast fitness portfolio since launch. Not only that, we are a non for profit charity, so our main focus is seeing our students succeed and giving them the best experience possible.

What we do

There is not just one set pathway into the fitness and exercise industry, we understand that as individuals we all have different goals, learning styles and you might be joining the YMCA family at different stages in your career. Our courses are taught in various forms so that you can get the best out of your experience; choose between blended learning, which is part online and part face-to-face with an expert tutor, or choose to do your course totally in the classroom. We also support those who might need to continue working during their course, so would need a more flexible option. Our courses can be either taken on as full-time or part-time study. 

We offer work-based Apprenticeships funded by the government for young people who aren't sure if traditional education pathways are for them, but are passionate about fitness and want to jumpstart their career. Our Apprenticeships cover Personal Trainer courses, Leisure Operations and Exercise to Music, each of which are taught completely tailored to the learners needs and gives them the opportunity to earn a salary while receiving training.  

For employers of both large and small operations we offer in-house, bespoke Staff Training that will upskill your staff, enhance profitability and further your business objectives.

The rest of our work focuses on delivering first-class courses and workshops for those wanting to start their career or for those who want to polish off exsisting skills or expand their portfolio. We offer an exciting range of Continued Professional Development Courses such as Kettlebells Pro, Vinyasa Yoga, High Intensity Training and many more to help add to your skills set. 

Why choose us

Helping YOU be your best is our top priority. We'll train you for a longstanding career, not just to pass a test. We are constantly investing in this world-class training to continually make us better and always relevant for the fitness industry today - that's why 97% of students would recommend us. As a charity, we truly believe that everyone should have access to the health benefits of regular physical activity and our graduates are helping to make this happen. 

Our values and mission

We have learnt a thing or two during our long history and we built a first class reputation by delivering quality vocational personal trainer education, and have some of the strongest sports scientists and industry experts helping shape our syllabuses and training delivery. We believe that training is a continuous journey and we want to be a part of that journey, supporting you along the way whether it's as a learner or as an employer, we want to help you fulfill your full potential. 

Alongside this we base ourselves on the following qualities: 

  • Friendly - we're here to support you on your journey and everyone on our team is always happy to help.
  • Well-informed - we've been doing this a long time so we've learned a few things along the way.
  • Equality - we believe everyone should have the opportunity to reach their potential and recognise that people are different and sometimes we need to treat them differently in order to give them an equal chance.
  • Straightforward - the industry can be full of unnecessary jargon and we want to help you navigate through all that.
  • Expert - all of our tutors are excellent at what they do. They're experienced and experts in their field. 
Looking for a career in fitness?

Find out about the different routes into the industry and we'll help you to choose your career path.