Colm Callanan, Elite Fitness & Performance Academy

This week, I had a quick chat with Colm Callanan, Owner of Elite Fitness and Performance Academy, to find out more about the business and the Personal Trainer courses that take place here at French Vanoli with his business partner Claudia Vanoli.


When did you become a qualified Personal Trainer yourself?

I qualified from EFPA Dublin in February 2014


When did you get involved with Elite Fitness & Performance Academy (EFPA)?

I first met the team in December 2013 while completing my own Gym Instructor course and kept in touch with the team all during the process of setting up my own PT business in Kinvara. Over the next 2 years the team in Dublin saw the work we were doing and approached me about running the Galway branch of the Academy for them. It wasn’t something I had considered to this point but it was too good an opportunity to turn down. To go from running my own gym to then certifying other people who wanted to do what we did and become PT’s was something that really excited me.


Why did you choose them over the other Fitness Institutes out there?

I researched all the courses available and quickly learnt that all the training providers offered pretty much the same qualifications. So the next logical question to answer was what then was the difference if any between them.

I found out a few things when I looked into this.

First of all I wanted to do this in Galway and make life easy but the course syllabus available didn’t fill me with confidence that I was going to be get the best results with people or learn how to setup a business from the ground up.

I heard good reviews about EFPA in Dublin so I inquired there and this just seemed to be totally different even from the first phone call. Strength and Conditioning is what did excite me and the biggest thing was that these guys ran the courses from their own live gym and they had already built up a very successful business and client base.

Learning from them, I just felt would be more beneficial long term as I wanted to replicate exactly what they had even though the initial investment was a bit more plus travel costs to Dublin and time away from family


Why did you decide to set up your own company?

Initially my aim was to have some qualifications behind me if I ever got involved coaching hurling teams. I just liked the course so much and the education I got gave me so much confidence that I decided this was something worth pursuing as a career in my hometown.

What types of course do you run?

In the Galway branch of EFPA we have exactly the same courses available as they do in Dublin. We offer Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer qualifications (Internationally Recognised) on a full time study basis and also a Part Time study basis.


What are the dates for the upcoming courses?

On June 6th we have our next full time and Part Time courses – It’s 6 weeks in duration to do both the level 3 and level 4 combined full time and 18 weeks if you do it Part Time.

The full-time timetable means you study with us every day Monday – Friday from 9.00am – 5pm and the Part Time timetable is Tuesdays 6.30pm – 9.30pm and Saturdays 9.00am to 5pm.


Do you guys run workshops also?

Yes we also offer CPD courses in kettlebell instruction, Advanced Nutrition and Movement and Mobility Preparation.


How has it been going so far? Is there much of a demand in Galway?

Yes we have qualified a lot of students so far since we ran our first course in the summer of 2016. We have moved our Part Time course forward this summer such is the demand which is great to see.


Are there many jobs out there for PT’s once you leave?

This is a good question. Yes I believe there are jobs out there although we can’t guarantee that for anyone that leaves here, Nobody can. If you finish a course in college the college doesn’t guarantee that you will walk into a job it just guarantees that the course material is of a standard that will allow you get the best possible start in the chosen industry. The rest I guess is up to you. One common theme we are seeing though when gyms ask us to advertise a position is they want coaches who can coach. They want trainers who can get results with people. So having the proper level of education behind you is very important. You have to be able to stand out from the rest



 Give us your advice for someone looking to become a PT?

I would research the courses available like I did and better yet I would go and visit these facilities and meet the trainers that deliver the course. What I would definitely try and look for is a training provider that operate from their OWN gym and not just a conference room in some hotel packed out with 25 people. It might cost a little more like it did for me but at the end of the day this could be your career on the line here!!


All the EFPA course’s and workshops are run out of French Vanoli. For more information please see links below:



You can also contact Colm on 086 811 1466 or