I first thought about becoming a Personal Trainer when I was 16 or 17 and I was 'training' my friends underneath my parent's house on the Central Coast. We had a home gym set-up with the best rusty equipment we could get our hands on and we'd lift weights a few times a week. My friends would come to me for advice based on the knowledge I attained from Men's Health magazines and YouTube videos, as if I knew something about the subject.
Fast forward a few years to when I finished high school and had no idea what to do… My passion for health, fitness and sport hadn't dwindled but I wasn't sure if I should dive straight into Personal Training. My dad suggested I go to uni and study sports science so I can get my PT qualifications but I won't be limited to that path if I should change my mind down the track. So, I studied for 3 years and loved everything about the degree. I learned the ins and outs of exercise and nutrition (or so I thought) and I soon found out that doing as many tricep dips as possible to the song Turbulence was not how people were meant to train.
During my degree I got to experience a few different occupations in fitness and/or health. I did a placement with the Central Coast Mariners and learned about strength and conditioning for athletes; I went to the clinical side of things and learned about rehabilitating people after strokes, spinal injuries, etc; and I also went to a placement in a commercial gym… and after all that, I came out of my degree still wanting to be a PT.
I started applying for trainer jobs around the Central Coast, of which there was a total of 3. I had no luck so I broadened my horizons, deciding I didn't have to stay on the Coast so I applied for every single role Sydney had to offer. The first person to call me back was Alex Allegrini from Vision Personal Training Drummoyne, a suburb I'd never heard of before. I went for an interview as soon as possible and he started me on the Vision mentor program, a 9 week client experience that allows an up and coming trainer to experience everything a client will go through when they are a member with Vision.
I'd officially started my illustrious Personal Training career and on day one I learned that uni had not prepared me for what I was about to experience. All I really knew about was how to train for fitness and strength, but that wasn't the reason people came to Vision. The majority of clients are here to lose weight, something I'd never had any experience with. How was I meant to relate to a client and help them lose weight if I'd never done it myself? So, I learned how to set goals, track my food, and train for fat loss. I set a 9 week goal for weight loss, fitness and new behaviours; and with the help of my mentor Alex, we worked away at achieving each goal. The real focus however, was to equip me with the know-how to transfer everything I'd learned to all the clients I'd soon have for myself.
The typical Vision client in Drummoyne is rather atypical. There are people from all walks of life… young, middle-aged, elderly, people with kids, people with high stress jobs, people studying, people working for themselves, and so on. Everyone has a different story to share and this is one of the best things about the career. There is no other career where you'll learn about people so fast. One of the most pleasantly surprising things I learned was how strong the relationship with a client can become. Initially, everyone you meet comes because they want a result, but the surprising thing is, they keep coming because of the friendships they build with the trainers and clients. There's no greater feeling than seeing one of your clients, who initially said they hate mornings and running, post on Facebook that they've just been for a Sunday morning run with another client they've become friends with.
My greatest and proudest achievement to date is helping a great man and now great friend lose over 50kg. There's something very humbling about seeing someone go from being barely able to move, to being capable of running 1km non-stop. He now brings his son and daughters in to train with him twice a week and I've had the privilege to get to know his family… in the back of my mind knowing that I've been a part of the reason he'll now likely get to spend a couple of extra decades with them.
Before becoming a PT, it's important to ask yourself why you want to be one. You will be working a lot. Sometimes you work harder at home than you do while you're at the studio. Clients will text or call you whenever they need help or advice, and you need to be there at those times. Sometimes it's like you're on call 24/7, but it's those times where you need to reflect on your personal 'why'. My 'why': If I did a degree in health and fitness, and I still didn't know the basics of losing weight, how is an accountant, a stay-at-home mum, or a business owner going to know that? It should be a basic human right to know how to look after yourself and I believe I can help people with that.
4:30am is early… and I won't lie, initially waking up at that time is difficult. Bed time has to be early, and you'll wake up rustier than my 25 year old dumbbells... but that feeling only lasts until you get to work and see your team and the studio pumping. All of a sudden, you're not tired anymore. I've always been a big believer in saying 'it's not what you do, it's who you do it with'… and I get to be so fortunate as to work in a career I'm passionate about, but also work with a team I adore. When you get to see your closest friends every day at work, all of a sudden waking up at 4:30am isn't early enough; and I can never imagine myself leaving this place because of these friendships.
I've been with Vision Drummoyne for a bit over one year now, and I can honestly say it's been the most rewarding year of my life. With the support, advice and company of my team and friends, I've developed myself beyond what I ever expected. Now running marathons, hitting saving goals, setting career goals and progressing in almost all aspects of my life, I feel like I'm winning all the time.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.