To get started, I’d like to ask:
1. How long have you been in the industry and what is your current role?
I have been working in the industry for almost 7 years now. I began by completing my Cert III in Fitness to become a gym instructor and work in a gym, which I did for a couple of years. I followed that up by completing my Cert IV in Fitness and becoming a Personal Trainer, which I also did for a period of time. I then decided to go back to study and complete my Bachelors Degree in Exercise and Sport Science, which I completed earlier this year.
2. How did you first get involved in the industry?
I had been weight training for a year or so when I decided to do my Cert III in fitness as a way to develop my own knowledge of training and the processes of the human body. After completing it, I found that I had really enjoyed learning everything and that the fitness industry was something I was quite passionate about. I managed to fall into my first gym job, when a friend of mine was leaving the gym that he worked at for another job. I spoke with the manager who I knew quite well by this stage and said that I had completed my qualifications and that I was looking to get some work in a gym. Things just went from there.
3. What do you see as the ideal position to be in and why?
Ideally I would one day like to be working alongside elite athletes in a strength and conditioning setting within a sporting team such as an AFL club, EPL soccer team or even NBA or NFL team. I love working with regular people that are looking to get into better shape, however, having grown up within such a big sporting family, I would love to be able to get involved at the highest level to help these athletes prepare and achieve as much success as possible.
4. What type of clients do you deal with and is there anything you are planning to change with regard to your client base?
Currently I work with a range of clients from older women looking to improve their lives, lose a little bit of weight and get in better shape, to helping out with teaching/running strength and conditioning sessions for teenage athletes. I have also recently started working at a new studio, which deals more with a fitter clientele and those looking to transform their physiques. In the New Year I am aiming to get my foot in the door at an AFL club and start developing experience working alongside elite athletes.
5. What led you to start the KSI Coach program?
I attended a lecture by Ian earlier in the year, after being recommended to go by my mother and fellow USANA colleagues. I found the talk to be extremely informative and it gave me the hunger to learn more about what Ian has done and how I can get to where he has gotten to within the industry. I did some research in the days following and spoke with Ian on the internet and he told me about the KSI Coach program. I looked into it and it immediately appealed to me, so I signed up.
6. How was the experience of doing the KSI Coach program?
At the time of beginning the program it was a bit hard to keep up with regularly doing things, as I was in the final 6 months of my uni degree at the time and was being bombarded with assignments left right and center. However, once my degree was finished it was much easier to sit down and really absorb as much as possible from the program. Everything was easy to follow and the information presented gave me the thirst to attain even more knowledge about the KSI way.
7. What have been the biggest lessons you have taken from the KSI Coach program?
The main lessons that I have taken away from the program are to not just take someone’s word and believe that it is the be all and end all of it. I found it extremely enlightening that so-called “experts” that I had received information from over the years, had in fact been ripping off information that was developed by Ian in the first place. I have also started adopting some of the strategies that Ian has developed with regards to exercise prescription, techniques and programming protocols within my own training and that of my own clients (obviously being mindful to not claim them as my own ideas).
8. What are some of the frustrations you have faced in your work and what are some of these that you have found a solution for?
The most frustrating thing that I have found is dealing with clients that do not have a strong work ethic and seem to only be training to tell their friends that they are going to the gym. The large majority of the time the clients that I have dealt with have been amazing, they have gotten the results that they want, by putting in the hard work that it takes to achieve those results. It is clients like that, who make it a joy to do what I do. It is frustrating when a client comes along and as soon as the going gets a little challenging they make up a myriad of excuses as to why they cannot do something. I have found that over the years, with more experience and more knowledge, I have been able to gradually change these characteristics in certain clients and help them to develop a better attitude towards their training. I have still not mastered the ability to motivate 100% of the clients that I deal with and to get them to do the hard things outside of the gym (i.e. changing their diet habits, stretching, recovering), but I feel as though I am getting much better at this.
9. What are your plans for the future?
Within the next few months I aim to get a position working within the strength and conditioning department of an AFL team, even if it is only a voluntary part-time position. I also want to complete the KSI Level 2 program and be eligible to participate in Levels 3 and 4 of the program next year. I want to attain my ASCA Strength and Conditioning accreditation as well. Most importantly I want to learn more and more in order to become the best coach that I can possibly be.
10. What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I am not working or training myself I like to spend my spare time with my lovely partner, (as it is hard to spend quality time during the week with the hours we both keep). Playing with my two dogs and I am also a musician and play a variety of instruments along with singing. After a long hard day I do enjoy sitting down on the couch to watch a good TV Show (get into Modern Family if you haven’t already!) and playing a computer game or two with my little cousin.
11. What do you believe are the greatest challenges facing our industry and or someone in this industry?
Working solely as a personal trainer is hard, as you only get paid for the time that you are physically training with someone. Week to week that time can vary quite a lot, as it is highly dependant upon the client, how they are feeling day to day, how busy they are at work, how much money they have, whether they are going away on holidays etc. Whenever people are strapped for cash it is things like personal training that get dropped first as it is not a priority for most people, which is totally understandable. It is not a consistent form of income and at certain times of the year it can be quite difficult, especially during Christmas where their money is going elsewhere or they are going away on holiday. Also through the middle of winter, a large majority of the people I come across lack the motivation to train.
12. What advice do you have for anyone considering starting the KSI Coach program?
The best advice I could give is to simply do it! You won’t regret it.
Again, thanks for taking the time to share your experiences. Every time anyone completes a task they set out to do they stand out, as not everyone does this. So well done, you deserve a big pat on the back!
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