Being a Personal Trainer is a very rewarding career – I play a crucial role in the lives of others. With more people choosing to work with a personal trainer (it’s estimated $2.5 billion would be spent by Australians at the end of this financial year on gym memberships, personal training sessions etc.) and the fitness industry quickly growing, it’s important to understand what I do and my role in guiding future Personal Trainers.
I can be up at 4.30am for clients with early work starts – as well as allowing for a kick-start breakfast, it gives me time to prepare and plan my day’s meals.
Weather and client preference dependent, I take my client for out-door or in-door training – this session is client specific as each person has different goals, their work-out is never a cookie-cutter approach. I spend time designing the best fitness plans and I recommend a healthy meal before our work-out and water for hydration.
After a number of sessions with clients, it’s snack time for me – usually fresh fruit then it’s time to work on client plans. In the middle of the day I work with clients including mums and mature age groups that like to work out together socially. Somewhere in between – I fuel myself with lots of vegetables to keep me going. Late afternoon to early evening sees me with clients that prefer after work sessions – it is a good way to relax, nothing like getting the heart rate up to get rid of the day’s stress! After a balanced dinner, I review my next day – I make sure my clients are on the right path.
I always assign ‘me-time’ to train – there are many benefits to being active and being in tune with your body is one of them. While I do have a good knowledge of food, I’m not a nutritionist so as I have done, I encourage clients to seek out nutritional advice on what is best to eat and what will complement their exercise. My diet is sensible – made up of all the right things for me but being human, I do like chocolate so I will allow myself some – in moderation!
I work with all types – from the fit to first timers and each are the ‘high’ of my job. Even fit people have goals and helping them achieve them is amazing. Each has a journey and a transformation. The perception of Personal Trainers is starting to positively change so people that may be new to exercise or haven’t worked with a Personal Trainer are now open to it – real Personal Trainers aren’t task-masters, we don’t yell obscenities at clients for not trying…we encourage, we motivate and we love what we do. We aren’t just accountable to ourselves and clients but Personal Trainers should be registered with either Fitness Australia or Physical Activity Australia.
There is a genuine need for qualified Personal Trainers and that’s why I’m an Australian Institute of Personal Trainers Campus Director – charged with guiding the next generation of Personal Trainers and helping them graduate with Certificate IV in Fitness (what every Personal Trainer must have). I believe in what I do and I ingrain it in students – they are real trainers that real people of all ages, sizes, and socio-economic status want to help them reach their goals.
People of all ages desire to be Personal Trainers – not just school leavers, 65 year olds want to be in the fitness industry to inspire their peers, corporates want work-life balance to people that have lost weight and want to encourage others – it’s the relatable connection they have. An important aspect as a Campus Director is to provide students with real practical experience in a gym environment – Personal Training is personal so it gives students an added advantage of having work experience that potential employers want and confidence when they step out with their own clients.
Because I am passionate about the industry I am in, my students go on to become success stories – they start their own business or they get employed. I don’t believe there will ever be too many Personal Trainers – not only do we have an obesity problem but we all deserve someone to share our journey and help motivate us.
Christian Cook is the owner/director of ‘Fit4sport NSW ‘ and is the Northern Beaches Campus Director with the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers. Christian has over 12 years of varied experience as a Fitness Professional and successful fitness business owner. He has competed as an international professional surfer and after retiring from the sport in 2000, looked for a career in the fitness industry. He is a highly skilled Personal Trainer who is passionate about realistic training approaches and concentrates on sport specific training. He still is involved in the surfing community by fitness training professional surfers. A team of trainers work out of the Fit4sport facility with varied sporting backgrounds.