Keeping others fit

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 June, 2005, 12:00am

Name: Terence Chan Siu-kin Age: 31 Occupation: Fitness trainer

Young Post: What are the duties of a fitness trainer?

Chan: People tend to think we only teach our clients how to use the machines at the gym. But we do much more than that.

When a client comes to our gym, we discuss with them what they want to achieve - whether they want to lose weight, tone their body or build muscles.

We have to communicate well with our clients and find out about their eating habits and daily routine.

Then we design a special diet and an exercise routine based on their lifestyle and goal.

We monitor their progress to make sure they are doing the right things and working towards their goal.

There are many reasons why a client may have put on weight. It could be their diet, lifestyle or even stress.

If we don't communicate, we won't be able to find the best solution to their problems.

The junior fitness trainers are also responsible for the maintenance of the machines. They conduct routine checks to make sure the machines are safe.

YP: Do you work long hours?

C: It depends. Most of the gyms in Hong Kong hire fitness trainers on a contract and commission basis.

This means we work flexible hours, depending on the client bookings. So I may work four to five hours a day with my clients, and then work out in my free time.

I surf the internet for the latest news about exercising and fitness.

YP: Many people want to lose weight and spend a lot of money at slimming centres. Do you have any advice for them?

C: Being slim doesn't mean you are healthy or fit. You need to get a balance of cardio performance, flexibility, strength of muscles and body composition.

There's no shortcut to getting fit. You have to exercise and follow a balanced diet.

Avoid junk food and eat natural foods. Also, cut down on your salt and sugar intake.

YP: What's the most challenging part of your job?

C: I don't get a basic salary; I get commission from the gym. I need to recruit a certain number of new clients each month to earn a good income.

It's like being a salesman. I have to equip myself and show potential clients that they can rely on me to help them achieve their goals.

YP: What are the career prospects of a fitness trainer and where do you want to go from here?

C: Hong Kong people are becoming more and more health-conscious.

They are aware of the importance of exercising regularly. More gyms or fitness centres will open in the near future.

I plan to get a degree in sports management. I want to be a fitness manager and manage a team of fitness trainers.

From there, I can move on to become a centre manager.

There's a long way to go so I am focusing on learning and gaining experience.