Fit for life
Name: Epsilon Wong Kwan-ping Age: 28 Occupation: Personal trainer
Young Post: How did you become a personal trainer?
Wong: I have always liked sport and outdoor activities. When I was 13, I was recruited for the Hong Kong female soccer team.
After I graduated from Form Five, I found a clerical job at a local company. But I got fed up with the sedentary lifestyle, so I quit after three months.
One day, I saw an advertisement for Physical's fitness programmes. Though they were not recruiting people at the time, I asked whether they needed a fitness trainer. They were impressed by my outgoing personality and enthusiasm for sport, so they gave me a job.
YP: What does your job entail?
W: I have to check the sports equipment at the gym. I also teach aerobics classes and give one-on-one training to clients.
I also need to do some administrative and management work such as arranging the staff roster.
YP: Is your job fun?
W: Absolutely. I like to interact with people and my job gives me plenty of opportunities to meet different people.
I'm also happy that I can help my clients improve their health through exercise.
Unlike a stuffy office in a glass tower, the spacious gym with its soothing music is an ideal place to work in.
YP: Being a personal trainer can be a physically demanding job. How do you keep fit?
W: I exercise and eat a balanced diet.
I am also a regular participant in women's bodybuilding competitions. I take part in two or three competitions a year.
About three months before a competition, I start a special fitness regime which involves intense workout sessions at the gym and a special diet.
By reducing my intake of fatty and sweet foods, I can limit the amount of fat on my body.
YP: Are the bodybuilding competitions rewarding?
W: Yes. Each experience has broadened my horizons.
My first bodybuilding competition was in Kazakhstan in 2003. Although I was the only woman in the Hong Kong team, I got along well with the male contestants.
I won the competition. As I stood on the stage, with the national anthem playing, I felt so proud that I had brought honour to Hong Kong.
YP: Most local women want to look slim and most people also think that only men should have a muscular body. Do you think you have challenged these opinions by embracing a strong and well-built body?
W: I think different people have different perceptions of beauty. Some people may think having a slim figure can enhance their confidence. Others like a sturdy body.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You should strive for a body shape that makes you happy.
YP: More and more people are signing up for gym membership. What do you think about the growing interest in fitness?
W: In the past, those who signed up for fitness programmes were often people who were dissatisfied with their body shape and wanted to reshape their figure.
Nowadays, people who work out at gyms are more concerned about their health than their figures.
More and more people are aware of the benefits exercise can bring. They want to exercise to strengthen their resistance.
I think the trend is really good as it shows that people have finally come to realise what exercise can do for their overall well-being.