Keen to keep on moving

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 January, 2009, 12:00am

Personal trainers need to love sport and be good communicators

Requirements: To be a fitness trainer, a passion for sport is a must. You also need to be able to communicate effectively. A trainer should try to make the training a personal experience, so it is very important to talk to clients and learn exactly what they want.

Qualifications: The basic qualification is an Asia Fitness Personal Trainer Certificate and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Certification. It is definitely an advantage to have a fitness training diploma or sports science degree.

Average salary: A trainee instructor will receive a basic monthly salary of about HK$6,000-HK$7,000 plus commission.

After a probationary period, you become a freelance trainer, which means there is no basic salary - you share your income from clients with the company. You can earn about HK$20,000-HK$30,000 a month, depending on the number of clients you see.

Work prospects: The main responsibility is to provide one-on-one fitness training. Every client has different needs, and a trainer must provide a tailor-made programme for them.

Clients may want to lose weight, build muscles or recover from an injury. A personal trainer's job is to provide professional advice and training according to the clients' condition.

Besides training clients, they have duties like keeping the gym safe and comfortable. When trainers are not with clients, they have to clean the gym equipment and make sure everything is working properly.

Trainers need a high level of self-discipline. They need to work out and keep themselves in shape at all times.

Long-term prospects: As they gain more experience, personal trainers have to handle more management duties. Working with clients is still their main job, but there are other duties required of them, such as supervising junior staff, planning marketing strategies and helping the manager to run the club.

Where to apply: Anywhere with gym facilities. There are gymnasiums in fitness centres, hotels and club houses. There are also gyms run by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

A day in the life of a fitness instructor

I come in at about noon and start my day by looking around the gym to make sure the equipment is safe.

I then report to the fitness manager about the state of the club and we will have a meeting to look for ways to improve conditions.

After that, I supervise my clients' workouts. The time I leave the gym depends a lot on the appointments with clients. I only leave when I have finished with my clients for the day. Sometimes it can be as late as 11pm when the gym closes. I also have to cater to clients who make appointments on public holidays.

When I am not with clients, I discuss things with other trainers. They may have problems handling their clients or face other difficulties. Teamwork counts when you are working in a gym.

It is important to constantly communicate with your co-workers. And, of course, I also have to find time to work out and stay in shape.