Take the robust route to offbeat career

PATHFINDER

Take the robust route to offbeat career

train to be taut  Personal trainers assess the general health of their clients, set goals, give advice and oversee stringent workout routines.

Fitness is governed by three pure sciences - anatomy, kinesiology and physiology. It entails theory and practical work in equal measure. The fitness industry in India has not grown to its full potential. There are, therefore, great opportunities for new ventures in the areas of fitness infrastructure, fitness management, sports science and fitness spas.
You need to study anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, biomechanics, injury and disease, as well as learn the different methods of training all body types and age levels. There are many certification courses in the country. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) offers courses in Sports and Athletics Coaching. Fitness centres like Talwalkar’s also offer training programmes.

Almost all the major internationally recognised certification courses such as the National Strength & Conditioning  Association (NSCA), American Council on Exercise (ACE), International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) have exam centres in India and various local agencies prepare students for them. You also must have sound knowledge of training technology and be able to set up customised nutritional programmes for individuals, based upon their performance needs.

Career roadmap

Fitness trainers / professionals can work either for a fitness centre or a similar institution. They can impart the training to groups or on an individual basis. The personal trainers have to be knowledgeable, skillful and tactful. The training sessions would include aerobics and strengthening routines. Personal trainers assess the general health of their clients, set goals, give advice and oversee stringent workout routines. Group exercise instructors lead fitness classes (aerobics, stationary bikes, pilates) with individuals who want to exercise in a group environment. Fitness directors create in-demand exercise programmes for members, handle new member orientations and incentive programmes, select new exercise equipment, hire and train staff members and provide administrative support.

“As a personal trainer you'll have a wide range of employment options. Many personal trainers work in health clubs, and there are job opportunities at universities, spas, resorts and cruise ships”  says Neesha Bukht, a dietician and trainer at the Mumbai branch of Talwalkars Training Academy. She adds: “Corporate fitness is growing and many personal trainers work for companies providing workplace wellness programmes.”  

Remuneration

The basic trainer’s salary starts at Rs 5,000 but through commissions earned on personal training, one can earn up to Rs 50,000 per month. Some of the top fitness positions of counsellors and lecturers can get flat salaries of a similar figure. The fitness business also has administrative positions of club general manager where the monthly salary can exceed Rs. 20,000.

Skills speak

A successful fitness trainer must possess a scientific bent of mind and eagerness to understand the human body's physiological response to exercise. “The trainer should be athletic and lead by example. He should also be disciplined in his own lifestyle and someone who has a vibrant, inspiring and motivating personality" opines Kaizzad Capadia, Director of Mumbai-based K11 Fitness Management Company.

Neesha Bukht cautions that “A trainer must not get caught in a box and understand that each person is unique but at the same time, should not be afraid to honour your own methods and systems.” A trainer should think critically and educate himself adequately to ensure professional success, she says.

Work dynamics

A good trainer must attain the goals set to help the clients remain fit and healthy. Seeing a client accomplish a goal and gain health and robustness makes this line of work meaningful. As with any career, going full-time in the fitness industry has its share of challenges. Marketing, management and administrative experience are essential here. When starting as a self-employed personal trainer, it can also be challenging to recruit and retain new clients.

“Interacting with people of all walks of life young and old with different lifestyles and convincing them to have realistic fitness goals according to their effort is one of the challenges while working in this field” states Sachin Suvarna, Bangalore’s Gold Gym head trainer.

Growth curve

Working out is about changing the way you live your everyday life, the way you think, the way you perform exercises, what and how you eat . So working on these strategies and helping the clients makes the field intellectually stimulating .The learning experiences are immense in this field; fitness training is an opportunity to experience something different. “This experience should be one that recharges the body and the spirit, making life look simple at least for that moment in time” asserts Neesha Bukht.

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