In a society where obesity is an ever-growing problem, we are all becoming more aware of our health and fitness. Every high street now has a gym and there is a growing demand for fitness instructors to keep clients on the right path to a healthy lifestyle. But what is it really like for people in this industry?
Fitness instructor Phil Robert-Jones talks about changing careers to follow his dream and being a fitness fanatic.
Like what Phil has to say? Then check out our career guide to fitness instructor jobs for more info.
What do you do for a job?
I’m a personal trainer and a fitness instructor so I’m basically paid to be the giant pain in the ass who gets people out of bed and exercising every day!
Childhood dream or something you just fell into?
Actually this is my second career and neither of my jobs lived up to my childhood dream of racing car driver (it took me three attempts to pass my driving test so obviously it wasn’t meant to be!).
How did you get into your job?
I have always been a bit of a fanatic about fitness. I was a constant source of annoyance to my parents who became sick of taking me from one sporting event to the next: football, hockey, long distance running – you name it I was doing it.
But I fell into banking (retail not investment, don’t hate me!) and decided when I turned 25 that it was NOT right for me. Some training and a qualification later, here I am!
What does a typical working day involve?
There’s no typical day but whatever happens I’m up early getting myself in the zone. I try to spend time with my clients, getting to know them a bit so a day can involve anything from exercising full out all day to sitting down and having a smoothie while looking at exercise plans.
What do you like about your job?
Getting to meet new and interesting people and helping them to change their lives. Some of my clients are now friends and some have lost – and kept off – an incredible amount of weight. As everyone’s getting bigger and less fit, it’s important we all stay aware of our own bodies.
I’m only human – some days I just want to chill out with a pizza in front of a movie but I have to get up and run with a client in a wintery field. Not good.
What kind of person do you need to be to succeed in this job?
Fit, obviously! But you also have to be a people person – I’m as much a therapist as a personal trainer!
Not getting into this straight away – it’s THE job for me!
If you could do any other job/career what would you choose and why?
I have never forgotten my dream of driving Formula One!
If you had to offer one piece of advice to anyone looking to break into your industry, what would it be?
Just do it! Work hard, learn what you need to and just get on with it. I wish I had straight away!