I have been a trainer for about 15 years and worked full time as one also. The reason why I mention that is when clients see me having fun while working with them they ask “what do you do full time?” It’s also a relatively new career path and not really understood.
I became a trainer because I wasn’t enjoying my sales job. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and came to 2 possible options. Personal trainer or sports photographer. I loved working out and I’m a sports fan. So I enquired about both options and settled for PT because I could study part time.
I did a Certificate in Exercise Science and a Diploma in the same discipline over a 2 year period. When the time came for me to jump into the deep end and start to practice full time as a PT, I took a chance by quitting my sales job and took up a role at Xtreme Fitness. A well known PT facility in Sandton at the time. My family said that they would support me for a couple of months while I got the ball rolling.
I chose to learn under the great trainers at Xtreme Fitness. The facility had 20 trainers who were full-time professionals. No part-time enthusiast. We were held to a very high standard and were required to attend weekly training and also demonstrate a theoretical and practical application of exercise science. When you do a PT certification you have to “shadow” a qualified trainer for a total of 50 hours, over a year or 2, if my memory serves me correct. I was doing 50 hours of shadowing every 2 weeks. The beauty of the facility was the health care professionals who ran their business from the gym. Dietician, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and biokinetics. We were required to work alongside these professionals to provide our clients with the best possible health protocols. I was also taught how to refer clients to a relevant health practitioner if required and also how to implement their suggestions so the client could get the best outcome.
After a while, I decided waking up a 4 am and getting home at 8 pm was not sustainable. I inquired about opening an Adventure Boot Camp For Women Branch at Riet Vlei Farm in Alberton. The plan was to PT while doing 1-2 boot camp classes a day. The first time slot sold out and realised that I could help more people by doing group training. I went on to open 3 more time slots with upwards of 130 clients each month. Outdoor training was becoming my thing.
The Boot Camp helped many people and it was a thriving small business. I felt that I had done everything I could do within the constraints of my contract with the franchisor. I was limited to what equipment I could use and the programming style. I knew that if I could implement additional dumbells, med balls, and barbells I would be able to get my clients even better results. During this time I started to implement CrossFit style programming into my own training and I began a love-hate relationship with functional fitness.
Within a few months I