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Career in Fitness Instructor

Sep 11, 2018 09:55 IST

    Introduction

    Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. – John F. Kennedy

    A strong mind resides in a healthy body. This saying had never been more significant. The fast pace of modern lifestyle has led to an unimaginable amount of physical and psychological stress on human body and mind. Consequently, demand for trained fitness instructors.has increased manifold.

    Modern work environment has led to a sedentary life style with little scope for physical exercise. This has resulted in a large section of the society, especially in urban areas, falling prey to deadly maladies such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and so on.

    No magic pill is available that will help you and me escape this unpleasant situation. The only way out is to keep ourselves fit by adopting a suitable fitness regime.
     
    Fitness has emerged both as a lucrative business opportunity and a sustainable career option.  It is not just the celebrities and the rich who want to stay fit but the fitness bug has stung a large chunk of professional urbanites.

    And what’s exciting is that modern day health clubs are not merely sweat shops where fitness enthusiasts pumped iron or bench pressed away their worries. Those were the days when ‘bodybuilding’ was in vogue. Now-a-days the concept of fitness has seen a revolutionary change.

    Physical fitness is not just about staying healthy, it is also about looking good and leading an active life. The task of achieving a healthy body seems simple enough, yet it is not so. One has to follow a regular and a strict fitness regime to achieve this objective. At the same time, it is imperative to seek expert advice of a fitness instructor in this regard.

    The role of a fitness instructor is a multifaceted one. The first and foremost responsibility is to guide trainees to get into shape. Other than gym routines, fitness trainers also have to provide guidance regarding posture, dietary intake, food supplements, latest fitness techniques, and so on. Furthermore, they have to cater to the special needs and requirements of their clients.

    Overall, the career path of a fitness instructor is all the time saturated with excitement and verve.

    Step-by-Step

    It is not important to have a certification from a reputed institution in order to take up the job of a fitness trainer. However, it is better to be equipped with quality training to outdo your competitors.

    Training options are varied. You can opt for a regular academic program in Physical Education from an institute such as the Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences (IGIPESS), New Delhi, Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, Thiruvananthapuram and Gwalior, and various institutions set up by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) across the country. These institutions are solely dedicated for churning out quality sports and fitness professionals. Apart from these organisations, there are numerous other establishments that offer different level programs in Physical Education.

    If you want to delve deeper into the realm of physical education and allied subjects, you have the choice to pursue a doctorate degree in this field.

    You can also join a professional physical fitness training program such as the Reebok Fitness Instructor Certification program, the Nike Aerobics Course and similar courses offered by numerous private entities. BFY (Better Fitness for You), a private organisation offers a bouquet of certification courses dealing with different aspects of fitness.

    Jobs openings are aplenty these days once you have completed your training in this field. Nevertheless, a good qualification is not the end of the road. Rather, you must continue to update and upgrade yourself all the time to keep abreast with the latest developments in the fitness industry. It is strongly advisable to constantly keep in touch with the latest research in this area, state-of-the-art training equipment, nutrition related studies, and so on.

    Start off as a junior instructor or a trainee at a fitness club. Gradually pick up skills and contacts that will help you move to better avenues in the job market. A good option is to set up your own business. However, this requires meticulous planning, financial support and excellent management skills.

    Start Early

    It helps to start early in the realm of physical fitness. Try to inculcate the habit of sticking to a well-defined exercise program from the school days. Teenage is the right time to hit the gymnasium to get one’s body into perfect shape. Once you have zeroed on this particular career path, focus on the areas that would help you achieve your long term objectives in this regard.

    Is it the Right Career for Me?

    This is an ideal job for people who always want to be literally on their toes. This profile demands a career long rigorous dedication both from the body as well as from the psyche.

    You must be prepared to sweat it out day after day relentlessly in the gymnasium to help others get into shape themselves. Moreover, you must have that zing in you that motivates people achieve their fitness goals. Furthermore, you should have an open mind to absorb new innovations in this field and to apply them for the betterment of your career prospects.

    What would it Cost Me?

    The cost of pursuing a bachelors or a Master’s program in physical education from a government run educational institution is economical and affordable.

    As far as the cost of pursuing a training program from a private institution goes, it varies depending upon the course, its duration, and the specialisation opted for.

    Funding/Scholarship

    Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, Thiruvananthapuram offers scholarships to deserving and meritorious students at bachelors and masters levels.

    Job Prospects

    There is no dearth of employment opportunities for qualified fitness instructors. In fact, the fitness industry is undergoing a phase of boom owing to the massive upsurge of lifestyle related diseases in urban centres. Another factor that is boosting this industry is the increased level of awareness amongst common man with regards to physical fitness and wellness.

    There are lots of opportunities for fitness trainers these days. If you want a smug government job then you can head for various government run institutions and sports bodies. There are ample positions for trainers in schools, colleges and universities. Fitness instructors who have earned a postgraduate degree or any other higher qualification can also apply for teaching jobs in different colleges and educational bodies.

    In the private sector, the range of employment openings range from five star hotels to innumerable health resorts, spas, sports and fitness clubs. Alternatively, you can start your own gymnasium or a health club or work exclusively as a personal fitness trainer for some celebrity. The opportunities are simply unending.

    Pay Packet

    The pay packet of a fitness trainer depends on a number of factors. At the entry level, a professional may not get too much. However, with experience and time a fitness instructor can on an average get a monthly salary in the range of Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000. This may considerably go up depending upon the reputation of the centre, the locality in which the fitness club is located, the clientele, number of students.

    Fitness trainers associated with celebrities, ones who are successfully running their own fitness clubs or those associated with multinational fitness chains can easily rake in lakhs of rupees every month for their services.

    Demand and Supply

    There is great demand for this profile in the job market and this upward trend is expected to continue in the near future. Both government as well as privately owned establishments are doing their best to meet the growing demand.

    Market Watch

    The fitness industry is here to stay and grow in leaps and bounds in the future looking at the present job market scenario.

    International Focus

    The infrastructure of the fitness business in countries such as the U.S., Canada, Germany, the UK, France, South Africa, and Australia is far more developed and organised than what it is in India. Fitness instructors in India have limited scope of making it big in these countries as of now.

    But the lack of big international opportunity is more than compensated by the potential in the domestic market.

    Positives/Negatives

    +ives

    •  The best aspect of this profession is that you will always stay fit.  After all, it is your job to keep one and all in perfect shape.
    •  You always get to meet and communicate with people from different walks of life and who knows how they may help you enhance your career or your fitness business.
    •  You are a role model for people who are under your tutelage.

    -ives

    •  This is a service industry and you cannot afford to loose your temper when dealing with uncooperative or difficult people.
    •  After a period of time, you might get complacent about your work and not take good care of your patrons as you did initially.
    •  This job demands you to be on your toes all the time. Slackness means loss of clientele, erosion of hard earned reputation and business.

    Different Roles, Different Names

    The role of a fitness instructor can be classified as:

    • Aerobics instructor – a fitness instructor specialising in aerobic exercises and routines
    • Clinical exercise specialist – a trainer who works with patients and assists them to overcome and recover from injuries and physical ailments 
    • Group fitness or gym instructor – a person who specialises in imparting the nuances of fitness routines to a group of people
    •  Personal trainer – a fitness trainer who is exclusively associated with a particular client and looks after their fitness schedule, diet and training.

    Top Companies

    1.  Sports Authority of India

    2.  Government institutions and organisations

    3.  Top notch hotels and resorts

    4.  National as well as multinational health and fitness clubs

    5.  Sports clubs and educational institutions

    6.  Cine stars, models, businessmen, sportsmen, and so on

    Tips for Getting Hired

    1.  A degree or a diploma from a reputed institution is desirable.

    2.  Since this is a part of the service industry it is essential to hone your communication skills.

    3.  Good etiquette helps to deal with a broad spectrum of situations and personalities.

    4.  Knowledge of latest trends and research in the field of fitness is a must.

    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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