Does this sound familiar to you?
(a) You have been working out for sometime, you love it, you have a deep passion for it, so much so you can’t resist sharing it with your partner/family/friends or just about anyone who will listen.
(b)Whilst training in the gym you can’t help noticing the technique of other members and afterwards while chatting to the gym staff you give them a detailed break down on how they could or should be doing it better.
Well, does that sound like you? Those that can, teach! I personally was working out at a gym and couldn’t help but study both the instructors and participants of the group fitness classes that were going on in an open area of the gym (no studio back then) I remember it well!
The year was 1990 and I was working out at the Barbican in London which at that time was the top gym in Europe.. The group fitness was pure Jane Fonda (high impact exercises) back then. I was intrigued by it, one of the instructors came over to me after she finished teaching her class (she noticed me practicing my kickboxing) and told me I should become an instructor myself, that was the spark that started the fire going! But it wasn’t until 1996 that I actually did something about it and got qualified/certified.
All I can say is, I wish I had done it sooner rather than later!! It was a certain gentleman called Mr. Motivator who gave me the final push to pursue my passion after meeting him at the Great North Run where he was warming up the ten’s of thousands of runners before we embarked on the half marathon distance.
So in this article, I decided to ask a few questions of how and why three fellow professionals became trainers to maybe help ignite or inspire the inner fitness coach in you. My panel of three are Gina Morris, Angela Lood and Michelle Lawing.
Gina Morris lives in London and specialises in pilates. She also teaches aerobics and spinning (indoor cycling).
Angela Lood lives in California and specialises in indoor cycling and is a TRX trainer and personal trainer.
While Michelle Lawing lives in California and specialises in cardio kickboxing and turbokick.
Here’s the fitness panel and their answers to the questions I fired off in their direction (note: all answers from each trainer are contained under each question).
Jay: What made you become a fitness coach and how long have you been one?
Gina Morris – I first decided to become a fitness trainer because I was fed up going to classes that were rubbish! I was getting a better workout doing my own thing at home! I actually thought “hey I can do better than them!’” So I did. That was in 1991 and I have being doing it for 21 years now.
Angela Lood – I started training in 1995 after I bought my first mountain bike it was like therapy to me! In 1999 I moved to California and after attending an indoor cycling class the coach (a fitness business owner) gave me an opportunity to become a cycling coach and I certified in 2000.
Michelle Lawing – I have personally been doing cardio kickboxing for over 10 years and love it,5 years ago I decided to get certified in turbo kick so I can inspire and help others reach their fitness goals.
Jay: How many times a week do you teach and how often do you workout in your own time?
Gina Morris - I teach 16 classes a week, plus personal training on top of that. I go running when I can as well as walking my dogs.
Angela Lood - I teach 4 – 5 times a week! I like to circuit train,run and hike as well as use the TRX myself.
Michelle Lawing - I teach 4 times a week. I workout 4 to 5 times a week, 3 of which is weight training and the others are cardio, I run between 5 – 8 miles.
Jay: What is your most memorable moment in fitness?
Gina Morris - Organising aerobathons and raising money for charity! To date I’ve raised over £19000/$30400! Also , I’m trying out for the “Gladiators” where I got through to the end but got disqualified for falling off a high rope and knocking down my opponent.
Angela Lood - When the new year gym craze occurs and I have a waiting least of 15 people wanting to do my 8am Sunday indoor cycling class and someone steals the waiting list! People will do what it takes to get their fitness fix if they love the instructor and the energy of the class.
Michelle Lawing - It’s hard to pick my most memorable, I’d have to say its an accumulation of moments, when people come up to me and thank me for inspiring them and they share how much weight they have lost and how the class has changed them.
Jay: Whats your advice to someone new to working out and to someone thinking of becoming a fitness trainer themselves?
Gina Morris - Once a week is better than nothing if that’s all you can do! Anyone can become a fitness trainer but its a whole new thing standing in front of a class week in week out and coming up with fresh ideas you have to do this to be successful!
Angela Lood - My advice is not to be intimidated by anything, mind over matter! It takes a special person to get out there in front of others! There is always a critic in a class but take the negative comments along with the positive to make you the best.
Michelle Lawing - Remember you have to walk before you run, figuratively speaking (well literally too lol) Don’t get discouraged if you get tired fast or can’t keep pace in a fitness class. Teach something your passionate about! Without that your energy will be low and that will transfer to your class. If you as a coach don’t seem interested neither will your participants.
Jay says: If you have a desire to get out there and motivate, inspire by example as a fitness coach, my advice would be to “go for it” … there is nothing that beats the feeling
In knowing you have helped change somebody’s life for the better, little things like when someone tells you they are sleeping better, less stressed and more motivated, you get a feeling that you were doing what you are meant to be doing.
Being fit and healthy allows you to turn your dedication and apply that to other areas of your life: Your journey will open up so many new interesting paths to enrich your life.
So, get fit, heathy and happy: What you waiting for?
Until next time