I had the great opportunity of doing a fitness interview with my old personal trainer, David Membe. After being in this industry for quite some time now I wanted more information on why it’s such an interest, how it became a lifestyle and where it will go in the future. A lot of people run away at the thought of dedicating time and effort towards something so physical. David kindly let me ask him some questions on the topic and informed us of how easy it is. Here’s what he had to say.
At what age did you become interested in fitness?
I became interested in fitness when I was a young boy growing up in Malawi. Due to my illness at a young age, I was always weak. It affected me academically too. I played various sports, football, rugby, rounders and athletics.
What made you become a personal trainer?
I decided to become a personal trainer because health is really important to me. Exercise helped me tackle some hardships in my life back when I was less confident, less motivated and unsure of myself. Hopefully I can help others in the same way now.
Do you have any fitness goals for yourself? If so, what are they?
I have many goals in life, but to make it sweet and short…I want to be one of the best in fitness industry.
What are your personal bests?
Developing my strengths. When I was growing up, my parents encouraged me to find the one thing I did best and channel my energy toward it.
What are three essential exercises you suggest for all clients? Why are these in your top three?
Plank – Great for toning your abs, back, chest, forearms and shoulders
Chair Dips – Great for toning your triceps and core
Press-ups – Great for toning your chest, shoulders, triceps, back, hips, and abs
Squats – Great for toning your glutes, hamstrings and quads
Describe your daily routine.
6-9 First clients of the day – typically prime time for business people keen to fit in that early morning workout that sets them up for the day.
9-10 Free time – a great opportunity for my own workout, client administration or business marketing activity such as social media.
10-1 Client time – popular timeslots for mums, those working from home and retired seniors.
1-2 Lunch – it’s important to schedule a proper lunch break, as well as keep some flexibility to respond to messages, new enquiries.
2-5 Client time – popular with local business people, teenagers, young adults and retired seniors.
5-6 Free time and Eat!
6-9 Evening clients and small groups – I combine client one to one time and group activities such as boot camps.
Now I’m not saying my personal training career means I start at 6am and finish at 9pm every day! I have been there and it’s not the smartest of ideas! What I can tell you is that there are clients who’ll be seeking an early time slot and those looking for one at the end of the day. Whilst you can say yes to them all and maximise your earnings, your work life balance will be short and let’s face it how long can anyone sustain burning the candle at both ends?
You must enjoy fitness to be a personal trainer, a lot of people see training as a hobby. Aside from this, what are your other hobbies?
Outside the fitness lifestyle. I love catching up with some friends and family. I love having movie nights.
Do you have favourites [clients]?
I love all my clients. We are like a family.
How do you maintain professional when training people you are close to [close friends/family]?
I treat everyone equal. As I said previously, we are all family and I always try organise something for everyone like a group meal.
What is your top tip for people wanting to get into training/first starting out?
Motivation is the key. You have to be prepared to drag your arse out the door when you aren’t feeling up to it or the weather is crap. Once you get into the habit (and it will take a couple of weeks or so), it will get easier, honestly. Even if you are blowing at the end of a run, you never feel worse than when you set off. You might ache a bit the next day, but it will be worth the effort. Just take your time, and build up slowly at your own pace. Not everyone is the same.
Once you get into the cycle of training regularly, keep it up. Don’t take holiday breaks. It will be all too easy to fall back into old habits. Stick some running gear in your car, or take it to work with you so that you have no excuses.
And finally; remember, don’t reward yourself with sweet treats after a run because you’ve earned it; it will defeat the object.
As a PT, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years from now, I would like to own a gym studio and to help as many people as I can.
There we have it, an insight to the life of a personal trainer and some handy tips on how to get into fitness as a beginner. David has also mentioned that he is slowly releasing his own fitness clothing line so be sure to check it out for all those fancy garms, fit for the gym!