Interview date: August 2013
Graduated ELA: February 2013
Now: Personal Fitness Trainer at Fitness Plus South
Age: 44 years old
Secret favourite exercise: Handstands. Not for the reason you may think. It’s not that I care if people see me failing over and over again (I’m relearning the skill of holding them without the support of the wall), it’s that to me it feels a little like showing off. So I’ve tended to do these in the unoccupied areas of the gym when no one’s around.
Pet peeve: The attitude some gym members have that their workout has a higher priority than anyone else’s: ”Since I’m lifting so much more than you, with so much more intensity, you should defer to my workout needs.” I know that I prefer to have my workouts flow smoothly, like I’m the only one in the gym, but if someone else needs to share what I’m using I’ll accommodate. That’s the nature of working out in a gym. Unless you’re doing bicep curls in the squat rack. In that case, get the (censored) out of there! Ha, ha.
ELA: Did you see yourself where you are today when you first enrolled for the Personal Fitness Trainer Diploma program?
K: I had no idea where I would be or in what capacity I would be working. Prior to enrolling at ELA I expected to pay my dues after getting certified (e.g. working as a trainer part time while holding a retail job to help pay the bills). I did not expect to achieve the goal of full time fitness trainer as quickly as it happened. Very nice!
ELA: What has been your most embarrassing training moment?
K: In a moment of poor judgement I decided to demonstrate how to do an ab wheel roll out from standing. This is something I do regularly but I hadn’t warmed up prior to this. At full extension I felt good but as I began rolling back to my feet I felt my left shoulder sub-luxate (i.e. partially dislocate). I collapsed to the floor, turned to the club members and said, “It’s a tough exercise.” I carried on with the training as if I had merely failed to do it. They had no idea what I had done until a couple of days later when I had to explain why I was favoring my shoulder so much. Learned a valuable lesson that day!
ELA: What is your favorite pre/post work out food?
K: I train first thing in the morning. I have a green foods supplement mixed with a little fruit juice, and half a vitamin pack. Fifteen minutes later I drink about 25 grams of protein mixed in water. A half hour after that I’m in the gym.
Post workout I eat a banana while I’m still at the gym. When I get home, about 15 minutes later, I have a couple of slices of whole grain bread, a skiff of coconut oil on each, 1/8 cup of raisins on the bread, and about 35 grams of protein mixed in water.
These are as much a part of my routine as the workouts themselves. However, I’ve been doing research on intermittent fasting so I’ve got some big changes to make to accommodate this new approach to my own workouts.
ELA: If you could give any advice to students attending Elevated Learning Academy at this time, what would you say to them?
K: Have confidence that what you are learning is valuable. Every element of the ELA curriculum has practical value in the field. The ACE IFT model provides such a solid framework from which to approach every individual looking to improve their health and fitness. So, take it all in, knowing that every lesson learned is making you a trainer that will have the skills to do a professional job from day one.
ELA: What advice would you give to people considering becoming a Personal Fitness Trainer?
K: If you have a passion for fitness, if you live the life, if fitness and health are key values that inform your day to day decision making, then seriously consider becoming a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer.
Personally, I’ve lived a fitness lifestyle for over 25 years. Up until becoming certified through ELA it was a hobby. I was intense about it, I enjoyed it to the point of distraction, but it was a hobby. And hobbies are things a person does in one’s off hours. The other times one must earn a living. My fun time was being interrupted by work.
Now, I am immersed in health and fitness. Not only am I applying what I’ve learned to help others (i.e. my career) but I apply this learning to my own training (i.e. my hobby). It’s my life. I’m getting paid to be who I am. Sweet! You can have this, too.
ELA: Is there anything about being a Personal Fitness Trainer that you didn’t expect or came as a surprise?
K: Working in a gym that has unlimited personal training included in the membership I am interacting with people all day. Now, I’m the kind of person that recharges my batteries by having alone time. I consider myself an introvert. I fully expected that it would be quite an effort to ‘act as if’ I’m more of a people person in the gym and that I would feel drained after being around people all day.
Here is what’s actually been my experience: My personality changes when I’m at work. I’m chattier. I start conversations. My energy level increases when I’m around people, now. I am described by others as outgoing.
And this all started when I was attending ELA. I knew that I would have to step out of my comfort zone if I wanted to succeed as a fitness trainer. So, in class, I began modeling what I imagined would be the behavior of a friendly, outgoing, confident trainer. It seems all that play acting has become who I am and what I do. Personally, this has been the most unexpected and most gratifying growth experience, so far. And it’s early days yet.
ELA: Would you recommend Elevated Learning Academy’s Personal Fitness Trainer Diploma program to other people, if so, why?
K: I’d recommend this program. Definitely. I have to refer again to the practicality of the program. I came to ELA with what I consider a fairly well rounded education in health, fitness, and training. That education consisted of over two decades of personal study, experience, some theory courses I took part in with other certifying bodies (ISSA, BCRPA). Getting certified was just a technicality, in my mind.
I ended up learning so much more than I expected. Way more. I’m glad I didn’t opt for the quick weekend certification, as I was initially considering. The confidence I developed at ELA has put me well ahead of where I used to be. Highly recommended.