Professional boxer turned personal trainer, Peter Petrou stands out in the fitness industry. Find out his story.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Peter Petrou and I own and operate a private personal training company in Sydney. Where I aim at giving providing top quality personal training at an affordable price to the residents of Sydney.
2. How & why did you get into the fitness industry?
As a young amateur boxer with a checkered past, the president of the Paddington PCYC approached me about starting some boxercise classes. I ran the boxercise classes out of the Paddington PCYC from 1994 until it closed in 2001 while slowly taking on personal training clients. When the PCYC closed down I had begun a professional boxing career and stopped doing group training and made the transition into purely personal training.
3. Take us through a typical day for you?
I am generally up at 5am in order to make myself breakfast and be ready to start work at 6am. I finish with the morning crowd by 9am and take my kids to school. I then train the lunch crowd before doing some of my own training, I then make sure I have a bit of free time to help my kids with their homework and start again at 5pm and work through till 9pm. Before going to bed to do it all again the next day.
4. What were some of the biggest mistakes you made when starting out your business? And what should their focus be?
It has been over 20 years since I started my business and I honestly don’t remember any big start-up mistakes but if I was going to give any advice it would be to learn as much as you can about the tax system. So that you can a) organize your own books and b) avoid having to pay any excess tax.
5. What are some of the reasons your clients fail to hit their fitness goals?
They don’t train with regularity. Training does not have to be hard every time you train. That old adage of no pain no gain is bullshit, if you train to pain everytime you train all you will do is increase your risk of an injury but if you quit the first time training gets hard you will not increase your anything.
6. What are some of your favourite exercises to do with a client?
I don’t have favourite exercises that I do with clients. Exercises or routines I get clients to do, all depends on them and their training aims or goals. If a trainer lumps all his clients in the same bowl and gets them all doing the same routines he or she is not giving the clients what they are paying for which is personal training. The clients may as well go and do a group training class because they are not getting personalized training.
7. Any tips / suggestions for people looking to get into the fitness industry?
I think this can be a hard way to make a living and not many people actually do well. I also think that the majority of trainers who actually succeed in this business are those with an actual athletic background behind them. These trainers have a wealth of knowledge and experience to fall back on. So if you are just someone who thinks it’s a cool or sexy way to make a living, go do something else because you’re doomed to fail.
8. What do you think makes a personal trainer succeed in the long term?
As mentioned in my previous response I think the best trainers are those who have been athletes and have a wealth of knowledge and training experience to fall back on. Combine that with an outgoing personality and your chances of success are trebled.
I personally meet all potential new clients first in order to answer any questions they may have, get them to fill out a pre-exercise questionnaire, find out exactly what they want to achieve from their training, if they have any injuries, illnesses etc that I need to work around, so that I can then go back and either design them a program from scratch or use an existing program on my database. Whilst doing this I can determine whether we have a rapport or not and if I don’t think we are going to get along I don’t take them on as a client.
If you train with someone who you get along with and don’t mind being in their company it makes training more enjoyable and when you enjoy it there is more chance you are going to do it and do it regularly and that is how a client gets success and also what makes a successful trainer.
9. Any useful resources, tools, or books you can recommend?
No, but I do write training and nutrition articles that get published in online health & fitness magazines. I have added the link to three of them below.
10. Where can people get in touch with you?
I can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org