Jarrat Wood talks about his dream job and how to be good at it.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
Jarrat Wood and I am a personal trainer with a degree in exercise science. I work with healthy clients as well as a variety of rehabilitation clients including musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and metabolic syndrome.
2. How & why did you get into the fitness industry?
I have always been a sportsman and have competed in triathlon, athletics and touch football at a state and national level. I was offered the opportunity about 6 years ago to move from working in sports administration to managing a private gym in Edgecliff. I now work in the same gym operating my own personal training business. I got into the fitness industry because I wanted a job that I could get out of bed every morning and be happy to go to work. It sounds cliche but 6 years on I have no regrets. This also gives me the motivation to do more for my clients and work harder on my business.
3. Take us through a typical day for you?
My typical day starts with clients from 6am to mid-morning, with further clients around lunchtime and then another block of clients in the evening after 5pm to about 8pm. In between clients i do all of my administration, programming, accounting, planning, liaising with other health care professionals and my own training. Oh, and if I get the time, a power nap.
4. What were some of the biggest mistakes you made when starting out your business? And what should their focus be?
I think everyone starts out in the industry with a certain protectiveness of their own style of programming and client service. I quickly realised that the more I shared, the more I gained from other trainers, clients with great ideas and other health care professionals. The more open and giving you are with other people, the more you get in return.
5. What are some of the reasons your clients fail to hit their fitness goals?
Failure rate is highest in the early stages of a training program. I find that providing the most nurturing environment in the early stages is important and that if you can establish a routine, after a few weeks clients will start to see and believe in the system and then failure becomes unlikely. From the client perspective, it is important that they start a new program or undertake new lifestyle changes at a time that they are ready to change. It is a difficult process and one which you need to be ready to undertake.
6. What are some of your favourite exercises to do with a client?
As an accredited athletics coach I work a lot on teaching people how to run and I prepare many clients every year for events ranging from sprints to marathons. For that reason running forms the basis of a lot of my programs. I also use a wide variety of resistance exercises that are specific to the clients current level of function, posture, strength and range.
7. Any tips / suggestions for people looking to get into the fitness industry?
For new people coming into the industry I would recommend 3 things: 1. Strongly consider University Degree – the fitness industry is becoming increasingly competitive and you need a point of difference. This has helped me tremendously. 2. Find a mentor you can trust – this is invaluable in the early stages of setting up your own business and learning the industry. 3. Never stop learning – I am always reading 3 books at any one time, one on fitness, one on nutrition and one on business development.
8. What do you think makes a personal trainer succeed in the long term?
A commitment to my 3rd point in the question above is a good start. My keys to success have been a combination of qualifications, experience, networking, establishing referral pathways and being willing to accept feedback even if it is highly critical and sometimes negative. Sometimes the feedback we least want to hear is the feedback we most need to improve. You have to always stop and listen when someone has taken the time to provide you with feedback on your service.
9. Any useful resources, tools, or books you can recommend?
I have a very long list of resources but here are some of my favourites. Online – I recommend subscribing to the Medline database for access to the latest health research. Books – psychology is such an important part of being a trainer and “Thinking Fast and Slow” is a brilliant book by Daniel Kahnemann that explains clearly how our conscious and subconscious minds work. I also recommend “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell as a great place to start your career and realise what it takes to be at the top of your field. There aren’t many people in each industry who are prepared to do the hours required to become exceptional.
10. Where can people get in touch with you?
I can be contacted via my website at www.personaltrainingprograms.com.au or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
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