Any professional thinking the fitness field is easy, or a joke, will eventually learn
his lesson the hard way, and eventually get a taste of his own shit. What I mean
by this is, that a lot of people enter this profession thinking you don’t need any
major qualification for this. There is hardly any academics or studies needed,
unlike other more serious sounding fields like, medical, engineering, IT etc. You
just need to have some basic know-how about the exercises in the gym, and
bingo! You are a fitness trainer. It’s that simple!! Oh Shut Up!!
People who took this mindset in not just the field of fitness as a profession, but
any other field, have either exited this field due to lack of progression, or will
eventually exit it, sometime in the future. The reason is not the profession as
such, the profession remains the same for everyone. It is due to a lack of
understanding of the basic principles of Life, work and money.
That’s why I often repeat a quote:
Let me give you another example for this. If you take an example of any class in
your school, how many kids got over 90% marks in the class in academics? Well,
may be 5-10% of the total class. What about the rest >90% class? If the teachers
are same, school is the same, education system is the same, books are the same,
classes are the same, then why those rest >90% students don’t get the grades?
The answer is the direct understanding of the above quote. Basics, which in our
example is studying hard. This is one thing which students are not ready to do. A
reason why most of them are in search of a short cut, a magic pill, a no-hard
work, overnight success formula; which fortunately for them, does not exist, in
any field in life.
The reason I said ‘fortunately’ is because, when you earn something through
shear perseverance, there is much more you gain, than just success. You then
understand the real taste of success, the real meaning of grit, strength of
character, importance of time, value of patience & consistency, the pain of
discipline, and much more. And, you get this only when you go through hell!! And,
believe me, not many are fortunate to get a chance to be that fortunate.
A ‘Fitness Coach’ is not a two letter word. It means much more than what people
think. No profession requires such a combination of practical experience and
theoretical know-how. A coach has to have a practical, on-hands experience of
various forms of exercises, movement patterns, using different modalities, be it
our own body-weight, or an external tool. He may be from a competitive sports
background, or may have just switched career from a non-sports field. In any
case, he has to taste his blood & sweat first, to make his clients go through the
same. A GREAT COACH, FIRST HAS TO BE A GREAT STUDENT.
The second aspect, for being a great coach, which is unfortunately is the weakest
point of Indian coaches is the theoretical part, or the ‘WHY’ behind what they are
doing. This is where most coaches in our country think it as the easy part, and
this is where they go absolutely wrong. There is a common, but extremely stupid
notion in our country. We think that whatever the other person is doing is easy.
Limiting ourselves to the fitness field, a lot of people think becoming a trainer or
a coach is easy. That’s why for every sportsman, a more natural choice is to
become a coach or a trainer. This is where they wrong. This is the reason they
later blame the field of fitness as a wrong choice, which doesn’t pay.
Unfortunately this is far from the truth.
Remember one thing:
For a sportsman, coaching is for sure a great future career option, but being a
sportsman and being a coach are two very different things. A student getting
90% may not make a good teacher, and a student with much lesser marks, may
win the hearts of his students. This is what our trainers don’t simply understand.
This is the reason, the world’s top champions also need a coach. These coaches
may not have been world champions themselves. But they surely know how to
That’s why theory may play a more important part, when it comes to becoming a
trainer or a coach. Our trainers simply don’t read or study. They just GO through
their career, they never GROW through it. The main difference between an
average trainer & a great coach, is BOOKS. Yes, that’s the reason top international
& Indian coaches, rise above the rest.
Our coaches simply do not read. And some other do so for the sake of it, not with
the passion to learn. Unfortunately this is a habit, which is not inculcated in us
from an early age. Reading is the best hobby you can inculcate. The amount of
opportunities it opens for you is endless.
Reading is the No. 1 habit which will differentiate an average trainer from a great
coach. And, reading doesn’t just involve your course books to pass a certification.
Such a learning has no value. You have already done that type of rote learning in
I have seen many young trainers, with a basic fitness trainer certification,
assuming they know everything. With a PT certification in hand, they walk as if
they just finished a back workout, and their lats are pumped to an extent that
they are not able to keep their arms close to their body.
A basic fitness trainer course is the start of your career as a coach. It is not the ‘be
all end all’ of knowledge. There is a long way to go. Once you are done with the
basics, then comes the advance courses. This is the prerequisite to being a great
coach, attract more clients, and multiply your income.
A great coach is an imperfect (no one can be perfect, learning never ends)
combination of practical & theory. He needs to have a deep knowledge of subjects
as diverse as human anatomy & physiology, biomechanics, kinesiology, client
psychology, nutrition & supplementation, strength training, injury prevention
and rehab, medical issues, program design etc. and all this with practical on
But there is one more part which is missing, which no one tells you about, and no
one discusses. It’s the business aspect. Remember, “MARKETING IS MORE
IMPORTANT THAN THE PRODUCT”.