The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Perfect fit

Be it the old or the young, male or female, staying fit seems to top everyone’s wish list. Being fit has never been so popular. The demand for aerobics instructors, yoga instructors and personal and corporate trainers is rocketing.

A fitness trainer helps people get into shape and remain fit. He or she gives them basic advice on health and nutrition — including posture — and a change in lifestyle, if required. He or she designs individualised exercise programmes in tune with a client’s age, lifestyle, fitness levels and health parameters.

The options for pursuing a professional course in fitness are many. Reebok India organises a 10-week Reebok Instructor Alliance programme every three months in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and twice a year in Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune and Gurgaon. The course fee is Rs 28,000 and eligibility a pass in Class X. “Though we do not offer placements formally, we guide trainees to centres that require instructors,” says Mahima Agarwal, spokesperson, Reebok India.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) offers courses in sports and athletics coaching at its various branches. A degree in physical education can stand you in good stead as many gyms look for trainers with either experience or a degree. Says Divya Himatsingka, director, Golds Gym, J.L.Nehru Road branch, Calcutta, “We prefer experienced people as the job calls for a lot of responsibility. We do not encourage freshers unless they have had some formal education in the subject.”

What does it take to be a fitness instructor? The first essential is an athletic body and loads of energy. You need to keep abreast of the latest developments in health science as well as have a good knowledge of the human anatomy, diet and nutrition. You will normally have to work for eight hours at a gym. Says Santosh, senior trainer at the Chennai-based O2 Health Studio, “A fitness trainer needs to be innovative enough to vary the exercise routine to avoid boredom. Good communication skills are a must as you have to deal with all kinds of people.”

You can choose from a wide range of fitness regimes — such as aerobics, kickboxing, yoga and dancercise. A kickboxing trainer can rake in the money as well as avoid the strenuous eight-hour shift. Says Ziauddin Khatib, president of the Mumbai-based Indian Kick Boxing Association, “A trainer usually has to take a one-and-a-half hour group session and can schedule more than one class in a day.” A fresher has to conduct group classes for at least six months before he can become a personal trainer. Kickboxing is part of the fitness programme at most gyms and health studios.

Yoga experts work in yoga or fitness institutes as well as hospitals, IT companies and MNCs as consultants or instructors. “There is a huge demand for yoga instructors as many corporate firms hire them as part of employee-friendly programmes,” says Dr Ishwar V. Basavaraddi, director, Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi. “Our former students are not even ready to teach at the institute as they get better job offers elsewhere,” he adds.

Those averse to rigorous workouts often opt to dance away the flab. Dancercise is a combination of exercise and dancing that emphasises increased agility and co-ordination. “We are into artistic contemporary dancing, so we do not look for people with degrees but with potential. We train individuals who have the potential and dedication to choose dance as a career to become instructors,” says Sumeet Nagdev, director, Expressions Modern Dance Company, Mumbai. Dance teachers have to take five hours of classes a day, six days a week. A trainee teacher would make around Rs 12,000, an assistant teacher would earn Rs 18,000 whereas a professionally trained teacher can earn anywhere between Rs 30,000 and Rs 45,000 a month.

If you are a fitness fanatic, perhaps this is the best way to indulge your passion.

Star turn

Hritik Roshan with his trainer Satyajit Chaurasia who also helped Aamir Khan achieve the famous eight packs for the movie Ghajini

A day in the life of Satyajit Chaurasia, Barbarian Gym

  • 5.30am: Wake up
  • 6.00am: Leave to train Anil Ambani. Have a banana on the way
  • 9.30am: Train Rani Mukherjee at her residence
  • 11.00am: Travel back to my studio
  • 11.30am: Train Zayed Khan for two hours
  • 1.30pm: Have a scoop of protein shake or vegetable juice
  • 3.00pm: Train Esha Deol for 45 minutes to an hour
  • 4.00pm: Lunch
  • 4.30-5.30pm: Nap to recharge my energy
  • 6.30pm: Train Hritik Roshan for one-and-a-half hour at his personal gym in Juhu
  • 8.30pm: Back to my studio in Lokhandwala where I train Vivek Oberoi for one-and-a-half hours
  • 9.00 pm: Start training Adhyan Suman
  • 9.30pm-11.30pm: Train 2-3 other clients
  • 11.30pm: Dinner
  • 12.30-1.00am: Hit my bed. Watch Discovery Channel to unwind before I retire for the day


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