fitness

"Nothing short of relentless": A real day in the life of a fitness professional.

Behind the glamorous life of a fitness professional lies... whatever the opposite of glamorous is.

One of my favourite lines lies in the So you want to become a personal trainer brochure is "choose your own hours".

There is some element of truth to that statement: you can choose your own hours as long as those hours are a triple split shift when your services are most in demand: before-normal-person-working-hours, in the middle-of-normal-person-working-hours, and after-normal-person-working-hours.

Watch: That time we worked out with Madonna's personal trainer. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

If you want the tired truth, here it is: 

5:12am: Wake up.

5:10am = too early. 

5:15am = too late.

Morning minutes are valuable. They are like dog-years. Every minute before dawn you can save is the equivalent of 7 afternoon minutes. Or something.

5:30am: Drive in the dark to my first class of the day.

Only one headlight is working. Drive with fog lights on instead. Survive.

5:45am: Start first classes of the day.

Teach 3 x reform Pilates classes at 5:45am, 6:45am, and 7:45am.

8:30am: Life-saving sustenance.

I grab coffee before my next class: THE BIGGEST long black with a dash of milk. The first sip is heaven, the final sip 5 hours later not so much. But… caffeine. In the hour before my next class (BODYPUMP) I cram choreography. To be fair, I learned it yesterday, but the short-term memory cramming makes me feel more confident. Realise I didn’t learn the core track. Don’t have it in my soul to learn it now, so just sneak in the one I taught last week.

9am: Drive to my next class.

In the daylight. No headlights (or fog lights) required. Survive.

9:30am: Teach BODYPUMP.

My shoulder is f**ked. Every move where I press the bar is agony. Those that have participated in BODYPUMP before will know that there are… A LOT of pressing moves. I’m trying to hide the pain. See, the thing is in this industry, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. So I cry on the inside like a winner.

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10:30am: Admin.

Separate from teaching classes, I own my fitness business UBX Boxing + Strength (soon to be two businesses. Send therapy).

This time between classes is when I do admin for said business perched at one of my many remote offices (aka a local café). I order my usual earl grey tea and scrambled eggs with toast and BUTTER. Question: is butter too cool for cafes? Am I uncool for wanting butter? Is butter still a thing? AM I NORMAL? Anyway, respond to emails, pay bills, write and schedule social media posts and write and email our database.

Midday: Drive to my next class.

I can’t explain, but this particular drive between classes is just a delight. I think it’s because it’s the first time in my day I can zone out for a minute. Not too much, though. Driving.

12:30pm: Teach BODYBALANCE.

If you’re unfamiliar, BODYBALANCE is a mind-body-yoga-esque class. I’m SO tempted to close my eyes in relaxation at the end of the class. I will 100 per cent fall asleep if I do. Very unprofessional to fall asleep while teaching a class.

1:15pm: Drive home.

 Recall zero per cent of the drive. 

1:45pm: Break 

No, not a breakdown (although imminent). I mean I take a break for lunch, watch an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and set stopwatch to sleep for 11 minutes. Don’t ask why. I have no answers.

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2:45pm: More admin.

Even though I personally work little on the gym floor of my business anymore (I have a brilliant staff of seven that do that. Love you guys), the work that needs to be completed behind the scenes is nothing short of relentless. 

If the brochure for So you want to become a personal trainer lies about choosing your own hours, then the brochure for So you want to own a fitness business lies about… everything. Let me put it this way: owning a fitness business has nothing to do with fitness and everything to do with business.

6pm: Finish work for the day.

A friend said to me the other day, "you’re so lucky your business just runs itself."

I laughed. Then cried. Then fell asleep.

Read more from Marie:

Marie has been a fitness industry professional since 2005 and has just pre-launched her book, “12 hours in the life of a fitness professional (because I’m too tired for the other 12)”, which will be available in September 2022. You can pre-order  now or you can find her on Instagram @marie_anagnostis.

Feature Image: Instagram @marie_anagnostis.

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