In life, we discover that we’re only as good as the tutoring we receive. Simon Fox is changing the essentials of fitness, making sure the next generation of physical trainers will be the best they can be.
Hi Simon! Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about the businesses you run?
Lifestyle Essentials is the health and fitness company that focuses on helping people create a fit and healthy life. Our Mitcham studio focuses on helping the local community improve their health. Over the last 20 years, we have developed a number of programs including, genetic weight loss programs, back pain prevention and elimination programs, as well as exercise rehabilitation, personal training and group fitness classes. Our goal is to help people improve their health by creating a supportive, non-judgemental environment, where people can feel like they are part of a family.
You have been in the industry for more than 15 years. Were you always interested in health and fitness? How did you get started?
I started out as a dog obedience instructor for the RSPCA in Queensland while studying for my science degree. In 1996 I became a fitness instructor, in 1998 I moved to Sydney and then to Melbourne to study a BSc (Hons) in neuroscience researching cellular mechanism in relation to Alzheimer’s Disease. At the end of my honours degree I started full time in the fitness industry as a personal trainer. In 2001 I started teaching anatomy and exercise part time for Swinburne TAFE in their personal training courses.
You are now branching out into fitness mentoring. What does that involve?
Unfortunately, the average trainer does not survive more than 12 months in the fitness industry. My goal is help new trainers create fit and healthy businesses. Helping trainers to become more successful will allow us to create a healthier nation. Our fitness mentoring program allow us to walk with trainers over either a 6- or 12-week period to help them shape and develop a strong and profitable business.
What sort of programs do you run?
We run both business and practical based programs. Our business programs are shaped around teaching trainers how to build a business first and then shape it into something profitable.
- PT momentum helps health professionals develop clients;
- PT business success helps the trainers learn how to run their business so they can develop a business model that works;
- PT culture is a program in which we work with a health club to develop a culture in the club in which people participate in PT programs, leading to better results for clients, a more positive successful atmosphere and retained members.
Our practical programs include:
- Practical essentials for new trainers, a practical finishing school to give new trainers confidence to work in the industry;
- Obstacle Course Instructor program;
- Programming and Progressions: ensuring we train people safely and effectively;
- Stop Back Pain: exercise is essential for reducing, preventing and eliminating back pain, but it is the right exercises that need to be done. This program teaches trainers the right exercises to help prevent, reduce and eliminate back pain.
You are a published author with a new book out on how to stop back pain. Can you tell us a bit about this and why you decided to write it?
The body is meant to move. Most musculoskeletal problems develop because people live a sedentary life. As a therapist, I treated many people with back pain and found when we applied our treatment plan it worked, over and over again. The essential component that made a difference was ensuring we got the body biomechanically working correctly and then strengthened it. With back pain so prevalent in society I wanted to share this message.
Why do you think so many of us focus on exercising to look good, rather than to improve our health and well-being?
When you look good you feel good, you are happier and more confident, and that then flows through to other aspects of your world. However, people who are 40+ tend to focus more on well-being in that they want to be healthy and feel good and become less concerned about their looks. They would like to lose weight and look good but this becomes less of a priority with health and feeling strong taking over.
What is the main reason people quit when they’re trying to get healthy? And could you give us five tips on how to get started and stay motivated if we decide to lose weight, get fit and improve our general health and well-being?
- Life gets in the way. As we get busy, we juggle many different balls in life: family, partner, work, hobbies, kids etc, and our health ball tends to get dropped;
- Not getting results. Unfortunately, a lot of people who go to gyms and health fitness facilities do not get the results they want, so they give and stop. This can be due to a number of reasons;
- People do not associate health and fitness as priorities in their life. Unfortunately, your body does not complain or impact your life like other commitments do such as kids and work. However, when it does, it is usually in the form of disease or illness;
- Not fitting into the gym or health centre. People get lost and feel uncomfortable so they quit;
- Exercise is often seen as a chore. As professionals, we are failing people by not making exercise fun, and not giving people an awesome experience they enjoy and want to do again and again.
Simon Fox is the CEO of Lifestyle Essentials. For more, visit: www.lifestyleessentials.com.au.