Fitness instructor

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Stavros, 32

So what does a fitness instructor do?

As a fitness instructor, Stavros will always be fit and get paid for it. He teaches gym, aerobics and karate classes.

What does a typical working day involve?

Each day involves different classes. Monday and Wednesdays are light days. He spends two hours teaching weights, gym and aerobics. Tuesday and Thursdays he teaches four karate sessions, each session with a different age group. Fridays he teaches an adult karate session where he gets his students fit and ready for tournaments. Saturdays he teaches karate, aerobic karate and Pump (a weight training session to music). Sundays he runs an aerobics class.

He says, "I don't have a day off. I work hard so that I can take a month off and go to Japan to train with my Japanese masters."

What sort of skills and qualities do you need?

A fitness instructor must be committed, dedicated and be able to set goals. Stavros says, "There are always goals; there is always room to improve. The higher you go, the more you need to work and the more you need to commit."

How did you become a fitness instructor?

Stavros began martial arts when he was eight and gym work when he was 12. "With martial arts," he says, "there is always something to work towards. As a kid I enjoyed working towards the goal of becoming a black belt."

Stavros was a black belt by the time he turned 12, and by 15 he achieved 2nd Dan, (Dan being the system of ranking after black belt). Stavros explains that when you become a black belt there are still ranks, and goal: "After you become a black belt you become an instructor and you become more knowledgeable. You try and pass on this knowledge as an instructor and eventually a teacher." He is currently a probationary 5th Dan lower Master and a Karate Master Trainer, which means he trains others to become black belt instructors and teachers.

Stavros also trains others to become instructors in gym, aerobics and personal training. When he was eighteen he completed the formal qualifications needed to become a fitness instructor, an aerobics course and gyms course at university and began working in the area.

What are some of the pros and cons of the job?

"The good thing, about the job is it's mostly highs; there are lots of benefits. Being fit and knowledgeable about my body is a definite pro," says Stavros. He also finds his role as a teacher immensely rewarding. "My greatest achievement is becoming a karate teacher and an instructor in aerobics and gym. I am able to advise people as people advised me when I was their age."

Stavros teaches all ages, from little kids to 70 year olds.

But the rewards of the job come with responsibility. "As an instructor you always have to be there. People rely on you, it's a big commitment," he says.

What are your goals for the future?

Stavros sees his achievements as a teacher reflected in the achievements of his students. He says, "I want to see all my young students progress through the ranks; to see them as black belts and as instructors. I would like my students to be better than me. They can pass on the knowledge that I passed on to them to the kids of the future, so my hard work has continuation."

Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (new window) (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).