Saroj Rajbahak , 34, is a fitness trainer at New Bulls Gym, Buddhanagr, Kathmandu. Since the young age of 17, Saroj has been working as a fitness trainer for 12 years. Republica’s Prasansha Rimal caught up with Rajbahak to talk about the growing fitness industry in Nepal.
What is minimum requirement to become a fitness trainer?
It would be better to take a fitness trainer course. We didn’t have anything like a trainer course before and had to go through internet to learn. But now everything has changed just basic course is not enough. You need to have advanced level knowledge to become a trainer to learn body’s mechanism. You need to study about the body parts and how it works. It is also necessary to remember the name of various exercises and understand how it works and benefits a human body.
As far I know , Nepal doesn’t have fitness trainer course you need to go abroad and work to obtain certificate.
Is it hard to sustain life as a fitness trainer?
No, it’s not. In fact, it’s easy but you need to learn the skill of time management. Nepal still doesn’t have trend of personal trainer and as a trainer you need to teach more than 15 people all at once which might be difficult but at the same time this will help to improve the economic condition.
Which age group is more attracted to staying fit?
People from different age groups are interested to stay fit. In the past, girls used to hesitate to join gym but now it has changed even the older generation tend to have interest to stay fit. But mostly teenagers who have recently passed high school and men till 30 years of age seem more attracted to staying fit.
How difficult is it to fulfill your clients’ expectations?
People usually join the gym thinking that they can obtain body like their favorite celebrity within 3 months. But they need to understand a lot more than exercise goes on to achieve abs or a slim figure. You need to follow certain diet and understand your body. You need to have knowledge of various food products as well. People here, try to run before they have learnt to walk which sometimes makes it difficult to fulfill their expectations.
As a trainer, what are the steps you take to maintain your clients’ motivation?
I try to convince my clients by telling them that it necessary to stay healthy and it depends upon them and their effort if they will be able to achieve their vision. I teach them necessary exercises and urge them to follow certain diet. I try to make their expectation realistic and make sure that they can achieve it. At first it is necessary to analyze the client’s effort and provide motivation or knowledge according to it.
How has the fitness industry changed over the years in Nepal?
Fitness industry in Nepal has grown over the years. People have become more conscious towards their health. But lately people have started to open gym in an unsystematic manner just to earn money. They think they can teach someone after training for 3-4 months. Some gyms don’t even provide trainer which is not the correct way to run a gym.
What are the challenges of being a fitness trainer or a coach?
As a trainer we always try to fulfill our client’s expectation and motivate them to stay healthy. But this gets difficult when client doesn’t realize that it works both ways. If my client doesn’t listen to me or follow my instruction it will be difficult for them to achieve their dream. On the other hand I as a trainer also need to understand the working mechanism of each body as every human body is unique and works on its own way.