"Don’t be afraid to try a new program or a different approach. If you fail - at least you know you tried. It’s not the end of the world, just use it to be better in the next time, take whatever you can from that experience and try to do it differently and get it right"
Behind the Glow is an interview series initiated by Glow. In each interview, we sit down with fitness trainers from all over the world, our lovely, accomplished, and ambitious community members, to have an honest conversation about their journey, the fitness industry, culturally diverse, fitness advice and so much more.
Tag us on Instagram @glow_trainers and include the hashtag #BehindTheGlow for a chance to be featured on our interview series.
Tell us about yourself
I'm from Austria, and I live in a town called Linz.
I've been in the fitness world for a long time now.
I originally studied physical education and I work as a high school teacher. I’m also a personal coach at a local gym, a group fitness instructor, and I have an online program.
I’m trying to teach different kinds of people and work with different age groups because it's a good combination for me.
In the fitness industry, it seems like everyone has a story of what’s led them to become trainers. What’s yours?
Do you remember the moment when you realized you want to be a trainer?
I was always into sports, so it was always there. I’m also a snowboard instructor, and I’ve taught kids for over 10 years. After my pregnancy, I wanted to get back into shape so I put a program together for myself, I posted it on Instagram and told people they can join me if they want to, and a lot of people told me they would.
It wasn’t really on my mind to start training online, but it just happened, and then I realized people could really benefit from what I’m doing, and that I can help them. This is when I realized this could be more than just me working out.
It was a whole different thing getting feedback from people who want to work out and get moving, because the difference between high school students and adults who want to get in shape, is their motivation.
This is how it started for me, this is what's led me into fitness training. I slowly started to do more of that.
What are your 3 favorite parts of the fitness industry?
The first thing is having the challenge of working with clients because everyone is different and what works for me wouldn’t necessarily work for someone else so I like working with different kinds of people and trying to help them.
The second thing is that there’s always a trend, there’s always something new you can try out, and I think the fitness industry is very fast-growing, and people always come up with interesting ideas.
The last thing is the community aspect, and to inspire people around fitness. A lot of people have an idea of what fitness and healthy living means, but I think it’s very inspiring to see how other people see it, what they do, and what works for them. It gets you thinking and people enjoy sharing these stuff, it’s not something people keep to themselves, it’s inspiring and allows you to put together something that would work for you and your clients. People help each other and inspire each other.
What are some of the main struggles you think fitness trainers face? And how do you think they can be solved?
I think trainers are sometimes afraid to try new things because they think they might get negative feedback from clients or fail. But negative feedback is a good thing, it’s how you improve. If you keep going without getting feedback you might end up with a product or service not many people want.
I think trainers shouldn’t be afraid to try things out. In my experience, you can be open about it with your community, be transparent with them let them know you’re going to try something out. Your community can really help you improve your product, service, and what you give.
The second thing, that I struggle with myself, is keeping clients motivated in the long term.
I have a 6 weeks program and I’ve noticed that the ones who stick around for the first couple of weeks, normally finish the whole program.
I do a lot of things to keep them in the loop and motivate them, but sometimes I just wonder what more can I do to push them forward.
How are you pivoting or dealing with everything as a trainer right now? And how do you think it has shaped you as a trainer?
I had my online program up before everything happened so I already had everything in place, but we had a shut down for 8 weeks and I used this time to work on smaller details in my program that I don’t normally have the time to do, and really tried to improve things and come up with different exercises and ways to make them more interesting.
I think people realized the importance of staying in shape and the ability to workout at home. Especially if you’re on lockdown or indoors. It’s very important to find ways to move and I hope I found a way to show people they only need a mat, a little bit of motivation and time, and it's possible, they can do it. There are no excuses.
How do you think COVID will affect our industry in the years to come?
I think people will be more cautious about health and fitness in general and focus more on a healthy lifestyle. I also think people will prefer to workout in smaller groups and not in large classes. I hope people will work more with online coaches.
I think it’s a real shift to online coaching, and as trainers, we need to be smart and prepare for that shift. We have to make sure we can offer the best service and product we can online.
What are some of the fitness trends and mentalities in your country?
Austrians are very into skiing, it’s a huge thing in winter, everyone wants to go skiing, and almost everything we do throughout the year is in order to be better at it. People are preparing for that, the purpose of working out is to be able to perform better at it.
Also, and I think this one comes along with COVID, that people are being more cautious about what they eat and about a healthy lifestyle.
There is a general shift from beauty and being skinny to self-care, not necessarily losing weight, but feel good. People are doing a lot of yoga, mediation, and hiking.
The main thing is that Austrians don’t work out because they just want to work out, but because they have a bigger purpose. Because they want to enjoy skiing, and that’s how they prepare for it at the gym.
What is the greatest piece of advice you can give other trainers from your experience?
You need to be passionate about what you do. There are so many fields in the fitness industry, so it’s important to find the one thing you really enjoy doing for yourself and then deliver this passion for others.
For me it’s HIIT workouts, I love them.
And then to just do it, try it out and don’t overthink everything. Don’t be afraid to try a new program or a different approach. Just see where it goes. If you fail - at least you know you tried. It’s not the end of the world, just use it to be better in the next time, take whatever you can from that experience and try to do it differently and get it right.
Also, I think consistency is very important, especially on social media. You have to do it, even if you do not always feel like it because you need to let people see little bits of you. I believe it can really make a difference in pushing people and motivate them to do something
And don’t give up. Do your thing.
Favorite workout song - It sounds super nerdy but I don’t have one because I have to work out in silence so that I’ll be able to focus on what I’m doing.
Favorite cheat meal - Chocolate! I could eat a whole bar.
Fitness trainer that inspires you - Melissa (@fitgurlmel), she inspires me because she has no excuses and she really keeps going no matter what. It’s just inspirational.
Your motto - Let’s do it together. It’s so much more fun that way.