Chris graduated from York St John University in 2008 with a BA (Hons) in Sport Studies. He now works as a fitness instructor for the University of Salford.
After I graduated I got a job as a casual gym instructor at Oldham Community Leisure. After approximately six months of working casual hours, I applied for a full-time job as a senior fitness and class instructor for Link4Life in Rochdale. After a year and a half, a job as a fitness instructor came up at the University of Salford and I successfully applied for the job.
My sports degree very much overlapped with my current job. Specific modules were aimed at physical fitness, which I could then use in gaining the qualifications for my current job. The skills and knowledge that I gained from my degree have been easily transferable to what I do now. However, since leaving university I have had to gain additional qualifications, such as fitness class qualifications and first aid at work, among others.
My job includes carrying out health and safety checks on all the gym equipment in the morning and some cleaning of the machines. I will then have gym inductions to take and I usually have approximately one hour personal exercise programmes. I teach a variety of fitness classes throughout the week, including studio cycling, boxercise and abs blast. I am now also in charge of the Exercise Referral Scheme, where students are referred to me for exercise because of stress, anxiety or medical conditions.
My role as a fitness instructor has developed dramatically and I now have more management responsibility in the sports centre and am able to put my input into how the gym runs its incentives, advertising and fitness classes. The next step in my career is hopefully to become a health and fitness manager and gain more experience in the management side of the health and fitness industry.
I have a passion for health and fitness so the best thing about my job is seeing other people enjoying taking part in exercise. I enjoy seeing something that I have planned in the gym or a class that I have delivered putting smiles on people's faces.
The most challenging but also an enjoyable part of my job is trying to keep up with the latest research or information to be released about health and fitness. There is always something else to learn, another qualification to gain or another exercise to learn.
If you enjoy health and fitness and you are keen to always try and learn more, then this is the career for you. A degree is a base point but extra qualifications and experience will make you stand out from the crowd. The health and fitness industry has a clear pathway for progression but you have to be prepared to work hard and look to learn more all the time.
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