It was December 2015. I was working with Infosys in Hyderabad. Long days, Rotational Shifts, loads of stress and not much physical activity. Gym was an infrequent occurrence at best. During one of those intermittent gym sessions, I spotted Matin Shaikh in the Infosys Gym. He was an FB friend then. For a long time, people like Matin who kept themselves fit had always amused me. That’s because physical fitness is earned and never given. I knew it is never good to disturb while someone is working out and so I kept my distance.
Later, I spotted him again in the Infosys food court showing off his biceps in an orange polo with his collar up and his big headphones dangling around his neck. This time, I went up to him and thanked him for some help he did to me selflessly a year back. He chuckled and patted my back. We shook hands and parted ways. Little did I know that this chance encounter was about to change my life.
Fast forward a few months, I started putting on fat. With absolutely no knowledge about nutrition, I started starving myself in the name of dieting. But that made me binge at nights. The result, back to square one. I was in desperate need of help and the first person who came to my mind was that guy in the orange polo with the big biceps! Well, I reached out to him and asked him if he could help me lose some belly fat. He asked me if I would do whatever he said without questioning anything. I was desperate and readily agreed (I was his first guinea pig ever!).
Matin trained me for 4 weeks and thanks to him, I lost 5 kgs. I couldn’t believe my own eyes. I had seen this only in movies but now realized that body is like clay and you can mould it the way you want to. Matin told me that he was pursuing a course at INFS and that he aspired to be a coach at FITTR (then SQUATS). He added me to the FB group and asked me to read the Bible of FITTR – “Get Shredded”!
I read that and found it so interesting that I started implementing every single thing I learned on myself. Seeing this, my roommates, friends and family started asking me for fitness advice. I thought clearing everyone’s myths around fitness was my responsibility. The same people who laughed at me while I was following whatever Matin said to the T, now started reaching out to me with all their curiosities! Slowly the passion to help others started building inside me. I was helping around 20 people free of cost with whatever knowledge I was gaining from the FB group. I was a very silent member but was meticulously learning each and everything about fitness.
This was the time when I decided to pursue the foundation certification to gain more knowledge so that I could help my clan better. I remember working in night shifts to prepare for CAT (MBA entrance exam) and take breaks in between to shuffle through the online material of INFS foundation and learn a thing or two. Such was the passion to learn more about Nutrition and Fitness. I appeared for CAT and a week later appeared for INFS Foundation, to my surprise cleared both! This was my first victory at multitasking!
By now, my clan of 20 people had grown to 30. The amount of joy I felt was immense and I wanted to do more. I was hungry to help. I promptly enrolled for the Expert course. Yet there were no plans of becoming a fitness coach. The first three months of MBA were HELL. Plus, there was the INFS Expert course and my clan of 30 people. Well, too much on my plate. I remember studying for INFS Expert course sitting on commodes in the morning and during the breaks we had in college. While my classmates partied on weekends, I invested that time to study for INFS, gave free seminars in my college and tried to create awareness about fitness and nutrition. 3 months into MBA, I cleared expert course. Training FTP clients was a cakewalk, thanks to my experience of training 30 people by myself. We also had to submit a research article then and thanks to my MBA lectures, I could manage that too well.
Remember I said I had no plans of becoming a fitness coach? Well, that changed now. I thought somewhere down the line post MBA, I would want to become a Fitness Coach with FITTR. Well, Destiny had something else planned for me. Two days after I had cleared my Expert course, I got an onboarding mail for FITTR asking for my transformation pics and if I was available for the onboarding interview. I was sure I was not going to get through this so easily. But I was wrong. I got onboarded as a Fitness Coach on 1st August 2017, thanks to Aman Bindra.
It’s been close to 3 years now with FITTR and I consider myself blessed to have trained around 820 clients at FITTR. 820 Clients helped me learn to look at life through those many different perspectives and that’s one of the biggest takeaways I will always have. I am also a Management Consultant with a consulting firm. So yeah, multitasking has been my forte since the very beginning. A lot of people wonder how I can sail in two boats simultaneously. Well to be honest I would say it takes a few sacrifices and some prioritization. Other than that, even I wake up to challenges every single day that the dual jobs offer, so yeah, I am always into that learning mode of doing things better. Even today, when someone enrolls with me, I get just as excited and happy as the time I got my first client.
I joined FITTR because I loved JC’s ideology. I truly love helping others and the joy I get when I am able to bring about even the smallest of change in my mentee’s life is immense. No other job can give you such an eternal feeling of happiness. I will be forever grateful to these two people, Matin, for making me independent and teaching me the tricks of the trade and Aman Bindra, for believing in me when I myself did not. Last year I completed another certification from INFS – Exercise Science Specialist and went ahead to get certified from PTCOLLECTIVE as the hunger for my knowledge never ends.
The best thing about INFS is they have always made sure that their coaches are well equipped with the latest information in the industry. The FB Group of INFS Scholars is not just helping the aspiring coaches learn from the best in the industry but also making sure that their present coaches keep updating themselves.
For people who aspire to be fitness coaches with Fittr, here’s my two cents:
- Focus on truly helping people: The client has to believe that you truly care for him, you just cannot fake that.
- Don’t focus only on the money: Money will always flow in if you truly love your job, it’s a byproduct.
- Learn to build human relationships: It’s all about the “human touch”. Be empathetic, be a good listener and above all, be humble.
- Always be ready to learn and be hungry for knowledge: Exercise and Nutrition Science keep evolving, and you need to stay updated.
- Always lead from the front: Be an Example and an inspiration for your clients.
INFS has always been the source of knowledge and truth for me in the Field of Nutrition and Fitness. The head of faculty Dr. Akshay Alawani has been the epitome of teaching and a great subject matter expert. I also want to thank Aniketh Shetty, Nachiketh Shetty, Jyoti “Jo” Dabas, JC, Bala and Rohit for always being there whenever I needed them. Truly, they have been the best gurus and I feel blessed that I am part of the INFS and Fittr families!
Institute of Nutrition and Fitness Sciences (INFS) was established with the intent of providing comprehensive and practical knowledge in Health and Fitness. INFS Nutrition and Training courses are divided into levels so that everyone from a general health enthusiast to someone who wants to build a career in Fitness industry can benefit from them.
For more about INFS Courses, visit us here.