Health & Fitness Tips from Australia's Personal Training Professionals
Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and Obesity

Scott Hunt

“We focus on what it’s really about: health, happiness, fitness, longevity and fat (not weight) loss.”

Getting fit is hard enough - especially if you are feeling self-conscious about your shape. However, according to a recent study by Monash University, fourteen million Australians are overweight or obese. Obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia and is the single biggest threat to our public health.

That is why Gold Coast personal trainer Scott Hunt developed Fitness Enhancement’s “100% private personal training studios” for those needing to desperately drop kilos, but don’t like the crowds, the fashion statements and the judgemental looks that come with most gym experiences.

Everything about Fitness Enhancement has been designed to help clients feel at home in the gym environment - as well as achieve some exceptional results. Specialising in obesity, Scott is dedicated to employing the best, and most down to earth, personal trainers around Australia… and his strategy is paying off.

Scott has a Bachelor of Business with a major in Sports Management and SIS30313 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40210 Certificate IV in Fitness and has personally taken over 20 000 personal training sessions and over 2000 kickboxing circuits and Muay Thai classes. He has trained anyone and everyone from elite athletes, the morbidly obese and celebrities.

In 2013, he further won the Gold Coast “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award and along with his many excellent staff won the Fitness Australia “Gold Award” in the same year.

He has learned so much about managing obesity, life-long fitness - and achieving business goals.

1 You have a fast growing business that has now turned into a thriving fitness franchise. What’s the secret to setting up a successful obesity personal training business in Australia?

It doesn’t matter how good a trainer you are if you don’t have the skills to get clients in the first place. You need the operational and marketing skills to build a business, as well as the dedication and long-term commitment to see it through.

2 What are the special requirements/approaches you found for training clients with obesity?

Always approach change realistically. If a client hasn’t exercised for 30 years and lives on junk food, don’t push them to exercise four times a week and eat rabbit food. Instead focus on a realistic and sustainable approach so that they don’t crash after the novelty wears off after a month or two.

The number one reason people fail on a weight loss program is they quit - an enjoyable and successful program should solve the problems of the last program or diet that failed.

3 How do you manage client’s expectations, especially when they have a lot of weight to lose?

We focus on what it’s really about: health, happiness, fitness, longevity and fat (not weight) loss. It can be tough when every client has a friend who has lost weight overnight on a fad diet! Of course we all know it goes back on, but it does make it harder to manage expectations when clients can’t help but compare us to unsustainable programs.

Our best single solution is simply asking a client a couple of months into training, when was the last time they felt this good, lean, fit, energetic or young. Five years ago is the average, with some saying never. A couple of months of exercise to feel five years better is a pretty good return on investment!

4 What do you love most about training other trainers to help clients with obesity?

There are only so many lives I can change one on one when I train clients, but through training my staff or franchisees, the number of lives we can change is infinite! I love being able to teach something I’m passionate about and see my style of training yielding results for clients all around Australia.

5 Trainer insider time - what’s your favourite exercise for those wanting to get fit fast?

Anything with Thai pads! They can do everything focus mitts can and so much more - so it makes the training interesting and very interactive. There’s nothing worse than seeing a PT just stand there and count reps for a puffed client doing all the work!

6 What advice would you offer those looking to get started in the fitness industry?

Before committing to any career direction, speak to as many people as you can about the pros and cons of all the available options. Do your research and look at what you really want out of the industry - both now and in 5 years’ time.

Keep on learning all the skills of being a great personal trainer as well as all the other roles that you often have to take on such as marketing and business. Getting qualified is just the beginning!

7 Where can people learn more about training professionally with you?

We have excellent career options available to trainers who want to specialise in obesity - whether it be working for us or having your own Fitness Enhancement franchise. There’s no overheads or rent and the outlook for growth and earning potential continues to excite us.

To discover more great expert tips about strength training, health and fitness, check out the rest of our interview series here.

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Dan Henderson

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Sam Wood