Our Sage Institute of Fitness students and graduates continue to make us go “wow!” with their amazing stories and great prospects for the future. We spoke with ‘soon to be graduated’ student Bronwyn Quilliam recently about her motivation to become a fitness coach, what she loved most about studying with Sage, and where she thinks she might head next. So many options for someone so talented…Thanks Bronwyn and good luck!
1. Congratulations on completing your course with Sage Fitness! What is it that motivated you to become a fitness coach?
Thank you, I haven’t quite graduated but I’m pretty close now…I guess it was my own personal story that motivated me to become a fitness coach. I was quite overweight my whole life, and had tried to lose weight using various methods. Three years ago, I had had enough, lost 30kgs and made some major lifestyle changes.
As a teenager and young adult, I did sessions with a personal trainer, prompted by my parents who were quite in to the gym and fitness. However, it always seemed like a chore and I really didn’t enjoy it. I learned from my later experience, that I had to “want to do it” for it to work. Prompted by the risk of health issues like diabetes, my own transformation came when I really wanted to make the change, not when someone else wanted me to. Because of my own journey and background, I think I can sympathise and relate to others.
“I’m no less passionate than someone who has been sporty and fit their whole life, in fact, I’m probably more so. I might even understand the common issues that your average person experiences with managing their fitness a little better than some.”
2. What aspects of studying at Sage did you enjoy the most?
There are a few actually. I knew from the start that I didn’t want to do an online course like some of the other’s offer. I needed the face to face contact as I learn better that way. So the interaction with other students, helping each other out in classes and being there with the trainers are some of the things I enjoyed most.
“Another thing that I really enjoyed was having Dale as a fitness trainer – this was critical to helping me learn. I had some really positive feedback during my placement in the gyms, and I put this down to Dale’s training!”
The final aspect that I enjoyed was the practical part of the course – the 120 hours placement that you do with Sage Fitness. It was very valuable, as “hands on learning” on the job is great fun and the best way to learn. I also enjoyed the one year duration of the course as it was very comprehensive and allows you to cover all that you need to learn.
3. What’s the ‘dream job’ you’re hoping to pursue now that you’ve finishing studying at Sage?
I’m not really sure. I’m looking at a few different options and feel that there is still so much to learn. I’m moving towards something in the strength and functional training areas though. I would love to help women in particular build up and maintain their strength, as this is important for health as women go through their different life stages.
But I’m keen also not to fall into any particular niche – to maintain the breadth of my experience and skills, so I’ll just have to see where I decide to go…
4. What are your top tips for breaking up the ‘ground hog day’ experience with your own fitness routine?
At one point I just tried a bit of everything and just did what I loved most: a bit of cycling, swimming and bush walking. I think it is really important to find what you love doing and make sure you do it! But during my training I have also learnt about the importance of consistency in exercise programs, especially if you want to achieve certain fitness goals.
“I believe the secret is to find a balance between doing what makes you happy and doing what you need to do to achieve certain goals.”
5. What would you say was the biggest learning challenge during your course
Even with quite a lot of personal exposure to personal trainers, didn’t realise that program planning was so important. Prior to doing the course, I thought that what you did with your trainer or coach was just made up on the day. But a lot of effort goes in to program planning and it is tailored to your individual client or group – so can be sports based, goal based or population based. At first this is very challenging but becomes easier once you have had practice and I really enjoy it now.
6. What advice would you give a new student commencing their fitness course at Sage?
The 120 hours of placement might seem really daunting at first – but don’t let this frighten you. When you first start on your placement, it does push you out of your comfort zone. But it is a big “eye-opener” and you will notice dramatic changes in your confidence and ability once you are on the job. Make sure you start when you are ready to during the year, and this may not be straight away – I started doing my placements at about 4 months into the course.
“Remember that 120 hours of placement is actually one of the biggest benefits of the course.”
Also that what you put in is what you get. You can get so much extra from your course just by working hard and doing a little bit extra on the side, like reading additional material that interests you. The knowledge is not just handed to you – you have to put in the hard work as well.
7. When you’re not working out, how do you like to spend your ‘chill time’?
I love nature, so just being outdoors walking – it’s not just exercise, it’s also very grounding. I also have a goal to climb as many mountains as I can. I also like stretching and reading, so try to do lots of both.
8. If you could be blessed with a fitness super power, what would it be and why?
I like to think that I am brave, but really with many things, I’m not. So to be fearless and brave, to do all sorts of physical things like with heights, agility and circus type tricks, and be super adventurous would be great.
9. Who is your fitness inspiration and why?
Serena Williams, and I’m not even really a tennis fan! I love that she is powerful and Amazonian and has this solid, strong, beautiful physique that she’s proud of. To me, she encompasses physical strength, but is pure female. I also admire that she has achieved so much as a woman of colour and is famous, strong and successful. Serena is also on the older side for a tennis player so she’s defied the odds in so many ways.
Sage Institute of Fitness – it’s more than a job, it’s a rewarding career.
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