Candice Briggs | A day in the life of a health pro | PICTURE | Women's Health & Fitness

The personal trainer: Candice Briggs, Candice Fit

To become a personal trainer, you study your Certificate III and IV in personal training via either a private college or government-funded course at a TAFE institute. Some courses can be completed online and are very theory based. You then go on to do a traineeship via a gym or mentor. Others have you do a certain amount of work online followed by a face-to-face intensive in a classroom. The course is quite flexible so you can study part time on the side or take it slowly and thoroughly over 12 months. Being the social and practical person that I am, I opted for the TAFE path and really enjoyed the course. We got to participate in an on site clinic, where our clients were a group of local geriatrics, and they were so much fun! It was a wonderful learning environment.

There are endless courses you can add to your tool belt when you enter the industry, too. To meet the Fitness Australia requirements, every two years you must complete 20 CEC (continuing education credits) to stay in the game, which is great because there are so many different courses that fall under the umbrella. You can also go the next level and do your diploma in fitness. If you are an established personal trainer who generates all income from one business, it can be incredibly rewarding financially. You can earn between $1,000 and $10,000 per week, depending on the business model you follow.

Getting into the fitness industry can be a double-edged sword. We enter the industry to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle, yet it’s easy to get sucked into 12 to 14 hour days when you’re seeing clients before or after business hours. This puts you in danger of burning out and getting run-down. The trick is to schedule in time for yourself and stick to it. I currently see 15 clients at least twice a week, which works for me.

My day starts at 5:15am when I take myself to my favourite beach to have a wake-me-up ocean plunge. I usually train my clients between 6:30am and 11:30am, and then squeeze in a 45-minute workout for myself. I take a break in the middle of the day to work on my online business, do some creative writing and head back to work from 4pm to 7pm, finishing off my day sharing dinner with my partner and his beautiful son.