Home Career Guidance A Day in the Life of a Fitness Trainer

A Day in the Life of a Fitness Trainer

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Dallas Kiximba: Fitness Trainer

The core message behind fitness trainer Dallas Kiximba’s Mindset Fitness training is exactly what the name suggests: When it comes to getting your body in shape and living a healthy lifestyle, it’s all about having the right mindset, baby!

Originally from Angola, Dallas is now one of the most popular Cape Town-based fitness trainers with an incredibly unique style of training that incorporates aspects of general fitness training and martial arts, along with a strong focus on boxing. Take it from EduConnect’s personal experience – Mindset Fitness is tough, but it will get you where you want to be. Here’s what a day in his life looks like.

Bom Dia, Dallas! Please break down your typical working day.

Time of Day Activity Comments
05:30 am wake-up
06:00 am Train private clients and groups Work until noon without a break
12:00 pm Grab something to eat, and workout myself for 30mins As a personal trainer, it’s important to keep yourself in shape! If my break is longer I sometimes go home and spend time with my family.
15:00pm Back to work, training my clients
20:15 Leave work and go home (Saturdays I go home at 12pm) I work many long days, so it’s important to give your body some rest too. I definitely need the weekend.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Seeing my clients’ results. Actually seeing people change and getting better, fitter, and healthier every day. That’s what makes me super happy.

What do you enjoy least about your job?
Working long hours. It’s a tough industry, and very competitive.

When did you start Mindset and how long have you been a trainer?
 I have been involved with exercise my entire life, also competitively. I came to Cape Town and decided to start Mindset Fitness in 2006 after getting certified as a trainer.

Is there a qualification required to perform this job?
I got my General Fitness Trainer qualification in 2004. To be a personal trainer you have to have a qualification. You need to be certified. You need to learn about many different aspects, including training methods and physiology, so you can understand the human body in relation to exercise.

Do you specialize in any specific training?
I am a general fitness trainer. I incorporate all sorts of fitness exercises, with a big focus on boxing. But some clients prefer to train Judo, other martial arts, or just general fitness training. But I always incorporate a bit of everything. I love the combination. It’s amazing.

When a gym employs  a new trainer, is he or she trained further?
In the case of Mindset Fitness, 100%. If you want to work for me, I have to teach you how I train my clients. There is a specific way that I do things and train people here. I have my own style of a very personalized training. So even when I train a group, I make every person feel like they are getting one-on-one attention and training. And that is something unique to Mindset.

What type of person would be well suited to this job?
First of all, you need to be passionate about sport and exercise. Secondly, you need to be able to understand people. You will deal with a huge variety of people, and you have to understand each of your clients to know what they want and need from the training. For example, reading body language is very important. If someone is getting tired, you need to pick that up.

Do you have any advice for someone interested in pursuing this career?
Don’t limit yourself to the things you’ve learnt at school. In school, we learn about the body in Biology class, for example, but it’s theory. Knowing something practically is a completely different story. Concentrate on both the practical and theoretical, and explore as much as you can.

What is a typical starting salary in this career?
It depends on many things, but you can definitely make a living from personal training. This is what I do every single day. For someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience and is starting to build up a client base, the going rate is probably around R250 per hour.

You have to start small. Don’t be greedy. You have the knowledge, but you need to first build up your own experience and confidence as a trainer, and over time you can start charging more. That’s exactly how I did it.

Any last pearls of wisdom for someone wanting to become a trainer?
Try to get the following things right: understand your client, be very focused, and be very careful.


EduConnect 2cents

If you love motivating others, encouraging a healthy lifestyle, and expressing this through sport and exercise, then a career in fitness training might be just what strikes your punch. Keep in mind however, that in order to do this, you need to be 100% healthy – this means eat well, train hard, and take tremendous care of yourself.

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