Story: The Secret Life of FItness Instructors | Liv

Ever wonder whether it’s normal to harbour a crush on your PT, or what your yoga teacher is really thinking about during Savasana? Andrea Lo gets health industry professionals to spill the beans on their deepest secrets.


On common misconceptions…

Personal Trainer:  People think that becoming a personal trainer requires lots of work, but actually, it’s pretty easy to become certified. Most certifications require answering multiple choice questions, and all of them only take a day to complete.

Yoga Teacher:  Students think that we lead glamorous lives, where we do yoga and drink smoothies all day. In reality, we’re constantly putting our bodies through pain. For example, we practise staying in certain positions for up to five minutes in order to experience how different alignment cues work in our bodies. And just like everyone else, we get stressed out. I swear a lot. We are only human, after all.


On the worst incidents…

Personal Trainer:  I’ve had colleagues whose clients puked after a workout. If you’re pushing your client to the limit, they get lightheaded and throw up. But we’re always checking up on our clients in order to not let these things happen. Every trainer can make their client puke – but it’s about not making them puke, and giving them a good workout.

Group Fitness Instructor: I was teaching a lunchtime step class, which was packed. I couldn’t help but notice that the girls in the front row were laughing. One of them whispered in my ear, “Look at this girl up the back!” I did, and I noticed that she was wearing nothing but her tight, white undies. This poor woman had forgotten her workout gear, so thought she would just do it in her underwear. She was a very good stepper, which is probably why I didn’t notice initially. Talk about dedication!

Personal Trainer:  Some trainers – who are married – date their clients. It happens pretty often. The close physical contact between trainer and client is one factor, but I think that most of the time it’s because trainers look better than most people. There are also older trainers who have been divorced three or four times, who still want to date younger girls – and then end up marrying them.

Yoga teacher:  Many people can’t tell their left from their right. One time, I had to tell a student to put their right leg forward multiple times. They nodded, but still had their left leg out. In the end, I had to tell them, ‘Your other right leg!’



On slacking off…

Personal Trainer:  When I have a lazy day, I tell people that I’m fully booked in order not to take on any clients – then sneak out.


On working in Hong Kong…

Personal Trainer:  Most of the personal trainers I know go into the industry because they enjoy working out, and they think that they can make good money. In reality, the turnover rate is high – most trainers are out in a year. If they last, it usually means they have a pretty good clientele.

Yoga Teacher:  The pay is crap – and you get paid per class. In Hong Kong, that means working really hard to make ends meet.


Intimate Confessions of a Bikini Waxer

It doesn’t get more personal than getting a bikini wax. A wax technician from Nude shares her stories.

I’ve waxed clients who can’t deal with the feeling of the strip being ripped off. There was a woman who came in with wax already stuck on her pubic hair – she wouldn’t let her previous therapist remove it! I said to her that she really should have just let it happen; I ended up having to cut the wax off instead.

When I wax a client’s backside, they sometimes fart. It happens maybe two out of ten times – you can’t control your muscles when your backside is being waxed. Clients usually notice the farting before I do, and apologise. Once, I actually felt the wind blow.”