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  • Bryan Bacaoat

BMT Fitness origin story...

Updated: May 8, 2020

As with most fitness coaches and personal trainers out there, my beginnings came from a thought that occurred to me while I was on a family trip to Japan in April/May 2014. Gazing upon the beauty of Osaka castle, after a quick HIIT workout at the park within the castles complex, I had a thought. Back then, I was in my early 20's and like a lot of people that age, I was not sure what I wanted to do with my life and what career I wanted to pursue. At that point, I was working out for around five years. The thought was simple. "I like working out, so why not give this personal training thing a go." With that decision firmly made, I enjoyed the rest of my trip travelling around Japan.

When we got back to Australia, I started inquiring and doing research at different institutions that offered personal training qualifications. Long story short, I went with the Australian Institute of Personal Training, or AIPT as they were better known. The course was an online course, which meant that after the first two months, when motivation waivered, my course stayed uncomplete for months. Ten months into the online course, I got an email from AIPT stating that I would need to pay extra if I did not finish within 12 months. With this deadline, I completed the course within two months. I got my papers, and I was officially a personal trainer!

The next step was finding a job as a personal trainer. Back then, I didn't know what the industry landscape was. I didn't know how you became a PT at a gym and what kind of things you needed to have in place to do that. So, I applied to a couple of roles on SEEK. Two companies called me back- a big commercial gym and a personal training studio. The personal training studio called me first, and I was already doing "intern" type work with them, so I went with them.

I was at that personal training studio for 18 months. I learned a lot in regards to business, coaching clients through fitness and nutrition, and overall how to be a professional and deal with all sorts of people and personality types. I left that place for a few reasons. One of which is the abundant amount of time they expected us to spend at the studio. I was working for someone getting an hourly wage, so I needed to put in monstrous hours. As a PT, you usually are busiest before regular working hours (5 am-7 am), then depending on your clientele, the Mums come in around 9/9:30-11 am. Middle of the day are usually dead (not all the time. You might have one or two sessions here and there), and it will pick up again around 4/5 pm till 8/9 pm.

As you can see, PT's daily hours are usually very long- 10-13 hours daily. The nail in the coffin for me as I lived around 40minutes away from the personal training studio. I couldn't go home and rest during the day. Naturally, being overworked left my health down the drains. I gained body fat, and I got weak AF!

After that personal training studio, I moved to a 24hr gym, 10 minutes from my house, so I was happy. In the beginning, I worked as an employee by the gym, but after a few months, the owner wanted me to turn into a sub-contractor, which I did. I found that as a sub-contractor, you have better control over your hours, how much you charge and how much you work. Since you are working per session, you still had to do a decent number of hours to make money. Put that on top of working around the gym floor talking shit, and programming for your clients, you get pretty busy during the day. I was at that 24hr gym for three years. During the three years, I also worked at various fitness instructor roles. My work as a fitness instructor employed by fitness facilities meant I got regular shifts, thus steady money. I did this to supplement weeks when my income would go down as a self-employed PT.

Working across two gyms, one as a sub-contractor and one as an employee, allowed me to make decent money as a PT. Two weeks before gyms were forced to close in March 2020 due to Covid-19, I moved to a different 24hr gym. I didn't get a chance at building a PT business their due to government-mandated gym closures.

I am writing this article or finishing it off (I started writing it last year haha), in May 2020. At this time, fitness facilities around Australia have been shut for seven weeks, going onto their 8th week. No news yet of when they can open. The gym I worked as a fitness instructor kept us on the books. They have recently received government handouts to pay their workers, so I'm going back twice a week to clean, paint and move shit around next week, which will be okay. PT wise, I turned my business to mobile PT, and I am enjoying it. I trained the majority of my clients outdoors, and I've picked up a few more clients, which is good.

My goal, for a few years now, is to take my PT business online. Covid-19 quarantine time has given me the time to learn how to do so and set up the system. I'm doing this website and article thing thanks to Jordan Syatt and Mike Vacanti. Listening to their podcast, I realised how I need to start writing long-form content and posting that stuff. So here I am. This is my first article. I'm not sure how many people will read this. I don't talk much about any fitness or health things, mainly my story—the origin of Bryan, the trainer. I hope you enjoyed and stay tuned for more articles!

Thank you for reading!

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