Gym Instructor: I like this job because you can physically see the results of your work. Also being able to change how a person looks and feels about themselves would be quite rewarding. If you were teaching class it would enable you to keep fit yourself also.
P.E. Teacher: This has always been my ideal career option.being paid to teach something that you love doing and the extra holidays are a great incentive.
Physiotherapist: I have always really wanted to be a physiotherapist from a young age. I am fascinated with the abilities and respect that comes with this job.
Aquatic Instructor: although I am unable to swim I always enjoyed the thought of learning and then working at a swimming pool. And working with people from all sorts of backgrounds really appeals to me.
In the end I decided to pursue my work experience as a gym instructor, mainly because of the accessibility of them and I felt my chances of securing a job for the summer were better with these. Also the gym was very easily accessible for me and I have been a member of this gym and know the staff quite well. I have decided to write my report on my experience of working in the Sports centre gym in Newbridge Co. Kildare.
As I knew all of the staff quite well in the sports centre gym applying for my work experience was quite easy. I visited the gym regularly and on one occasion I approached the manager and asked her would it be okay for me to do my work experience here. She told me it was no problem and they would be glad to help. The manager, Maura, asked me to write a short letter of application and e-mail it to her.
My goals for my work experience were as follows;
To decide whether or not the job is a possible career option I would pursue.
To improve further on my communication skills.
To deal confidently with members, staff and the public.
To gather as much information and tips for my college course and possible further career as much as possible.
To possibly secure a job for the summer.
Aside from not securing a job for the summer I feel I achieved my overall goals from my work placement. I was able to build up a working relationship with all of the staff and still keep in contact with them when I see them or am in the gym. With improving my communication skills I found myself being able to deal with members’ queries at the desk or on the phone very confidently. In regard to using my work experience to help with my college course I was able to do so. I would attend and participate in spinning classes, aerobics classes, body pump classes etc and watch the instructor to pick up tips and would also help with the assessments of new members, taking their pulses, etc. I feel the most vital of all my goals was reached and that was to decide whether or not the job is a possible career option I would pursue. I feel confident in saying that this would definitely be an ideal job for me.
Travel-Working in the sports centre was quite convenient for me as I live exactly 2km away from the gym. Most days I was in at 2 o’clock so I would leave at approximately quater to and walk up as it would take me around 15 minutes to walk to work
Cost-The cost of my work experience was very low. I had no travel expenses and the cost of food was relatively cheap. I would usually spend about â‚¬5 a day on lunch or if I had a packed lunch then I would only spend one euro on a cup of tea or a cold drink in the cafÃ©.
Food-For the first few days I brought a packed lunch but then I started going to the cafÃ© on the ground floor of the gym where there is all sorts of hot food to choose from. The cafÃ© prices were quite expensive but all staff are entitled to a discount of 25%, which I took full advantage of. Other times I walk two minutes down the street to the centre of the town.
Dress: On my work experience I was given a uniform t-shirt to wear. It was a plain white polo t-shirt with the centre logo on it. I had to wear that and tracksuit bottoms. When participating in classes I would wear shorts and a t-shirt
A typical day would consist of: leaving my house in enough time so that I would not be late for work, usually I was quite early. When I got there I would leave my bag down in the locker area and report to the reception desk to find out what I they had planned for me for the day from Sinead, the receptionist. I would usually have a short break depending on the hours I worked and leave after the evening class at around 8 or nine.
I secured my work placement in two steps;
I first called up to the gym, just to check with the manager if I was able to do my work experience there. She told me that it would be no problem at all and that I needed to call up with a copy of insurance forms and send an application by e-mail.
The next week I called in with the appropriate forms and a copy of my C.V. I then e-mailed her my application
As Maura the gym manager had known me previously we got on very well. She was very welcoming and helpful particularly in getting me started on my work experience.
Before starting my work placement in newbridge sports centre I had good expectations. I am a member up there so I knew where everything was and what facilities they had. I thought working as an instructor was full of activity with no rest in between and had lots of people to see and help. However, this was not the case. There is a lot of waiting around doing nothing for instructors. Some instructors will only teach two classes and could only have one or two assessments a day leaving them idol for large parts of it. But, working on the management side of things was quite interesting. At least there was always some arranging of some sort to do e.g. class schedules. Overall I really enjoyed my experience in the gym meeting new people and getting a very good overall insight into the career of a gym instructor.
Newbridge sports and leisure centre
Set up in the centre of the town of newbridge, the sports centre has an excellent range of facilities from indoor courts, outdoor astro pitches, childs playground, state of the art gym and also a “the coffee dock” which allows people to unwind and socialise. The gym also boasts great sauna and steam room facilities.
It also provide a great choice of fitness classes plus a range of family activities. The sports centre staff and instructors are expertly trained and have vast experience in their field. They offer great one-to-one sessions and give great fitness and diet plans.
I am a member of this gym and can support the above statements. I really enjoy the friendly atmosphere in the gym and valuable input from the staff.
Diary (log book)
Day 1 My first day at the gym began with getting up at the appropriate time and putting on my uniform. I then had my lunch and left for the gym. I arrived there at about five to two. I introduced myself to the woman at the reception desk and explained that I was starting my work experience that day. She told me to drop my gear bag in the lockers and then come back out to her and she would explain what I was doing for the day. When I came back she introduced me to Eugene, an instructor at the gym. He told me that I would be shadowing him for the day during his assessments and programmes. We started off with a tour around the gym and into the canteen and other places where only staff were allowed was familiar with the gym as I am a member there. We then moved onto a spinning class at 3.30 in the spinning studio. I had done finished a spinning class before so I decided to take it easy and observe Eugene more than participate in the class. I sat up the front of the class facing everyone beside Eugene. He welcomed the class, introduced himself, explained what they would be doing and then introduced me and explained that I was on work experience. He then made sure there was no injuries or pregnancies. The class lasted 40 minutes. When that was over we did assessments on a few members. This involved taking heart rates, getting their BMI’s and other medical information and details. We would them use these to devise a fitness programme for the individual which suits them. After that Eugene and I would take the person on a run through of all the exercises they would be using. When we had finished the assessments we went for lunch. Next there was a bodyblast class with Anette. She was a nice woman with a great backround as a trainer and instructor After the class I had a shower and relaxed in the steam room before going home at four.
Day 2 My second day began much like the first, except today I was shadowing a different instructor named Matt. Today I was to be taking part in another spinning class and a circuit, which has many different stations with exercises alternating between upper and lower body. Again I sat at the front of the spinning class and observed Matt as he instructed the class. At the end Matt let me take the warm down and stretch. Next we moved onto the circuit class which 45 minutes in duration. After that Matt and I had our break in the canteen. After our break Matt and I cleaned the machines in the gym. I finished at half 8.
Day 3 This was the day after St. Patrick’s day and as the gym was closed at one I got the day off.
Day 4 Day four meant I got a great opportunity to part-take in a very unusual task. An athlete training for the special Olympics named Willy came for his regular work out in the sports centre. Willy is hoping to be selected for the Irish special Olympics swimming team in Beijing. Willy is blind and only has 2 percent vision and counts out how many strokes there are in each length of the pool. It was very different working with Willy as he had a whole different approach to training but was very dedicated and it was inspiring to see.
Day 5 Today I was working with sinead at the reception desk. We mainly chatted and dealt with customers over the phone and in person. I finished this day at two o’clock.
Day 6 Today I was getting a look at how the gym is ran through the management. I turned up for work at 12 o’clock and reported to the head manager, Maura. We spent most of the day organising the new advertisement posters and radio adverts over the phone with various printing companies and graphic design artists. I was also allowed to ring on of the printing companies to make enquiries about printing samples. I finished my day at around 6 o’clock.
Today I was shadowing Matt again. I was with him during his screening and assessments. This consisted mainly of just watching matt assess the customers and understanding why he asked certain questions and why he done certain tests. Matt and I talked about his job and the qualifications he had. We went to lunch at 3 o’clock. After lunch I done some cleaning with matt in the aerobics studio. I finished that day at six o’clock.
Day 8 I was at the reception desk again today doing pretty much the same as day five however one customer had slipped out in the basketball court. He broke his shoulder from the landing and had to be removed to hospital straight away it was my job to ring the hospital. The ambulance arrived and he was taken in straight away.
Day 9 Today I was back to shadowing Eugene and did a spinning class the body blast class. As I done previously I observed and took part in each class. In the spinning I was allowed take both the warm up and the warm down and stretch. I was heavily praised in my confidence and knowledge of the exercises by both Eugene and the participants.
Day 10 Today was my last day and I was shadowing Tina. Tina was a relative of Maura the manager and was quite young. Even though she was inexperienced herself she was an excellent instructor. We started off with a class called bums tums and thighs, which I helped set up i.e. mats, weights, swiss ball. This class was mainly aimed at women but I enjoyed it also. After that class we did circuit training. I also helped set up for this and took the warm up and also demonstrated the exercises at each station. When I was leaving Sinead and Maura both praised me heavily for my work and said if I got my qualification they would be more then happy to offer me a job.
Review & Evaluation
I am glad to have completed my work experience here. I feel confident that this is a career I would like to pursue later in life. As far as my learning goals went I think that I achieved them quite well. With regard to dealing with members, staff and the public I think showed that I can handle these confidently, whether in person or on the phone. I’ve learned that being confident in front of a class not only settles the class but also helps settle you and encourages the class more. I also feel I gained a lot of tips from my experience. I possibly did not get enough management experience but enjoyed the indtructing and assessing side of the work. My choice of work placement and my college course are quite closely connected. A lot of what we learn in college is geared towards working in a gym. The classes I attended and the things I picked up in them will definitely benefit me in my college course. In some ways my work experience exceeded my expectations however in some ways it did not. For example, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the management side of things. I thought that I would have found this the most boring part of all but there is a lot more to do management wise than I had first thought. However, with regard to the gym side of things I was expecting a lot more. It seemed to me like there wasn’t much to do besides classes and assessments. For me, I would rather be busy than looking for something to do as it passes the day quicker. This was a great experience for me as I now know where I would like to work if I was to work in a gym, which is a very valuable learning curve for me.