With an increasing interest in personal fitness in Vietnam, the term 'personal trainer' has become more and more familiar amongst people interested in improving their physical well-being.
According to Nguyen Truong An, a professional ‘PT’ in Ho Chi Minh City, his sessions focus on one-on-one training.
He says that his programs require a high level of concentration and commitment from his clients as their progress is closely supervised, and adds that his trainees are mainly businesspeople who barely have time for exercise.
An spent two years in Malaysia acquiring the certificates in personal fitness, nutrition and psychology required for his job.
One of An’s clients is Jay Kruytbosch, a Canadian woman working in Vietnam.
She said that she had previously had a hard time achieving positive results at local gyms.
However, using a detailed program closely monitored by An, she said that she had noticed changes in her physique and overall health.
Kruytbosch said she often felt discouraged whenever she thought about exercising because of her busy schedule.
Thanks to encouragement and motivation from Coach An, she has been able to stay in the right frame of mind to complete her training.
Being a famous name in bodybuilding, Pham Khac Hy claims that his clients are often singers and actors who need to lose weight in a short period of time.
“One of my first customers was able to lose eight kilograms after only six days of intensive training and a strict diet,” Hy recalled.
According to the trainer, his weight loss programs often include four to five hours of exercise a week and more importantly, a strict diet.
A good personal trainer needs to have sufficient knowledge of nutrition as training alone does not guarantee good results.
“I personally design a diet for my clients. In our contract, they also agree to follow my recommendations,” Hy elaborated.
Despite having a long list of satisfied customers, the trainer admitted that many of his clients had given up in the middle of the program as they were unable to follow his tough diet.
“That is why we [personal trainers] need to regularly call and check the status of our clients, to make sure they don’t have a problem committing to the program,” he said.
‘Personal trainer’ in swimming
As Ho Chi Minh City is regularly influenced by hot weather, swimming classes are usually over-subscribed.
“With a class of over 20 students, my son has barely learnt how to swim after a two-month course,” one parent said, adding that a one-on-one swimming lesson was much preferable.
According to Le Thi Ngoc Diem, an instructor at Lam Son Swimming Pool in District 5, she has been teaching one-on-one classes for several years, often at less crowded pools in apartment complexes or hotels.
The classes are most suitable for children aged between eight and 12, who tend to acquire the right skill after only five lessons, Diem said, adding that courses for adults normally take longer.
Being a personal swimming instructor is not an easy job, as Diem’s clients include older people with bone and joint conditions or sinus infections.
“It becomes more complicated when I have to pick a swimming style most suitable for their health,” she explained.