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Scott Hunt on beating obesity and building a fitness business in Australia

Open Colleges
December 23, 2014
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As we enter the holiday period, many Australians will welcome visits from a large joyous Santa, bearing gifts. However, excess fat is no laughing matter.A recent study by Monash University showed that over fourteen million Australians are either overweight or obese. Obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia and is the single biggest threat to our public health.For those who are overweight or obese, getting fit isn’t easy - especially if you are feeling self-conscious about your shape. This is what prompted Gold Coast personal trainer Scott Hunt to develop Fitness Enhancement’s “100% private personal training studios” for those needing to desperately drop kilos and avoid the crowds, the fashion statements and the judgmental looks that come with most gym experiences. “Everything about Fitness Enhancement has been designed to help clients feel at home in the gym environment - as well as achieve some exceptional results” Hunt says.As a specialist in obesity, Hunt advises to “approach change realistically”. “If a client hasn’t exercised for 30 years and lives on junk food, don’t push them to exercise four times a week and eat rabbit food” he says. Hunt believes in focusing on realistic and sustainable approaches to ensure consistency after the novelty wears off. “The number one reason people fail on a weight loss program is they quit - an enjoyable and successful program should solve the problems of the last program or diet that failed” he advises.Hunt advises that keeping clients motivated is about focusing on health, happiness, fitness, longevity and fat (not weight) loss. Hunt finds that clients who have experienced fad diets and crash diets need to be re-educated when considering longer sustained exercise programs, as expectations don’t often match reality in terms of time and effort required to meet goals.Hunt’s favourite solution to motivating clients is to “ask a client a couple of months into training, when was the last time they felt this good, lean, fit, energetic or young? Five years ago is the average, with some saying never. A couple of months of exercise to feel five years better is a pretty good return on investment!” he shares.Hunt’s favourite fat loss workout involves “Anything with Thai pads!” which he claims makes training interesting and interactive. “There’s nothing worse than seeing a PT just stand there and count reps for a puffed client doing all the work!” he says.Hunt certainly knows about personal training, clocking around 20 000 personal training sessions and over 2000 kickboxing circuits and Muay Thai classes in his time. Hunt claims to have trained anyone and everyone from elite athletes, the morbidly obese and celebrities.In 2013, Hunt won the Gold Coast ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ award and along with his staff won the Fitness Australia “Gold Award” in the same year. Hunt claims his success lies in learning skills in managing obesity and life-long fitness, achieving business goals and employing “the best, and most down to earth, personal trainers around Australia” he says.Hunt believes that a successful personal training business relies on more than training know-how: “It doesn’t matter how good a trainer you are if you don’t have the skills to get clients in the first place. You need the operational and marketing skills to build a business, as well as the dedication and long-term commitment to see it through” he advises. Some ideas may be to list your services on a personal trainer directory to advertise your fitness classes or fitness events.For those looking to enter the industry, Hunt advises trainers to “research and look at what you really want out of the industry - both now and in 5 years’ time”. Hunt claims that constant learning and development of personal training skills as well as marketing and fitness business services are crucial to success.This article was shared with permission from Open Colleges. It has been edited from its original format by OneFitStop. For more related articles, please click here.

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