Who said workouts have to be boring? When things seemed not working out for her first love, which is dance, wellness enthusiast Chengetayi Mnisi switched to fitness training.
Responding to questions sent to her by Business Weekly, she talked about the untapped potential in the wellness industry, what motivates her to do what she does, and the lessons she has learnt in her journey as a fitness instructor.
The untapped potential in the fitness industry
Gosh, where do I even start? There are so many groups of people that are yet to be serviced by fitness professionals in our country. Children, teens, pregnant women, the elderly, those with life threatening diseases like cancer.
We have so much to do and fitness and health is not only for the elite and the able. We put ourselves into boxes and go with the wave that is popular at the moment.
For instance, runs have been popular, but not everyone has the desire nor the ability to run. We need to find more creative and inclusive ways of including more people and encouraging healthier lifestyles.
There is also the virtual aspect of fitness, the pandemic really taught us that where there is a will, there is a way and we can take advantage of social media platforms to push the wellness agenda.
These are actually very exciting times to be in the health industry, we just have to be open to seeing the opportunities.
Motivation as a wellness trainer
The environment was not conducive for what I was actually passionate about, dance. So I had to adjust my sails and change my direction and fitness opened the door for me to have more impact, still include my first passion and grow as an individual.
But I have to say, the biggest motivator was definitely being able to make money and sustain myself and my family.
Marketing initiatives to grow the business
Word of mouth has proven to be the best marketing avenue for my fitness business. When people have an encounter with me, it’s a whole experience, where they matter first, where they know they can shut the world out in a session and just focus on themselves. Whether in person or online. I have mastered the art of making my clients feel special.
Social media has been extremely helpful in creating my community, sharing my work and making my mark. This is where my target market is and I make sure that when they are ready to take on a healthy lifestyle, I am there at their point of need.
Recently, I have begun to actively network with people and companies that have a shared vision with me.
I am not afraid to put myself out there and try. Because I’m chartering a new course, especially in nutrition, it’s proving to be challenging, but we all start from somewhere, right?
Why people are taking up fitness training
Most people come to me because they want to lose weight, gain back confidence and feel happy and comfortable in their bodies. Years and months of living a sedentary lifestyle with unhealthy eating habits affects a lot of people negatively.
They usually come to me when they want to take control of their situations, create sustainable, easy to maintain healthy habits and snatch their bodies back, which is exactly what I help them do.
Key lessons in the fitness training journey
I have definitely learnt to stay in my lane and focus on my strengths, I am not for everyone, therefore, I cannot train everyone.
I have learnt to adapt quickly, especially with the pandemic, I had to adjust to the virtual way of doing things and I’ve managed to successfully keep my “No Excuses” programme running for almost two years now.
My energy must be managed, the fitness classes I take are taxing mentally and physically, so I have to pace myself and not constantly burn out.
Lastly, I’ve learnt that I have gone through certain challenges so those that follow or look up to me don’t have to.
It breaks my heart to see trainers being taken for granted, undercharging and being underpaid.
What we do is important and requires a lot of skill, despite us making it look easy. I’m always happy and ready to help anyone starting their fitness journey so they give better experiences to clients and in turn also get paid their worth.
Chengetayi is certified by the American Council on Exercise, and has qualifications as a group fitness instructor, fitness nutrition specialist as well as a pregnancy and post-partum trainer.