A personal fitness coach has become a requisite in today’s fast-paced world. This is so because people’s lives have become sedentary. If people are at home, they tend to sit around, or if at work (working from home or in the office), they sit and work for longer hours. In all these scenarios, there is a lack of enough movement. Additionally, people do not consume enough water as they don’t feel thirsty while sitting, nor do they walk enough. To make matters worse, they eat junk foods like chips or sweets or oily foodstuffs to relieve the stress they experience at work. They don’t realize the dire consequences at that point in time, but as their bodies change, they likely become prey to various lifestyle-related disorders and diseases.
Based in UAE, Dhairya Udeshi’s mission as a personal trainer and life coach is to transform people physically and mentally to feel more confident and better about themselves. He is the Executive Director of Shape Up LLC, a company that provides personal and group fitness training services in the gym, outdoors, or online. With 9+ years of experience in health and fitness, he has trained a large number of clients with all kinds of health and fitness challenges, such as running a marathon, playing at the national level, heart issues, disc injuries, spasms, arthritis (both rheumatoid and osteo), diabetes, blood pressure, depression, and anxiety.
Life Experiences that Led to a Career in Fitness
Dhairya had a happy childhood. In school, he showed more inclination toward sports and athletics than academics which is one of the reasons why he chose to become a fitness coach. Throughout his academic journey, he found learning with understanding to be of great importance. He admits to taking time to understand this concept, but after realization, he has continued to apply those understandings to his day-to-day life.
Having personally undergone a physical transformation, Dhairya knew its importance and how it helps to boost people’s confidence. Hence, a fitness career felt like a true calling to Dhairya. After taking on this role as a fitness coach, he witnessed many ups and downs. He dealt with different people and coached clients with varying health conditions and challenges. In all these cases, there is one established pattern, and that is dealing with pain. “My job is to help clients heal and come out of the pain — healthier, stronger, and more confident, and this is what I work towards, and this driving force has made me who I am today,” shares Dhairya.
Likewise, Dhairya’s clients bestow trust in his knowledge and expertise in fitness coaching. That is why he has been able to continuously serve a large number of clients over the years and create a mark for himself. He also feels that every individual should be a lifelong learner, and this mindset is what can make them become successful individuals.
Customizing Training Program for Every Client
To determine the training needs of a client, several parameters are considered, such as personal goals, age, weight (body fat, body muscle percentage), medical history (injuries or ailments), etc. It also depends on how active or sedentary the client is, whether they are coming for the first time (beginners), have been previously trained at the gym by a professional trainer, or have played some kind of sports to stay active.
If the client is a beginner, Dhairya teaches him basic exercises like 1 exercise with three sets of 15 repetitions. Once his body gets used to these forms of exercise after a month, his stamina increases, he feels stable and confident with his body, and he remains injury free, all under Dhairya’s monitoring and guidance. Then, two new exercises are added called super sets. For example, if a client is doing a bench press and a dumbbell press or bench press or a sprint or a light jog for 30 secs in a row, then taking a 30 secs rest. If a client has been previously trained, knows how to use the equipment correctly, is well-versed with the exercises, and has good strength and stamina, then Dhairya gives him the next level of training.
Challenges that Come with Fitness Coaching
As a fitness coach, Dhairya faces different challenges as all clients are different. He shares an example to show what kind of challenges he faces exactly.
For example, a client is coming with a long-sustaining injury such as a disc injury, say lower back disc injury, has continuous pain in the back and legs due to nerve compression, and is experiencing a lot of mental distress, like feeling grumpy or angry all the time. “In that case, I assure my client not to worry. We are here to fix the problem together. Hopefully, with a proper diet and exercise regime, you will overcome this problem,” shares Dhairya. This is not just applicable to clients with injury, there are clients with ailments such as diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, etc. From a mental perspective, they might be going through similar pain, and they may not be feeling very healthy from the inside, sometimes due to low blood pressure or low sugar levels, weakness, chest pain, dizziness, etc. Dhairya further adds, “Constantly assuring the clients, giving them hope, and motivating them that they are doing a good job and are nearing their goals is what I do as a fitness coach.”
Learning from Past Mistakes
One of the training initiatives that didn’t go well but came as a blessing in disguise for Dhairya was training a slipped disc patient. This patient had severe back pain with a higher body weight. In the initial days, Dhairya made a few postural mistakes, like making him do slightly intense exercises that caused him a lot of back pain, so much so that he could not walk properly. It took Dhairya a few months to realize he was doing something wrong. As soon as he realized this, Dhairya changed his training strategies and began implementing them. In the next twelve months, the client not only found relief from his back pain but also lost weight and started feeling confident about himself. As a coach, Dhairya considered this a fantastic opportunity to learn and implement different strategies that are helping his current clients.
A Day in the Life of a Fitness Trainer
A fitness trainer’s typical working day is quite different from that of a corporate professional. Dhairya’s day may begin as early as 5 am, followed by a few other sessions. These sessions are not continuous, so he has breaks to rest, exercise, have meals, and plan for the upcoming sessions. His client appointments again begin in the afternoon till 9 pm. Since Dhairya is passionate about his work, he doesn’t find this aspect of work stressful.
However, he considers visiting one client at one location and then traveling to some other place, maybe, in a gym or at a client’s house, taxing. Due to heavy traffic and extended sessions, there might be a delay in reaching the next client’s session. At times, they display angry outbursts, yell, or get frustrated. Dhairya, like his name, patiently listens to the clients, understands their perspectives, and stays calm and relaxed.
Spreading Awareness on the Need to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
The change Dhairya wishes to make in people’s lives is educating them about living a healthy life. He feels that just making them exercise doesn’t make them live healthy life. A healthy life is about following a good exercise routine, diet, and sleep pattern; these are the three pillars of living a healthy life. A person might be exercising well and eating well but has a wrong sleeping pattern, which will make him unhealthy. Similarly, a person might have a good exercise routine and a suitable sleeping pattern but consumes a lot of junk food or eats at the wrong time. A person might have a good sleeping and eating routine but exercises once a week. That, again, doesn’t help him stay healthy.
“Therefore, I would like to create awareness about this ideology among people and help every member of every family,” shares Dhairya. This, in fact, will help keep the number of diseases down. He further explains, “Diseases mostly happen because of a bad lifestyle. If your lifestyle and food are under control, you are eating on time, sleeping on time, and exercising correctly, then the number of diseases and injuries will reduce. This is how we can have healthy people and families in our community.”
Advice to Live Happy, Healthy, & Successful Life
“My advice to people who wish to lead a successful life is to not run behind success. Success is just a by-product of your process. Success will come to people doing the process right, meaning you’re waking up on time, sleeping on time, and staying humble and grounded at work and home. In short, having a disciplined lifestyle. Likewise, you’re doing your work properly and keeping the people happy at work, and truly finding joy, contentment, and peace with what you’re doing. If you’re doing a good job and people like your work, they will automatically recommend you to others in their network,” says Dhairya.
Dhairya adds, “There are many enormously talented people, but their problem is arrogance. They display unprofessional behavior, such as being impolite and not showing up for meetings on time and appointments. Behaviors such as these make them lose their game and invariably limit their growth. Another thing to keep in mind is that success doesn’t come overnight. It takes years and years of hard work. When you have to stick to it, and when you have to be happy with your work, only when you are happy with your work will you be successful. When a person is unhappy with what they’re doing and how they are doing it, they will never be successful because they will always be frustrated. So, I would advise you to do something you like and not come under anyone’s pressure; be it from your parents, relatives, teachers, or friends. If you have different thoughts, ideas, or hobbies that you are passionate about, you must take them and turn them into your profession. You will definitely achieve success.”
Work in Progress
Currently, Dhairya focuses on expanding his company for personal training and general fitness by incorporating dance, yoga, and Zumba. In the next few months, he hopes to achieve his goal, which will enable him to help more and more people stay fit and healthy both physically and mentally.
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