VFA Graduate Profile: Rob Faldon
Gym Owner and Entrepreneur – Fitness Courses Melbourne
Rob Faldon is the owner of FitXCore in Sunbury. Rob studied multiple Certificate III & IV in Fitness with us back in 2011 and went straight into the industry. After graduating with us he took the time to get some industry in the experience working for a large chain-gym, but soon realised he had so much more to offer his clients and found his niche in the market.
Today Rob runs a successful business in Sunbury with another one opening soon in Torquay. And as a testament to the quality of Personal Trainer’s that come out of VFA – Rob’s entire team of staff are all VFA Learning graduates!
Q: Rob – what made you decide to study the Cert III & IV in Fitness?
A: Mostly I was a bit overweight and very self-conscious, I lost 41 kilos. The last job I had was working in Child Psychology – it was quite a stressful job. So I made it work and enrolled in a part-time course and found the space and time to squeeze in coming in to learn. After six months I quickly changed around and starting doing more hours of PT and fewer hours of child psych and started enjoying life more, and really got into my fitness.
Q: What made you choose VFA Learning as your preferred training provider:
A: I was driving around thinking I needed a career change and thinking that I needed to give Fitness a go, and strangely I looked up, and there was a billboard staring back at me on my way home from work! Away I went from there.
Q: How did you find your experience with us?
A: Yeah really good, very educational. It was great having a few different teachers and a few different points of view. We had one teacher who was a very functional teacher and was always using a foam roller before class so we could ask him about mobility work… then we had someone that was incredibly good with postural analysis – all of which has really helped me in the industry since, a lot of people have asked me where I studied because I have all of this extra knowledge that I didn’t think I would pick up in Cert III / IV – a really good knowledge of biomechanics… it fuelled me for further education from there.
Q: Did you go on to further education?
A: Yes, I went down Strength & Conditioning and hammered out my CEC points – I did double my required CEC points in the first two years, kettle-bell courses, boxing, Strength & Conditioning, etc.
Q: You took the big leap to start your own business, how did you go about it?
A: I started doing PT at SNAP fitness, doing stuff with them – I didn’t really like the rent structure, how all that worked – I wanted to offer my clients more, and one of the things I found quite hard was that a lot of clients needed to train more than twice a week and even if I wrote programs for them they needed that little bit more. I found that was my answer, the hole, my gap – people need to be accountable, they need to be able to come to more sessions, to feel like they belong, not to be intimidated, so I decided to create something that wasn’t intimidating, where you can get the benefits of personal training but in a small group and we went from there. I started off with some training in the park to get some numbers up, then went on to boot camps, then we found a space, and then opened up consults for semi-privates. I also do a lot of mentoring for other PTs on how to create semi-private structures because these are the ones that are a win-win for you and the client.
Q: There’s a really cool set up here, has this evolved over time or is this how it was set up when you first started?
A: Yep – Mostly when we first started, half the room was turf and half rubber, we had a six-cell rack, and we started with that and all the basic equipment. As our clients started to show us what they wanted and what they needed we started to evolve beyond there and realised that people didn’t mind if we had space for 10 – so we could have a max number of 10 people doing group classes at once – so we split both classes into 10 max, and created more classes on the timetable to allow for that and with the expansion we decided we needed to take up more space with the rubber flooring, and less turf, give people more solo space to themselves.
We’ve only just rebranded from a Strength & Conditioning gym to a transformation studio, which seems to be a new concept happening in the industry at the moment. A lot of Crossfit gyms focus on elite performance whereas we focus on your results, your mindset, your training, your nutrition.
We’ve created a 6sqm space per client to train in, we have a program system on our board, using everything we learnt and school on periodisation, so everyone progresses, keep their record sheets in the filing cabinet and make sure they progress – they go through strength cycles, endurance cycles, so we’re all just one big group doing the same programming. The good thing about semi-private is that we can always alter what people are doing in that specific class for them if their needs are different. If people have an extremely weak core, we strip the exercise right down – and they don’t mind that they are doing something different for that movement, and everyone else is doing something different because they’re all in their own training world doing stuff at the same time as everyone else.
Q: It sounds like you’ve never looked back since then?
A: No – and good news too, we’re about to open a FitXCore in Torquay! We’re looking at space there at the moment, as we said looking at client needs, so we’ll be running spin as well – there’s a lot of cyclists down there, and the interest is peaking towards having a good cycle space indoors.
Q: Why would you recommend VFA Learning to others wanting to get into the Industry?
A: I’d recommend it because I’ve been there and the calibre of PT’s that I’ve worked with in the industry that has come out of there are quite high. I’ve already recommended a few people who have trained and finished there – another of our PT’s came from VFA. We have three new clients that have done transformations and are interested in studying too.
For VFA Learning course info click here.
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