Tag Archive for: fitness professional

Actress, adventurer, athlete and goodwill ambassador Hlubi Mboya-Arnold does it all. Driven by a desire for self-mastery and constant improvement, Hlubi actively seeks opportunities to challenge herself and step out of her comfort zone.

Whether that’s stepping onto the competitive Bikini stage, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or riding the world’s toughest mountain bike stage race, the Absa Cape Epic, Hlubi revels in the thrill of venturing into the unknown – constantly taking on new adventures and challenges is what gets her through her training every day.

But it’s more than just her drive and commitment that makes Hlubi a fitness role model of the highest calibre. She achieves all this despite her hectic schedule, where she juggles her career in the deadline-driven media industry, while still finding time to pursue her passion for social entrepreneurship and community upliftment.

It’s a demanding lifestyle that Hlubi masters with rigorous physical and mental preparation. And when there’s an opportunity to combine the two, Hlubi doesn’t hesitate to exploit it. That’s why she has aligned her personal brand with South Africa’s premier provider of fitness education – the HFPA Fitness Academy

Developing Body and Mind

“I got involved with HFPA because I wanted to be something more than just a sports and fitness lover. I’ve always been serious about the things I love most in life, which is why I wanted to take my passion for health and fitness to a new level. I wanted to dig deeper and discover more, and education creates opportunities to do that.”

Beyond simply satisfying her curiosity and quenching her desire for personal growth, Hlubi also felt it was important to formalise her education as a brand ambassador and fitfluencer.

“I work hard to be a credible role model, particularly to young black girls. I want to show them that they can break the mould and do things differently. And by broadening my competencies through on-going education, I can empower others with the information I share. There is so much poor, unqualified advice out there on social media, which is why I want to make sure I can cut through the clutter and add value in others’ lives.”


Aligning values

Hlubi says her decision to align with HFPA was an easy one based on the brand’s reputation and the recommendations she received from her friends and colleagues in the health and fitness industry.

“HFPA offers diversity in their subject matter and courses, and are also inclusive, catering to every sector of the industry and society. These are values that resonate with me.”

And the HFPA team also recognised the similarities, which prompted the them to sign up Hlubi as a brand ambassador.


“HFPA lets me be authentic about my passion for sport and fitness, which is important because going by the book bores me. I’m all about energy, which aligns with HFPA’s culture. The brand also embodies the values of balance and constant progress, which is what I strive for every day.”

Lean, mean learning machine

This association has given Hlubi unfettered access to HFPA’s rich resources, which she plans to utilise to its full potential.

“I love HFPA’s learning environment – it’s open and dynamic. It’s also innovative, offering full-time and distance learning options with workshop study modes available, which makes it accessible nationwide. The lecturers always advance their knowledge to stay with the times, while the course work keeps step with new industry trends and developments. And their qualifications are also internationally recognised!”

This dynamic caters to everyone, from the mom and entrepreneur to the passionate fitness fanatic and someone who is looking to build a career in the industry. It’s also a great platform to grow your network, believes Hlubi.

“I’ve aways said your network is your net worth. Studying at HFPA has helped me build relationships and gain access to an international network of potential opportunities. It’s the type of platform that tears down the barriers many South Africans face when trying to gain access to people and places.”


Get paid for following your passion

Since obtaining her qualifications – with more to come – Hlubi believes she can now walk the talk.

“I now know what it means to love something and be a professional and expert in it at the same time. I believe my qualifications as a personal fitness trainer, and a kids development, sports conditioning and a life coach enable me to apply core skills to various areas of my life. I now view these certifications as assets I can use to make myself a better human being and benefit society.”

In the context of her life, Hlubi plans to expand her knowledge base for her own benefit by obtaining additional qualifications, like a pre and post natal exercise course.

“I believe this provides invaluable knowledge to women who should always feel empowered, not afraid of a natural process like child birth and motherhood due to a lack of understanding or knowledge – gaining knowledge is the most powerful form of empowerment.”

And adding to her list of qualifications also creates new opportunities for Hlubi to pursue divergent career paths.

“I firmly believe that to truly be successful, your career should reflect your greatest passions in life, and that if you’re passionate about something you should pursue every opportunity to get paid for it. When it comes to the health and fitness industry, institutions like HFPA offer the best starting point to realise that ambition.”

Author: Pedro van Gaalen

With the amount of new information that scientists unearth on a daily basis, coupled with the ever changing techniques being used to build muscle, burn fat, improve fitness and shape physiques, it is essential for fitness professionals in the industry to stay up to date with the latest trends.

The best way to do this, which is being adopted around the world, is through Continued Education Credits (CEC). Professionals who require a license to operate are already required to attain a certain number of CECs each year to stay registered. In the health and fitness industry this applies to physiotherapists and biokineticists.

Despite a number of plans to implement a similar system for personal fitness trainers (PFTs), there is currently no governing association or legislative body that enforces CEC requirements for PFTs.

As such, many PFTs fail to follow up their initial qualifications with CECs, mainly because they are not mandatory.

There are also other factors at play, like the fact that the courses and seminars cost money to attend and require that trainers take precious time out from their working day, which costs them in lost revenue.

Many trainers also become complacent with their level of education as they are able to achieve results with their techniques, so often feel that further education is not required.

That doesn’t mean you should sit back thinking that your certification, diploma or degree will be enough to get them through your career.

An important reason to continue education is the fact that, over time, trainers can forget the basic principles of human anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and training that they initially learnt. This can subsequently make it difficult to understand why a new training modality could be effective for clients and may slow the adoption of new trends that are emerging internationally.

CEC courses, which cover various topics therefore help to broaden a fit pro’s frame of reference by exposing them to the latest developments in sports science, functional training, group fitness, diets, supplementation and healthy eating.

Attaining CECs can also benefit a trainer’s business, as it allows them to specialise in certain fields to offer unique services to clients. It also means that they can meet all the demands of an increasingly educated, informed and switched on public, as clients are now more likely than ever to ask their trainers questions about what they have read online or seen on TV.

The courses are often run over the weekends or take half a day to complete. Depending on the course, a certain number of credits will be assigned to the practitioner following the successful completion of the course, or they can also attend health and fitness related seminars, which also count towards attaining credits.

PFTs need to be able to provide a valid answer to these questions or they risk losing their client and worse, their reputation. Clients might also see other trainers doing new things and will want to know why they aren’t being exposed to these new techniques. Continued education also plays a key role in expanding view points amongst the local PFT and coaching community, which can only enhance the overall level and quality of service in this country.”

Archer also points out that the cost incurred by trainers when attending CEC courses and seminars can be deducted from tax, along with the other expenses incurred while trying to make their living. “You just need to make
sure that the institution you do the course through is a registered provider and that you have an accountant who is switched on to ensure you get the full benefit from this.”

Despite the lack of a regulatory body governing CECs, certain big name gym chains, like Virgin Active have adopted a ‘best practice’ approach and encourage their PFT and fitness instructors to attend CEC courses. Sometimes this will even be worked into a trainer’s contract with the gym.

“Virgin Active, for instance, will often host internal training sessions to make sure that their staff stay current with their qualifications, which is good for the industry, their staff and for the people who train at their gyms,” continues Archer.

According to Archer, the trainers who do stay current with their CECs often choose to do various courses offered by the Institute of Fitness Professionals and other education institutions, with the most popular being sports conditioning and functional training. “These courses are popular because more people are getting serious about the sports they do, even if it is on a social level,” he says. “By doing thes courses PFTs can offer training that was traditionally used only for athletes, which has a great appeal to a growing number of serious ‘weekend warrior’ athletes.”

Other popular CEC courses include group aerobics certifications for step classes, kickboxing, boxercise, exercise and pregnancy and indoor cycling. “There is also a growing focus on kids’ development courses, where trainers can learn to assist with the athletic development of children on a physical and mental level, as more parents look to give their children every chance of becoming a professional athlete,” explains Archer.

Thankfully, there are a few industry changes on the horizon that may change the PFT landscape as far as required CECs are concerned. For instance, the Register of Exercise Professionals South Africa (REPS SA) is a non-profit, independent public register that recognises the qualifications and expertise of fitness professionals in South Africa. Any PFTs or instructors who join REPS are bound by a code of ethical practice and must hold appropriate insurance and a valid CPR qualification. They are also required to meet the standards that are set for their profession through continual professional development through the attainment of CECs.

While the requirement to join an organisation like REPS SA is not legislated as yet and therefore not compulsory, it does add an extra element of security and legitimacy to the industry. The self imposed regulation trainers undertake when joining an organisation of this nature goes a long way to providing assurance and confidence to consumers and employers. It also means that their qualifications and CECs can also be viewed online by anyone, which means that you can check that you are getting what you paid for with your trainer.

CEC courses range from R800 to over R2000, depending on the type of course you choose and the training institution you choose to do it through, and can take from half a day, up to two days to complete. “As such there really is no reason why your PFT shouldn’t be attaining at least a few CECs each year,” continues Archer. “Don’t be afraid to ask them about the last course they did, or even to see their certifications before choosing to use their services. I can guarantee you that a trainer who takes an interest in their continued education will take the same interest in your physical development, health, fitness and well-being.”