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The Story Of an IT Programmer Who Made a Career Switch to Fitness World

July 3rd, 2008 · 10 Comments ·


Mun’s Note: This is a guest post from Kim, an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified Group Fitness Instructor. She has been actively involved in the fitness industry for over 10 years now. Currently, she works as the Marketing Manager cum Course Facilitator for Fitness Innovations (M) (FIT) Sdn Bhd, a fitness learning center based in Malaysia.


A big hello to all readers of, and a thank you to the man himself – Mun, who has given me the opportunity to write a guest post on his blog.

I am here to share a concise version of my journey in the fitness industry, and while doing so, to give you some inspiration or ideas if you are a fitness enthusiast too thinking of taking the next step, say becoming a fitness instructor!

How I Started…
Many years ago, while I was studying in Monash University, I chanced upon the Sports & Recreation Centre one day (whilst I should have been in lectures), I heard loud music coming from a large studio. I went into the studio witnessed a group fitness class. I was amazed by the students and instructor’s energy level in the class. The next day, I returned armed in makeshift workout attire, took part in my first ever class, and from that day on, was hooked. Back then, it was all freestyle classes. Unlike now where Les Mills classes are all the rage. Hehe…I can still remember the aerobics instructor making us do the “chicken dance” in that first class …

Group fitness (or aerobics as it was commonly known then) and fitness centres are a dime a dozen in Melbourne. Memberships are much more affordable than they are here in Malaysia, as fitness is very much part of the active Aussie’s lifestyle. What is great over there is that you could just purchase session memberships, like paying $2 for a class instead of committing to one club for long term. So there I was gym-hopping like mad in the late nineties, and having lots of fun attending classes learning different fitness dances. Yes, definitely having much more fun than my dull 9 to 5 job as a computer programmer.


My Journey Becoming Fitness Instructor…
Came a day I found that I wanted to take the next step, a bold move. You know, never in my mind did I think that I could be a group fitness instructor then. I am a petite Asian girl, and the big-size fitness instructors in Australia all look like, well, fit strong role models. Morevoer, in order to be fitness leaders, whether as group fitness instructors or a personal trainers, we have to go through fitness certification. We had to sign up Victorian Fitness (VICFIT) which is now known as Fitness Australia. Without much doubt, I went ahead and signed up with VICFIT.

The first part of the course is theory based. I had to attend nightly sessions after work in an old classroom of a Melbourne University. Although I had already gone through a full day at work, I was not bored or sleepy. Learning something I am passionate is something I always enjoy. I learned interesting topics such as like Anatomy, Physiology, Muscle Movement and Nutrition. Until today, as a fitness leader, I still appreciate much of what I have learned. This knowledge is very relevant for a personal trainer. Imagine a member came up to me and told me that he has a strained hamstring muscle. Although I am not qualified nor I required to diagnose the injury, the least I could do is to know where the hamstring is before I could advise exercise which will not worsen the injury. In fact, other knowledge in general injury treatment is important too.

The practical part of the course was next, and that was FUN for people like me who was into group fitness, covering topics like Music & Rhythm, Building Choreography, Cueing etc.

In my course, I remember a lady who was my course mate. She was in her sixties then, and was taking the course because she wanted to teach group fitness to senior citizens. She was nervous just like most of us, but we always cheer her on whenever she was in the class. For me, she was an inspiration, as she showed us that learning is a continuous journey, and her passion and confidence in herself put some of us to shame.

I am now back here in Malaysia and involved in something I truly believe in, which is fitness education. For fitness enthusiasts who either want to learn more or consider going into fitness line, I encourage you to the next step. I want to share this quote with you – “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra”. Why not take the effort to arm yourself with the knowledge and thus become extraordinary?


Mun’s note: Thanks to Kim for sharing her experience. It is my honor to have her writing for Don’t forget to leave a comment here to tell Kim what you think or ask her regarding fitness education related matter. I am still looking for other fitness articles, if you think you can write excellent post too, please let me know.



Category: Fitness Classes

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10 responses so far ↓
  • Yin Teing // Jul 3, 2008 at 1:39 PM

    Wow! Kim, I never knew you were an IT programmer. What you guys at FIT do is great- because you provide real education and training – there are so many misconception in the fitness industry today. After taking one of your courses, it saves me years of mistakes and enable me to differenciate fact and fiction. Yes, I never thought I will like anatomy too but it’s so important as a foundation. Keep up the good work.

  • Kim // Jul 3, 2008 at 2:20 PM

    Thanks Yin Teing ! Yup, ex programmer. Could never tell huh :) Thanks for your comments, and see u at FIT soon ya :)

  • sylvesteR // Jul 4, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Really inspirational I have to say. But sadly, most parents won’t allow their child to pursue tertiary education particularly in this type of field. Usually they would rather encourage medical or law fields.By the way do you still have passion for computer programming? Just curious and cheers for the good job!!

  • foongpc // Jul 4, 2008 at 12:27 PM

    Kim, so I guess anybody can be a fitness trainer if they have the passion for it. Life is definitely more enjoyable when you do something you like. Great to read your personal account on how you got started in the fitness industry.

    Mun, I’ve linked your articles on the latest posting at my blog. Thanks for those very informative posts!

  • Kim // Jul 7, 2008 at 8:02 PM

    Hi Sylvester ! Thanks for your comments. Absolutely zero passion for computers now, except how they can help my job in fitness to be honest ! Yes, agree that the fitness industry in Malaysia is still a long way behind … and that it is not deemed professional here unlike US or Australia. It will take time & the right actions by our Government. In the meantime, obtaining a good education in fitness and outlining a career pathway would be a start … :)

  • Kim // Jul 7, 2008 at 8:03 PM

    Hi Foong ! Thanks ! And what is your blog ? Will go visiting :)

  • Elaine Mohan Anthony // Jul 9, 2008 at 3:41 PM

    Kim.. I was intrigued by what I’ve read… Well obviously U’ve made a very wise career switch after all. Always admired the bursting energy in you… esp during group x classes.. (sigh.. miss tha good old days) Haha… Well great stuff u wrote there… u go gurl…
    Elaine Mohan….

  • Alan // Jul 10, 2008 at 11:21 PM


    Great read! Good to know that you’re doing good. I remember you telling me how you were a programmer back then. Lol. When are you coming back to Island Plaza to teach?

    Kah Hooi (Alan)

  • Germaine // Jul 12, 2008 at 7:41 PM

    kimster, what a legend you are! completely inspirational, seeing i went to uni with you and did that bach. of business systems course together! great to know that you are making waves in fitness industry in msia! hope to see you in melbourne one day, aren’t there any fitness conferences you can attend in melbourne?

  • Angie Tan // Jul 16, 2008 at 3:01 PM

    Ahhh… I remember the days at Uni when I did go the Monash U’s Rec & Sports centre for a good ol’ game of basketball.

    Yeah, my friends told me about the aerobics (Big T) and also spinning classes back then.

    Anyway, your story is inspirational. Go out and do what you feel passionate about and you’ll never get bored or tired of it!!

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