Business of Happiness

Business of Happiness

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QAYYUM SAHIDIN

PERSONAL TRAINER

W SINGAPORE - SENTOSA COVE

How long have you been in the industry? It’s been nine years!

How did you become a Personal Trainer in the hotel industry? I started as a freelancer, before joining the hotel industry as a Personal Trainer. There aren’t a lot of trainers who choose to join a hotel – most of them tend to join commercial gyms. But I decided to do it because I enjoy the service aspect of working in a hotel. I really enjoy meeting people from all walks of life. Many guests feel very reluctant to work out in a new place or country, and that’s where I come in. I make them feel welcome and make sure that they are given proper support to achieve their fitness goals.

Can you tell us more about your role and what you do on a daily basis? Basically, I offer fitness training for our hotel guests and long-term clients, such as residents who live in the Sentosa Cove area. I come up with personalised training programmes for them, depending on their fitness levels and goals, and then work with them to achieve those goals.

When I’m not training a guest, I’m present at the gym to make sure that all our gym users are working out in a safe manner. Sometimes I’ll point out any mistakes in their technique or form so that nobody gets hurt, and offer body composition measurements and diet tips. I’m also responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and amenities of the gym.

How did you get started with fitness training? When I was 15, I couldn’t do a single chin-up. So I started working on my strength, and I was able to do up to 20 chin-ups at a time. From that experience, I realised the benefits of strength training and I love sharing that benefit with others, helping them get stronger and to achieve their fitness goals.

How has your career journey been so far? Since joining W Singapore – Sentosa Cove more than six years ago, my time here as a fitness trainer has been really enjoyable and fruitful. My role in the hotel has given me countless opportunities to interact with guests from all over the world. There are also many expats living in the surrounding residential areas that attend my workout sessions during their stay in Singapore. Not only do I help them with achieve their fitness goals but I also build a relationship with them that allows me to see their progress physically and emotionally.

How is being a fitness trainer in a hotel different from being a trainer in a commercial gym? Not only are we responsible for the guest’s safety, but we also play a crucial role in ensuring their experience at the hotel is pleasant and memorable. I have learnt to be a good service provider on top of keeping track of their fitness goals. Having a diverse clientele also taught me to be proactive in understanding every guest’s needs. My interactions with the guests do not end in the gym, I need to ensure that the rest of their time at the hotel also goes smoothly, especially if they are long-staying guests. All these small details add up to the complete guest experience at W Singapore.

What are some challenges you face at work, and how do you overcome them? I wouldn’t exactly call them challenges, because they’re not really negative. Some of my guests are a little too ambitious with their fitness goals, so I have to manage their expectations. For example, one of my guests wanted to lift 100kg weights even though he wasn’t really that strong to begin with. So I have to find that balance between pushing them to go past their limits, and taking care to not push them too far.

I also have to tailor and amend my fitness programmes constantly. Having to work with multiple guests, I have to take all of their different needs into account and give each guest the right treatment. Thankfully, I can remember all my guests’ body types and fitness goals.

What do you enjoy most about what you do? I love seeing my guests become stronger. It’s not an overnight process; so it’s nice to be able to be part of that journey.

I also like pushing my guests beyond their limits – with proper assistance, of course. For example, if my guest can only do four repetitions of an exercise, I will assist them with two more, just to show them that they are stronger than they think. My guests will leave the gym tired and feeling the ache, but they’ll also leave stronger and healthier.

How do you think you can contribute to a guest’s happiness during his or her stay? I try to go the extra mile to not only make my guests feel better physically, but also psychologically. Sometimes, I take before and after photos of my guests, frame them up and present to them at the end of their fitness programme to show them the improvements they’ve made. This usually makes them really happy, because they can see the reward of their hard work, and it motivates them to take up more fitness classes.

I also make it a point to keep upgrading my skills. I just recently finished a course in Sports Massage, so now I can provide muscle release services to my guests and help to soothe their muscle aches after a workout. I also keep up with fitness trends and incorporate new workouts, so that my guests can have fun working out.

What has been your most memorable experience in your career so far? I love seeing my guests being able to hit their fitness goals, because in that moment, they’re really happy. Seeing that joy and pride in them makes me happy as well, because I was able to help them achieve those goals.

Also, I’m grateful to have guests who reach out to me to book a fitness class whenever they return to Singapore. It’s encouraging to know that I was able to make an impact in their lives, and that they trust me enough to want to work with me again and to stay in the hotel again.

What advice would you share with someone who is interested in joining the hotel industry? Be tough, be versatile, and be ready to take on any challenges that come your way.