16 Jun 2023
Cordelia Gibbs is a successful personal trainer and personal training manager at Goodlife Health Clubs Camberwell. But not so long ago, her outlook on fitness and exercise was a little different.
Perth-born Cordelia grew up hating physical activity and sports. She only turned to exercise to relieve pain in her back that developed after many hours spent hunched over a sewing machine – a necessary evil when working towards a career in fashion. "It began with a love of yoga and Pilates and carried on to running," said Cordelia. "I started lifting weights in my backyard before I outgrew it and finally joined a gym in 2017. Since then, I have been obsessed." Fashionistas, it seems, really can change their polka dots.
Cordelia's road to becoming a personal training manager for The Australian Institute of Personal Trainers (AIPT) started somewhere completely different. She began her career as a fashion designer before developing her own fashion label. But her path detoured when she and her partner sought a lifestyle change. By the time they had settled in a new home across the Nullarbor, Cordelia had begun to feel a growing dissatisfaction with her Melbourne retail job. "I was feeling stuck in my job and wanted to do something where I had control over my lifestyle and career," said Cordelia. "I asked myself the question; what do I enjoy doing? What gives me a spark? Working in an activewear store, I loved chatting to customers who had just started their fitness journey. I also loved mentoring (fashion) students back in Perth. In my spare time, I trained myself and was very engaged in the fitness industry…all these answers led to finally taking the step of becoming a personal trainer."
Cordelia was already training regularly at Goodlife Health Clubs Camberwell which made choosing a training provider easy. "I did my research; I phoned a lot of different providers, I looked at what they had to offer," said Cordelia. "I was working out at Goodlife Health Clubs Camberwell and noticed the AIPT signage. I made the call, and by the end of the week, I was enrolled." Through The Australian Institute of Personal Trainers, Cordelia had the opportunity to study on campus face-to-face out of her local gym - how neat and tidy!
Cordelia completed AIPT's Complete Personal Training^ Program in six months. Throughout her studies, she continued working full time, training at the gym and was still able to find time to spend with family and friends. "The Certificate IV in Fitness provided by AIPT is easy to navigate, and they keep the content interesting and engaging. I literally downloaded the learner guides and took my tablet to cute cafés to study!" Cordelia's hours of dedication and hard work paid off - Goodlife Health Clubs signed her on as a staff personal trainer. With her qualification, Cordelia has been able to start building up her own personal training business out of Goodlife - and she hasn't looked back.
"To those who aren't sure about taking the leap into a career in fitness," said Cordelia, "I would say, do it. You have nothing to be concerned about. The people in the fitness industry are so nice and encouraging, and there's a heap of support."
Cordelia is a great success story for AIPT. She started with them as a student and has since worked her way into a role as a personal training manager, helping train new personal trainers at the club. She is also a facilitator of AIPT’s Campus Club delivery mode, working with AIPT students to help them through their course content and assessments. AIPT has helped Cordelia achieve her goals, and now she wants to pass that along to other aspiring fitness trainers.
"My favourite part about my job is supporting and encouraging my clients, students and my (personal trainers) to achieve their goals."
Are you keen to reinvent your working life and turn your passion for fitness into a fulfilling and in-demand career? According to Cordelia, there's no time like now. "There's not the perfect time. You will always be learning. Take the step and start learning today."
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