Ray Penamante.

Ray came from an office background before he decided to ditch the 9-5 and explore the fitness field.

Having spent a lot of time trying to discover what he enjoyed, studying the Level 2 Gym Instructor course full-time helped springboard Ray’s career. After that, he was sure that a career in fitness was for him and he went on to study part-time as a Personal Trainer with our Level 3 Personal Trainer course. He did this while working as an analyst at Ticketmaster - which would be his last office job!

As with so many people, Ray made the decision to study with Focus Training based on a friend’s recommendation. Up until starting the course, he’d had always had some involvement in sport but never saw himself in a fitness role. "The curiosity started to build up when I joined my local mixed martial arts gym learning Muay Thai." He says, "we did a lot of partner-based drills and generally something that was very new to me, it encouraged me to be more vocal and generally instil positive habits alongside the physical aspects."

I felt there was something missing – I was seeking something I could connect to my enthusiasm that goes beyond the 9-5, in an environment where I could express my personality.

Ray found that he picked a lot of things up very quickly, which helped him with his course. After completing his Level 2 Gym Instructor course in 2017, he explored a few options in the industry but decided that it wasn’t the right time for him. He thought that the best thing to do was work towards his Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification, he says: "This tends to be the industry standard and gives you more a solid foundation as you enter the field."

The course alone gave Ray a glimpse into what a fitness career could look like. But then when he had qualified as a Level 3 Personal Trainer, he came across a local F45 Studio - a gym famous globally for its HIIT methods. Ray did a trial as a member and really took to the method of training. "I decided I wanted to keep an eye out on any potential roles." he says, "Before the year was up, I managed to secure a role as a Group Trainer at my local F45, working three evening shifts a week."

A life-changing career in Personal Training.

After a month teaching classes, it was clear to Ray that this was his passion. He took extra covers at any opportunity - sometimes 13 - 15 classes a week alongside his office job. It was evident that his days of 9 - 5 were over and, ready to give his new career his full attention, he left his desk job behind and started the transition into the fitness industry.

Five weekly classes became 15 at the studio where he worked and before long he was offered the opportunity to become the Head Trainer. He’s currently teaching between 20 and 24 classes per week. Even Ray is surprised by how quickly everything has changed, telling us, "I couldn’t have imagined this from having just completed my Personal Trainer course a year prior."

I couldn’t have imagined this from having just completed my Personal Trainer course a year prior.

So where will the future take Ray? He says: "One of my immediate plans is to launch my Personal Trainer service", he’s decided to do this due to the number of enquiries he’s received when teaching his group classes.

Then he’s looking to gain some CPD qualifications in areas like Kettlebell - one of his go-to training methods. Ray hasn’t ruled out becoming a Tutor and Assessor one day either, telling us, "giving back to the next group of health enthusiasts is something I am definitely considering."

Whatever his plans, Ray is certain that he will continue adapting to what he calls "the ever-changing trends in the fitness industry" and so he’s keeping an eye on things like remote training and streaming. But what advice would he give to people thinking about studying Personal Training?

Ray puts it simply, "Have a plan. Doesn’t have to be very detailed, just a few ideas and a real-time perspective of where you currently are and how the potential course will align you on a better path to where you want to get to."

That sounds perfect to us, Ray!