Career from shape up move

A DECISION to get into shape ultimately took David Renouf out of the fashion industry and into a new business.

Mr Renouf is managing director of the Renouf Personal Training Centre chain which boasts eight outlets around Perth.

“I started to train to take off some weight,” he said.

“One of the trainers at the gym I went to suggested I go into body building but I thought at thirty-two I was too old.

“Then I put on a bit of muscle and started to think it was a good thing to be in.”

Mr Renouf kept running the fifteen shoe shops he had around Perth but kept up the training as a hobby.

“About six years later I got out of that business and into training.”

Around that time the personal training industry was starting to take off in the US.

Initially Mr Renouf ran his personal training service out of someone else’s gym. Seven years ago he opened his first centre.

“I believe we were the first gym in Australia billing ourselves as a personal training centre,” Mr Renouf said.

“Gyms sell time and space. We sell service. We work on one-on-one personal training.”

Mr Renouf said he believed the collapse of gyms and health clubs in the late 1980s helped fuel the demand for personal trainers.

“Statistics show that people join a gym for twelve months and use the membership for about six to eight weeks,” he said.

“With us they pay by the session which is a more tangible thing.”

Mr Renouf said the majority of his centres’ customers were interested in weight loss.

“A lot of people feel they don’t know how to go about it so they come to us. Motivation is also a big factor,” he said.

The company has expanded to include the dietary side of weight loss with Renouf’s Super Foods.

Mr Renouf said the spread of his centres was an offshoot of a service need.

“As the city grows, people don’t want to travel too far,” he said.

“In our suburban centres we only cater for 250 people. Therefore we can afford to put more centres in the same area, which means a centre is likely to be closer to where our customers live.”

Mr Renouf said there was no one personality type that made a good personal trainer.

“What motivates one person may not motivate another. It takes a range of personalities.

“One of our top trainers is a fifty year old woman who brings out the best in people.

“We look for trainers that have a passion for the industry and who are interested in helping people.

“If people don’t get results from us they won’t come back. It becomes a team effort between the trainer and the client.”

Mr Renouf has also opened the Renouf’s Fitness Academy.

He said the academy ran a twelve week course that took people through from knowing nothing about the industry to a certificate in personal training.

The Australian Fitness Associa-tion is currently working to put together national regulations to govern the industry.

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