MEMBER PROFILE: Dave Neville, PT business owner, NSW

What fitness qualifications do you hold?

Cert III Fitness Instructor and Cert IV Personal Trainer, plus I also hold certifications in TRX, Level 1 Boxing for Fitness and Preggie Bellies - Pregnancy and Post Natal Exercise.

Where do you live and work?

Lane Cove and surrounding suburbs in Sydney.

What is your main role in the fitness industry?

As the owner of NiftyPT mobile personal training I work mainly with stay-at-home mums, and pre and post natal women, helping them to exercise safely in the comfort and convenience of their own homes.

How did you get into this industry and how did you arrive at where you are today in your career?

I became a PT after a domino effect of incidents. I was diagnosed with having my L5 lumbar vertebrae fractured in three places and went through a 12-week core rehabilitation program. I also had pancreatitis and was put on a zero fat diet for six months. In addition to this, I was facing some other life challenges and turned to exercise to help me cope mentally. I decided I wanted to share my knowledge and experience to help others going through similar challenges, and that’s when I decided that personal training was my future.

Later on, while working at a personal training studio, my sister, who has six children, asked me to write a training program for her to do at home because she could never get to a gym. She wasn’t the first to have made such a request, so I realised there was a potential market in training time-poor mums in their own homes. That’s where my transition to mobile PT came from.

What skills are needed in your role?

Patience, enthusiasm, empathy, determination and a good sense of humour.

What are the best and worst aspects of your job?

The variety and the rewarding feeling when I make a breakthrough with a client are fantastic. Being mobile, I have to carry all my training equipment by hand or backpack to and from the house or park I’m training in, which can be a chanllenge. And, like all outdoor PT’s, my working day can be affected by the weather. Rain or shine though, we find a way – and when the weather’s fine, I really can’t complain!

What has been your greatest career challenge to date?

Clients self-sabotaging their results. We’re only human, but it’s hard to see someone undo all the hard work.

And your greatest highlight?

Taking a client who suffered depression, was a big drinker and had never exercised, to losing 15kg, running a 10km event, the city2surf and a half marathon, and then becoming a PT – all in the space of 12 months.

Who has inspired you in your fitness industry career, and why?

Chris Powell (pictured), a PT from the US who hosts Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. His energy, motivation, empathy, encouragement and ability to lead by example in relation to his health, fitness and family make him a truly inspiring individual.

What motto or words of wisdom sum up your fitness/life philosophy?

‘A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there’.

And finally, who would be on your ultimate dinner party guest list, and why?

Carl Baron to make everyone laugh, Heath Ledger’s Joker to make everyone scared, Jason Bourne to make everyone feel safe, Osher Gunsberg to help everyone fall in love and The Wiggles to make everyone dance and sing. That should keep us entertained.

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