Shaping up to service

Shaping up to service

A hotel health club instructor must be fit, flexible and, most of all, friendly to all the guests and clients

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Ken Fok turned sport into his career.
Ken Fok turned sport into his career.
Photo: K.Y. Cheng/SCMP
Ken Fok Siu-kei loves sport. After graduating, he decided to turn his hobby into a career and took up a job as a health club instructor at the Langham Hotel. His primary role as a health club instructor is to serve guests in the hotel's gym and swimming pool areas. Fok thinks offering a personal and caring service is the key to pleasing guests.

Get started:

A health club instructor is required to hold qualifications as a fitness instructor and a lifeguard and have a knowledge of first-aid. Fok graduated with a diploma in Club Administration and Management. Having a background in recreational facilities management, or a related discipline, is also an advantage.

Moving up:

The next move up on the career ladder is to become a senior health club instructor, then assistant supervisor and, finally, supervisor. Supervisors hold a management role. They have to train staff and assist the club to co-ordinate between staff in other departments in the hotel.

Race to the top:

Health club instructors have to keep updating their knowledge in sport and nutrition so that they can provide the best advice for guests.

They also have to be attentive because different clients have different fitness levels, and they need to know how to provide them with appropriate training advice.

A health club instructor should like working with people. Guests will feel very happy if the instructor remembers their names and preferences. Fok says if you can anticipate what a guest might like, they will feel honoured because you really care for them and they will want to come again.

Where to apply:

Hotels, housing estates and clubhouses.

Rewards and benefits:

The starting salary of a health club instructor is about HK$10,000 to HK$12,000. There are free meals, and uniforms and laundering are provided by the hotel.

A day at work:

Hotel health clubs open very early in the morning and close late at night. Instructors are required to work about nine hours a day and must work in shifts. The first shift starts as early as 6am and the late shift ends at about 11pm.

Instructors on the early shift usually arrive before 6am to set up equipment and ensure there are sufficient supplies, such as towels and drinking water. During the day, instructors work with clients as well as maintain the club's facilities. Sometimes hotels hold pool parties and instructors will have to work with colleagues from the food and beverage department to serve guests.

At the end of each shift, instructors must note any special requests that guests have made, so that colleagues on the next shift can follow them up.

Jargon:

Gun show: A person with big muscular arms

Core training: This type of training focuses specifically on the lower back and abdominal muscles and is essential for most sports and fitness activities.

V02 Max: V02 Max is the maximum amount of oxygen a person can use in a one-minute workout and is a standard measure of cardiovascular fitness. A high V02 Max is beneficial and makes the body more efficient for exercise and sporting activity.

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