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Personal Trainer Of The Day Justin Moran Says “For me, food is a pleasure and it should always be that way”

Meet our Personal Trainer of the Day Justin Moran, sole owner and manager of Just In Time Personal Training ( Justin knows what he wants and is passionate about it. He shares his beginnings, his 2015 plans and some very helpful tips to his fellow personal trainer. Read the full interview below:


Tell us your story, who are you and how did you start in the health and fitness industry?

I took the path of University and a 4 year Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement and Secondary Teaching degree. I knew from the outset that I was destined to help people develop and be there best and whilst embarking on a VFL footy career and 20 years of playing, combined with running and weights/core in addition to a strong passion for coaching Senior football – I always knew that Personal Training was what I wanted to do, was destined to do and I have never looked back. Whilst in my 3rd year of University I started as a gym instructor and then in my final 6 months of my 4th year started Personal Training at Health by Design whereby I was offered a full-time Personal Training Operations Manager position in Malvern where I worked for 15 years before finally at the end of September 2012 decided to retire from Senior football coaching and start my own ‘mobile’ Personal Training business – Just In Time Personal Training.

What were some of the biggest mistakes you made when starting out in this industry?

To be completely open and honest I don’t think I made any and reflect very fondly on the entire process and the path that I have taken. I must say that the biggest leg up that I took was knowing early that it was what I wanted to do and I was passionate about it. Passion is the key to anyone being successful in any job or career path. If you are truly passionate about something then you should strive to go for it and make your life and goals surround that and I am almost certain you will be successful. The only mistake or thing that I learned from as I emerged from University was that unlike every other person that I went to University with whom loved sport and exercise and was all of the same mindset whereby it is and was easy to get motivated to exercise, the average ‘client’ is not of that ilk and they often lead polar opposite lives and hence why they come to us as Personal Trainers. They work long hours, they have ever-increasingly busy lives and if we apply principles that I still see almost every day from fellow PT’s in the industry that they ‘should exercise for 30-60 minutes a day for 4-5 times a week’ then you will fail. We must be mindful of setting them up for success and not a failure and understand and apply the Prochaska’s behaviour change model and how to apply it (see this website for an overview)

What is the most absurd excuse you heard from a client and how did you respond to it?

The majority of my clients are very intelligent people that are paying good money and realise that them not being true to themselves is not only wasting my time but their time and as such I couldn’t really give you one. Any excuse for missing a session I would feel is a true and real one and as such I couldn’t answer this except to say that when working as a gym instructor early days and having to fill in and take an aerobics/circuit class for the very first time and I had a woman (that was not all there) approach me and say that she couldn’t skip because she could feel her ovaries jumping up and down with every skip… I was amused but just said no problems and just leave it out and try doing some other exercise instead.

 What makes your Personal Training business different from others?

What I believe sets us apart from our competitors is the level of service that we bring, the passion, the experience and the fact that we are all University/Tertiary degree trained. It must be close to 80% or more of the Personal Training industry that possesses only a certificate 3 or 4 in PT and whilst that is enough to get ‘qualified’, it is also the bare minimum standard. So it seems only logical to break away from the rest and stand out and stick with that and ensure that I make people aware of that fact and combine that with the branding, professionalism and giving back that we do to the client by means of producing a video catalogue of gym, weights, core exercises as well as when they join rather than charging them for this stuff, actually just provide it and to keep – a workout towel, personally produced and branded calendar/exercise logbook, exercise tote bag, drink bottle, etc. Sure it costs a bit in outlay but as I see it is par for the course and sits well with our quality, level of service, value and pricing. I will always go the other direction of the industry too. Boot camps and cross-fit may seem all of the rages now but over 20 years I have seen trends come and go and ultimately it has been doing what I know I do well that has seen me last and prosper in the industry whilst the industry-standard life-span for a PT now sits around 12-18 months at most for the vast majority.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure when it comes to food?

To me, food is a pleasure and it should always be that way. It is something whereby I educate my clients that they should be aiming for a 6-8 out of 10 on a weekly and sustainable basis. It all comes down to no one diet is right for anyone person – we are all different, we all have different metabolism’s, health issues, body shapes and we all respond very differently on a cellular level just as we all have different eye and skin colour. So I absolutely love eating out at restaurants and could and would do so every night of the week if I could and having lavish meals with massive meal portions but ensure if I have events, functions or dinners out that I eat very little but as healthy as possible in the lead up to it or them and then adjust the next couple of days after. I also ensure I increase my exercise output before and after. All in all, though food is a natural part of life as is socialising. The moment you attach guilt or negativity to eating and you have already lost the battle for maintaining or improving your diet and/or weight/health.

What are some of your tips these coming holidays?

My biggest tip would probably back on to all that I have outlined above and that is to plan in advance. Those that eat/drink heaps over Christmas and the New Year need to plan around this. Stick to the principle of ‘move more and eat less’ but if you are going to eat or drink a lot – simply adjust to counter what will be added over this more social time than that much or the rest of the year. The biggest thing I say all year is to live and breathe a ‘life’ or healthy eating and exercise and ensure you strive for a balanced lifestyle. If you can do this then Christmas is not a big deal, it just falls under a banner of many other times that pop up throughout the year where there is the likelihood of more food/alcohol such as Easter, the Spring racing carnival and holidays away. If you plan and adjust your attitude and behaviour it’s just part of life and life is fun and about keeping active and happy!

What are your goals or plans this coming 2015?

My goals are all around my family and my business and ensuring that both are in order to allow me to fulfil my own pleasure. I get the most satisfaction out of doing hands-on Personal Training, spending as much time with the wife and kids (2 kids with a 3rd on the way late-January) and that is often met with getting away to Lorne to our holiday house as much as possible. I seek to grow and expand my business and move from 2 PT’s working full-time alongside me and helping them make a name for themselves and adding a further 1-2 over the course of the year and to continually do the opposite of the industry and follow trends that come and go and ultimately you are just one of many and offer the same product – you need to stand out and separate yourself from the masses. I will continue to work more and more on many of the ‘out-there’ initiatives I have been developing, implementing and having success with.

A quick message from Justin:

If I can just add one tip for all Personal Trainers that read this – I suggest you take the 18 minutes to view and absorb this TED talk delivered by Simon Sinek on the topic of “Start with Why” – It may help put into perspective where I am going with when I talk about trends and following the pack.

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