Motivation vs. Discipline - The Inside Scoop from Personal Trainer Isaak Fu

In light of International Men’s Day we thought it’d be a great opportunity to interview one of our community members and find out about his journey with fitness and becoming a personal trainer. 💪🏼

Introducing Isaak Fu.

Isaak is 24 years old and currently in the fitness industry working as a personal trainer. He’s been training since he was 16 and has a passion for weight training and boxing. Since training seriously at 18, he’s accumulated a lot of knowledge through trial and error.

Always chase your dreams and do what you want. 
Never settle for less. 
Stay hungry and stay humble.”

What has your fitness journey looked like?

At a young age I’ve contributed to all types of sports but found to love soccer. I played for South Yarra Soccer Club U16A’s for a season and stopped due to school. I decided to sign up at my first ever gym, Zap Fitness Richmond and that’s when I found my new hobby.

During my time training, there have been heaps of ups and downs, trial and errors, hopping from gym to gym and don’t forget the injuries… But it has definitely been worth the journey! Throughout all the mistakes, I have learnt and corrected them with all my knowledge that I have obtained. I wish to share it with as many people as possible in hopes the mistakes I made don’t need to be repeated the way I made them. “Do it right the first time” is what I always say when I meet new clients.

Why did you become a personal trainer?

In year 12 I remember being the only one who didn’t know what to do with their lives after high school, so I decided to try out plumbing. It didn’t work out. I was working at Woolworths part-time living paycheck to paycheck, being stuck and not knowing what to do.

I was training 5-6 times a week at the gym which included weight training, Muay Thai and boxing. It was the only thing I enjoyed and looked forward to, so why not do something that allowed me to be in the gym at all times? So I signed up for studies to be a personal trainer. 

During my time studying, I was helping friends make their transformations, educating them, and motivating them which always gave me a feeling of accomplishment. It felt like I was providing value to the world. Knowing that I can make an impact like that on my friends, it made me want to do it for other people out there as well.

Are there any expectations you had about this career path that you have found differed from reality, in both a good or bad way?

Being in the fitness industry has been super fun so far. It has come with its own challenges such as being a business owner. This was a huge reality check. I realised I will no longer work for anyone. It meant I had to step up and put myself out there, networking and building something from the ground up. That’s something I really haven’t considered completely when going into this. 

Before starting, I thought this job would be super easy because I knew how to train, what to train and what it took, but there was much more to it, like obtaining clients, learning how to speak, sell and organise. It’s a huge learning curve that I almost didn’t expect but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you could talk to yourself when you first started the journey on becoming a PT, what advice would you give your younger self?

Be patient and enjoy the journey. Be hungry enough to want it. To be successful you have to put in the work and hours. This business and job runs by how much effort you put into it and how much drive you have. So be patient but be hungry to be successful.

As a personal trainer, you motivate your clients to push through and stay motivated, do you have any tips on motivation when you don’t have a guide?

I always say to new and existing clients: “Motivation is not what you need, it’s discipline.” Motivation is an excuse and will only get you so far.

Discipline is about getting it done, no matter what it is and how important it is to you. So when new clients say it’s their “motivation”, I would ask “Do you enjoy your current job?” And the majority of people work a job that they hate and don’t enjoy, but they still show up everyday without realising.

They are supporting someone else’s dreams by working for them. So why do we show up to a job we hate? Because of money. People are disciplined enough to wake up 5am to show up for someone else because they need money. That shows discipline. But you can’t come to the gym for 30-60mins of your day to do something for yourself that provides you with nothing but health benefits and long term changes. Motivation is a myth. It stops when you are not disciplined.

Who/What inspires you and why?

My biggest inspiration is my family. I have a 3 year old daughter, 5 month old son and a beautiful partner who has been nothing but supportive since day one.

Everything I do is for them. All the late nights putting in work, the stress I go through is so my family can live a great life. They push me to wake up everyday and to stay strong. Being a young father has given me nothing but challenges in life which changed my whole perspective of my hustle and ambition. Giving up everything to be a great father and partner. That is my biggest inspiration and my drive to everything in life.

What personal attribute do you give the most credit to your success?

My personal attribute would be my drive that I have for wanting to be successful.

I am driven to be great and to be a role model for my kids.

If you’d like to keep up with Isaak and are interested in his PT service, you can get in touch through his handle @isaaksfitness.

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