David Thoong

GFIT Certification Holder, NASM CPT, Kukuwa African Dance Master Trainer, Presenter for Fitness FX (Malaysia)
Senior Group Fitness Manager, Celebrity Fitness Malaysia

What did you study ? And what did you work as before becoming a full time Group Fitness Instructor?

I have a Bachelor’s Degree  in Business Administration (BBA) with a Diploma in Information System. I have studied “boring subjects” like accounting, financial, corporate management, laws, information management, programming and etc. And I worked with 2 Multinational Corporations: Dell Asia and Citigroup after my graduation. My job tasks were handling all the letter of credits, collection and customer’s issues.

When do you see it as a potential full time career?

It started in 1997 when I joined my first international fitness franchise gym in my hometown – Penang. I was impressed with the first group fitness class I joined. The great energy delivered by the instructor really made me fall in love with the program. 6 months later, I took my first initial module training in Les Mills Body Combat and other programs after that. I started teaching part time while I still have my day job. In 2006, I got an offer from my current company to work full time as a Group Fitness Manager. After a long consideration, I made my decision switching myself from a 9am – 6pm office work to join the fitness industry which I’m passionate about.

David completed his Certified Group Fitness Instructor (GFIT) course in 2013

Can u share with us your career path? Your first class … Thru to how your career progressed?

I started as a part time instructor; today I am a Senior Group Fitness Manager. The journey was not easy; I went through a lot and I’m constantly learning to be better. From my first group class teaching until today, I went through a number of certifications and trainings such as GFIT, NASM, functional classes such as TRX, Bosu n etc in order to equip myself for today fitness trends. My career progressed to peak as recently I m a Master Trainer for Kukuwa African Dance in Asia, Presenter for Fitness FX in Malaysia, and appointed presenter at various Fit Malaysia events. David presenting at a Fit Malaysia event

What is your day like?

My day normally starts around 9am to 9.30pm daily, off on weekends. Most of my classes are during morning and evening session on weekdays. Then I will do some paper works such like reports, replacement notice etc during the afternoon either in my based club or from home. Sometimes we also have internal trainings in the afternoon or on weekends. No matter how, I’m still able to spare some time to walk my lovely dog before/after work and spend some time with her too. In short, my day is always filled up.

Asia Fitness Convention 2014 – David assisted Fitness FX’s Michael Betts in T3 Shred training

How do you stay current?
I always tell myself to stay alert n aware with all my tasks n responsibilities. Always be humble to ask when you need help. Currently, I working with a team of committed team players who have the same interest and who have passion in fitness too. And our team is growing over time.

David encourages continuing education to learn new skills to stay up-to-date with current fitness trends. His latest workshop was Barefoot Training Specialist from EBFA.

Biggest obstacle you faced in your career?

I would say working with people who have different views or their own views. And dealing with bad listeners is a big challenge. Everyone is different but I would love to work with people who are team players. Being patient and dedicated in work is important when dealing with people who have different ideas and views. I ensure we share the same performance goals in order to achieve better results.

What keeps you motivated?

My passion in work is always the main key that keeps me motivated. Always look at the bright side and be positive at work. I believe everything happens for a reason, and that every problem has a solution. Moreover, the support from all the class members also play a very important role in order to keep me moving on. The happiness from group class members, and the energy and effort that they have put in, definitely gives me great job satisfaction.

David, ‘One of the job’s satisfaction comes from the group class members’

During AFC 2014 – David presenting for Fitness FX (Malaysia)

Any advice for someone hoping to become a group fitness instructor?

GX instructors must be a people person! Luckily one of the subjects during my degree was ‘People Management & Communication’. Be humble, willing to take feedback with open heart, and keep learning are the best attitudes that everyone should have. Be a role model to others by living your life healthily n fit both physically and mentally.

Always be creative and helpful to your regular members and also new members. Be willing to offer help when you see someone who may be struggling in your classes. Continue learning and update your knowledge and skills constantly.


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Related page:

Certified Group Fitness Instructor (GFIT)

Fitness FX Malaysia