Breaking into the fitness Industry: Q&A with Jordan Van Aalst
Successfully breaking into the fitness industry can be a difficult process for personal trainers. The costs are high and the industry is demanding, but if you make the sacrifices and love what you do, the fitness industry can be one of the most rewarding industries to work in.
Jordan Van Aalst is a young Canberran with a dream to take over the fitness industry in Australia, revolutionising the way we train and breaking down the stigma around the fitness industry along the way.
As of May 2021, Jordan has officially opened his new business “WolfPack Training Systems.” Jordan will be using his personal trainers certification to train clients out of his parents garage, where he has built a professional quality gym with Olympic level equipment.
I sat down with Jordan to discuss what led him to be so passionate about pursuing fitness and what’s in store for him.
Q) At what age did you begin your fitness journey and why?
I would’ve been sixteen, so midway through year ten. I started my fitness journey because I was smaller than all of my friends and I looked up to them. I thought to myself I don’t want to fall behind and I want to make sure I can keep up in rugby, so that’s the main reason why I started going to the gym. I think it was just about aiming to be the best person I could be and keeping up with my mates as well. Once I started to see the results and learnt to love the hard work, I fell in love with it. Five years later and I’m still loving it and I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else in the world.
Q) What sort of sacrifices have you had to make to prioritise your progress in the gym?
Mainly just the whole party scene of being a teenager, the whole nightlife of clubbing and drinking didn’t really suit my bigger goals so that was something I had to give up. I didn’t really ever get to enjoy that because it would have definitely affected my training and my progress which would’ve made me feel exponentially worse at the end of the day. It was definitely a sacrifice worth making, I think I would much rather celebrate at the top of the hill than before I have even started the climb. Sacrificing a lot of social opportunities and having different goals to other people my age was something I had to learn to deal with, but overall I’m so happy about my choices and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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Q) With COVID-19 shutting down all the gyms in 2020, how did you adapt to be able to continue your training?
I was actually at the gym at the time that the gyms had shut down, I was there in the morning when I heard one of the personal trainers say that at midnight all gyms would be closed. So i dropped what I was doing and drove straight out to the gym equipment store in Fyshwick and bought as much equipment as I could get my hands to ensure I could continue to train normally. It was really expensive but it was just one of those things that couldn’t be avoided. Use it or lose it is one of the most simple sayings in fitness and its one hundred percent true, if I didn’t continue training I would have lost everything I worked so hard for.
Q) How much resources have you put into building the gym out of your garage?
It just sort of happened over time. I had some equipment originally and then when the pandemic hit and gyms closed I made myself a full gym. From there I’ve been consistently improving on the set up and the equipment, so I would estimate I’ve spent upwards of seven thousand dollars in the last year. Pretty much everything I earn goes to my own personal training needs and to continue to improve my home gym which is now a fully legitimate business. The next step for me would be moving out of of my parents and garage and leasing my own place, but that is in the future.
Q) What made you go down the route of starting your own business as opposed to being a personal trainer in a commercial gym?
After talking with other personal trainers in the industry, I found out that the costs of being a sub-consultant through a commercial gym is extremely expensive. Personal trainers have to pay upwards of $330-340 per week just in rent to operate on the gym floor in certain gyms in Canberra. This is without including the initial up front costs as well. I decided that since I already had all the equipment, I may as well start my own business and start to build a brand that represents the values that I have in fitness. I want to be able to make a difference to peoples lives in a physical capacity and I don’t just want to be another personal trainer. I feel like I can make more of an impact on people in a private, personal setting.
Q) What is something you thing is wrong with the fitness industry?
Misinformation. There is so much misinformation in the fitness industry, especially on the internet. The essence of fitness is built on hard work, consistency and progress, there are no secrets in the fitness industry. Because there are so many people in the industry and content is so saturated, people tend to exaggerate and misinform their viewers and audiences to try and get more views and likes. That’s completely the wrong way to do things. Australia is lacking the voices and prominent figures in the fitness industry and one day I hope that I can be the person to breakdown the stereotypes, stigmas and misinformation in the industry.
Q) How can you put your imprint in the fitness industry?
As a personal trainer, it starts at how you treat each client. You need to make sure that all the information and advice you provide is factual, and that everyone is treated with the same care. I want to be that voice in Australia one day that is pioneering the new wave of fitness, through hard work and education. I have a long way to go yet and I know I’m only at the start of my journey, but I have hopes to be the biggest fitness personality in this country and it starts now with Wolfpack.
No matter your level of experience or what your goals are, making a lifestyle change to benefit your health by getting involved in fitness is always a good choice. Jordan can be reached @_jordanvanaalst on instagram for all consultations and information regarding WolfPack Training Systems.