Joelle Zarife

What made you choose a career in personal fitness training?

I was going through a rough period a long time ago. I gained 35 Kg (over 75 pounds). I was in a bad place and really desperate. At the same time, this event propelled me forward. It gave me motivation to challenge myself. I lost the weight within 6 months and became really fit. So, it was in this period of time, I decided that I wanted to help people. I want to spread my knowledge to all people, to be fit and live a healthy lifestyle.

How long have you been a Personal Trainer?

I have been in the sports field for almost 17 years (Tennis, 1st division basketball, etc…), and I started one on one personal training 6 years ago. Now, my dream has come true. I am the one who’s teaching and spreading the IFPA knowledge.

What made you choose the IFPA?

IFPA is well known as the most professional and knowledgeable academy and my first professional certificate was THE IFPA PT. Plus, I needed to add knowledge to experience, so I can use it and be the best personal trainer.

If you have taken more than our PFT course, what has been your favorite certification course?

To be fair, each IFPA course has its own knowledge and importance, especially the Master PT. I would add the Sports Medicine as an important course as well.

What are some adjectives your clients would use to describe you?

Motivated, generous, energetic, leader, professional and a great role model.

What qualities set you apart from other personal trainers? Education? Experience?

First of all, I am IFPA certified. My education is important.

I also have great experience. I can use my own personal experience of losing weight and becoming fit, to motivate others. I have been in their shoes and understand their struggles in a way most personal trainers can not relate to their clients.

I believe combining my experience, with my knowledge, is the secret of reaching my clients goals especially with weight loss.

What aspect of personal fitness training do you like most?

I feel satisfied achieving my clients’ goals and helping people to keep and improve their health and well being.

How do you envision growing your personal training business?

I started from scratch when I decided to take the IFPA PT course. Then I used what I learned, especially in the sales part of the book, and started progressing my business. I earned more and more clients after getting IFPA certified, which helped me to open my own fitness studio. Now, I am highly honored that I had the chance to be the IFPA affiliate in Lebanon, Qatar and Jordan. I envision spreading the IFPA knowledge in other countries as well.

What is your best success story?

My first and best success story was my own. I lost more than 35 Kg and became a fit, toned athlete.

What was the hardest challenge you had to overcome in your personal training career?

I had a client that had a knee injury and she was desperate to have a surgery. She couldn’t walk more than 1 minute. But with careful program design and the knowledge, skill & abilities that I used with her while training, she is able to walk with no pain for 25 minutes and still progressing.

What is your best advice to someone just starting their career as a personal trainer?

I motivate them to enroll in IFPA as a first step and continue to grow with continuing education since IFPA has more than 70 certifications as advanced courses. Use IFPA materials wisely to build a successful career.