How I Got Into The Fitness Business

by  Shane  Shiels
Shashido  Enterprises


I’ve always loved teaching. I learn’t to swim at age 10, 1965, and entered the Learn-To-Swim campaigns in January every year thereafter to  achieve Royal Lifesaving qualifications. So it was only natural that I would one day aspire to become an instructor in Royal Lifesaving, which I did on 26th January, 1973. Progressing to Examiner by the end of the year.
A swimming instructor licence followed in 1974, and I taught primarily for the Education Department periodically for the next 27 years.
In 1975 I gained the Royal Lifesaving Society Grade Two Examiner’s licence.
Then on 18/3/76 my first swimming pool manager certification. I had been employed as a pool attendant since 1972, and still am today. I love water.
A motor boat operator licence on 23/4/76
Safe Boating Procedures course  on 30/6/76.
I became interested in scuba diving and became certified on 23/7/76. Purely from a lifesavers viewpoint, as scuba opened up a whole new area to study.
In 1976, while employed as a pool attendant, one of my teachers had devised a “lifeguard” course that everyone who wished to work for him needed to accomplish in order to gain employment. At that time there was no official lifeguard certification in the RLSS in Australia, but he hoped it would one day be accepted nationally. Although it never was, it still is a much better course than what we have today. I achieved it on 23/7/76, and continue to do the annual lifeguard update every year.
Still in 1976, another swimming teacher qualification gained 28th October, and another one in Victoria on 20/3/77.
It was in 1977 that I entered my first powerlifting competition. I’ve always loved powerlifting. I won 26 of 50 sanctioned contests, 3 State titles, one in Victoria, the others in Adelaide. I won events within 4 bodyweight divisions: 82.5 ,75 ,67.5, and 60kg over a 7 year period. Loving the sport as I did, I wanted a State Referee’s licence–gained 21/8/77.
In 1976, I wanted to study “management”, and so commenced a 2 year course, achieving the Certificate of Industrial Supervision on 25/10/77.
And the Advanced Teacher of Swimming Certificate on 6/11/77
The National Powerlifting Referee’s Licence on 9/9/78.
Another lifelong passion has been martial arts, which I began in January, 1973. I gained my first Black Belt in Shotokan karate on 12/10/78, and started teaching karate early 1979.
My interest in the study of scuba lifesaving lead me to achieve the RLSS Sub-Aqua Bronze Medallion on 26/3/79. Now, in those days this was the only scuba lifesaving qualification available, and I wanted it on my resume.
Then a Diploma Sport Massage on 23/5/79.
Another swimming pool operator certificate of competency 25/1/80.
Now, at this time, while teaching karate, I wanted to further my knowledge of the body’s vital points to enhance my teaching skills, so I decided on acupuncture, gaining a certification in General Acupuncture on 30/5/80 with a 97.6% score, followed immediately by Cosmetic Acupuncture certification, which then allowed me to become a member of the International Acupuncture Society, with headquarters in Hong Kong. I continued my study by purchasing the best textbooks available.
In 1982 I requalified in Sub-Aqua Bronze Medallion, 11/3/82
Around this time I became interested in hypnosis, and did a course with a registered hypnotherapist on 28/4/82. I then sought the best books on practical hypnosis, finding a publisher in America specializing on the subject. I used it very successfully in powerlifting competition.
The nationally recognised swimming teacher licence, Austswim, was instituted in 1984, so I did it on 12th June, 1984.
Another swimming pool operator licence 28/4/85
Still teaching martial arts, and developing growing interest in kickboxing, I achieved the World Kickboxing Association kickboxing trainers licence on 1/11/94.
I requalified in swimming teacher’s Austswim certificate on 28/4/96, and updated my RLSS Examiner Licence 20/7/96. Vacswim instructor course on the same day. I spent several years teaching “Vacswim “swimming & lifesaving programs.
Fitness Leader Core Course completed 10/12/96, and Resistance Training elective 27/3/97
Boxercise instructor certificate 2/5/99
RLSS Examiner Grade 2 requalification 22/8/99
Defencercise instructor—19/9/99. This was a new form of group exercise fitness class choreographed to music, incorporating martial arts techniques.
Advanced Resistance Training Workshop—26/9/99
Fitness S.A. Fitness Instructor registration—30/9/9
Another swimming pool operator certificate—25/11/99
Certificate 4 Assessment & Workplace Training—15/12/0
Since 1998, I’ve been studying Filipino stickfighting, eventually achieving Black Belt in Doce Pares Filipino Eskrima on 29/1/03
Coaching Principles Certificate–Level One—7/7/03
Sport & Recreation Sport & Recreation Coaching Principles Certificate–Level Two—29/3/04
Around this time it came to my attention that I was no longer qualified to teach weight training because numerous changes to the curriculum had occurred.
So Certificate 3 Fitness was finally requalified  29/7/05.
NCAS Royal Life Saving Coaches Certification—30/11/05. Most people aren’t familiar with this qualification, but it is well above the instructor licence.
Austswim Towards Competitive Strokes teacher’s licence—16/2/07 ( 98% score )
Now it appears there is a question mark over the validity of my Certificate 3 Fitness qualification. I am required to update  3 modules . Never give up! I say,
and a Certificate of Completion was issued  1/8/07
NCAS Strength & Conditioning Coach–Level One—17/8/07
Aqua-aerobic Instructor certification—21/10/07
Finally issued with updated Certificate 3 Fitness licence — 9/11/07. Why would I put myself through all this bureaucratic red tape you ask? Well, unfortunately, if I wanted to offer my services to people who were desperate for a solution to their health and fitness problems, the only way to gain insurance for my business was to acquire the relevant qualifications necessary at that time. Now I thought I was all set to go, but it wasn’t to be. The industry said I still couldn’t be insured until I did a martial arts specific 2 day course, even though I had black belts in 2 styles, a kickboxing trainer’s licence, and 29 years experience teaching martial arts. As you know, one of my motto’s is NEVER GIVE UP! There were 4 course providers, I chose Punchfit.
Punchfit Trainer Certificate—8/12/07
Punchfit Kickpad Instructor—9/12/07
The Certificate 4 Fitness ( Personal Training licence ) was completed  23/10/08.
I was finally registered and insured to operate as a personal trainer, but I began to realize there was an enormous amount of new knowledge pertaining to functional anatomy and corrective exercise waiting for me to discover, and pass on to my clients. Always seeking further knowledge I decided to attend some advanced workshops:
Optimizing Core Function—15/11/08
Stable Shoulders—16/11/0
The Junior Squad & Assistant Coach—30/11/08. This had nothing to do with personal training, but was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss.
Personal Trainer’s Master Class workshop—5/12/08
Advanced Postural Analysis & Applied Exercise Prescription—1/2/09
Functional Anatomy of Lumbo-Pelvic Region & Exercise Prescription Seminar, also in February,2009.
Strength For Life ( over 50’s ) Strength Training Instructor—12/8/09
Since then, I have devoted my time to the ongoing study of marketing, management, sales, and built a website for my fitness business. Future plans include a possible return to competitive powerlifting, and a 4th Degree Black Belt, probably in Tang Soo Do. Wish me luck folks.
shane shiels








































  1. I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.

    Thanks for wonderful information I was looking for this info for my mission.

Speak Your Mind