Top 5 Phuket Personal Trainers
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Choosing a Personal Trainer is tricky. It’s more than just having someone with the knowledge of training. You have to like the trainer and get along with them. But choosing a Personal Trainer in Phuket is even trickier because back home in your country, chances are they need to be a qualified trainer with certifications, licences and insurance. But in Thailand, anyone can decide to be a Personal Trainer tomorrow and start advertising their services immediately, and they do. Yes, it’s illegal, but no one really cares, so they always get away with it. That’s why I am writing this article because too many people are being conned and injured due to Tourist Trainers having no idea what they are doing. It puts a bad taste in the public mouth about Phuket Personal Trainers or the idea of have a trainer in general.
What is a Tourist Trainer
“Tourist Trainers” is what we call them, and that’s precisely what they are, tourists. Since Phuket has become the mecha of Health & Fitness in South East Asia, many people come to train, get fit and have fun. But you will be surprised how many people get hooked on this Island’s simplicity and bliss. They don’t want to return home to their regular 9 to 5 jobs and their country’s usually colder, more miserable weather.
There isn’t a month when I don’t see a new face advertising their “Phuket Personal Training and nutritional services” on the local Expat Facebook groups. It doesn’t take long to spot their legitimacy when you see there arrived in Thailand 4 weeks ago, and their Facebook profile pictures consist of them mostly drunk in a club or a bar. It’s not as bad as before, but Tourist Trainers were a pandemic way before Covid.
Wait… Aren’t You A Phuket Personal Trainer?
I used to be, I have lived in Phuket now for 15 years, and for 10+ of those years, I was a Personal Trainer here, primarily working in the south of the Island. I designed and executed most of the Fitness Programs that many of the Health & Fitness, and wellness centers use even to this day. Before Covid, I used to dabble in various ways to earn money online, like drop shipping, crypto trading, POD, affiliate marketing etc. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit.
So when the pandemic happened, and the gyms closed, in fact, the entire Island closed for 2 years, and Phuket is 99% reliant on tourism for its primary income. Everyone left, and everything closed. I was lucky to have the structure of my online ventures in place because it only took me a few months to replace my income, and it was 100% online and 85% automated. When things returned to normal, I didn’t see the need to return to being a Personal Trainer in Phuket.
Although the occasional VIP has thrown enough money at me and demanded I come out of retirement for them. For example, last year, I got paid by a billionaire to travel around Columbia in private jets for 4 months and be his full-time trainer.
What Makes A Good Personal Trainer In Phuket?
Do They Have A Work Permit?
The main thing I would say to immediately determine if they are legit Phuket Personal Trainers is whether they have a work permit. Even though I retired in 2020, I still have my business visa and work permit. If they can’t produce a work permit, they are most likely a Tourist Trainer trying to earn extra cash to extend their holiday.
Being Too Cheap
Another sign they are not legit trainers is their price. Unless they are a Thai, their prices should be 1,500 Baht per hour minimum. Foreigners with a work permit pay through the teeth every month and at the end of each year when they must renew it. If a western Personal Trainer in Phuket is charging you 500 to 1,000 baht per session and they have a work permit. Chances are their work permit is from a school, and they are teaching English for a living. Unfortunately, unless you read Thai, you won’t be able to read the actual description in their work permit.
Nothing But Drill Sergeant
As the saying goes, “Any idiot can make you tired”. A good Phuket Personal Trainer can give you a solid, well structured workout without having to raise their voice, demand you do more than you’re comfortable with, or even have the need to push you to the limit. I wrote an article about the 7 Red Flags of Personal Training, and one of them was if a Personal Trainer keeps pushing and pushing you beyond your limits every session, with little to no methodology.
If this is all becoming daunting for you, don’t worry. This next section is all about the legitimate Personal Trainers in Phuket that I would not only recommend but have known for quite some time, and I can assure you they are great trainers.
My Top 5 Phuket Personal Trainers
In no particular order, I have written below who I would recommend as the top Personal Trainers in Phuket. These guys are qualified, legal, and passed the test of time. They also have good reputations in the community. Not to mention they have unique specialisations, so whatever you are looking for, one of these Phuket Personal Trainers below will be able to accommodate you.
May is one of the well-known Phuket Personal Trainers. She is Thai but speaks perfect English, so there wouldn’t be any communication problems. She has done a few Sports Figure competitions and modelling for sportswear. I first noticed her in the Phuket Personal Training scene about 5 years ago.
She enjoys training Muay Thai and MMA herself, and I see her do a lot of gymnastics at the gym, but she primarily teaches ladies to get in shape and work on those curves. Being a Figurine Model, she knows how to activate those glutes.
Vladamir came to Phuket a few years after me and was one of my main competitors back in the day. Since I retired a few years ago, he is now the longest-standing Personal Trainer in Phuket. Although he primarily caters to Russian clients, his English has improved over the years, and he could train a non-Russian speaker.
I would say he specialises in general fitness and Olympic lifting. He used to be a champion weightlifter in Russia and seems to be getting younger and fitter as time passes. I am jealous. He is like the Russian Benjamin Button.
Alina is another Russian trainer in Phuket that I would recommend. I have worked with her several times at the Clean The Beach Boot Camp and have sent a few clients her way before with positive feedback.
Alina specilasing in Zumba and dancing. She does fitness/dance classes which many ladies in the community enjoy attending.
So if you decide you want to learn how to twerk or learn the bachata or other Latin dances, Alina is your girl.
Woody is probably one of the few Personal Trainers in Phuket who has lived and trained here for over a decade. I first met him at a TRX course done by his friend and business partner at the time Marc Marani. The two of them brought the Training For Warriors fitness program to Phuket and used to teach it out of the Phuket Fit gym. I used to cover for the trainers there and regularly saw them there.
I highly recommend Woody for almost any fitness goal you might have. He is a renowned strength and conditioning coach at Bangtao Muay Thai Club. I also recommend him because he is the only Personal Trainer I know based in the North of Phuket.
Contact These Phuket Personal Trainers
Although retired, I still enjoy helping people achieve their health and fitness goals. So if you are looking to hire one of these Phuket Personal Trainers, slide into my Instagram DMs and let me know you come from this article. Tell me your fitness goals, how long you are in Phuket, and where in Phuket you are staying. From there, I can recommend the right trainer for you.
Like I said at the start, finding a good Personal Trainer, let alone one in Phuket, is tricky. I know a lot of trainers that belong to some of the fitness places around here. They have all the legal papers and qualifications but are still pretty bad. I remember visiting home in London and going to some of the big gyms there. Personal Trainers were comically bad, but there are certain safety nets when you are in your home country—health care, insurance etc. But in Thailand, if a Personal Trainer you hired in Phuket injures you due to negligence, the hospital bill is yours, and you won’t stay long enough to take them to court.
This isn’t a rare occurrence either. A friend from Singapore came to train with me for a week. He then tried a Crossfit class at a supposedly licenced Crossfit Gym in Phuket. They had a circuit going. They had weights for women and weights for men. My client is a fit guy, a marathon runner, but he is 5’5 and 52kg (114lbs). He used the “lady’s weight” to do one of the overhead exercises. Trainer laughed at him and embarrassed him, telling him to pick up the 20kg man’s weight. It was too heavy for him. He pulled his trapezius muscle, and his holiday was ruined.
I could tell you 20 more stories like this. You know your body better than any trainer. My advice is if you find yourself in a training session and you are exhausted, and the trainer is telling you to go harder, faster or do a heavier weight. Tell him to “go fuck them selfs” and walk out of the gym. Don’t worry about paying them. They won’t call the police if they are not legally registered Personal Trainers in Phuket.