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IT Geek Turned Fitness Coach – Iylia Fahmi

In this latest edition of 100 seconds with 100 Personal Trainers, we managed to get hold of Mohamad Iylia Fahmi (“Iylia”), a graduate of our Personal Trainer Development Program October 2014 Fast-Track 2 intake. We wish to convey our deepest gratitude to Iylia for accepting our interview request and for his time in responding to our questions.

Let’s see what Iylia has to share with all of us. Happy reading, folks!

FITM: Hi Iylia. Thanks for accepting our interview request. What inspired you to make that career switch from a website developer to being a fitness coach/ personal trainer?

Iylia: To cut it short, I wanted a career change that fulfills me. With the thoughts that I love to travel, I went to an airline company for a flight crew recruitment. After a few hours of queuing, I was rejected because i-was-just-too-skinny. Frustrated, I went straight home. None of my certs matter to them because being 53kg at 176cm tall is just not good enough. The next day, I signed up for a gym. Worked hard for the next 3 months & achieved my first 12kg.


I was in a queue for my 2nd airline interview, but I suddenly had a second thought – I had fallen in love with fitness. I stepped out of the queue and went home again. I spent the next 2 days, Googling until I stumbled upon “The Biggest Loser”. I fell in love with the idea of being a coach, and the rest is history.

FITM: Did you receive any objection(s) when you made that switch? If yes, how did you overcome it?

Iylia: The biggest objection is actually just MYSELF. I dont have the confidence of leaving my work to try something which I have no idea of but the constant thought of how I hated my daily life, pushed me to FITM to see what they can offer. Nadia & Fuad actually convinced me that I should give it a try. I hesitated at first, but I thank them for persuading me that day.

FITM: We see that you are doing very well on Facebook. What are you currently working on?

Iylia: I created a program called the #klbodyrockchallenge. Currently, I am coaching more than 70 participants with various targets to achieve. Besides that, I’m also one of the trainers of the Jom Kurus 1 Malaysia (JK1M) program created by Kevin Zahri at Setiawangsa. When I can squeeze in a little time, I do personal training once in a while.

FITM: What would you consider to be the biggest and most memorable achievement (in the fitness industry) that you have attained to-date?
Iylia: Biggest achievement would be that day in August, when the last batch of #klbodyrockchallenge was full in 2 hours 30 minutes – after registration opened. I had to open another group to make sure everyone gets in! Fingers crossed, I’m hoping that I can open the 3rd group by January 2016! But nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction, every time when my clients tell me that they could wear their old baju kebaya back to the office! It puts a big smile on my face.

FITM: What do you hope to ultimately achieve in this industry?

Iylia: Besides my day dream of owning my own fitness center, I am hoping that one day I can help & inspire more people to achieve what they want. Everyone deserves an opportunity to change & I want to be the one to help them. Also another daydream, I want to work with Bob Harper & Jillian Michaels one day!

FITM: Last but not least, do you have any advice for people who wish to make a career change to personal training/ fitness coaching but are still contemplating about it?
Iylia: After getting into FITM, I adopted this attitude of ‘Just Do It’. It’s not about whether you can do it or not, but it is about what are you going to do – to make it work! What I can assure you is you get to help so many people in this industry & they will become your friends forever.


I want to thank everyone at FITM & of course, all of my clients for making me who I am now. Without you guys, I am still at my office desk feeling grumpy!

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