What is the expression when you are doing the thing you love for a living? The dream job! And that is what Jonathan Thong Jia Ren, 29, gets to do daily. Currently working as a Fitness Professional at Meru Valley Golf & Country Club, it has been a dream of his to pursue a career in fitness and golfing.
“It was my father who encouraged me to pursue golf. I played several sports before but nothing felt the same as swinging the golf clubs. It became a lot more fun especially when my brother joined in,” said Jonathan.
The love he has for golf was the reason why he pursued his studies in Bond University, Australia and earned his Bachelor in Sports Science. On his return three years ago, he started the Tenby Golf CCA (Co-Curricular Activities) for Tenby School students held at Meru Valley Resort and now runs it with coach Jeyakaran, the resident golf professional there. The programme emphasizes Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD), as compared to other golf programmes which only emphasize on golf technique.
When he joined the newly-opened Meru Suites HUR gym as fitness instructor, in late 2016, Jonathan saw another opportunity to hone his skills picked up during his university training. “In the world today where you can find everything on the internet, it is common to see people claiming themselves to be gym instructors without any certification. While that might be okay for some, I believe that it is important to educate yourself properly and get certified to be a gym instructor. There is always the risk of injury to the client which can be avoided when the instructor is trained,” explained Jonathan, who later added that the HUR gym in Meru Suites has some unique factors to guarantee safety. For example, unlike other gyms that use conventional plates for weight, the gym opts for air resistance instead.
There are many advantages in using air resistance as it is more suitable for gym goers who have a history of muscle or joint problems, because the machines create less dramatic load on muscle, unlike the traditional weight machines.
While it may be obvious that his passion is in golfing, Jonathan is also passionate in taking care of himself. His daily routine is to hit the gym for a workout and he encourages more people to invest in themselves by going to gyms with good equipment and good professional guidance,
“The machines at Meru Suites HUR gym can be used by anyone, especially older folks or younger ones who are just starting out. The best part is, the HUR machines allow gym goers to speed train unlike any other conventional gyms,” added Jonathan.
With his vast experience in the field of golf, including participating in the World Golf Fitness Summit in 2012 in Florida, Jonathan has also worked as a Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) trainer for Junior Programme for Westlake International School and Tenby Schools Ipoh.
“Starting on any gym regime is naturally challenging and it is going to take some time to get used to it. Come and check out the relatively painless way we do it here in the Meru Suites HUR gym. The most important thing is to start slowly but never quit!,” said Jonathan.
For more information call: Jonathan Thong, 012 532 2504; Meru Suites Reception, 05 525 3628 or 012 668 8579.