For some people, working out is easy. For others, they sometimes need that little push to get them on the right path to their fitness goals. At the Wellness Center, those pushers are called personal trainers.
Sometimes they may seem like the enemy, pushing people to do things they don’t think they can. But no matter what you may think of them, their goal is to help their clients.
“I have been a personal trainer since 2009,” said Andrew Marsh, a second-year graduate student in exercise and physiology. “It’s one of the most rewarding things in the world to help people achieve their fitness and athletic goals.”
According to Wellness Center Assistant Director Dominique Ennis, personal trainers are usually students seeking degrees in exercise science, athletic training, physical therapy or some other health science-related field.
“I want to make sure that the person in a personal training position is a good fit for the department and really understands our mission and what we are here to do,” said Ennis, who supervises the trainers.
Their mission is to foster a lifestyle of responsible choices supporting the mind, the body, and the spirit in educational, wellness, and recreational programs through services and facilities for the UMcommunity.
It is up to the students to get certified if they wish to apply for a personal trainer position at the Wellness Center. Certification exams range from $300 to $500 and they must have one of the following through the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA) in order to be considered: National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) or American Council on Exercise (ACE).
Once they are hired at the center, each trainer designs his or her own program for every client. Sessions last one hour and the Wellness Center offers packages starting at $30 an hour for students and $38 for faculty and staff.
“The workout I select for a client is based on a huge variety of factors that are covered in our initial consultation,” Marsh said. “Their workout depends on what their goals are, how much experience they have, their medical history, and how many days per week they can exercise.”
According to some trainers, they get a lot more out of the experience than just a paycheck.
“Being able to work here at the Wellness Center is great,” said Phil Coblentz, a second-year graduate student in the clinical exercise and physiology. ”Having flexible hours helps me put to practice what I learned in the classroom into a real-life setting,”
He said it’s great to see his clients showing improvement from the workouts he devises for them.
“Everyone can benefit from having a personal trainer,” Coblenz said. “I had a guy come in about four months ago and lost 20 pounds with me. He moves so much more smoothly even when he’s coming up a flight of stairs.
“Whatever you do, you get to see that your work and their work pays off.”