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New decade, new moves

New decade, new moves

Michelle Gregg ’21 January 02, 2020

It’s that time of year, when we make plans to be more fit, more active, more healthy and more happy in 2020. We often forget that we don’t have to do it alone. At RecPlex, students who are certified personal trainers work with fellow students — as well as faculty, staff and other members — to maximize the results of their workouts. Below, they offer workout tips and insights into what it’s like to help others achieve their health goals.  

Q: What fitness tips do you wish more people knew?

student runs on a treadmillGarrett Paulson, junior exercise science major:  “It is all about balance: balance between diet, sleep, hydration and exercise. These are the key components to health and they must all be equally distributed, without one trying to compensate for the lack in another.”

Kelly Barry, junior pre-physical therapy major: “Take the stairs — you’ll be amazed at how much it increases your step count!”

Chelsey Woods, graduate student in clinical mental health counseling:  “Physical and psychological pain use the same neuro-networks, thus, it is important to monitor physical exertion during times of high psychological stress (for example during exam week or a break-up). We’re not doing ourselves any favors by expecting our bodies to push through some insane workout when we’re already pressed mentally/emotionally. But that also doesn’t mean don’t exercise — little goes a long way in boosting our happy hormones! Similarly, physical exercise can improve your tolerance for psychological pain.” 

Alex King, sophomore exercise science major: “Don’t drink your calories. The easiest way to cut calories is to cut the soda, juice and smoothies out of your diet and just stick to water. This is the first diet modification I make with clients because it does not require you to change your food intake.”

Haley Stewart, junior dietetics major: “I wish that girls knew that lifting weights will not make them bulky. Many girls fear that they will get too muscular if they begin to lift, however, in reality it is extremely difficult for girls to develop a bulky look unless they are doing everything they can to achieve that. I also wish that people knew spot reduction is a myth; doing crunches every day won’t help you to lose fat in your stomach region. Resistance training and building muscle will help burn more fat all over your body, not just one specific area.”

Lenny Froehlich, senior exercise physiology major: “Warm up before your workouts. It’s one of the easiest things to do and takes as little as 5 minutes. Going into any lift, start with the largest muscle groups first and then target the smaller ones later.” 

Michael Turner, senior sport and wellness major:  “Make sure you have proper form before trying to load up the weight. It is a marathon not a sprint. Lifting burns two-thirds of fat while cardio only burns about one-third of fat, so if you’re looking to lose weight then hit the weights.” 

Q: Do you have advice for someone making a New Year’s fitness resolution?

Student lifts weightsAlexander King: “Consistency, consistency, consistency. The key is to make small lifestyle adjustments that you can maintain for long periods of time.”

Chelsey Woods: “Even if it lasts for a week, that’s seven days of choosing to commit to change, and that’s something to celebrate. Don’t fall victim to the all-or-nothing trap. One minute is greater than zero minutes.”

"Don’t fall victim to the all-or-nothing trap. One minute is greater than zero minutes."

Garrett Paulson: “Be realistic. Don’t attempt to start exercising five days a week when you haven’t exercised in the past six months. I would recommend starting with 3 days per week of moderate to intense exercise while also controlling portions of food intake.”

Lenny Froehlich: “It’s better to start with a program that is manageable and sustaining long term. Our trainers are really creative and can come up with just the right workout for you. Sometimes all you need is to get new ideas on what’s possible, which can make working on your health goals not something you have to do but something you want to do.”

Michael Turner: “Do not look for quick fad diets, and just remember you did not gain all the weight in one day so you are not going to lose it all in one day. Consistency leads to success.” 

Q: Why did you decide to become a personal trainer?

People exercise on fitness machinesAlex King: “I was a fat kid. I grew up with little self-confidence and never took off my shirt because I was embarrassed of my body. Instead of proper diet and exercise, I turned to starving myself to lose weight. I wish I would have had a personal trainer early in my life to teach me healthy lifestyle habits, so I decided that I would become that personal trainer to help others who feel lost in their fitness and health goals.”

Kelly Barry: “I am really interested in health and wellness and am a very active person. I am also going to physical therapy school after undergrad and think this is a great way to gain experience working with clients one on one.”

Haley Stewart: “I’m majoring in dietetics, and if I become a registered dietician I will be limited to only discussing the nutritional aspects of health with clients. This job opened up the opportunity for me to become certified in providing information exercise too.”

Lenny Froehlich: “I started to get interested in personal training with professor Gerry Gallo’s class Essentials of Personal Training. I had this idea that a personal trainer had to be a certain type, you know the ultra-fitness kind that’s in the gym every day. Once I focused less on this aspect and more about the training, I really enjoyed the learning about it. That class gave me perspective and the content I needed, and the testimonials from other trainers was enough to make me want to become certified and start doing it myself.”

Q: What has this job taught you?

Student lifts hand weightsKelly Barry: “It is so important to be able to adapt on the spot while working with clients. A lot of the time, sessions do not go as planned or exercises just don’t seem to work for a client as I originally anticipated, so it is important to be able to modify quickly.”

Michael Turner: “You are more than just someone who is there to help your clients lose weight. You are their friend and No. 1 supporter.”

Haley Stewart: “Each person is very different. It is all based on individual motivation and drive. From my experience, the more motivated the client is, the more progress you will see.”

"The more motivated the client is, the more progress you will see."

Chelsey Woods: “In working with the same client on a weekly basis for over a year, I find it challenging to maintain client motivation and engagement. I am constantly looking to expand my exercise repertoire without comprising client goals.”

Garrett Paulson: “Some people respond better to more resistance training while others prefer cardio and flexibility. Understanding how to individualize each workout has been a challenge and learning process.”

Meet the trainers

The student personal trainers of RecPlex stand in front of the building wearing red shirtsAlex King, 2 years as a personal trainer (top row, far right). Favorite exercise: Squats

Chelsey Woods, 2 years as a personal trainer (bottom row, far right). Favorite exercise: “Running all the miles”

Garrett Paulson, 1 year as a personal trainer (top row, center). Favorite exercise: weighted dips

Haley Stewart, 1 and a half years as a personal trainer (second row, far right). Favorite exercise: BOSU ball burpees

Kelly Barry, 1 and a half years as a personal trainer (second row, far left). Favorite exercise: lunges

Lenny Froehlich, 4 months as a personal trainer (not pictured). Favorite exercise: shoulder press

Michael Turner, 3 years as a personal trainer (top row, far left). Favorite exercise: single leg box jumps

Meet UD's powerlifting team