The Life Fitness Center offers a program to help students receive the National Academy of Sports Medicine personal training certification to become a certified personal trainer.
The program prepares students for the training exam by engaging them through project-based curriculum and a capstone internship. Instructors teach students the art and science of exercise, treatment, prevention of common injuries and the fundamentals of fitness leadership and evidence-based evaluation.
“Exercise is a stress, a physiological stress,” Interim Athletic Director Ellen O’Connor said. “So [they] have to know how to apply that stress to that particular person in a way that is safe but also effective”
She explained how a person could look healthy but actually have underlying health issues they are unaware of. A personal trainer should never assume one person is the same as the next.
“Human beings are complex organisms,” O’Connor said.
She said that more and more places have been moving away from the courses that allow people to become certified trainers after a few days and that employers are now “looking for education as well as certification.”
O’Connor teaches the course fundamentals of exercise, which is one of the 10 department requirements for athletic and personal fitness training.
“Instead of on [their] own, [they] can work with other people to really learn the curriculum,” O’Connor said.
Jennifer Patten, a student worker at the Life Fitness Center, is in the program to receive her personal training certification to become a personal trainer.
“This course has helped me understand all levels of not just exercise, but the importance of physical fitness too,” Patten said in an email. “Each person I train will be different.”
Patten said the course has given her the confidence she needs to explain and help her client understand why they do certain exercises.
“I enjoy helping people and I love every aspect about fitness, Patten said. “When I help someone reach their goals whether it’s losing weight, becoming more lean, dominating one exercise move, it’s an accomplishment for both of us.”
“The best reward is seeing the progress they’ve made.”
Patten said she would highly recommend this program to those who may be interested in personal training before attempting to complete the exam to get a stronger understanding of how to be the best personal trainer they can be.
“These teachers provide so many opportunities to help [students] grow as a personal trainer and a person too.”