North Texas Daily

Personal trainers help students get healthy

Personal trainers help students get healthy

Personal trainers help students get healthy
January 21
08:25 2014

Nicholas Friedman // Staff Writer

Whether it’s giving up a vice or picking up the weights with a personal trainer, many people set goals for self-improvement in the New Year.

The Pohl Recreation Center at UNT offers personal training aimed at helping students reach the goal of being healthy not only for the year, but for the future. UNT employs a specific hiring system so the needs of the client and the credentials of the potential trainer are met.

“Students don’t necessarily have to be a kinesiology major,” Pohl Recreation fitness coordinator Joseph Chaney said. “They must be personable and have a passion or drive for the fitness industry.”

To be considered for a position with the Pohl Recreation Center, potential hires must show that they are certified by an accredited organization. These are in-person, class-based programs such as ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) or ACE (The American Council on Exercise.)

“These programs often require a four-year degree to become certified,” Chaney said. “Their guidelines are conservative and they require academic-based research, as opposed to getting an hour-long personal training degree online.”

Trainers are required to take a standardized test for certification, which is aligned with what they have learned in their university courses as well as through their accreditation programs. After being hired, trainers go through a shadowing process in which they learn how to interact with a client by sitting in on another trainer’s session.

Some trainers are also UNT students themselves, who chose to help others reach their goal while pursuing a degree.

“I decided to be a trainer when I learned that what interested me about fitness was not common,” recreation and leisure studies master’s student Logan Nyquist said. “It was always a pleasure to share information with people who were interested in what I was interested in.”

Nyquist said his experience in the industry stemmed from a background in sports in high school. He competed in football, basketball, power lifting and track and field, as well as playing junior college football and rugby at UNT.

“I was a collegiate national power lifting champion and have competed in other fitness sports,” Nyquist said. “Throughout all of this it seems I have been training someone along the way, whether by a workout partner or by the occasional inquirer.”

Nyquist said one of the most interesting parts of his job is when he gets to share the success of achieving the client’s goals.

“I have always found training to be one of the best ways to build relationships with people,” Nyquist said. “When a trainer is genuine and honest with their clients, helping them better their lives becomes more than just self-rewarding and altruistic.”

A peek inside the personal training evaluations office shows just how big a glob of fat is. To set up a personal training session, visit the Recreational Sports office located inside of UNT's recreational center. Photo by Kristen Watson / Staff Photographer

A peek inside the personal training evaluations office shows just how big a glob of fat is. To set up a personal training session, visit the Recreational Sports office located inside of UNT’s recreational center. Photo by Kristen Watson / Staff Photographer

In a research article published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine in March of 2003, University of Wisconsin assistant professor Steven McClaran discussed, tested and analyzed the impact personal training can have on people intent on becoming physically fit.

Results from the study showed that of the 129 clients who were tested, 57 percent of them showed upward movement in the program overseen by a personal trainer.

The article also references three other studies—from 1996, 2000 and 2001—which put groups of clients using trainers against a control group of self-monitoring subjects. In all three cases, there were significant gains in the groups that had personal trainers in comparison to people without trainers.

Nyquist said that people who are unsure about hiring a personal trainer should simply ask themselves why they have doubts.

“Health and wellness is a lifelong, life-changing process, and picking a trainer should be a thought-out one,” Nyquist said. “Avoid impulsive decisions. I believe that will correlate with the client’s ability to create good gym habits and retain consistency.”

Feature photo: Fitness Coordinator for Recreational Sports at UNT Joseph Chaney stands in the doorway to the Recreational Sports office on Friday afternoon, where students come to sign up for personal training. Photo by Kristen Watson / Staff Photographer 

About Author

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman is the Editor In Chief of the North Texas Daily. In addition, he's had his work published at The Dallas Morning News, GuideLive and the Denton Record-Chronicle.

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