Written by: April Espinoza
A class in Southern Adventist University’s School of Health and Kinesiology offers free personal training to students, faculty and staff. Mike Boyd, associate professor in the school, has been teaching the in-person class for 11 years and hopes it helps students develop a passion for helping people.
“This personal training course is composed of students that want to complete a certification in fitness and health, specifically personal training,” said Boyd. “Students are taught the skills related to training and working with a variety of clients to help them reach specific fitness goals.”
Students are required to work with two clients every semester, according to Boyd. The first client is one the students recruit on their own, typically someone who is a friend of the student. The second client is assigned to them by Boyd. The program is open to students, faculty or staff who wish to become clients and receive help reaching their fitness goals from a student trainer.
“I’ve enjoyed developing relationships [with the students],” said Renita Moore, first year experience coordinator for the Student Success Center.
Moore has participated as a client at least a dozen times since she began working at Southern.
”The best part is getting back in the routine, a healthy routine, trying to get back on that horse and learning some new things from students,” she said.
Moore’s favorite memory from her times as a client was when a student took her to a local dance studio to exercise and take classes. This was very special to Moore because she took six years of ballet when she was a child.
“Going and doing this modern dance at this studio was kind of fun,” Moore said.
Boyd said the class has helped a lot of people start their fitness journeys and change their lives for the better. He shared a story of how a student who took the course has uniquely helped other people’s lives.
“My favorite story is one of a student trainer that had previously been significantly obese,” Boyd said. “At one point in her life, she weighed well over 300 pounds. This young lady is now a personal trainer and has been helping people reach their fitness goals because she can empathize better than most any other trainer can. She keeps a picture of her previous self on her phone so she can show her clients that she understands. She can relate because she has been there.”