Beginning this semester, four senior exercise science majors collaborated to create BJU’s first personal fitness training program.
The program aims to promote physical activity as a lifestyle as well as a healthy body and mind in order to best serve Christ.
The interns—Sarah Herr, Kaitlyn Hummel, Meagan Hummel and Braden Jacquot—act as personal trainers and usually meet with their clients twice a week.
The program, which is not a class requirement, allows these students to stay on campus for their internships.
“We work with clients individually.
We do fitness and body composition assessments, offer one-on-one personal training as well as exercise prescriptions, which is where we actually write out workouts for them to do throughout the week,” Jacquot said.
The student fitness training program primarily targets students who are fairly new at working out.
Additionally, the program provides health and fitness assessments for students who are interested in learning about the status of their health and fitness.
“One of my clients wanted to get more aerobically fit, and he’s really improved. He can run a lot farther without having to take breaks,” Jacquot said. “Another of my guys wanted to increase his bench press weight, and in the time we’ve been training, we’ve seen it increase by about forty pounds.”
When working with weights, the trainers assist the client with proper form and monitor the client to ensure that they do not overwork themselves.
“It’s kind of hard to see really good results in six weeks, but we’ve been able to see some of them which is really encouraging for them and for us,” Jacquot said.
Ty Clark, a freshman biochemistry and molecular biology major, is a client in the personal fitness training program.
“With all the water intake and eating healthier, I felt more energized. It was easier to get out of bed in the morning. My skin complexion honestly improved,” Clark said. “It definitely helped maintain more discipline in my personal life.”
Each intern has five to six clients, the majority of whom are students.
“Since I want to be a personal trainer,” Kaitlyn Hummel said, “this program has been a really good experience because I’ve been able to work with multiple clients at one time.”
“Working with five clients was definitely a little challenging, but since I enjoy it and that’s what I want to do, it was a lot of fun and definitely helpful,” Hummel said.
The interns do not simply hand out premade workouts. As a personal trainer, they converse with each client and cooperate with the client to find what method best works for them.
“There’s an art to exercise prescription,” said Dr. Stephen Chen, chair of the Division of Exercise and Sport Science. “The workout needs to be individualized and modified to fit the patient based on their goals, needs and health and fitness status.”
Based on 30 to 40 years of research, exercise has been shown to prevent and treat numerous chronic diseases, Chen explained.
A sedentary lifestyle, even with a healthy body weight and good diet, has an increased likelihood for chronic diseases. Moderate intensity exercises go a long way in helping to keep a person physically healthy.
“You want to set yourself up for success and stay healthy and fit. It’s a good testimony and God wants us to take care of our bodies,” Jacquot said. “I think it’s important that we do emphasize and try to encourage good health and fitness habits here at school.”