Campus News

On your mark, get fit, go!

Personal trainer Jason Ballenger helps Elizabeth Huddleston

Celebrity treatment: $90 a week.

That’s the price of three one-on-one sessions with a personal trainer at the Ramsey Student Center. For the fare, a trainer will create a workout system based around your goals and help you achieve them.

“It helps a lot of people who are new to working out, so they get a chance to learn how to use the machines safely and effectively,” said trainer Jason Ballenger, a senior in exercise science. “Some of my clients just want to enhance their regular workout routine or get back into a schedule.”

After an interview session to assess basic fitness goals, each client gets a checklist of various exercises with guidelines for the number of repetitions and when to boost intensity.

“Different people struggle with different obstacles. Some have difficulty maintaining a routine and making the time commitment to get or stay in shape. Others may feel embarrassed or out-of-place at first,” trainer Sarah Reagin said. “This is one area where personal training really helps. You won’t find yourself questioning whether other people are noticing you trying to figure out weights when you have a trainer showing you the ropes.”

Having a knowledgeable workout partner increases your chances of hitting goals and keeps exercise myths at bay, Ballenger said.

“We recently went through a fad here: the Atkins Diet or the no carb diet. And these diets, all diets, are designed to fail without exercise. You do lose calories, but people don’t see the results they want, so they turn to training,” he said.

The trainers are certified by national boards and have to re-take tests every two years to maintain their licenses. They also hold CPR and first aid certifications, but are not qualified to give dieting advice.

“A big component of fitness is lifestyle,” Reagin said. “I’ll refer my clients to a nutritionist if they’re interested.”

Two clients who work for the university can “share” a trainer for $140 per three sessions, and newcomers can book a one-time introduction session for $35. Alumni and students get slightly different rates. Clients choose their own trainers from a book that includes the availability, interests and biography of each trainer. The book is available at the Ramsey Center’s cashier window.

Through Oct. 1, the center is offering free fitness consultations with trainers to new members. Interested persons can sign up at the cashier’s window during business hours.