Personal trainers help keep motivation high


Austin Eppert, senior in kinesiology and health, gets help with his squatting excercises while personal trainer Stephanie Spotts, senior in kinesiology and health, helps coach at the Lied Recreational Athletic Center. Spotts has been coaching at Lied since May of last year after receiving national certification last April.

Lea Petersen

It has been eight weeks since you made your New Year’s resolutions. How are they coming? Are you still hitting the gym with as much vigor as you did on Jan. 2?

Many students find themselves unmotivated to continue their workout routine at this point in the year. Between homework and papers piling up and the thought of venturing out into the uninviting weather, it is easy to pull the covers over your head and vaguely promise yourself to go tomorrow or the next day.

One way to get yourself back in the game and stay motivated is to look into finding a personal trainer. Personal trainers will not only design a workout routine for you specifically, they will also hold you accountable to your regimen.

Adam Becker, certified fitness coach at State Gym, explains that accountability is essential to sticking to a workout plan.

“[Accountability] is one of the biggest parts of hiring a personal trainer. When first starting an exercise program, it is very easy to miss a workout or two, and then before you know it, you haven’t been to the gym in a month,” Becker said. “My clients know that I am counting on them to be there, and it keeps them excited and ready for each session.”

Showing up and getting sweaty aren’t the only perks when it comes to personal training.

Debra Atkinson, personal training director at Ames Racquet and Fitness Center, explained that “efficiency, effectiveness and working harder than you would on your own” are all benefits to working with a personal trainer.

“A trainer will be able to give you the most efficient way to use your time, and time is such an obstacle for so many of us, you quickly learn with a trainer it’s not so time consuming when you know exactly what to do,” Atkinson said. “Effectiveness is the other piece of that. Training eliminates the guesswork if you’re working with a trainer who knows what you should do.”

Atkinson said many people say they lose motivation to exercise because “they don’t know if what they’re doing is actually what they should be doing.”

“When students are confident [that their workout] is helping them reach their goals and are beginning to see and feel change, it is motivating, and it’s easier to stick with the workout plan,” Atkinson said.

Having someone pushing you to reach your goals is also beneficial to your workout regime, Atkinson said.

“All of us, trainers included, tend to work harder when someone else pushes us. We put so many limits on ourselves. What we truly can accomplish is so much greater than what we strive for,” Atkinson said. “The right trainer can help you believe it is possible.”

Students have many opportunities for personal training.

Becker said students can sign up for classes by going to the front desk or administration desk at State Gym or by going online and filling out the personal trainer health history form on the Recreation Services’ website. Students should email that form to Nora Hudson, assistant director of fitness and wellness.

All Ames Racquet and Fitness Center members are automatically signed up to see a trainer for their first visit, Atkinson said. She explained that the fitness center does this to get members’ health history so its staff can suggest activities suited to its members.

Those who are not Ames Racquet and Fitness Center members should contact the center’s personal training director at [email protected] or 515-663-9921.

“ARFC has a variety of options from free seminars, to economical group training sessions to partner and private sessions to match a student’s needs,” Atkinson said.

If those skinny jeans hanging in your closet are not motivating you enough, check out what a personal trainer can do for you.