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Campus Recreation offers training courses for aspiring student fitness instructors

Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Campus Recreation is offering two 10-week training courses for students interested in becoming fitness instructors.

The American Council on Exercise Group Fitness Instructor Training Course and the National Academy of Sports Medicine Personal Training Course give students the tools they need to become certified fitness instructors on campus.

“ACE and NASM allows students the opportunity to come work for Campus Recreation in a flexible and developing environment where we're working with students every single day to make them the best fitness professionals that they can be,” Jarah Newton, group fitness program assistant, said

The ACE course is a group fitness certification that meets every Monday and Wednesday from 2:00-3:30 p.m. The program starts Jan. 29 and ends April 12.  

“One time of the week is usually a more lecture-heavy class where we're going over content that's going to be on the exam,” Newton said. “The second time is usually more of a practical class, demo-ing different formats or learning how to use the mic and when and how to use the sound equipment.”

The course also involves a team teaching process with a current instructor where students slowly begin to teach their class until they are able to teach a whole group of participants on their own, Newton said.

The NASM Personal Training Course is also a blend between lecture-style classes and hands-on modules, hosted on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-11 a.m. Fannie Xuan, personal training program assistant, said  participants will engage in a mock-client process in which they are paired with a current personal trainer as their client, so that they can practice writing a training program and tailoring it to individual needs.

While both courses require a cost to pay for study materials, students can apply for the Diversity in Fitness Certification Scholarship and, if accepted, their expenses will be covered by Campus Recreation.

Becky Eacho, assistant director of fitness and wellness, said these courses are one of her favorite programs that Campus Recreation offers.

"We've been able to see people get mentored and involved in those roles," she said.

After becoming certified through either ACE or NASM, Eacho said students can apply to become employees at Campus Recreation. 

Group fitness instructors are required to teach a minimum of two classes, and personal training instructors are required to take on a minimum of two clients per semester. Student instructors are able to arrange their sessions around their class schedules and other extracurriculars, Newton said.

“Our big motto on our team is remembering our student employees are students before they are employed,” Eacho said. “We really prioritize their schedules, and we want this to be an opportunity that is an addition to coming to Carolina, but we don't want it to be an added stressor.”

Students can register for group fitness classes any day of the week, except Saturday, through the Campus Recreation website 48 hours in advance, with no extra fees.

The fitness instructors are also authorized to teach Heel Fit, a small group training program. Xuan said the program will offer free weeks this semester, beginning next Tuesday and running through the following Thursday.

“It's a fantastic blend of personal training and group fitness, and we find that a lot of people really like the conditioning and the strength that it offers,” Xuan said.

Newton said she enjoys the unique position as a student leader to help her peers begin building healthy habits that are going to benefit them their entire lives.

“I think this is one of the best ways that you can really engage with the student body,” Xuan said

Registration for the ACE group fitness instructor course and the NASM personal training course is open now through Jan. 26 and Jan. 23, respectively.

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