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Get Lean, Avoid the ‘Freshman 15’

by Jordan Wood

Ask any high school student, and he or she will most likely say that their typical schedule consists of many classes that they don’t have an interest in. The same can also be said for some first-year and even second-year college students still enrolled in general education courses. The resulting problem is a lack of passion in many people. More often than not that lack of passion stems from a lack of interest. Professor of Physical Education Tena Krause looks to solve that problem by introducing a new hands-on, interactive class: Fitness Programming and Assessment.

Fitness Programming and Assessment takes students out of the normal classroom setting and into the new fitness center, using the center as their lab. The ultimate goal is for the students to become personal trainers to their assigned clients—a real person that may be a faculty or staff member, community member or other students. Students first meet with their client and put them through an assessment of five stages (cardiovascular, flexibility, strength, body composition and range of motion).

Upon completion of the assessment, they then sit down to discuss the goals of the client in order to create a special, individualized fitness program. Throughout the next nine weeks, the student and client will meet to discuss any possible adjustments and to keep track of the client’s progress. At the end of nine weeks, the client then retakes the assessment to compare and determine the progress they made.

“One of the reasons for me thinking about this class was that there is a lot of interest by sports management majors that want to go into fitness—either work at a fitness facility, have their own, build their own or they want to go into coaching,” Krause said. “It’s going to help them to be able to assess players and clients and help them develop conditioning and fitness programs. They’ll have a course that they can put on their transcripts or their resume. They’re getting hands-on experience.”

Sophomore Lauryn Jackson hopes to pursue a career in physical therapy and finds the class “unique because I have never been in charge of someone else’s health… I’m learning hands-on how personal trainers work and although it is a small portion of what they do, my client sees me as someone she can trust with this program and that makes me feel good about what I’m doing.”

This “hands-on” experience is something that Krause is personally familiar with. While working at a fitness center when she attended college, Krause was put in charge of weight training programs where she worked with a variety of people with a variety of skills and goals, creating programs for all types of individuals.

Krause views her class as a great opportunity for both students and clients, giving students a hands-on insight into a possible career and also educating clients of  “the benefits of being fit and active versus the consequences of being sedentary,” said Krause. It also gives students who may not be comfortable in or familiar with a gym setting a way to be guided through their journey to a more active lifestyle.

So far, the only problem Krause has encountered is too many potential and willing clients and not enough students. She believes the reason is that many students were not aware of all the class entailed. She hopes to spread the word and increase the class size the next time around in the fall of 2018.

Clients pushing themselves to do their best

Krause hopes her new course can make an impact in the lives of people both on campus and in the community, saying “if we can make someone’s life a little easier for them physically and leave them happier then we’ve done some good things.”

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