Students turn fitness into a career

Back to Article
Back to Article

Students turn fitness into a career

By Sarah O’Beirne, Staff Writer

By the time February rolls around, many New Year’s Resolutions — especially those related to hitting the gym — have faded and people fall back into their old routines. However, some students have taken their passion for fitness and have made a job out of it as student personal trainers.

Campus Recreation offers personal training for an additional fee to students who want a customized exercise plan or a guided workout. Any student may become a personal trainer for Campus Recreation after they receive their certification in personal training and take a personal training prep course through the University.

Bella Curless, sophomore in AHS, has had a longtime interest in fitness and has been a student trainer with Campus Recreation for one year.

Curless received her personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) which provides a self-study certification program. She then took the personal training class at the ARC the fall of her freshman year and received her certification the next semester.

Clients can be students or other members of the community. Student trainers are required to have a minimum of four clients at a time.

“Most of my clients are looking to increase energy levels, become more active, healthy and increase heart health,” Curless said. “Some want to see results with weight loss or just increase their health overall.”

Training sessions range from $15-25 depending on length of time and sessions purchased. Currently, there is a waiting list for personal training through Campus Recreation, which Curless said is discouraging to potential clients who want to learn more about how to get fit.

“We have programs for people who hadn’t worked out, which we call ‘from couch to working out,’” Curless said.

For those who are intimidated by the gym, Curless said that working out for 20 minutes three times a week is a great starting point.

“Don’t try to look into all the crazy things that you should be doing,” Curless said. “You don’t have to completely change your life around. Instead take it one day at a time and have little goals like increasing water or eating more vegetables.”

Adriana Miltko, senior in AHS, is the personal training program assistant and oversees all the clients.

As the program assistant, Miltko manages the personal training prep course, works on videos for the Campus Recreation Instagram and YouTube accounts and works on the Virtual Run Training program for the Christie Clinic Marathon.

When designing workout programs for clients, Miltko said each session is tailored to the specific client and their needs.

“I use knowledge from my NASM certification along with information that I learned in kinesiology classes, and even from experiences with physical therapy and athletic training that I have,” Miltko said.

Ed Borstein, senior in AHS, started his own training business: Borstein Training Programs. It is an online personal training service for competitive athletes.

Though he has been lifting since high school, Borstein’s business began after he served as president of Illini Powerlifting Club.

“I really enjoyed teaching people and took a couple people under my wing. I wrote workouts and everyone was having good results,” Borstein said. “So, I started my own team.”

As a USA lifting certified performance coach, Borstein primarily works with power lifters and strength sport athletes. He’s interned with the Strength and Conditioning Department for the past year and half working with different sports athletes.

From there, his business has grown. He now trains athletes from across the country who have won many meets and trophies. When training his clients, Borstein likes to train them like bodybuilders by training heavy with a high amount of reps.

“I think that it sets me apart from other coaches because I’ve trained real athletes like the baseball and softball teams I’ve worked with,” Bornstein said.

Unlike many personal trainers who interact with their clients face to face, Borstein trains his clients virtually by sending them their workouts to do on their own at the gym.

“They’ll do their work out, record the light and I’ll provide critiques and feedback,” Borstein said.

Although he runs his business online, Borstein has not had an issue finding clients. He credits the powerlifting Instagram community and word of mouth with helping him to build his brand.

Curless said it is important to find out what works for you. She said people should not worry about doing the same thing as everyone else.

“You don’t have to do it perfectly,” she said. “I have a good relationship with exercising and eating. It’s a balance. You don’t have to be perfect, it’s just about improving your quality of life.”

[email protected]dailyillini.com