Thursday - March 2, 2017 6:58 pm

UW-L still taking volunteers for free personal trainer program

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Student trainers work with volunteers at UW-La Crosse in Mitchell Hall. Student trainers work with volunteers at UW-La Crosse in Mitchell Hall.

Seven-week course takes place from 2:15-3:40 p.m. Tues.-Thurs.

As summer approaches, people often start thinking about getting into shape.

How does a free personal trainer sound?

Whether you’re someone who often participates in physical activity or someone who has no clue as to how to get started in that type of lifestyle, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is offering its services.

There are still a few openings remaining for a seven-week program that runs from 2:15-3:40 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning next week. 

The ages range from 18-65. And it doesn’t matter your fitness level, as the program is geared exactly for you.

“Form that person’s perspective, this would be the perfect opportunity to test the waters a little bit if you are apprehensive,” UW-L assistant professor Andrew Jagim said. “And the student trainers are going to modify the program based on your level of comfortness, your abilities, your fitness level and whatever your goals are.”

For those interested, call 608.785.6538 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This is the second time Jagim is running the program through the exercise and sports science department. 

“We had people that were recreationally active, currently doing different sports or other kind of fitness related activities and we had other people were completely sedentary, new to fitness and exercise,” Jagim said of last semester’s volunteers.

The way the program works is volunteers will show up the first day, be assigned a trainer and discuss what they want to get out of the course. They will also go through some type of fitness assessment to help the trainers gauge the customized workouts.

Those workouts will then be performed somewhere on campus, whether it’s the gym, the weight room or elsewhere. 

“No need to be intimidated, nervous or scared,” Jagim said. “You’re not working out in front of hundreds of people in some commercial fitness facility. It’s more of an intimate setting.

“It’s not like you show up and it’s this extreme boot camp class, where you’ll just be miserable and end up dropping out in a couple weeks, either.”

Everything is geared toward what the volunteer wants to get out of the class. The focus could be general, like losing weight or getting started into some type of weight-training routine. It could also be more specific, like a runner trying to get faster or a basketball/volleyball player wanting to jump higher.

What the program isn’t quite geared for is someone in peak physical condition looking at very advanced routines - like marathon training or powerlifting, because of the time constraints of the class - though Jagim isn’t opposed to the idea if that person wants to give it a shot.

“It’s moreso geared toward the person maybe trying to lose weight or get in better all-around shape or improve muscular endurance, Jagim said. “It’s those kinds of things that are much more attainable and a good fit for this kind of program.”

A big thing with getting into a workout routine is accountability. A lot of the time, that accountability is monetary, like paying for a gym membership. It could also be dependent on working out with a partner, so that person expects you to be there.

This program offers another level to that, as participants pointed out to Jagim from last semester.

“It did help them stay on track and stay more accountable because they knew if they didn’t show up they were letting their student trainer down, who was then hung out to dry,” Jagim said.

The trainer is depending on the program as sort of an internship as to what it would be like to do the job full time. If their volunteer doesn’t show up, they don’t get any of that experience and they may even get a lesser grade for it. Part of a trainer’s job would be to create an environment and routine that doesn’t cause their subject to bail.

Last modified on Thursday - March 2, 2017 11:48 pm
Rick Solem

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