Running a well-rounded fitness department involves several components. The fitness floor, fully stocked with cardio, strength and functional training equipment. Group exercise, providing students with a variety of fun class options such as Zumba, cycling, yoga and more. And of course personal training. Whether a student is new to fitness, training for a marathon or maybe just needs help finding a little extra motivation, personal training can be the perfect option for those looking to add a unique component to their fitness routine.
The personal training program at the University of Miami consists of student trainers who are all certified by an accredited organization. Students, faculty, staff and non-employee members can sign up for single sessions, 8-pack sessions and buddy sessions. “We get inquiries about personal training in a lot of different ways,” said Nikki Reifschneider, the assistant director for fitness and personal training at the University of Miami. “Some will catch me or my staff in the fitness room, some will go directly to our in-house sales office. We also have a couple of bulletin boards around the facility with the trainers listed with a picture, biography and description of what they specialize in. So sometimes a patron will come and see a trainer they might be interested in, and they will inquire from there.”
Once signed up for an initial session, each new client will go through a personal training assessment with Reifschneider where they will discuss each client’s goals and what they are looking to achieve. Then they will go through basic fitness testing to give the trainer a better idea of where the client is currently fitness wise.
When it comes to pairing clients with trainers, Reifschneider will send out client profiles to the trainers. “After I assess a client, I set up a client profile via email and this explains what they are looking for schedule wise, what their goals are, some basic information about the client and how the assessment went,” added Reifschneider. “Then I send out all the clients I see in a given day and it goes out to all the trainers and it will say male preferred, female preferred, etc. I give them about two days to check their email and then they will write back and say if they are interested in a specific client. Then I use my personal discretion to pair them up appropriately.”
Prices range from $32 for a single one-hour personal training session for students to $46 for a one-hour session for non-employee members. “We always want our student members to get the cheapest rate because they are students and they should get the most benefits,” explained Reifschneider. “Other than that we base it on the pay rate system with our trainers, so we always want to make sure that what we are paying our trainers is certainly covering the packages.”
The department also operates a Fitness Laboratory where patrons can receive numerous fitness tests that will aid them in reaching their goals and tracking progress. These include body composition testing using the BOD-POD to measure body fat and lean body mass; VO2 Max testing to measure the rate of oxygen consumption, heart rate zones and ventilatory threshold; Computerized Dietary Analysis, which provides a detailed breakdown of the nutrients in your diet; Resting Metabolic Rate testing to calculate daily caloric requirements and basic fitness assessments.
According to Reifschneider, a key aspect to running a top-notch personal training program is hiring high-quality staff. The first thing Reifschneider looks for is a certification by an accredited personal training organization, as well as CPR and AED. “When they come in to interview, I look for a charismatic, outgoing personality that looks like they love to work with people,” she said. “I can tell a lot just by chatting with them, whether they can interact with our clientele. Then I also have them do a demo with me or another one of my staff where I will provide them with a client profile and they create the program and take us through it, so it gives me an idea of how they would actually train someone.”