By Loydie Burmah |Staff Writer|
Personal trainers guide their clients by helping them maintain overall health
physically, emotionally, and mentally through fitness, exercise and effective communication.
“It started when I was in college, it was one of those personal challenges because I was a little bit shy and I guess you can say, not confident in myself,” said health exercise major and trainer Vinh Duong.
“But then after I started becoming more in tune with [the] exercise and the gym life in general, that’s where I started to find my motivation,” Duong added.
Duong is one of many personal trainers in the Student Recreation and Fitness Center (Rec Center) that aids clients in their personal physical pursuit of wellness.
Duong became a trainer to become more communicative, realizing that if he was able to go out of his comfort zone, anyone can.
“Where I wanted to be a personal trainer came from wanting to influence others that they can take control of their lives, and they can initiate change and progress,” added Duong.
Duong believes the interconnection between the body and mind is a relationship that is often overlooked in fitness and wellness maintenance.
“Fitness is usually more associated with extrinsic factors and attributes, whereas wellness is more focused on intrinsic factors,” said Duong.
“So, it’s not always about how you look, how much weight you can lift, or how long you can run, it’s also about how you feel when doing it,” added Duong.
Duong currently works with about 10 clients per week from Monday through Friday. Aside from training at the Rec Center, he also works with clients at Fitness 19, located in Highland.
Jennifer Gless is one of his [Rec Center] clients, as well as friend. Gless is Psychological Counseling Center therapist and CSUSB alumni.
Gless and Duoung meet twice a week in the afternoons to engage in fitness exercises. They have been meeting since July 2013.
“It’s good to have someone looking out for you. If we didn’t have the relationship, I wouldn’t be coming back,” said Gless.
Duong aids Gless in her session by providing instruction about posture, positioning, and balance from the sidelines.
They also share friendly conversations about activities, interests, and most importantly, Gless’s homemade cheesecake recipes.
Gless begins the session with a front squat while holding a 50 pound dumbbell, completing each set with ten repetitions.
Other exercises include bent over arm rows with a 45 pound barbell, barbell core twists, seated shoulder presses, lunge to shoulder presses, and reverse lunges with rotation.
Gless appears determined, sweatily pushing through each set, gritting her teeth while exerting as much strength as she can manage.
“Cardio is up,” said Gless to Duong, proceeding to point to other areas of her body in which the exercises are affecting.
She pushes an orange towel across her forehead and the back her of neck, taking swigs of water before moving forward on the next set.
Gless finishes with front lunges and single leg balances with a medicine ball on a BOSU, a half spherical rubber training device used for stability.
Gless believes that her sessions with Duong allow her to remain active and maintain her wellness.
“I definitely feel physically better. And it definitely helped relieve stress. I choose to work out in the middle of the day because I go back to my job feeling refreshed,” said Gless.
For those seeking physical fitness and wellness, Duong suggests starting small and building consistency.
“It’s all about encouraging progress, not so much change. Change can be negative and positive, but progress is the positive aspect to it,” explained Duong.