How The Rec's Personal Trainers Feel About the New Personal Training / Powerlifting Space
If you’ve worked out at The Rec in the past couple months (or even if you follow us on social media), you’ve probably heard about our new space.
Maybe you’ve even seen it. Basically, we’ve spent the past year building new, state-of-the-art facilities for personal training and Olympic/powerlifting.
Oh, and did I mention it’s underground?
Located under the basketball courts, students interested in utilizing our personal training and/or Olympic/powerlifting programs can find us by the new, rear entrance to The Rec. It’s on the backside of the building, facing the Coliseum by the PC1 parking lot.
I sat down with The Rec’s personal training team to discuss their take on the new additions. Here’s how they feel about it.
Be Well: First off, who are you?
Kyle: I'm Kyle Robertson, I'm a personal training coordinator. I primarily work with the Olympic/Powerlifting space.
Blake: I'm Blake Butcher, I'm a personal training coordinator as well. I focus on trainer development, setting up professional development opportunities, and one-on-one meetings with the trainers. Primarily, I focus on the practical aspect of being a trainer and a student employee.
Laure: And I'm Laure Butcher, assistant director of personal training. I oversee the Personal Training, Small Group Training, and Olympic/power lifting programs. I work on the intake of clients, making sure we have the proper paperwork, and connecting trainers to new clients. I also teach a kinesiology course (KINE 3030: Intro to Personal Training).
BW: Kyle, I know you're new to Auburn, how did you come to Campus Recreation?
K: Well, I was a personal trainer at Virginia Tech. After graduation, I moved back to a strength-and-conditioning/personal training facility in Virginia Beach. I managed that facility for two years, and then I saw this position. I liked the emphasis of working with Olympic weightlifters and powerlifters, which is more of my specialty.
BW: When did your team find out that The Rec was building this new space?
Laure: I'm pretty sure it was early 2017, when Ms. Jarvis brought us down to the shell space.
B: I remember walking through the gravel in here at the time, looking at the vast space as she told us. And then the process started shortly after that.
BW: Was this planned all along? Or did they include the extra space for future expansion?
L: From what I've been told, it was not planned from the very beginning. It was storage space. Personal training just had this little room upstairs that we had outgrown. They looked at personal training, saw how much the program was growing and they thought this would be a great way to utilize the space. Also, there were tons of requests from students for Olympic lifting and powerlifting, which is not allowed in the rest of the facility because of the facility's structure. In this space they were able to accommodate all the OPL requests and provide a space for the growing PT program.
BW: How is your team adapting to the new space? Obviously, it's very different than before.
B: We're over 30 trainers now, and I think we've grown from 14 in 2014. We're growing each and every semester. So far, they've adapted very well to the new space. It's not really a different type of training than before, it's just more of a functional, free space for the trainers to use a variety of exercise modalities for their sessions. You can have 5-6 trainers in here at one time, and it still feels open. So yeah, they've adapted well.
BW: For each of you, what is your favorite aspect of the new space?
K: The Olympic and Powerlifting area.
B: Since all of us are trainers, anything new for our clients is exciting. This is new, and it's exciting and it completely changes how we run our program and create workouts. It's intimate and it's exclusive, and that's what's great about it.
L: I think for me, I am most excited for the trainers to have a space to call their own. We've never had one central space for all the trainers to hang out and be together, whether it’s to talk about workouts, classes, or even just to have that time together. So, I'm happy they'll have this incredible space to collaborate, get to know each other, and grow as a team.
BW: How do the resources here at the Recreation and Wellness Center compare to other gyms and universities?
B: They don't. *Laughs*
L: I mean, it's amazing. Just having worked locally, we had very limited resources, no professional development assistance. I want to give that to our trainers, providing them with state-of-the-art equipment, and a lot of professional development. When they graduate, we want them to have learned, touched, seen, and experienced every aspect of health and wellness so they can carry it out into the world.
B: Laure and I definitely understand the resources we have here because we worked in a training environment with limited resources for 10 years. I am not sure if the students realize how many resources they have here. We also want to give our student trainers all the resources they need; not just equipment and physical tools, but also mentoring and our collective practical knowledge and experience. We want to help them find their identities, both as trainers and as people.
L: I've only seen about 15 different campus recreation centers, but I haven’t seen or heard of anything like this as far as personal training and Olympic/power lifting for students, faculty and staff.
BW: Kyle, how does the new space compare to previous facilities?
K: Yeah, none of the campuses I've seen (and they're big schools as well) have their own separate personal training area. This one is huge, and it's full of everything our trainers need. It's crazy that we have such a great space for our clients to come work out. The year after I graduated, my old school opened an Olympic lifting area as well. But it only had two racks and was only open 4 hours out of the week. Like, why was it even open? Here, we have real hours, more racks and all the equipment they can use. It really provides students with an opportunity they can't get anywhere else.