When Elizabeth Alejandra Rodríguez, an exchange student from Universidad del Valle de Mexico, first went to the Driscroll Fitness Center, she was surprised to learn “there was not a gym trainer there.” So she decided to become one.
“Lucky for me, I already have a lot of experience when it comes to gymnasiums and how to be trained. I was once a gym trainer’s assistance two years ago. So I decided it’d be a good idea to propose that to Ronnie [DFC Manager Ron Nunnelly], and he liked the propose, so now I am the gym trainer at the DFC.”
Nunnelly says he agreed to to the proposal because “I know that there are people who know exactly what to do and come here to their stuff. But there are also some students who really don’t know what kind of exercises are good for them or what they need, so I thought it was a good idea.”
Rodríguez had a similar motivation when she decided to become a trainer.
“I started to go to the gym with one of my girlfriends. We use to make “work-out dates” just to support each other in the gym. All of a sudden, I noticed that she asked me all the time what exercises she needed to do. I remember that one day she said to me ‘You are my personal trainer’, and this of course was a compliment for me, and I started to feel like her personal trainer.”
Maryori Chamorro, from Perú, Alana González and Aiko Acedo, both from México, are the students who are being currently trained by Rodríguez.
“Elizabeth is a really good trainer. She marks a goal and makes everything to get it. I like that she knows how to focus every exercise,” Chamorro says.
González in turn talks about the way Rodríguez motivates people, “I like how she motivates you. You can see that training is something that she likes to do, and you can see that the whole time. At the same time, she is strict, which is something that helps you to do it better.”
Aiko [Acedo] has been training with Rodríguez for several weeks, and says she already sees considerable results, “She put me a routine with exercises at the beginning, and I’ve seen a lot of changes in my body since I started with that routine. She is a good trainer and she helped me a lot.”
Rodríguez has a schedule posted in the bulletin boards of the gym about the hour people can find her to be helped by her. She has general routines for people who just want simple exercises to do in the gym, but she also offers one-on-one personal training, for which she helps identify goals and how to reach them.
If it’s about starting from zero, Rodríguez: “First thing I do is to weigh them and start a routine based on work-out plans based on their needs or their personal goals. After this, every week varies depending on the area that they are more interested, so we get focused in that.”
Even though exercise is an important thing for a healthy body, diet is what really makes the difference. “Most the times that somebody doesn’t get results in the gym it is because of the diet. 85 percent of the results are based on the diet, and this is something that people should keep in mind. Gym is not going to do a miracle, and you cannot expect to transform their bodies in just two or three months.” According to Rodríguez, going to the gym even when it’s snowing is about motivation, and “motivation must be found in each one of us.”
Sometimes, a person can do all the exercises correctly and still not see any result. “This is why I say that diet is everything. Eating the wrong things, for example, can make you retain liquids and carbohydrates. Then you are going to get desperate trying to burn calories and never get it because of your eating habits.”
Having a gym on campus and a lot of activities that Zach Greer (one of the coordinators of the gym) organizes to do outside of the campus, such as hiking or climbing, is just a waste of time if students don’t take advantage of them, according to Rodríguez “This is something that people should do, I mean, we have a free gym in the school and a lot of healthy activities we can do outside of campus instead of damaging ourselves at parties with alcohol and not sleeping enough hours for our body.”
You can contact Rodríguez for trainings through her email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also meet her in the gym during her regular schedule: Mon: 7:30 – 9:30 pm; Tuesday: 2-5 pm; Wednesday: 9:30 am – 1:30 pm/ 7:30-9:30pm; Thurs. 2– 5pm; Friday 1:30-4 pm