Exercise Health Sciences Program Internship Experiences
Through my completion of the Exercise Health Sciences internal practicum at Arapahoe Community College, I can say that the experience is helpful in many respects. The internship was a practical experience in which I was able to train real clients. This gave me a lot of confidence as I learned lessons through trial and error. The internship also tested my ability to stay organized and multi-task. Organization is a major key to success in this program and you will improve these skills drastically throughout the internship. My advice to future interns is to take on as many opportunities as possible and to hit the ground running with it. Staying busy and loading up your to-do list will give you the most value in your internship as you learn from your mistakes and better yourself as a personal trainer. Don’t think of the internship as a requirement for graduation, but more as a tool for improvement.
EHS Intern Spring 2015
Now that I am coming to the end of my internal practicum I would like to share some advice for future interns. At the beginning of this program I thought it was going to be easy because it was fitness and something I had been good at my whole life, but it’s hard work. When you start the program classes you should give it all you got, soak up all the information you can and actually put the effort into your hands on assignments/labs. In every class you go through you will learn something that will help you in your internship and I will tell you now save everything!! All the labs and notes you take in your class you will use in your internship. The internal practicum was such a great experience; once you are actually working with real clients in the community it will be worth everything you’ve been through in the program. I learned so much from my experience in the internal practicum, which actually helped me figure out my career goals and what I want my future to be like. As for my off campus hours, I learned so much from people who are in the industry and I tried to soak up as much information as I could. It was so worth it and now I have made some amazing connections in the health and fitness field that I can use for the rest of my life. When you are choosing a place to intern at make sure it is somewhere you would want to work or else it will be boring and you may not learn everything you want. My last words of advice for the internal practicum are to stay organized and plan ahead, by doing this you will be able to excel in anything you choose to do. Good luck in your last semester!
EHS Intern Spring 2015
Dear future interns,
The time has come for you to remove yourself from the classroom setting and become a professional. With that being said, you need to realize the important differences between being a student and being an intern. The biggest one I found was that when you are a student you are learning. When you become an intern, you need to know what you are doing in order to be efficient and accurate. You are no longer testing your friends and classmates. You are working with real people who have real issues and they trust you to help them not hurt them. Another big difference I found is that when you leave class for the day, you’re done with class and whether you choose to study or not is on you, not anyone else. When you leave the school as an intern, you are still on the job. Your client may email you or call with questions or you may need to research how to train your client for their specific needs. The point is, you are not just an intern when you are at school. The best way to get through the internship is to stay on top of everything. Study, pass the test the first time and hit the ground running because it can be overwhelming and you don’t want to be 50 feet underground at that point. This is the time for you to really buckle down, grow up and come out on top. You cannot just breeze on by; you need to dedicate yourself to being an intern and that is how you will get the most out of it. Don’t expect to like everything you do either. A lot of what I learned was what I didn’t like and that’s okay because it led me to find out what I do like. The biggest piece of advice that I have is to not stress if something doesn’t work out the way you planned. It’s not the “be all end all” and you will make it through. Take the experience day by day, week by week and you will make it. It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it. Make the most of it and have fun because you are doing what you love and the experience you will receive through the EHS program is priceless.
EHS Intern Spring 2015
From the Desk of: The Intern
Future Interns, I hope to impart advice and delicious morsels of helpful information as you enter into your internship for the Human Performance/Exercise Health Sciences program. It is important to remember that, because we are in a field to promote and enhance the health and lifestyle of our clients, we must also promote our own good health. You can only perform as best as your body and brain will allow. There is no doubt you will be very busy, but you must continue to choose “go” foods and not “slow” foods, as well as getting adequate exercise for your own body and mind.
As we all have life commitments outside of ACC, try your best to set aside at least 5-10 minutes per day to think about…nothing! A quick mental detoxification can realign your inner purpose and relieve some stress as you balance life, work and school. Embrace the surroundings and the place you’re at in life because it will fly by.
As always, time management will continue to be the most important ingredient in this recipe for success as an intern. To-do lists and your calendar will keep you focused on the tasks at hand. If you feel you’re needed in three places at once, glance at your calendar and prioritize your tasks. There is a fine line between over-committing and getting as much experience and exposure as possible during your internship. It is ok to say “no” to certain things, but absolutely say “yes” to projects that you feel will help you in your future career endeavors.
∞ Have Fun ∞ Breathe Deep ∞ Focus ∞ Be Confident ∞ Smile ∞ Work Hard ∞
Dear future interns,
Congratulations on making it to the internal practicum. The internal practicum will allow you to utilize everything you have learned over the past few years and put it into practice. I would advise that you not squander this opportunity, and take every task seriously. Allow yourself to master the skills you will need to be successful in the field you desire to work in and you will graduate feeling confident in yourself and likely already have a job. The practicum is also a learning experience so don't be afraid to make mistakes or try new things. There aren't very many places that will allow you so much freedom, so use it while you can. Find what you like to teach and don't like to teach, which age group you enjoy the most, gender, facilities and so on. Doing this will give you a huge shortcut when it comes to finding a job.
As for the off campus hours, be assertive while working with your mentor. Develop a positive relationship with them because you will be working together for a long time, and these are the people that can help you get a job. Use your mentors to answer questions and learn anything you want to know about the fitness field, they have a much more experience than you and most of the time are more than willing to help you out. Also be smart when planning your hours as the time to complete them will fly by. Other than that, just keep a solid schedule and always stay ahead with your assignments and you should be able to handle the internal practicum. Best of luck with your last semester.
Dylan – Spring 2014
Hello future interns. Now that my internship has come to an end I would like to share with you some advice and wisdom on how to be as successful as possible during your internship. From the very start of the program there is a huge emphasis on this internship and there is a good reason for that. Being in the classroom is one thing, but interning is something entirely new, but familiar. Familiar in the sense that you are truly applying everything you have learned through each course taken in the HUP/EHS program. With that being said, I want to all students and future interns to save everything you do!! I cannot tell you how many times I needed to go back into my massive pile of papers to look for something I needed for a fitness assessment, metabolic assessment, nutrition assessment and group exercise. Adding to that, be organized! This is challenging but necessary. Having an organized system of storing all my labs, PowerPoint slides and homework assignments would have saved me hours of searching. That advice applies to students of the HUP/EHS program. For future interns I would like to say that time management plays a major role in the internship. You are given numerous tasks, some to be done at the same time and you must find a way to manage your time effectively in order to complete everything. One thing I learned is that it is very easy to get behind. Take my word for it, you do not want to be cramming everything into the last week of your internship. It may not seem like a huge deal to push back one thing on your timeline, but that will lead to pushing another thing back and so on. You made the timeline for a reason, stick to it and you’ll have a much easier time. There are going to be very stressful times during the internship, but remember that it is all worth it, as it is preparing you for what life is going to be like in the real world. This internship prepares you for whatever career you choose in the health and wellness field. That is why each of you have personalized your timeline. So, don’t let the stressful times bring you down. You are going to be forced to challenge yourself like you never have before and it is for the best! Once it is all said and done you will look back at it and be thankful for how hard you work. Just as I am doing right now.
One other piece of wisdom I would like to leave with you future interns is regarding your ACSM Certified Personal Trainer exam. Not to scare you from the start, but yes, it is very difficult. Do not expect to cram study for it and pass. You need to give yourself time to study and actually understand the material. If you aren’t actually learning it then it won’t help you. In this field we constantly have to apply everything we learned for the ACSM CPT exam. The knowledge is important to remember. One piece of advice Professor Mabry gave me was to get at least 40 hours of studying in for it. That is exactly what I did and I feel it paid off for me. The books you will be required to purchase before the exam are crucial in helping you pass. Read everything in them and take notes! Also, there is a ton of stuff online. I punched in ACSM CPT Review online and studied from every site. This helped me out a lot! Although I didn’t do this, others have benefited greatly from attending ACSM workshops. I would recommend that all of you attend at least one. I would have if I had given myself more time between school and the set date for the exam. You can do it, just buckle down and start studying right now! Better to be over prepared, as it is a rather expensive exam and you only want to have to take it once!
Good luck to you all,
Derek – Spring 2014
The Human Performance and Exercise Health Sciences program at ACC is truly in a category of its own. I strongly believe that there’s no better place to be if you’re interested and serious about getting a quality education or having a rewarding and long-lasting career in the fitness industry. You’re in the best of hands by being a part of the program. Professor Mabry’s leadership, knowledge, and guidance largely contribute to the success of the program and growth in each one of her students. The program itself is both hands-on and dynamic. As a student and intern, you learn to develop the skills needed to become a successful, independent, well-rounded individual and professional. The program challenges you to live up to your highest potential and exercise your strengths and weaknesses. The comradery that exists among fellow classmates/peers and the fun that’s had while learning is anything but your “typical” classroom environment. The program definitely prepares you for your future and many opportunities will come your way, because of it. The Human Performance and Exercise Health Sciences program here at ACC makes for one valuable life experience that you’ll be better for! Trust me.
A Piece of Internship Advice:
- Be all about it!
- Have a good attitude.
- Do your best. Work hard.
- Practice what you preach.
- Don’t be a copy. Find your identity.
- Capitalize on your strengths; grow in your weaknesses.
- Progress > Perfection
- Take advantage of every opportunity.
- Stay humble.
- Be appreciative of what Professor Mabry does for you.
- Get outside your comfort zone. You may surprise yourself.
- Act like a professional.
- Find your niche.
- Don’t make excuses.
- Trust the process.
Maddie – Fall 2013
Right from the beginning of Professor Sophie Mabry’s Human Performance/Exercise Health Science program, I knew that I had found my chosen field. With our growing older population, and the need for fitness and health specialists, I felt confident that this program would prepare me for this new career. The “hands on” experiences and practical knowledge in fitness, sports and nutrition will be incorporated in my daily practice.
Professor Mabry’s years of wisdom and experience helped guide me through my internship into a career as a nutrition, fitness and lifestyle coach. I believe that any student who has the desire to be involved in the health and fitness industry should start with ACC’s Human Performance/Exercise Health Science AAS program. Students will appreciate the fact that this program is fast paced and designed to be completed in a shorter time period. It does require a great deal of your dedication, but the rewards will be worth the effort.
My advice to upcoming interns is to be proactive and do not procrastinate! Start by printing out every single page on D2L, become familiar with the categories and organize each for your future tasks. Start getting your candidates for assessments, personal training and group exercise classes immediately! Always follow up with phone calls and emails. Remember to keep a positive attitude; you’ve got to maintain your own health and wellbeing along the way.
Matt – Fall 2013
Jessah's Internal Practicum
The internal practicum is an experience that I recommend to anyone interested in working in the fitness industry. It's a great opportunity that allows you to transition from a student into a fitness professional. Initially, you may feel intimidated by the workload, but you will leave with confidence in yourself and endless opportunities. With expert help and advice along the way, you are able to "work out the kinks" before beginning a career.
My advice to HUP/EHS students is this: Take full advantage of the internal practicum. It is a great excuse to visit a variety of facilities, shadow successful professionals, and discover your interests in the field. Be flexible and do not turn down any opportunity. I could not have been more pleased with the outcome of my time at Arapahoe Community College and the Human Performance/Exercise Health Sciences Program. It prepared me with the knowledge needed to become an ACSM certified personal trainer and the experience to apply what I've learned in order to do what I love, help people reach their fitness goals, and see challenges lead to successful outcomes.
Jessah, Human Performance/Exercise Health Sciences Intern, Spring 2013
Sondra's Internal Practicum
This internal practicum has been a great experience! It has gone by fast and ferrous. Even though the demands that are placed on the interns can be tremendously high, it allowed for me to learn everything this field has to offer. The type of experience you'll never forget. I had to quickly learn to juggle many different things at once and becoming extremely efficient in time management. Well, I think that one is still a work in progress. I was placed in many uncomfortable situations, but with those situations brought great experiences to my life.
The best advice I can give future interns, is something that is due a month from now, you'll want to start that today! Also, take advantage of everything that Sophie put's your way. Make sure to maintain balance in your life as best as possible and have fun – in the end, the experience makes it all worth it.
Sondra, Human Performance/Exercise Health Sciences Intern, Spring 2013
Rachael's Internal Practicum
If you have made it this far in the Human Performance/Exercise Health Sciences program, congratulations! The internal practicum can be intimidating at first, but it can also be one of the best experiences of your life. Sophie Mabry and the fitness center staff are more than encouraging and supportive of their interns and aim to provide a successful and valuable experience. The professional involvement of the internal practicum prepared me for the high demand and fast paced characteristics of a fitness occupation. This experience has enhanced my personal training, marketing, public speaking, group exercise instruction and interpersonal communication skills. I will value the friendships I developed with my clients and staff at the college significantly.
As a previous intern here at the Arapahoe Community College fitness center, my advice to you is this: keep a good attitude and expect unlimited opportunities to come your way! Approach everything with an open mind and take full advantage of this experience. Stay organized, upbeat and on task. Allow extra time for clients, assessments and other paperwork. This is your internship and you have control over what becomes of this experience.
Rachael, Human Performance/Exercise Health Sciences Intern, Fall 2012
Michelle's Internal Practicum
I went into the internal practicum as not quite sure what to expect, but despite the lack of sleep, the 12 hour days spent working in the fitness center, and trying to find a way to fit my life around my internship it was a great experience! The leadership that the program this has is second to none, and not only is the staff impeccable; all of the tools that students are provided during their classes in the program can be applied in practice. You come into the internship with all the tools you need to get the job done and you spend your internship learning how to use those tools to shape your future in this business and find a job in the community.
In conclusion all I really have to say is how helpful the internal practicum has been for me and while I will miss my time on campus as a student, I can hardly wait to start my new careers out in the field. My only wish for the practicum is that my direct supervisor could have been there for its entirety, but life happens to everyone, and she did a wonderful job of finding a replacement (who did a fantastic job considering the short notice) and my experience was exactly what I hoped for.
Michelle, Human Performance/Exercise Health Sciences Intern, Spring 2012
Crystal's Internal Practicum
Though the demands placed on interns are tremendously high, it allowed for inventory of my knowledge base from the previous two years in the program as well as immeasurable personal growth in areas I had no previous exposure to. I quickly learned to juggle many different things at once becoming extremely efficient in time management. Lesson plans, liability paper work and marketing to creating and teaching Yoga classes and personal training; Metabolic, fitness and nutritional assessments along with lunch and learns provided an arena to facilitate my ability to find my voice and style in the field. This gave me passionate confidence that my last two years in the Human Performance/ Exercise Health Science Program had not only prepared me to be the best in my field but also helped me hone in on my own goals. Through the plethora of experience from the hands on internship to observing in the field, this internship was a comprehensive test of knowledge and fully a personal journey. To be placed in such unfamiliar territory with such intensity and to sit in that discomfort for the semester brought about great change to my life.
The best advice I can give future interns is to own all you do and move about your internship with respect and compassion, for yourself and others. Make sure to maintain balance in your life as best as possible and BREATHE – in the end, the experience makes it all worth it so try to enjoy every moment with a smile
Crystal, Human Performance/Exercise Health Sciences Intern, Spring 2012
Alisa's Internal Practicum
From the beginning, I knew that the internal practicum would be hard and consume much of my time and energy. However, I didn't expect it to start from the very first day of the internship. When I came into the fitness center for the first day of my internship, I was quite proud of myself for completing all the tasks that Sophie had given me to do during the summer. This feeling of pride and ease didn't last long. I was swept along a whirlwind called Sophie and was stuffed with so much to learn that my head felt like it was full of cotton. That feeling of stuffiness stayed with me for a couple days until I finally figured out that I was in for 15 weeks of a roller coaster ride. Throughout the weeks, I learned so many skills only you can learn from learning them hands-on. Most of importantly, I learned to apply my knowledge and resources appropriately, to manage my time very well, and to make the best of the situation that I'm put into. Although I was constantly under stress and overwhelmed, I would not have changed anything from my internship. All the stressful experiences have helped me to learn valuable lessons that I can use, not just for a job in the fitness field, but in any type of work situations.
My brief word of advice to future interns would be to manage your time well and to enjoy all the experiences, both good and bad. If ever during the internship, you find yourself bored or distracted, that means you are not managing your time well. Because you have to meet so many deadlines simultaneously, you have to be on your toes to keep up with them all. However, you also have to be flexible enough to decrease the amount of stress you will feel. The more rigid you are, the more stressed you will be. As an intern, you will have both positive and negative experiences; it is the most essential that you learn to go with the flow with a smile. When you smile and be positive even when you are about to cry with the amount of work you need to finish by the next day, you will find that you feel calmer and not so panicked. You've chosen to take part in this internship, so do it with a positive attitude!
Alisa, Human Performance Program Intern, Fall 11
Ryan's Internal Practicum
Congratulations for making it to the internal practicum! Through the internal practicum, you will build "hands on" experience that will prepare you for a future in the fitness industry. The internal practicum has allowed me to shadow professionals in the field, design and teach a full body resistance training class, conduct metabolic testing, conduct health and fitness assessments at local health fairs, provide wellness information through the employee wellness program in what we call "office calls", and be able to build an outstanding resume! So, be proud as you start your internal practicum and try to learn as much as possible while at ACC. "We have only one life to live, let's make each day count!"
Ryan, Human Performance Program Intern, Spring 09
Shawna's Internal Practicum
My advice for future interns is to have an idea of what you want out of the internship!
Time management skills are critical; a day planner is very helpful.
Always be prepared to answer questions when working with your clients, by working with a variety of clients, you will figure out what is your niche and the type of clientele you enjoying working with! Take full advantage of ACSM workshops offered for CEC's throughout the internship, many can be free or at a student discount! And finally, take a breathier now and then – I did it and so will you!
Shawna, Human Performance Program Intern, Spring 09
Jenn's Internal Practicum
This internal practicum has been a great experience! The type of experience you never forget. During these four short months I probably have never worked as hard or long in my life to achieve the things that I have achieved! This learning experience was filled with meeting new people, working as a team and challenging myself both academically and physically. You never realize how much you can accomplish until the tasks are placed in front of you. This internal practicum is designed to help you become successful in the work force. Words of advice to future interns, plan, organize, and communicate. This program is here to help you and your career goals. Take full advantage of the resources at hand.
Jennifer, Human Performance Program Intern, Spring 09
I like to think of my internship experience as a long distance relay race. The internship takes a lot of hard work and energy to complete but you have all the people on your team to lean on, work with and depend on, as well as yourself, to make it a complete success. You do not have to float around completely lost and confused the entire semester. Throughout my internship I had so many people helping and supporting me and that made it so much easier and enjoyable then I could ever imagined.
When I came into the internship I didn't know what I wanted to do with five months until graduation. I didn't know if I wanted to just be a personal trainer or do group fitness classes or even go on and get my bachelor's degree. Being completely confused about my future actually helped me out. I was able to incorporate so many different aspects of the fitness world into my internship that now I know exactly what I am passionate about as well as what I dislike. I found out that I love teaching group classes and especially children and seniors. I spent a large part of my internship with these two special populations: designing lesson plan, teaching, figuring out what worked and what didn't work. The hard work all seems worthwhile when a child hugs you at the end of class or a senior member tells you that you gave them the best workout of their week. These are the rewards that make this internship and the field of fitness so great.
I think the most valuable piece of advice I have is to learn to be flexible. I don't know how many times we had to change our plans at the last moment to accommodate our guests and clients. However, being flexible made things run so much more smoothly and allowed for so much fun as well as a good lesson for what happens in the real work force.
Overall, I just want to say, enjoy your internship. Make it the best it can be. Like I said before it is a long distance relay. This is your internship but that doesn't mean you have to run it alone. Don't be afraid to ask for advice or help. Now is your time. Are you ready to step up?
Sarah – Human Performance Program Intern – Spring 2008
The internship is a totally different experience than I ever imagined. The amount of time needed for the internal practicum is a lot but at the same time it is only a small portion of what you could be doing out in the work force. Take everything in the internship as a learning experience. I found out quickly that if you do not stay on top of your schedule it can get away from you and you can quickly get behind. Time spent in the office and in the computer lab is very important. It allows you to get assessments done, prepare for your next client and to get ready to teach class.
One of the best parts of the internship was my chance to create lesson plans and work with the children in the movement exploration program. The children are fun, they are willing and try new things, they want to be your friend and to hear them all yell "thank you Mr. Matt" as they left was a good feeling. I have seen them around the campus after our sessions were done and they all want to say "hi", they even talk to their parents about me. The feedback when the classes ended from the parents and staff members has been awesome!
My advice would be to keep all of your books and homework because you never know when you are going to need to revisit that important information. Save every email you get, you never know when you need to go back and retrieve information about a client or event. Lastly, make up a plan on a calendar. Sophie gives us a general idea when we are applying for the internship but if you take everything that needs to be done and break it down to smaller projects on a calendar then life will be a lot easier with time management. Finally, reward yourself for those small projects getting done, looking forward to graduation is awesome but having those small rewards along the way are very enjoyable.
Matthew - Human Performance Program Intern, Spring 08
Every encounter is a chance to inspire someone. My internship was busy to say the least. I was in the office as soon as the facility opened and stayed late into the evening. I put as much time into this experience as I could. The whole process is like a workout session, you only take away as much as you put in. My advice is to take this internship by itself and allow it to be your full time existence. The members get to know you and build bonds, your clients enjoy the fact that you are available when they are, and you get all the work done that you need to. It is well worth your time.
For every headache caused, there is a breathtaking moment worth more in the end. I designed and implemented a wellness contest for the employees at the college and it was a huge success. I had so many clients I would have been lost without my planner. I personal trained each and every one of them, I created and lead their weekly group classes, I conducted metabolic tests on all of them, and I completed physical assessments as well as nutritional assessments. The relationships built will last a lifetime, and the reputation you gain will follow you…MAKE IT GOOD.
I was constantly at the fitness center, allowing me to take on other projects as well such as: co-teaching several classes and learning how to lead SilverSneakers© classes. As I said before put in as much as you can, trust your advisor they will not lead you astray. I know now how I want my work day to be and what I would like to do for my clients.
My tips for you: Keep all of your textbooks and notes/presentations from class. You will use them. Know yourself and know when to take a break and relax. Do as your mother told you and try everything once…if not twice. You might discover that you like it. The things that you thought you liked may just be that, a thought. I found out that I did not like many of the things I thought I did. Everything pays off, so give it a go.
Enjoy your time, its gone too soon. I wish I could extend my time here, this experience has been wonderful.
JoNell - Human Performance Program Intern, Fall 2007
The Human Performance Program as a whole provides an extensive base of knowledge to "get your feet wet." Throughout the internship, you will use one aspect or another of every class that you have taken including the general education classes. With the variety of projects and classes, one can get a feel for what they will like and what they will excel at.
My internship involved assisting the Police Academy. It confirmed my goals of wanting to have my own academy some day. I was also involved with performing fitness assessments, calculating nutritional needs with the use of software and personal training. It was a unique experience in that you actually have a hand at designing your internal practicum.
Be prepared to spend long hours at the computer. Always be aware of your schedule. Allow plenty of time for first, second, and third revisions.
It is a lot of work, but it is worth it! You can see your results in front of you, which makes you strive to be your best and do more.
—Molly, HUP Intern, Fall 2007
Courtney M's Internship
My internship experience gave me a lot of insight to the world of fitness and health and helped me to discover how my knowledge, skills and talents fit into that world as well. My internship was a little different than the typical Human Performance Internship. I have never had a huge interest in becoming a personal trainer so I did not make that my main focus. I actually did not have one main focus; I just tried a little of everything! My internship program took many of my interests, goals and passions and developed several very diverse projects. I have a passion for dance so I taught Creative Movement to pre-school age children. I have a goal to become a Pilates certified instructor so I co-taught the Pilates class offered at the college. I had a desire to promote employee wellness at the college so I taught an employee only fitness class and developed an "Office Call" program to promote healthy lifestyles at work. I was interested in learning how fitness centers are run so I had the opportunity to work at the front desk of ACC's fitness center. These are really just a few of the things I took on in my internship and during this time I discovered the things that I truly enjoy doing and excel at but I also discovered the things I am not quite cut out for in this profession. This internship program helped me discover just what kind of fitness professional I would like to be. I now have a much clearer idea of where I am going in my career and how I can contribute to the health and fitness world.
My advice to future interns is to really consider the projects and activities you want to take on. Definitely take on the things you are passionate about and want to do more of but also, don't be afraid to try some new and different activities. Try everything that is offered to you and keep in mind that every challenge you take on is making you a more experienced and well-rounded professional for your future career.
— Courtney M., Spring 2007
My internship put to good use many of the classes that I had completed for the Human Performance program. My internship was geared mainly towards personal training, but I did a variety of things. My internship hours were from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. There was a lot of work that I did outside of the office. For the most part this included the calculations of fitness and nutritional assessments. I taught a variety of classes: Pilates, SilverSneakers®, weight training, and body toning and sculpting. This introduced me to many kinds of fitness that I hadn't worked as much with.
I learned quickly that you get out what you put in to this internship. You can do the minimum that is required of you and just make it through your internship. Or, you can give it all you have. You can do more than the minimum; you can do as much as possible. This is what I did, and I feel because I did this, I learned a lot more. I am taking much more away from my internship than I would have if I had just done the bare minimum.
I have some advice for future interns: get as much work done at the beginning of your internship as you can. The workload will increase and become more challenging. Getting the early stuff done as soon as possible will allow you to concentrate on the more difficult tasks.
I also highly recommend leaving text books at your desk. You will rely on them a lot especially when it comes to assessments and choosing exercises for clients, so it's good to have them handy. I also bookmarked pages I used most frequently so I didn't have to search through the book to find what I needed. As you go through your internship, begin compiling your portfolio. Make sure to save every assessment you conduct. You can start adding these to a notebook as you go through the semester.
Also, get to know the members! They really like when you are able to greet them by name and have conversations with them! This is also a good way to get your name out there and introduce yourself to more people! My last piece of advice is to HAVE FUN!! It is a great experience and it will be even better if you are able to have a good time!
— Courtney, HUP Intern, Fall 2006
My internship experience as a personal trainer has taught me how much the fitness industry has evolved since the mid-1980's. The internship requirements were approximately six hours per week, but I quickly realized that to be prepared for each event at the Fitness Center I needed an average of one to two hours of preparation for every three hours of scheduled work. This outside work schedule included calculating the results of fitness and nutritional assessments and researching appropriate exercises for clients based on their health history forms, goals and time limitations, while still developing a sound fitness program.
The clients and members I served were from a diverse age range. For some, extra caution was needed in my approach to their training programs, assessments and interpersonal communications skills. Serving this group has been very rewarding, for they have made lifestyle changes that improved their health and expected longevity. When someone has decided they're working out because they want to, the pleasure of working with the client increases!
My Internship Tips
Some of the other advice I would like to share with future interns includes:
• Build a library of information to help you be a successful intern (i.e. school books, fitness journals, articles, fitness magazines)
• Keep all homework derived from the HUP program! Those assignments will serve as templates for future clients and classes (i.e., FITTES programs, fitness testing/assessments sheets, food logs, nutritional assessments, labs).
• For every three hours spent on the job, expect to spend one to two hours for preparation!
• Put together a binder of every piece of information that will help you be successful (i.e., 10-second count for heart rate, BMI chart, reference charts for body composition, measurements, sample fitness/nutritional assessments and worksheets).
• Set a good, professional example to the members by being on time, adhering to the dress code, exhibiting a well-groomed appearance, and demonstrating exercises and their forms correctly with clear explanations.
• Be a good listener! Many of the older clients come to the Fitness Center to be social!
— Larry, HUP Intern, Spring 2006