August 31, 2011

SIUC offers Professional Personal Trainer program

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Good personal trainers don’t just happen. Helping people improve their health and fitness is a big responsibility and Recreational Sports and Services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is offering people of the region a chance to learn how to be a professional personal trainer.

The Professional Personal Trainer program kicks off 9 a.m. to noon, Oct. 3. It meets the same time each Saturday (except around the Thanksgiving holiday) for nine weeks, wrapping up Dec. 12. Participants will also log an additional 18 hours or so throughout the course practicing techniques and concepts at the Student Recreation Center.

Those interested in finding out more about the class will want to stop by the open house set for 10 a.m.-noon on Sept. 19 in the recreation center’s Alumni Lounge. Linda Hill, class instructor, will be on hand to answer questions.

“This program is open to anyone from the community,” said Lynne Thompson-Cundiff, assistant director of Recreational Sports and Services. “Whether you’re looking for a career change, if you’re interested as a hobby or because you’re a fitness fan or even just to enhance your personal knowledge, you’ll find this program invaluable. It’s hands-on, practical learning. You’ll learn by doing.”

The cost of the complete program is $695. Registration is preferred by Sept. 26.

The class covers not just the technical aspects of being a good personal trainer. It also incorporates instruction about practical business applications including making a sale, running a fitness session, monitoring clients, and legal aspects and applications. Participants will acquire technical skills and learn how to apply them. Those with some background in anatomy, physiology or kinesiology will find it beneficial but it’s not a prerequisite for this class.

“The fitness industry is growing rapidly and needs professionals, not people wanting jobs, but true professionals. In the industry, professional means having the knowledge, experience, personality and credentials to work with people on one of the hardest challenges they may ever face -- controlling their own bodies. The Professional Personal Trainer Program offered through the Student Recreation Center at SIUC provides motivated participants with the direction, support, input and explanation to gain the knowledge they need to work toward certification and work as a professional personal trainer,” Hill said.

Hill taught the professional personal trainer program for three years in the Atlanta area prior to her recent relocation to Southern Illinois. She also owned and operated her own fitness facility for several years. She has dual ACE certification as a personal trainer and as a weight and lifestyle management consultant.

Hill holds a bachelor of science in English from Florida State University and a master’s in professional and technical communication from Southern Polytechnic State University. She’s been a fitness instructor, a facility owner and fitness franchise developer, an adjunct college instructor and has more than 20 years of professional experience in the fitness and media fields.

“This program offers hands-on experience in a working fitness facility and input from working fitness professionals,” Hill said. “The end goal of the program is to give participants an understanding of what it takes to be a professional in this industry, to increase their potential for employment or to increase their income and marketability as an independent trainer.”

For more information, or to register for the class, contact Thompson-Cundiff, assistant at 618/453-1275 or via e-mail at Or, look online at