Crossfit trainer keeps pulse on campus community

The Workout Center welcomes regular exercise addicts and newcomers alike, but there are some regular gym-goers who aren’t always there to work out.

When it comes to on-campus jobs, watching people exercise all day isn’t a bad gig. Student workers at the Merritt Athletic Center spend their time inspecting equipment, helping patrons and learning the exercise habits of the Geneseo population.

“Some days after I get done with work, the gym is the last place I want to see,” sophomore Elise Personte said. “I just want to go back to my dorm and relax, but a lot of times working there just gets you in the right mindset.”

Personte has worked at the gym since fall 2012 and has since been promoted to supervisor. Aside from the typical responsibilities of a student worker, which include cleaning equipment every half hour and renting out sports materials, Personte also manages the front desk computer. She signs patrons in with the fingerprint-activated entry system and handles new registrations.

Personte said that one of the most challenging aspects of work is preventing people from doing dangerous things like throwing heavy weights around or lifting too much weight. The workers receive training for high-intensity situations like fainting and health problems while working out.

“At the gym, there’s pretty much an atmosphere that, if you’re struggling, someone else will come up and help you and teach you a new technique or something,” she said.

The Workout Center also offers yoga, belly dancing, Zumba and kickboxing classes for students. Among the newest classes is a spinning class that started up in spring 2013.

Because of her interest in triathlons and cycling, Personte’s supervisor asked her to teach the spinning class. After participating in an online training program, she was certified to teach and began hosting the class three times per week. During classes, she motivates students to keep pushing their exercise limits.

“I help other people with form and technique and hopefully give them a good workout – that’s my goal,” she said.

Personte said that teaching the class has helped her with time management and balancing workouts with her schoolwork. She has become more competitive in triathlons and committed to cycling since starting this new and intensive workout routine. She hopes to continue teaching spinning classes at home.

With a job at the gym, Peronte said “there’s no excuse to skip a workout.”