- The Program
- About Us
AJ: When I was in high school, I struggled with my “self image”. I was never what would be classified as “overweight”, but I still was never happy with the way I looked. I dealt with brief bouts of disordered eating as a result. Per my mother’s suggestion, I actually ended up working with a personal trainer for a while. She helped me to build a healthy approach to feel better about my body and gave me a better understanding of HOW to exercise and the basics of good nutrition. I was happier with my appearance, but more importantly I loved the way I felt both mentally and physically. She really helped me during a rough spot in my teenage years. I think that really is what made me decide that I wanted to help people the way she helped me.
AJ: I find food super interesting. I love to talk about food as much as I like to eat it. After about 5 years of being a personal trainer, I had developed a great interest in how the human body works and how what we eat impacts physical health. I became a registered dietitian for the same reason I became a personal trainer. I want to help people to meet their full physical potential and I believe diet along with exercise are the two most important ways to do that.
AJ: I have sat for 3 certifications; ACE, ACSM, and NASM. I studied kinesiology as an undergraduate at Indiana University and the program was geared around the ACSM curriculum. More than 10 years later, I just recently became NASM certified. I think ACSM and NASM are the two best out there for different reasons. ACSM is a great certification geared a little more for the clinical realm. I really like the optimal performance model (OPT) that NASM uses. I think the OPT model really pushes the personal trainer to think about the “whole client” and the progression of human performance through physiological adaptations to exercise.
AJ:I am an instructor in the APTP program. My position involves classroom lecture and finding new and innovative ways to teach the various modules.
AJ: I love teaching! I can remember how I felt when I realized I wanted to have a career geared toward helping people live healthier lives through personal training. Seeing that same passion in the students at the APTP, has even helped me to renew my passion for fitness. I am 100% confident that every single one of the ATPT students we have right now are going to make the fitness industry even better because they are part of it. The fact that I get to be a small part of their foundational education is a huge honor.
AJ: Haha, that is a great question! Being a registered dietitian means that people always want to know what you are eating, so that’s a lot of pressure. I think about food like this; we eat food every day. That means every day we have the choice to either nourish our body or neglect it. I also strongly believe that food should make you healthy AND happy and never make you feel deprived. Therefore, I enjoy foods that nourish my body that taste good too. I love fruits and vegetables. My favorite foods would have to be salmon, good salads, and thai food. I also love cheesecake but only indulge on occasion and do not feel guilty when I do.