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Trainers Transform Lives


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    Personal trainer Naeem Bacchus, left, with Kladius Maynard after an early-morning session

    Personal trainer Naeem Bacchus, left, with Kladius Maynard after an early-morning session

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 29, 2017) – Just one year after beginning personal training at the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center, senior Kladius Maynard is celebrating his physical and personal transformation. After making the courageous decision to start training and living a healthier lifestyle, Maynard is now a Herbert Wellness Center regular, working out at least five days a week. The international studies and economics major attributes his health and fitness success to the personal training program and his personal trainer, UM graduate student Naeem Bacchus.

    Looking back on his life one year ago, Maynard can see how personal training has positively influenced his health, fitness aptitude, and personal growth. He lost more than 100 pounds and 62.5 inches, and improved his cardiovascular fitness by 30 percent.

    “I wanted to feel better about myself,” says Maynard. “I knew that incorporating a healthier lifestyle would boost my confidence, improve my interactions with other people, and help me be an all-around better person.”

    Personal trainers are not just for those looking to lose weight. Individuals at any fitness level can benefit from working with a personal trainer, who tailors the training to help each client reach his or her optimal goals. Whether you are looking to enhance strength, endurance, or quality of life, Herbert Wellness Center trainers are equipped to customize programming to fit your needs.

    Maynard was ready to take control of his health, but like many who try personal training, the Stanford Residential College resident assistant knew he needed outside motivation to help get him to the gym at 7 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. In order to cement long-term success, he wanted someone who encouraged him, pushed him, and motivated him to do the best he could. Enter Bacchus.

    An exercise physiology graduate student and certified personal trainer, Bacchus became a trainer at the Herbert Wellness Center in summer 2014. With specialties in strength and conditioning, stability and mobility, he trains about eight to ten clients each week, an average number for trainers at the Herbert Wellness Center.
    “I enjoy working with people and enabling them to improve their quality of life simply by sharing my knowledge and guiding them through a detailed process we plan together,” says Bacchus. “I try my best to find a way for us to accomplish their goals through specific programs.”

    Nikki Reifschneider, assistant director of fitness and personal training, explains that personal trainers at the Herbert Wellness Center are UM students, typically earning degrees in an exercise- related field, such as exercise physiology, sports medicine, or physical therapy. Not only are trainers certified through a nationally recognized organization, they exhibit practical and intellectual competency and leadership in fitness while also learning the newest and most up-to-date information in their respective education fields on a day-to-day basis.

    While teaching physical movement is a large part of the personal trainer’s work, there is also a lesser-known responsibility to connect with clients on a psycho-emotional level. After a year of training together, Maynard views Bacchus as more than a personal trainer; he is also a friend.

    “I feel we developed a friendship outside the professional trainer-trainee relationship, and that’s what makes it easier,” Maynard says with reverence. “Because Naeem connects with me on other aspects of life outside health and wellness, it is like I am working out with a friend more so than someone I am paying.”

    Personal training is built on a foundation of trust and respect. Maynard attributes his success to feeling completely comfortable and at ease with his trainer. He knows Bacchus is there to support him, teach him, and guide him.

    Since embarking on his personal training journey with Bacchus, Maynard can confidently say his life has changed for the better. In addition to improvements in his fitness abilities, flexibility, and overall strength, Maynard notices exponential enhancements in his quality of life, self-image and confidence. Not only is Maynard healthier physically, he is also healthier mentally.

    “Working with Klad is very inspiring and beyond anything I could have ever imagined,” says Bacchus. “Kladius puts in all the work, but knowing I was able to help him change his life permanently in just over a year is absolutely incredible.”

    The Herbert Wellness Center currently employs 17 personal trainers from a wide variety of backgrounds and specialties. Personal training is ideal for someone looking for a structured exercise program, movement assessments, proper technique instruction, motivation, accountability, and a mentor or friend.

    “Beginning this process is bound to be scary and that is a natural feeling to have,” adds Maynard. “But starting to work out is the hardest decision to make and from there on out, everything else is easier.”

    To learn more about the personal training program and start your personal training experience, click here.

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