BBGH welcomes new personal trainer

November 9, 2017 GMT

ALLIANCE — Courtney Schnell, the new certified personal trainer at the Rehab & Wellness Center of Box Butte General Hospital, is a cheerleader at heart.

“I love it when someone I’m working with comes in a few sessions later to tell me about how they had an easier time doing something they’ve struggled with prior to training,” she said. “I’ll get excited: ‘That’s great! Look what you’re accomplishing compared to just a few weeks ago!’ That’s what I love about being a personal trainer. You see tangible results in a person’s life and you see people feel good about themselves when they reach a milestone. They come to me because they want to achieve a goal. And when we get to the end of our sessions, they are very pleased with where they are at. It’s awesome to have that kind of experience in your line of work.”

Schnell, an Alliance native, joined the BBGH Rehab & Wellness Center in October, and only a few weeks later has only seven openings left in her schedule for personal training.

“That will fluctuate, as people come on and go off the schedule,” she said.

She received her master’s in nutrition and health promotion from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, graduating in May.

“This is my first full-time career opportunity in the field I want to be in,” she said. “Before here, I became a personal trainer in 2015 as a result from a course in my undergraduate career. I was working at a small fitness center in Lincoln taking on clients there as a part-time job. Then I was offered a graduate assistantship at UNL wHere I was able to work with a weight management program, comprised of students and faculty who wanted a personal trainer. I worked with a wide variety of people for nearly two years, from children age 2 to a person who was 102 years old. All had various goals, from functional fitness (being able to get out of a car easier), to weight management. And no, the children didn’t end up with six-pack abs. We played games with them that reinforced healthy activity; from how walking and running was good for their hearts to how throwing a ball was good for their muscles. The elderly clients were almost all about regaining functionality and balance training, from being able to make a meal without having to sit down to being able to tie their shoes.”

Having a personal trainer is simply having a professional working with a client to develop a plan for a workout specific to individual goals. From there, Schnell will obtain a performance baseline of the client, from how long they can do a cardio exercise or core work to starting weights on various machines.

“I’ll show each client the proper form for core exercise routines, how to use each exercise machine properly, and how many reps and sets to start out with,” she said.

Of course, exercise takes willpower and determination.

“We all have our bad days,” Schnell said. “If someone comes in and mentions how they just didn’t want to do any exercising that day, I’ll point out that, ‘Hey, you’re here, aren’t you? That’s a good thing.’ And then we’ll get right into the routine. I guess that’s another thing about having a personal trainer; accountability. I keep them accountable to what they need to do to reach their goal by giving encouragement when they need it, praise when they do it, and ‘Oh, wow, that’s great!’ when they reach their goal. Then of course, once they’re done with their sessions, it’s up to them to keep up that work to ensure they maintain their physical health. I’ll still be there after that for any questions they may have in their continuing fitness journey.”

Schnell provides sessions from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays.