FORT JACKSON, SC -- Charlina Lewis decided 1 1/2 years ago that she wanted to improve her health. And during that time, she remained consistent, taking classes twice a week at Fort Jackson's Andy's Fitness Center.

But with her son recently off to college, Lewis said some of her workouts fell by the wayside.

That was one reason Lewis decided to sign up with the post's newly instituted personal training program.

"I've done the group classes. I think this way, I'll probably be more motivated," she said.

That's exactly what the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fitness Department is hoping to provide with its new program, said Pam Greene, a certified trainer and instructor with the department.

Already, the department has two certified trainers on board, Greene said. Additional trainers may be hired based on the program's popularity, she said. Greene may not have to wait long -- three days after she started accepting personal training contracts, 10 people had already signed up.

"(Personal training is) for the person who wants more, is ready for more and knows that one-on-one work is necessary to reach that level," Greene said.

Anyone eligible to use the on-post fitness centers - active duty Soldiers, military retirees, DoD civilians and their family members - may sign up for the program.

Lewis said another advantage for her is the hours available for the training. Sometimes, she said, her work schedule didn't coincide with the class times, which also affected her motivation.

"With one-on-one, you get to set your own hours," she said.

The training can be done at any of the on-post gyms, at any time that suits both the trainer and the client. Each gym on post opens at 5:30 a.m. at the latest, and closes at 9 p.m. Andy's Fitness Center opens at 5 a.m.

Greene will first give potential clients a brief overview of the program. Once the person decides to participate, he or she will sign a contract and pay at the Solomon Center. A package of five one-hour sessions is $100. Once the payment is made, a physical trainer will contact the client to discuss the best times and dates to meet. The first meeting lasts two hours, which includes a one-hour consultation. The consultation does not count toward the five sessions, Greene said.

Besides comfortable clothing, Greene said the most important thing to bring to the consultation is fitness goals to share with the trainer. The trainer will then outline how the client can best achieve those goals.

"The purpose of the trainer is to use his or her expertise to cater to your needs," Greene said. "That's really how personal trainers work; they cater to the client."

Terry McIntosh, one of the trainers, shared a similar sentiment.

"A personal trainer should be there to help motivate (the clients) to reach their goals," said the retired master sergeant.

The trainer's advice should not only cover working out, but healthy eating and rest habits, as well, he said.

Fellow trainer Chris Siau suggests clients choose both short- and long-term goals.

"Be realistic," he said. "What do you want to accomplish in those periods of time'"

Both McIntosh and Siau have both regularly taught fitness classes on post, something Siau said shows their commitment to Soldiers and families.

"We're dedicated to this," he said.

Though many of the current contracts are with family members, Greene, McIntosh and Siau also encourage Soldiers to sign up for the program. The trainers can help work on military-specific goals, such as achieving the maximum score on a physical training test.

"I'm not military, but a push up is a push up, running is running," said Siau. "I try to challenge everybody."

For more information, call 751-5768.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16