Hi, I’m a Personal Trainer

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Is Personal Training for You?

As many people either start or restart their fitness journeys this year and this semester, one option that many may explore is personal training. Here, Laura Sanavio, a personal trainer at UC Berkeley’s Rec Sports Facility (RSF) and graduate student pursuing her master’s in public health nutrition at UC Berkeley, helps demystify some of the questions people may have about personal training and reflects on her own experience.

Laura Sanavio (she/her/hers) | Grad student and Certified Personal Trainer with Rec Sports

Why Consider Personal Training

Who would be a good fit for personal training in your opinion?

Anyone! Depending on your needs, goals, and fitness/exercise routine (whether you’re an athlete or new to fitness), you can find a trainer that specializes in your area and that can help you get to the next level or help you recover from an injury, or just teach you the basics of another training routine you have never tried but are curious to learn.

I think anyone can be a good fit, but a great fit is someone who is committed and truly interested in learning.

Why would you recommend personal training at Rec Sports?

Personal training allows you to have one-on-one access to an expert in exercising, moving your body, and improving your fitness. It is personalized to you, and thus, you get to ask your trainer and have them help you set goals that are specific to you and have them guide you through the process, without having to deal with the fear of not knowing what you are doing, of injury and of feeling lost or incapable of reaching your goals. You will have your own special motivator, trusted guide, and friend who will cheer you on, listen to your needs and work as hard as they can to help you achieve your goals.

Big-Time Support

What should students keep top-of-mind when considering personal training?

I think it is important to remember that personal trainers are there to help you, not to judge you, shame you, or torture you with crazy exercises. I hear sometimes people saying it may be embarrassing or intimidating to train with a PT, but think of it this way: your trainer is also just as excited and nervous to work with you. Every person is unique and presents different needs and challenges for the trainer, so it will be a place for you to learn, but also for the trainer to learn better what works for you. They will be enthusiastic to help you reach your goals and they will be your number one fan. So do not fear, as this is what we are here for – to help you achieve your desired goals!

Seeing Progress

What is your favorite part of personal training and overall experience?

This may be cliché, but of course, if I had to choose my favorite part of personal training, it would have to be seeing clients progress over time. It is one of the most satisfying and proud moments I have ever experienced!

On top of that, I love the fact that personal training has allowed me to meet great people with whom I’ve built great relationships. I love to have a friendly relationship with my clients, pushing them to work hard throughout the session, but also make time for laughing and chatting about life. If you are getting in a good workout and having fun while doing so, I will feel like I have accomplished my goal.

A trainer-client relationship can be awkward (especially at the beginning), but it can turn into an amazing relationship over time! I have met wonderful people of all ages, backgrounds, and with different stories, from which I have learned, adapted, and varied my training methods.

At the end of the day, what makes it all worth it is receiving a message or email expressing thankfulness for what I have done for them, telling me they were able to run again, do a pull-up, lift a heavier weight, move without pain. It has been a great learning and maturing experience, and I am very grateful I have been able to take this path.

How to Sign Up

Learn more about your personal training options and sign up, via the Rec Sports website. Rec Sports employs plenty of personal trainers just as supportive and helpful as Laura ready to help you meet your fitness goals.


Lucas Yen (he/him/his) is a second-year student at UC Berkeley majoring in Political Economy.