Career Connections

Riley Townsend

Major: Kinesiology and Health

Minor/option/emphasis: Exercise Science

Company/Organization: Surefire Fitness
Company/Organization website:
Title: Group Fitness Intern
Destination: 126 S 3rd St suite 2, Ames, IA 50010
Timeframe: Spring 2017

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
My responsibilities included showing up to every class time (5-7am, 12-1pm, and 4:30-6:30pm) and running the sound and heart rate monitor equipment, leading the clients through the warm ups every day, assisting clients with questions and making sure everyone is doing the exercises right during a workout. On the side I created new workouts for the facility and searched for new exercises or innovative fitness ideas. When new clients came into the facility I took them through the Functional Movement Screens (FMS) and introduced them to basic lifts like bench press, squat, deadlift, chin ups, and shoulder press.

I accomplished...
By the time my internship was over, we had used maybe 3 of the workouts I created, but I won't forget the first one. I worked with a trainer Natalie to make the workout for the next day, and it took us about an hour and a half to actually finalize everything (we were demonstrating movements, folding towels, etc.). The next day I led the warm ups and demonstrated the workout we created to everyone, then started the timer. The 5am class is usually a pretty tough bunch, so I was shocked when they were commenting about how difficult the workout was. At the end of the session everyone was speckled with sweat, but in good spirits... better then usual I'd say. A few asked who made the workout, where Natalie told them that it was all me. They continued to tell me how good of a workout it was and met me with high fives. Although it was only one workout, the pride i felt was enough to know that I won't soon forget it. Besides that, I'd say my skills with FMS (functional movement screen)have increased dramatically and I feel confident in running anyone through a screen.

I learned...
The greatest lesson I've learned from being an intern at Surefire is to be creative. Once you walk in the doors of the facility you immediately see a huge mural to your left of a painted dragon (now it's a cool climbing wall), already setting this place apart, and that's not including the ninja-like atmosphere created by the multitude of monkey bars and increasingly difficult challenges you can partake in. To keep clients interested and the body challenged, Surefire has completely new workouts everyday that include some kind of new move, so one can imagine that making new exercises everyday would need a bit of creativity. Although it takes work, putting in the extra effort to be creative and put your own spin on something will set you apart from others, and that's exactly what Jeff has accomplished with Surefire.

Advice for others...
Do something that you aren't quite sure whether that's the path you want to take for your career. When I was searching for internships, I always knew in the back of my mind that i would end up a personal trainer, and group training was never in the picture for me. I found Surefire online and although it was advertised as a group training facility, i noticed that personal training was also listed so i decided to give it a shot thinking that my time would be split between personal and group training. After talking with Jeff, I learned that it would mostly be group training so that steered me away, but the facility was awesome and I could tell Jeff was a great guy after talking with him for a while, so I told him I was interested. I'm glad I chose Surefire because now I can't imagine doing anything besides group training. Try something you might be uncomfortable with.

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