Healthy Living Y Stories YMCA Health and Fitness

Ashley’s empowering approach to personal training

Trainer Ashley stands behind her client Abi, coaching her through her workout

Over the past eight years she’s spent working as a personal trainer, Ashley has helped countless YMCA members accomplish and even surpass their fitness goals. With their newfound sense of confidence and empowerment, Ashley’s clients get to live every day to the fullest. Here’s her take on personal training:

Since I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated by the human body and its resilience. The more we test and push ourselves, the stronger and more prepared for the next challenge we become. My eight years of work as a personal trainer has shown me that our minds work in similar ways: people quickly realize that working out with me means so much more than just toning their muscles. Personal training helps people become empowered and confident, and they start to recognize that they can overcome anything they set their mind to.

That’s why I specialize in obstacle course training. I love helping people appreciate the thrill of seeing the next obstacle on their horizon, whether that’s literally another obstacle I’ve set up to help them push their physical limits, or a personal challenge they’re striving to overcome. Obstacle courses help you challenge your mind and body, and they give you this raw sense of satisfaction when you finish them; you feel great after conquering an obstacle you didn’t think you could, but you also feel proud of yourself for committing to the challenge in the first place and forbidding your mind from entertaining the idea of quitting.

I think obstacle course training aligns perfectly with the YMCA’s four-fold approach to health and wellness. We don’t only want to help people get physically fit; we also strive to ensure that everyone’s cultivating their mental, spiritual, and social health. Without taking care of these other aspects of wellbeing, even the most physically fit person won’t feel as good as he or she could feel. So I don’t just teach people how to do a bunch of exercises; rather, my training sessions are guided by positive thinking, as I focus on encouraging everyone I work with to believe in themselves so they can accomplish goals they never even thought possible.

Watch Ashley help her client Abi get started on her fitness journey.