FARGO - Jennie Trucke is not a big fan of "The Biggest Loser."
As a personal trainer at Core Fitness in Fargo, she knows not all gyms and trainers are like the ones depicted on the NBC show, with people yelling and watching everyone work out with scrutiny.
She first got interested in this field of work after attending North Dakota State University for radiology for one semester. Trucke decided she didn't like it. Then she found out about the National Personal Training Institute in White Bear Lake, Minn., and she said she didn't want to leave.
She's been at Core Fitness since last December and worked at Anytime Fitness and Lady Wellness in Fargo before that.
Q: What do you like most about this job?
A: The people. The biggest perk is getting to know the members. ... My job is to get them to make their goals. ... We've become a little family. We don't have that many members. It's a small gym, and people know each other's names. ... This is the best gym I've ever worked at. There's no hassle when you come here. ... Everyone is really supportive.
What does your typical day look like?
I have my first client at 5 a.m. ... It's like a business person having meetings all day, except mine are physical meetings. Everyone does a warm-up. ... The goal is to push them over the edge. ... We get more out of you than what you think you can do. ... I like bringing out that inner confidence and watching people blossom.
How do you overcome some of the stereotypes people have when they think of a gym, like on "The Biggest Loser"?
It's really hard to explain to people. They don't tell people they're working out six to eight hours a day on the show. People watch, and they see one hour and think, "If I work out an hour a day, I can lose 30 pounds in a week like them."... Losing 30 pounds a week is not reality. It's healthy to lose 1 percent of your body weight a week. ... Everything's personalized. There's not a cookie-cutter workout. ... It's not like the military. We have to break you down before we can build you up to something great. I don't carry a whistle. I'm not gonna push you down when you're doing pushups. ... People think they can do it themselves. I went to school for this. ... Everything I did before that was wrong.
It seems like people easily give in to negative thoughts and stereotypes and get comfortable with that instead of even trying to change anything.
Yep. You say it so many times you believe it. ... It's hard to break through that. Like New Year's resolutions are coming up, and the gym will get busy, but then people tend to give up in the first few weeks when they don't lose 30 pounds in two weeks. It's a long haul. Normally it'll take you as long to lose the weight as it took for you to gain it. ... There are so many different ways to go about it. I can make (a workout) comfortable for anyone.
How would you describe the atmosphere at Core Fitness?
Open. It's the most open gym I've been to. (Members) have their blinders on, like horse blinders. They're not gawking at anyone else. They come in, do their workout and leave. It's a really open, friendly environment. There are people of all different ages, all different sizes, all different athletic abilities. It's nice to feel comfortable in a place where you don't feel like you'd be comfortable.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Jessica Ballou at (701) 237-7311
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