~ The following appeared in The Floyd Press on September 18, 2008.
Having a Personal Fitness Trainer isn’t just for city dwellers or celebrities like Oprah. Floyd native, Rowan Chantal recently received certification as a Personal Trainer from the American College of Sports Medicine and has set up shop at The Floyd Fitness Center. Chantal, a Blue Mountain School Alumni and a 2003 Floyd High School graduate, also has a degree in Physical Education from Berea College in Kentucky.
The youngest of five brothers in a family of talented athletes, Chantal broke from the family tradition of playing baseball to play soccer in high school. Excelling at the sport, he earned MVP and Floyd Press Player of the Year for soccer in his senior year.
Inspired by his older brothers Santosha, an actor and builder of set designs in Chicago, and Kamal, a Physician’s Assistant at the Orthopedic Center in Lynchburg, Chantal planned to pursue his duel interests in Drama and Athletic Training at Berea. It wasn’t long before his interests converged and his dramatic talents were channeled into teaching.
Berea is a small college dedicated to providing full scholarship education to promising students regardless of their financial means. The school requires that each student fulfill a minimum of ten hours a week in service jobs on campus or in the community. Chantal’s first work exchange position involved creating and implementing physical education lesson plans for elementary school students at a nearby school. It was through that job that he discovered his love of teaching.
When an injury sidelined his soccer career at Berea, Chantal turned to his interest in personal fitness and stepped up his weight training routine. The results were impressive. His physical appearance modeled what good fitness training can do and soon he had other students asking him to create fitness programs for them.
“Part of the reason I got into this because I saw so many people at the gym working-out incorrectly,” he explained.
A Fitness program under Chantal’s direction takes into account form, safety, and best ways to achieve the best results. It begins with a consultation to determine a client’s goals. The consultation is followed by a review of dietary and lifestyle habits and an introduction to the exercise machines that will be used. Fitness testing to see where a client is at and to track improvements is also conducted. Testing involves weighing, assessing body fat, taking body measurements, and taking pulse and respiratory rates before after exercise.
With a realistic approach to health, Chantal’s upbeat personality adds to his effectiveness as a trainer. During a recent consultation with a prospective client he said, “Don’t deprive yourself of the foods you love, just use them in moderation.” He recommends having high protein snacks on hand, such as trail mix or hard boiled eggs. “Most protein bars have a lot of sugar in them. Eggs have good fat,” he said.
His workout programs include cardiovascular exercises and full body weight lifting regiments. “Whatever your goals are – whether they are to build muscle mass, to get lean and toned, be better at your sport, put on or lose weight – I can help,” Chantal said. “I like to help people set and meet goals,” he added.
Being fit is a key factor to living an active life, Chantal explained, and he is proof of that. He divides his time providing fitness training with a landscaping job. Recently he returned to Blue Mountain School to coach a summer soccer camp. More recently, he has signed on to be the head soccer coach at Floyd High School.
Committed to healthy living, Chantal believes that fitness training is one of the best preventative medicine practices for physical and mental health. “It’s great for relieving stress relief and it feels good too,” he said. ~ Colleen Redman
Note: Rowan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org