By: Emily Plunkett

Fitness student Peter Jackson spots massage therapy pupil Chantal Wilcox as they work through another health promotion session.

With the influx in body image and health awareness, who would not want the opportunity to work with a personal trainer? And in return, what personal trainer does not want to take advantage of broadening their knowledge of the human body?

For the students of fitness and health program and the massage therapy program, a new initiative to combine their studies has proven beneficial for first-year massage therapy student Chantal Wilcox and second-year fitness and health student Peter Jackson.

Spearheaded by massage therapy professor Dave Eibner, Wilcox is taking advantage of the opportunity to work on gaining a better understanding of the human body to progress.

“We work with a lot of clients and a lot of them have restrictions or something that’s troubling [our clients],” said 25-year-old Wilcox. “In order to promote healthier living and strengthening, we give them excercises at home. It’s beneficial for us to be teamed up with one of the fitness students so that we know which muscles we’re actually targeting when we assign homework.”

“It gives me practical knowledge of working with someone dedicated and who actually wants to work out and feel the benefits of a fitness and health promotion program,” said Jackson, 25.

Beyond the grades, however, Wilcox and Jackson are finding much deeper benefits to the pairing. Jackson explains that, until working with Wilcox, he was getting used to training men. After graduation, there is no doubt he will have to train women as well, so he says he is enjoying the opportunity to learn what women are going to look for in a training regimen.

Wilcox, on the other hand, reflects on prior perception of a personal trainer.

“Whenever you think about a personal trainer, you’re always thinking they’re very intimidating and that they’re drill sergeants,” she said. “It’s a totally different perspective when you’re actually in there. They’re actually trying to help you and do it at your own pace.”

In the end, however, the benefit of working along side a future colleague will prove the most helpful when they are finished their respective programs. Even this early in their college careers, Jackson and Wilcox are networking and see no problem with referring their clients to the other person in the future.