Ty Timmerman has never done this before.
He received his personal trainer certification a couple years ago, but never got the chance to use it while working as a wellness coach at the Corning Community YMCA.
“It (was) essentially a glorified janitor,” Timmerman said. “I helped with classes and wiped down equipment. I wanted to do more.”
Timmerman’s opportunity came this summer, when personal trainer and Alfred University professor Josh Long needed some extra help at the Turner Fitness Center and Heinz Beach Fitness Center.
Long reached out to Timmerman, a senior at Alfred University, to “pick up some slack,” so Long could devote more time to his newborn baby.
For the past several weeks, Timmerman, a health fitness management major, has worked consistently with 12 clients to improve their physical well-being.
Timmerman starts out his sessions greeting his clients and breaking down the goals of the session.
It’s Monday, and Timmerman is training Connie Santell, 69, the first client he took on when he started. The two have a good relationship, playfully trading verbal jabs and joking about life.
Timmerman has his full attention on the client. He meticulously watches as she uses the back extension machine, encouraging her when she doesn’t think she can handle the weight.
On the shoulder press machine, Santell doesn’t extend far enough on her first try. Timmerman stays calm. He tells her to watch him. He sits down at the machine, explaining the process while demonstrating the proper motion.
Santell immediately does the exercise correctly, and Timmerman can’t help smiling.
Timmerman’s approach to personal training is a mix of friendly and focused. He tries to build a rapport with his clients, while also maintaining control and a level of professionalism.
He likes making people feel better physically and mentally.
Coming to Chautauqua Institution for the first time, Timmerman didn’t know what to expect when his youngest client turned out to be 45, but quickly saw the enthusiasm his clients had for fitness.
“I’ve had some older clients tear it up in the gym,” he said. “It’s so impressive what some of these people can do.”
Timmerman’s favorite part of the job is staying active.
“I couldn’t work behind a desk all day,” Timmerman said. “If I can make people better while staying fit, that’s great.”
After school, Timmerman would like to move down South and become a gym manager or strength coach.
While many personal trainers are still available for sessions at both Heinz Beach and Turner fitness centers, Timmerman won’t be one of them.
On Aug. 12, he’ll head back to Alfred University for football camp as a defensive end.
Timmerman said he’ll look back on his Chautauqua experience fondly.
“I’m excited to see where this’ll take me,” Timmerman said. “It’s been the best summer I ever had.”