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Personal Trainer Bios


Brenda Alexander

"What can I do to help you do what it takes to get what you want?"

Brenda Alexander in the weight room

About me: It only takes desire, determination, consistent effort and time. What is it that you desire? How strong is that desire? What are you willing to do to get it? What is really stopping you?

#1 - Designing exercise programs can be challenging when faced with limiting factors. I learn something from each and every client I work with. First I demonstrate the exercises in a particular sequence, discussing the rationale behind each. Then I allow you to practice mastery independently or with my supervision. I follow up with a review and modifications. Sometimes a completely new program is warranted if you bore easily, plateau or set new goals. Repeat this process again until your goals are met. Sounds simple, yes?
#2 - Motivating is a far more difficult task, for it involves the mind more than the body. Attitude is everything. If you hate exercise, I can make it more fun. However, it is still hard work and only hard work (or prolonged easier work) will produce results. Depending on your genetic factors, this progress may be faster or slower. There are drugs and surgeries available, but they are expensive and carry risks. You can NOT change the fact that your body requires movement to sustain health; you can however change the methods of movement as well as your attitude towards movement.
#3 - Consistency is crucial, for no plan in the world will succeed if you are not consistently following it. Most people need some support. I can only hold you accountable when you are physically with me or by an available attendance binder. I can “check in” on you from time to time, but I can’t MAKE you exercise when you’re determined not to. Hold on to your strong desire and refer back to #2.

This is what I love to do: I have knowledge and I have experience. I’ve been “addicted” to weight training and sports and I’ve been more relaxed and casual too. I’ve been able to maintain an active lifestyle regardless of my changing attitudes and circumstances. I’ve had my own small gym and I’ve had nothing but a broom stick and milk jugs. I’ve worked at 24-Hour, YWCA, YMCA and here at PSU.

I love this stuff! I want you to learn to love it too. My ultimate goal is to empower you to take ownership of your health.
Please allow me to offer you my professional services, share my experiences, have some fun and get you moving in the right direction.

Experience:

  • 7 years as a professional trainer
  • Various ages and populations
  • Lumbo-pelvic stabilization
  • Shoulder and knee rehabilitation

Credentials:

  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer
  • YMCA Fitness Testing Specialist

Contact:

Phone: 503-261-3907 - Does not accept texts.
Email: Brenda.alexander@pdx.edu

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Brendon Miller

"The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character" – Arnold Schwarzenegger 

About me: Good health is the key to living and enjoying life. If you enjoy the competition that participating in a sport offers or exploring the great Northwest, incorporating fitness and healthy nutritional choices helps each of us achieve our goals and enjoy our passions.

I am a driven, energetic and hardworking individual who has an inner drive to compete in sports and enjoy the great outdoors. Through fitness, I have been able to build physical and mental strength that allow me to compete in ice hockey and motocross and enjoy leisure activities like hiking, snowboarding, kayaking, waterskiing and snowshoeing.

Incorporating fitness into one’s lifestyle offers many rewards, including; improved overall health, increased self-esteem and greater focus. I enjoy the opportunity to work with individuals who are ready to make a change and enjoy the benefits of physical fitness. Together we will build a workout plan that is fun and sustainable.

Credentials :

  • WITS Certified Personal Trainer
  • American Red Cross – CPR, AED & First Aid Certified

Contact :

Phone: 971-732-4318
Email: brendon2@pdx.edu

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Chris Loveless

“Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there." – Bo Jackson

Chris Loveless smiles for the camera on the Rec Center court.

About me: Born in southern California and raised in the Portland metro area, my life has been centered on physical activity and competition. I attended Westview High School in Beaverton, Oregon where I captained my Varsity Football, Wrestling, and Lacrosse teams. I am now in pursuit of my Bachelors of Science in Nursing and later plan to continue my education to become a physical therapist. Now that my life has moved away from competition I occupy my time outside of school by staying outdoors and being active. As of now I most look forward to snowboarding, mountain biking, fishing, disc golfing, basketball and Netflix.
My background as a multisport athlete provides me with various perspectives on activity, movement, recovery, and the different ways health can be achieved. The knowledge I can provide spans from rehabilitation of strength, balance, and stability to high performance/ competitive training. Keeping exercise fun and constantly progressing is how I stay focused and motivated.

Training Philosophy: Choo! Choo! All aboard the Gain Train!
My goal is to help you create the best athlete possible. To go from underachieving to exceeding expectations.  This means establishing sustainable habits, creating a strong mind-body relationship, and working toward a well-rounded level of fitness. This is how one can truly maintain quality of life no matter their age or current health.
Let’s get better together!

Experience:

  • 5 years in Olympic lifting
  • 10 combined years of varsity level athletics 
  • Knee Rehabilitation

Certifications:

  • WITS Certified Personal Trainer
  • American Red Cross CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer & First Aid Certified

Contact:

Phone: 503-270-8275
Email: ochris@pdx.edu

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Gabe Feit

 "If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

Gabe Feit lifts a barbell in the weight room.

Introduction: Are you new to the gym and looking for some guidance and support?  Or have you been going to the gym for years and want a new perspective?  Maybe you're somewhere in the middle. They are all good places to be!  Just reading this bio means you have made the choice to address and improve your fitness in some manner.  Good decision! The path to physical fitness is a journey that can transform your body and mind. It presents itself differently to everybody, but one thing is for sure, it takes hard work!

Why do it? Aside from disease prevention and physical health, those old chestnuts. Exercise encourages the brain to produce chemicals that help us deal with stress (norepinephrine) and make us feel happy (endorphins). Exercise also helps improve cognitive function and alleviate depression.  Not to mention how good you'll feel when you look in the mirror!

About me: My philosophy is that even hard work should be fun! Idealistic? Yes. Unrealistic? No WAY! I love to play! From organized sports such as ice hockey and soccer to weight lifting to frisbee in the park. It is so important to have fun...   Seriously!  Playing encourages curiosity and helps us problem solve.  It strengthens our connections to other people, the world around us and perhaps most importantly, ourselves.

I am a nurturer by nature. I love to help people become the best version of themselves. In the gym this translates to a focus on helping you achieve your goals through a combination of guidance, external motivation, helping to keep you on track and overcome personal challenges.  College is a time of exponential growth that often leaves little time for play.  But the benefits couldn't be more relevant to a student's needs. Even the act of working out regularly, keeping a schedule and tracking your results are skills that transfer directly to college and the rest of life.

The path to physical fitness is right in front of you.  You have already taken the first step.  Let's work our way down the path together for a bit!

Certifications: 

  • World Instructor Training Schools - Personal Trainer
  • American Red Cross - CPR, AED & First Aid for the Professional Rescuer

Contact:

Phone: 503-866-2470
Email: gfeit@pdx.edu

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Griff Tovey

"Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something...You want something, go get it. Period." -The Pursuit of Happiness

Griff Tovey holds a medicine ball.

Introduction: Fitness can be achieved in many ways. Whether you enjoy swimming, weightlifting, yoga, or dancing, the benefits of exercise are numerous and have an incredibly positive effect on the way that we live our lives. While fitness can be challenging, it can also be extremely fun! My philosophy is "put forth the knowledge, hard-work and dedication and the possibilities are limitless."

About me: My passion for fitness began in my junior year of high school when I received a gym membership for my birthday and began working out on a regular basis. I had previously played organized sports including basketball and swim team but was relatively unfamiliar with weight training. To many of us, a lack of knowledge or unfamiliarity with weights or cardio equipment can make the gym seem both a scary and intimidating place. By choosing to participate in personal training you have taken an important step in ensuring that your fitness questions will be answered and your goals will be met!  Whether you are a novice who has never set foot in a gym before, or an experienced gym goer who is bored with your routine and looking for something new, I look forward to working with you!

Experience: I have been weight training for almost 6 years, and have participated in sports such as basketball, and swim team on a regular basis. I also enjoy climbing and hiking, but am always on the lookout for other fun ways to exercise! 

Certification:

  • W.I.T.S. Personal Training Certification
  • American Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid

Contact:

Phone: 520-990-2930
Email: gtovey@pdx.edu

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Romnick Dancel

"Don't fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail."   - Bruce Lee

About me: Hello! My name is Romnick, and welcome to my bio! Let me tell you a bit about myself...To make a long story short, I was that kid who was bouncing off the walls (yeah, that kid) when I was kept indoors for too long, much like a pet dog. Therefore, I definitely required a daily dose of movement and being outdoors.

As a youngster, my interests included skateboarding, boxing and martial arts in general. This developed in me a passion for working with and understanding the body. And my keenness for movement and activity was a big contributing factor towards my pursuit of an education and career in health and fitness.

When I’m not helping people train for their personal fitness goals, I enjoy stand-up paddle boarding, camping and hiking, brazilian jiu-jitsu, and watching a good ol’ movie. I consider myself a lifelong learner and I really enjoy trying different types of activities and challenges, both physical and mental!

Training Philosophy: I believe that adopting a more holistic approach to training such as considering your mindset, nutrition, movement, and recovery will help provide a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. To elaborate, having the proper mindset before starting a training program will allow the athlete or client to be focused and dedicated, while nutrition provides the foundational support to maximize the benefits of training. Training movement patterns ensures that all exercises will support and meet the physical demands of athletes and clients, while recovery provides the essential regeneration of muscles, which will allow the body to re-energize and prepare for the next training session or activity.

I highly value developing thorough programming for each client; considering micro to macro effects of the program itself. By this I mean, not only using a program to get clients to established “goals”, but ensuring that by the end of each week the body has been balanced in terms of planes of movement, muscle groups worked, and the overall functionality of the exercises.

Certifications:

  • National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)
  • American Heart Association – CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers
  • Portland Community College – One-Year Fitness Technology

Education:

  • Portland State University – B.S. Health Studies: Physical Activity & Exercise (Pending 2016)
  • Portland Community College – Associate of Applied Science: Fitness Technology (2014) EXOS Core Performance (Internship: 2014)

Contact:

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Jackie Long 

"Do not exist, thrive."

Jackie Long poses on a trail in front of a mountain.My life in a nutshell: My life has been a whirl of sports, hobbies and interests. At first I had thought this a negative aspect of my personality; that I was never excelling in one area. What I began to realize was that everything is connected; dancing, Muay Thai, Judo, Gymnastics, Ice Skating, Running, Strength Training, Soccer, etc. The movements our bodies can make are the same, and when learned how to do so correctly, we begin to reach our full potential. Many will say it in different ways and countless times, but there is no greater feeling than the act of challenging your physical body and your mind and finding out just how strong they can be.

What I can do for you: As a personal trainer I can help you achieve these potentials or any goals you might have. Everyone needs a little kick start and motivation to their day and to their life. My personal flair is to show you how to draw power from all potentials and aspects of physical and mental fitness such as strength, endurance, balance and power. 


Certifications:

  • American Red Cross- Standard first aid, CPR/AED.
  • WITS certified personal trainer
  • B.S. Psychology (Expected 2017)
  • B.S. Health Studies: Physical Activity and Exercise (Expected 2017)

Contact:

Phone: 530-588-8934
Email: jacqlong@pdx.edu

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Kristin Spurkland

"Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners." -William Shakespeare

Kristin Spurkland poses in a garden.Introduction: In working as a trainer, my goal is to help my clients be prepared to meet anything that comes their way with energy, enthusiasm, and ease, be it an all-day hike in the gorge, running a 10K, or a softball game at a family picnic. I believe that health and fitness should be available to everybody, regardless of current fitness status or difficult experiences with exercise in the past. Let me help you feel comfortable, confident, and “at home” in your body.

About me: My workout programs generally focus on functional strength and fitness, plus balance, coordination, and stability. In addition to drawing inspiration from my current studies in Fitness and Exercise as a Health major at PSU, I also incorporate my experience with dance and yoga into the gym setting. I like to keep things dynamic, and use a lot of intervals and hybrid workouts (combinations of resistance and cardio work) to increase both strength and cardiovascular fitness while also developing whole-body awareness and integration. My personal fitness routine is centered around my role as a dancer with Bloco Alegria, a Rio-style samba band; I have also recently taken up hula-hooping (kids make it look easy, but it's a pretty intense workout!).

I bring empathy, humor, and strong communication skills to my sessions. I want to assist all of my clients in feeling empowered to take charge of their health and wellness. Whether you were picked last in gym, or are a seasoned exercise pro looking for a new routine, I want you on my team!

Certifications:

  • World Instructor Training Schools – Personal Trainer
  • American Red Cross - CPR, AED & First Aid for the Professional Rescuer
  • B.S. in Physical Activity & Exercise with a Psychology minor (expected 2016)

Contact:

Phone: 503-997-0807
Email: ks8@pdx.edu

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Lindsey Schwenke

"Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity." - John F. Kennedy

About Me: Who am I? First and foremost it's nice to meet you, well at least via the internet. My name is Lindsey Schwenke. After struggling with my self-esteem and weight throughout my teen years, I hired trainer at PSU during Winter Term 2014. Since then, I have gotten into the best shape of my life, I enjoy exercise, and now my career goal is to help others reach their fitness goals. I know what it's like to be overweight, out of shape, and self-conscious. I believe that being happy and healthy is the best gift you can give to your friends, family, and yourself.

How I can help you?: Whether you are new to exercise, haven't been in the gym for a while, or are bored with your routine, together we will design a workout plan to fit your needs. I enjoy working with all types of people from the community. My ultimate goal is to help my clients feel joy in the progress they make and motivate them to maintain a continuously healthy lifestyle.

Certifications:

  • World Instructor Training Schools (WITS) – Personal Trainer
  • American Red Cross - CPR, AED & First Aid for the Professional Rescuer
  • Aerobics & Fitness Association of America (AFAA) - Group Fitness Instructor
  • B.A in Community Health Education (Expected Summer 2016)

Contact:
Phone: 503-505-1435
Email: schwen@pdx.edu

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Ric Newell

"There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better." -Tom Robbins

About Me: Born and raised in Oregon, I’ve spent the last few years living in San Diego and before that, Seattle, enjoying the beach, the ocean, the mountains and everything that the outdoors had to offer. After a move to Portland a few years back and a recent return to school, I decided to take my love for being active to the next level by dedicating myself not only to improving my own physical fitness and health but also helping others to meet their own fitness goals.

I recognize that many people are at first intimidated by the gym or might not share my enthusiasm for being active. My main goal is to assist my clients towards integrating health and fitness into their daily lives, where exercise is something that they look forward to. I am currently a Health Studies major with a concentration in Physical Activity/Exercise. I also teach Group Fitness where I get the opportunities to work with participants of diverse fitness backgrounds as well as utilize a variety of different fitness equipment. Whether you’re a long-time gym member or a first timer who has yet to discover your inner athlete, my focus is to provide you with a challenging and engaging program individualized to meet your specific goals and needs.

Certifications:

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine - Certified Personal Trainer
  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America - Certified Primary Group Exercise Instructor
  • TRX® Group Suspension Training Qualified Trainer
  • American Red Cross - CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers with First Aid

Contact:
Phone: 971-570-5595
Email: rnewell@pdx.edu

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Sabrina Wilken

"Every artist was first an amateur." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Training Purpose: In my experience I have found that many people are intimidated by working out at a gym for fear of being judged. My goal as a personal trainer is to help people overcome any personal inhibitions and to help them reach their full fitness potential. No matter what ability level you are at I hope to help you feel comfortable and confident at any gym.

Athletic Background: Participating in dance and gymnastics in my youth, my love for fitness developed at an early age. In high school I began my career as a competitive cheerleader for four years and went on to cheer competitively at a collegiate level for two years as well. After retiring from my cheerleading career I sought out other forms of exercise such as weightlifting, distance running and Zumba. I have always had a passion for fitness and I hope to inspire others to pursue a healthy and active lifestyle as well.

Certifications:

  • American Red Cross CPR/ AED and First Aid certified
  • AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor
  • WITS Certified Personal Trainer

Contact:

Phone: (503) 490-4561
Email: swilken@pdx.edu

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Story Heath-McKee

"I'm not telling you it's going to be easy - I'm telling you it's going to be worth it." -Art Williams

About me: As a kid, I was always very active; I played sports my entire life. From grade school kickball into college as a member of the PSU Crew and Lacrosse teams. However, I wasn't into so much the logistics of fitness and health until my sophomore year at PSU. I have always loved to be active and compete to be the best, which is why I decided to move my focus from competitive sports to actually training and learning about the body. I became a personal trainer so that I could begin to spread my knowledge and love of health and fitness to others!

I love to be healthy for myself and my life; I love helping others reach their fitness and health goals as well. Nothing makes me happier than to have the opportunity to work with individuals who are motivated and ready to make a life change that will benefit them for the rest of their lives, if done right and consistently. I look forward to the opportunity to work with those who are ready to make a change and enjoy the benefits of physical fitness. Together we’ll build a workout plan and set goals that are enjoyable and fun while still being beneficial and progressive toward improving your fitness and health. I only ask that you come ready and willing to work hard and give it your 100%.

Qualifications:

  • WITS Certified Personal Trainer
  • American Red Cross CPR/First Aid/ AED Certified BA in Health Studies w/ Minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Contact information:
Phone: 541-380-1268
Email: Story2@pdx.edu

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Tommy Gibbons

"In order to have what others don’t you must do what others won’t."

Tommy Gibbons lifts weights in the weight room.About me: Hello, I’m Tommy Gibbons. I’ve been involved in fitness for 8 years. Everywhere from sports to weight lifting, exercise has changed my life over the past several years, both physically and mentally. Health and exercise are two of the greatest passions in my life; I want to help others along in their journey to bettering themselves, not just their body but their mind as well. Once you start meeting your goals you will realize how much more you can do as long as you stay focused and committed! I currently have my Associate of Arts degree and am working toward my Bachelors in Health Studies with a concentration on Physical Activity/Exercise.

My philosophy: I am a firm believer that if your heart and mind are in it, the physical part will follow. We are all capable of molding our bodies to our satisfaction and further. I am here to share my experience and knowledge to help you in your fitness endeavors. I believe in specific measurable goals and all the work it takes to achieve them. I have met many of my personal aims and have seen myself grow beyond what I thought possible. I am ready to devote my time and effort to make sure you reach your fitness goals and stay motivated! My program design will be personally tailored and well-rounded to make sure we are optimizing neuromuscular efficiency by working flexibility, stability, balance, endurance, strength, and power. Are you ready to make the difference?

Certifications:

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine- Certified Personal Trainer
  • American Red Cross- Standard First Aid, CPR/AED
  • Pediatric Plus- CPR, AED, and First Aid

Contact:

Phone: 541-212-8439
Email: tgibb2@pdx.edu

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Veronique Nyounai-Herrera

"Success is the result of motivation, dedication and consistent effort."

Introduction: Committing yourself to your body and health is the greatest gift you can give yourself. The trick is to try various activities, find what you enjoy, and make it a priority. Fitness is definitely not one size fits all! As a trainer, I’m here to push you and help you realize that you are capable of achieving every goal you make for yourself. I’m here to show you just how strong you really are!

About me: I have always enjoyed being active. As a kid, I participated in practically every sport there was. This included ice-skating, gymnastics, volleyball, and even horseback riding. In high school, I stuck with basketball and tennis, becoming a tennis captain my senior year. Upon entering college, I quickly fell in love with strength training. I love knowing that I am getting stronger every day and am pushing my body to its full potential. For me, it’s all mental. I know that by pushing myself past my perceived barriers, I am becoming both mentally and physically stronger, and that mentality in the gym, can easily be translated to real life. Anything is possible! With that being said, my approach as a trainer involves nudging clients out of their comfort zones. I start off by understanding how you learn best, create a program that progresses in intensity, and gradually push you out of that pesky comfort zone.

I believe that a successful trainer is one that is well-rounded and able to relate to clients that have various fitness levels, goals, and interests. The best part of my job is getting to coach a diverse population of clients. No matter where you fall, the number one thing to remember is that in order to achieve the results you desire, it takes dedication, and perseverance. I am here as your coach, friend, teacher, and cheerleader. Let’s work on being the best version of you yet! 

Certifications:

  • WITS Certified Personal Trainer
  • Licensed Zumba instructor
  • AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor 
  • Red Cross CPR, AED, First Aid Certified
  • Pending minor in community health education
  • Tennis player 10+ years
  • Other sports: basketball, volleyball

Contact:

Phone: 503-708-0970
Email: nyounaih@pdx.edu