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Heather Gans, Fitness Instructor and Confidence Builder

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mizzou chapter.


Heather Gans is motivated and ready to kick some butt! As a TigerX instructor at the Student Rec Center, she teaches exercise classes to Mizzou collegiettes and wants to work this experience into her future career. Did we mention she’s a hard-core runner too? Watch out Tigers because we might just see this energetic and inspiring woman as one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser someday.

Her Campus Mizzou: Why did you decide to become a TigerX instructor?

Heather Gans: I love working out and teaching people how to work out, and I get paid to work out! How awesome is that? 


HCM: What was the process like to get the job?

HG: The process to get the job is tough! You have to take a six-week class that is all about group fitness. Once you have completed that, you take a test and have to get an 80 percent or above to move on to the next step. If you do get an 80 or above, you submit your cover letter and resume. The rec will review that, and if you meet their criteria, you go on a formal interview.  Once you pass the formal interview, you make up a 15-minute workout routine and perform it in front of currently hired TigerX instructors while our boss “grades” you. Once you pass that, you’re in! After you are hired, you have six months to get nationally certified. You can either get a Group Fitness Instructor or Personal Training national certification. I got the ACE Personal Training Certificate.


HCM: How many classes a week do you teach?

HG: I teach six classes a week and sometimes more if I sub for other classes.


HCM: What’s the best part about being an instructor?

HG: The best part about being an instructor is interacting with the participants and seeing them change throughout the classes whether that’s losing weight, getting stronger or just gaining more confidence in general.


HCM: I heard you just fractured your ankle. How are you going to stay on top of your game as an instructor and still work out?

HG: Yes, unfortunately I did just fracture my distal tibula … I’m not exactly sure how I managed that one! I plan on still teaching classes. I am going to make the workouts and show the participants how to do the moves but just not do the actual workouts myself.  I will walk around the class giving encouragement and safety cues.

HCM: What do you want to do after school?

HG: After Mizzou, I plan to go to graduate school for Dietetics. I plan on becoming a Registered Dietician, and I hope one day I can work with eating disorder patients and the severely obese population. My dream job would be a trainer and a registered dietician for The Biggest Loser show. That’s a long shot, but a girl can dream, right? 


HCM: Why did you decide this career path?

HG: Nutrition and Exercise have always been a big part of my life.  I really believe that through proper nutrition and adequate exercise, Americans can overcome a lot of the diseases out there. Two of the biggest ones are diabetes and heart disease. I want to be the person to help people get happier and healthier.


HCM: What other things have you done to prepare your career path?

HG: I recently started volunteering with a Registered Dietician at the Student Health Center every week.  She works with mainly eating disorder patients, which is great because that is something I want to study and go into. I think working closely with her will really give me the hands-on experience I need to better myself and my future career.


HCM: We heard you ran a half marathon. WOW! What was your motivation behind doing that?

HG: Yes! I did run a half marathon back in September. It was my first race ever. I was going to run a 5K, but I just decided to jump right into the half marathon. My motivation was just being able to know that I could do it. Once I set my mind to something, I will do it. So once I signed up for the race, I woke up early every day during the summer and trained.  


HCM: Will you run any other races in the future?

HG: I am running the APO MS 5K in April.  I am doing that to support a good cause. My ultimate goal is to complete a full marathon! I will definitely do it; I just have to wait until I have more time to train for it. I will probably start training after I graduate from Mizzou.


HCM: Do you have any advice for collegiettes on how to eat healthy and work out more effectively?

HG: My advice would be to give up on the whole “diet” craze.  Eating healthy is a lifestyle change. Just be more cautious on what you eat. Choose grilled instead of fried. Choose light or fat free over full flavor. Limit sugary drinks and drink more water. Eat smaller portions and limit the sweets. The more colors you incorporate into your eating the better! It’s the small changes that you will be able to keep up with rather than completely cutting out everything you love to eat. My advice to keeping up with exercising is do exercises you enjoy doing. That could be playing a sport, running, swimming, dancing or anything like that. Work out with a partner; they will keep you motivated and dedicated.  If you are doing a workout routine you hate, you will never stick to it.  So have fun, mix up your workouts and buy a TigerX pass and come work out with me! 

Brooke Hofer is a senior at the University of Missouri. She is majoring in Strategic Communications through the School of Journalism while also pursuing minors in Classics, Psychology and a general Honors degree. In addition to writing for Her Campus, Brooke is an active member of Kappa Delta Sorority (Epsilon Iota chapter), Vice President of Sigma Alpha Pi, and she is a barista in the Columbia, Missouri area. Brooke loves working out, writing short stories, reading old books, and spending time with her family and friends in Kansas City. She hopes to eventually travel the world while working in the advertising or public relations industry.