A Healthy Experience

Inspired by her summer internship, Jeanette Ricci has turned a position as a student trainer and fitness instructor at Loyola Marymount University into her own business.

Ricci, a senior Health and Human Sciences major from Mount Shasta, interned this summer at the University of Michigan to learn about biomolecular science and to experience health and fitness atmospheres outside of Southern California.

“I have always taken a very scientific approach to personal training,” says Ricci, a certified personal trainer for LMU’s FitWell Center. “My experience at Michigan allowed me to answer the deeper questions regarding what is going on inside the body. It is important for me to teach my clients why we do certain exercises, and describing the responses of the body helps me do that.”

Back at LMU for her senior year, Ricci says she is excited about new developments at the Burns Recreation Center — including new equipment such as sandbells and plymoteric boxes, as well as new group fitness classes like the high-intensity, total-body bootcamp class Body Challenge.

Ricci joined the staff of the Burns Recreation Center and FitWell Center as personal trainer after transferring to LMU as a sophomore.

“I chose LMU because of the diversity, student resources, amazing faculty and beautiful campus,” she says, adding that she was also influenced by her best friend and identical sister Lizzy who attends LMU.

Lizzy, who also worked at Campus Recreation, connected Ricci with Jennifer Westendorf, Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness for Campus Recreation.

“Jennifer made my dreams come true,” Ricci says of Westendorf, who hired the student trainer and instructor. “She is the most supportive and caring mentor, and I have grown tremendously as a person during my involvement at Campus Rec.”

With her experience working in Campus Recreation and knowledge from her internship at the University of Michigan, Ricci and her sister have started their own health and fitness business.

“We are excited to share our knowledge of fitness training and how we are able to eat healthy on a budget,” exclaims Ricci, who plans to pursue a Ph.D., in Exercise Physiology after she graduates in the spring.

“I am very excited to take my passion for health and exercise to a whole new level,” she adds.

Story by Nathalie Rubin

Located on the first floor of the Burns Recreation Center, the FitWell Center is committed to providing health and wellness programming and education for the entire campus. Offerings include a variety of group exercise classes, personal training packages, nutrition consultations, massage therapy, fitness assessments and specialized wellness presentations. All programs are available to recreation members only.