When Amanda Valle first started teaching group exercise, Olivia Newton John and legwarmers were trendy.
Though she participated in sports through school, she fell in love with group exercise when she took a course as a college elective. Over the years she worked in business, but she always moonlighted as a fitness instructor. Seven years ago she became a NASM-certified (National Academy of Sports Medicine) personal trainer, one of the more prestigious certifications in the field.
2nd Place — Debbie Richter, Southern Oregon Pilates & Personal Training, Medford
3rd Place — Peter Wolf, Superior Athletic Club, Medford
Valle is the fitness coordinator as well as a personal trainer for Club Northwest in Grants Pass. The majority of her clients are women between the ages of 30 and 70, working on fitness and weight loss.
"I love helping people reach their goals," Valle says. "I love helping people realize that they are worth it and the effort they are making for their health will benefit not only them, but everyone around them. My happiest moments are when one of my clients can walk fluidly without a cane or move without pain."
The best personal trainers are also good educators and able to adapt to different client needs, in Valle's opinion. "Trainers should be able to meet people wherever they're at, because there is not just one path. Health is very individualized. Wellness is my focus and I believe my job is to educate on a lifestyle of wellness, which is not always just exercise, but can include stress relief, nutrition, hydration and more."